If you’re locked out of a building or room and wondering how to unlock a door without a key then this guide will answer your questions. There are at least 13 different ways you can unlock a door without a key. These methods include, using a lock picking set, using a bump key, using a credit card, drilling the lock, and many other methods besides.
All the methods that can be used to open a locked door without a key can be done by people without any prior experience. Read on to discover the 13 ways to open a locked door without a key.
Why Would Someone Need To Know How To Open A Door Without A Key?
It’s fair to say that many of us have been through a situation where we’ve locked ourselves out of our house or out of an interior room. It’s frustrating and you can feel a bit silly when it happens. Depending on how long you’re locked out for, the situation can become unsafe, especially if your locked out of your home late at night.
Locking yourself out of your house or apartment wouldn’t necessarily be much of an issue if you live with other people. In that case you can always knock on the door and be let in by the house occupants. However, if you live alone then knowing how to open a house door without a key can prove invaluable.
Not to mention that it’s also worthwhile knowing how to unlock a bedroom door without a key or other interior doors. For many people, their bedroom is their only private space in a house, and continued access to it is important for them. Or you could have locked yourself out of your pantry or dining room or home office. All important rooms in any home.
For all these reasons and more, it’s very useful to know how to open a door without a key.
Only Use These Door Unlocking Methods For Your Own Home Or Rooms
To be clear, these door unlocking methods should only be used to unlock your own doors and to gain access to your own home or your own bedroom or bathroom etc. You must NEVER use these methods to break into another person’s home, nor to gain access to rooms or buildings that belong to other people. These methods are strictly for informational purposes only.
You should only use these methods if:
- You need to unlock a door in your own home.
- There is an emergency and you have no other way of unlocking your own front door or room door.
How To Unlock A Door Without A Key – List Of 13 Methods
1. Use A Lock Picking Set
The most common way to open a locked door without a key is by picking the lock. You can pick a lock with specialist lock picking tools.
Picking a lock could be considered a beginner to intermediate level DIY skill. With some practice and effort it’s a skill anyone learn.
One of the best ways to learn to pick a lock is by purchasing a lock picking set. These sets often come with learning guides and a transparent padlock so that you can practice.
To pick a lock you need to understand the different parts of a lock and how they work together with a key.
The main parts of the lock we’re concerned with are the Driver Pins and Key Pins. The driver pins are positioned between the top of the lock and what’s known as the barrel, cylinder, or core. And it’s the driver pins causing an obstruction to the barrel that stops the lock from turning.
You would need to lift the driver pins up away from the barrel, and this then allows the barrel to turn. This is what a key does. A key lifts up the key pins, which in turn lifts up the driver pins out of the way, and the barrel can now be turned, and the door opened.
Therefore, you need to replicate the two specific actions of the key, these are:
- Lift all the pins to the correct height (the height at which the driver pins no longer obstruct the barrel core).
- Provide a turning force that can turn the barrel, once the pins have been moved out of the way.
The lock picking set you purchase will have a variety of tools that have various functions. The particular tools we’re interested are the rake tools, and the tensions tools, also known as turning tools.
- You insert a tension tool in the lower part of the keyhole and apply some gentle pressure in the direction the key would turn, until you meet the natural resistance of the obstructed cylinder.
- With your other hand, you insert a rake tool in the upper part of the keyhole.
- Gently wiggle and shift the rake tool up and down and back and forth. By doing this, you will be lifting the key pins to various heights.
- You are simply trying to lift all key pins and find that precise height where all driver pins are lifted away from the barrel, thereby no longer causing an obstruction to the barrel.
- You won’t know when you have found that precise height, which is why you need to maintain pressure on the tension tool.
- The moment you have found that precise height, the pressure you have applied on the tension tool will turn the cylinder and the door will open.
And that’s it! You will have unlocked a doorknob without a key.
2. Pick A Lock With Bobby Pins / Hair Pins
This method of opening a locked door using bobby pins is very similar to using a lock picking set. The main differences between the two methods are as follows:
- This method doesn’t require a specialist lock picking set. You’ll probably already have bobby pins or hair pins lying around in your house. And if you need to purchase them, they’re even more inexpensive than a dedicated lock picking set.
- Bobby pins don’t come pre-shaped for lock picking as they weren’t designed for that purpose. Therefore, you’ll need to manipulate the bobby pins into the shapes, curves and bends that you require.
To mimic the specific actions of a key, you will need two bobby pins. One will be used to lift the driver pins and key pins, – the lock pick. The other will be used as tension tool, allowing you to apply rotational force to the barrel.
- Once you manipulated the bobby pins into the required shapes you are then ready to pick the lock.
- Insert the rotational tension tool into the lower part of the keyhole. Turn the bobby pin in the direction the key would open. Turn gently until you meet natural resistance from the lock. Maintain this pressure on the lock throughout.
- Using your other hand, insert the lock picking pin into the upper part of the keyhole.
- Lift each pin and try to feel for pins that are harder to lift – those will be the pins obstructing the barrel. The obstructed pins will create a click sound as they’re lifted out of the way.
- Once all pins have been lifted, the barrel will turn and you will have unlocked the door. This is assuming you have kept constant turning pressure on the lock with the tension tool.
3. Unlock The Door With A Credit Card
This technique will only work on a spring lock, not a deadbolt, and nor a door with high security. A spring lock is the kind of lock that comes with a standard doorknob. Keep that in mind and check what type of lock you need to open before you attempt to use a credit card.
when attempting this method, it’s best to use a card that you don’t mind getting damaged. Of course, you can always get a replacement credit or bank card, but it’s better to choose a card you’re happy to damage.
If you prefer, you can purchase a dummy credit card. This is a plain hard plastic card, the same size and material as a credit card.
The card will be used to as a wedge between the lock on the door and the doorframe. The card can then be used to force the door to open.
- Slide your card between the lock on the door and the doorframe.
- Angle your card towards the latch bolt’s side.
- Firmly push and wiggle the card towards the latch in the door.
- Now start bending the card away from the doorknob.
- The card should slide the latch back, and the door should then open.
4. Use A Knife
Using a knife to unlock a door works similarly to a credit card, but has other applications. For example, a knife can often be used to unlock a bathroom door without a key. This is because most bathroom doors have a flat keyhole. By inserting the tip of the knife into the keyhole you can turn it and open the door.
And as mentioned, a knife can be used to open a spring lock in the same way a credit card can.
- Insert the knife into the gap between the door and the doorframe.
- Slide the knife in the direction of the door lock until it meets the door latch.
- Angle the knife towards the latch bolt’s side.
- Now push and wiggle the knife towards the latch in the door.
- then start slightly bending the knife away from the doorknob.
- The knife blade should slide the latch back, and the door should then open.
Keep in mind that you should use a butter knife, rather than sharp carving knives. It’s also important to note that using a knