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How to Unlock a Push and Twist Door Lock

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

A push and twist door lock is a great way to add an extra layer of security to your home. But what happens if you lose your key or forget the combination? In this blog post, we’ll show you how to unlock a push and twist door lock so you can get back in your home.


Replacing or unlocking a push and twist door lock can be done in a relatively simple process. Push and twist locks are found in residential and commercial entry doors, and the procedure for changing them is similar to that used for standard deadbolts. In this guide, we will explain how to unlock a push and twist door lock without having to call a locksmith.

Before you begin, you should ensure that you have the right tools available. This includes an appropriate sized screwdriver to access the screws of the lock, as well as an old toothbrush or small wire brush to clean out any debris or dust that has accumulated around the lock assembly. Additionally, having paper towels on hand can help keep your work area tidy so when it’s time to assemble the new parts everything lines up correctly.


Before attempting to unlock a push and twist door lock, it is important to prepare for the task. Gather the necessary tools and materials that you will need, like a flathead screwdriver, a pen, a paper clip, and lubricant. Make sure you have a clear view of the lock and that you have plenty of time and space to work on it. With the right preparation, you can successfully unlock a push and twist door lock.

Gather Required Materials

Gather the tools and materials you will need for your project. You will need a push and twist door lock, a flat-bladed screwdriver, a Philips head screwdriver, and either a paperclip or safety pin depending on the type of lock cylinder being used in the door lock mechanism. Additionally, you may need lubricating oil to free any stuck wafers if your door appears to be difficult to unlock. Before starting, make sure that all the tools are easily accessible and within reach of your work area so that you can work quickly and efficiently.

Familiarize Yourself With the Lock

Before attempting to unlock the lock, it is important to familiarize yourself with the mechanism. Push and twist locks are cylindrical-shaped locks that require two distinct motions to be opened. The first half of the movement features pressure applied to a button in the center of the lock while twisting slightly. Once this is completed, a full twist of the knob will open the door.

It’s recommended practice to ensure that you are standing in front of the door as you attempt to recognize how this lock functions. Familiarize yourself by slowly pushing and twisting on the knob until you understand how it operates – pressing against a circle-shaped button located on top or behind the knob and then turning before finally experiencing success when it opens up.

At times, these locks could be difficult to maneuver due to rain, snow or human error from previous attempts. When this occurs, use an alternate method such as unlocking tools such as unlocking tools that attach above or below the knob in order to complete your task without damage being done to your door or lockset installation.

Unlocking the Lock

Push and twist door locks are a great way to secure your possessions and keep them away from unwanted visitors. Unlocking these locks can be a bit tricky, but it is far from impossible. In this guide, we will cover all the steps you need to take in order to unlock a push and twist door lock. Let’s get started.

Insert the Key

Inserting the key into the lock is a vital step in unlocking a push and twist door lock. To insert the key, grasp it firmly in your hand and align the ridges with the grooves of the lock. Do not twist or jiggle the key while inserting it into the lock, as this may cause damage. Make sure to insert the key all of the way into the lock, until it stops. If you have difficulty inserting it, try lubricating or cleaning out any debris with a cloth or paper towel before attempting to insert it again. After you have successfully inserted your key into to push and twist doorlock, you are ready to rotate and unlock your door!

Push and Twist the Key

Push and twist door locks are a convenient, low-cost lock for residential homes and commercial properties. To open the lock, the correct key must be inserted into the cylindrical body of the door knob and rotated. There are two types of push-and-twist locks: self-locking, which requires manual locking to secure them; and automatically self-locking as soon as the handle is used.

Inserting a key into a push and twist lock requires both pressure and rotation on the part of the user. The key is inserted into its slot at a slight angle aligned with cutouts on its body. As it is pushed in farther, pressure must be applied in combination with a rotational motion to ultimately unlock it. It may require several minutes of back-and-forth rotating movements to open it up completely. This can become tricky for inexperienced people without practice or experience with such locks, however there are solutions available such as working slowly yet steadily or using lubrication like graphite or oil on the components within to reduce friction and reduce resistance from turning too tight or too fast given that novice users are often tempted to do just that when first operating such style of lock type doors.

Remove the Lock Core

Removing the lock core is the first step in unlocking a push and twist door lock. Depending on your particular model, you may or may not need to use a tool like a flat-head screwdriver to pry it open. You should be able to see where the core needs to be unscrewed from, but if you don’t, refer to the manual for instructions.

Once the lock core is off, you will have access to the latch mechanism inside. Place a small screwdriver into the mechanism and use it as leverage in order to turn it clockwise while pushing and twisting at the same time. When done correctly, this should allow you to unlock the door without turning any additional keys or using any external force. If your push and twist lock is jammed, repeat this process several times until it unlocks.

Finally, if your lock model requires an additional keyed turn step before it can be unlocked, repeat these same steps whenever necessary until you release all locks successfully.


When you encounter a situation where you cannot unlock a push and twist door lock, it is important to know what troubleshooting steps to take to find a solution. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common troubleshooting steps for when your push and twist door lock is not unlocking. We’ll cover topics such as checking the door handle, checking the lock mechanism, and more.

Check the Lock Core

If the key no longer turns in your push and twist door lock, then the lock core may need to be replaced. It is important to first check the condition of your existing lock core since it is much less expensive to repair than replacing it altogether. The lock core can become damaged if the wrong key type is regularly used, or if dirt and debris have accumulated.

Start by removing the screws from the interior side of the door and gently prying off the escutcheon plate that surrounds the cylinder with a screwdriver. Carefully slide out the old lock core and inspect it for any visible signs of damage, such as corrosion or scratches on its surface. If there appears to be no damage, replace the cylinder in its original position on your door. Make sure you align all screws correctly before tightening them back in place.

Once you tighten all screws back in place, you can test out your locked before going any further with rekeying or replacing it completely. If it still does not turn then you may need to either rekey it or replace it entirely.

Try a Different Key

If you are having trouble unlocking a push and twist door lock, the first thing to do is to try a different key. You may have been given the wrong key or it could be worn out after many years of use. Even if the key looks exactly like your original, you should try using another key as it just might let you in.

You can also try using some sort of jiggling motion as this can sometimes work in an emergency situation. Additionally, if the lock has become stuck over time due to lack of maintenance or from dirt buildup, a lubricating spray such as WD-40 can often help. If the problem persists, you may need to consider calling a professional locksmith for assistance.

Reinsert the Lock Core

If you are having difficulty unlocking a push and twist door lock, one of the troubleshooting steps you can try is to reinsert the lock core. To do this, turn the knob and insert the key into the cylinder. If it is positioned correctly, try pushing it in firmly and then turning it slowly counter clockwise. If everything was done correctly, you should here a click as the core unlocks itself.

If this procedure fails to unlock your door lock, be sure to check that there isn’t something obstructing the core from unlocking properly. Make sure there are no pockets of dust or dirt from age that could potentially make things difficult for you. Additionally, if your key’s blade is brittle or bent too much, this too could prevent its exit from the lock cylinder. In these cases, replace your key with one that is still in proper working order!


If you find that you are unable to unlock your push and twist door lock after following the steps outlined above, it may be time to call a locksmith. A qualified and experienced locksmith can help determine what type of lock mechanism you have and how best to proceed in order to gain access.

Before calling a professional, however, it’s important to remember that locks can only be opened from the inside when activated with a key. If you don’t have your key, or have otherwise mislaid it, then external access is not an option.

Also bear in mind that these types of doors require specialist expertise, so always make sure that any locksmith you use is highly knowledgeable and certified in this area of work. You want someone who is going to get the job done right!

How to Unlock a Push and Twist Door LockCheckout this video:

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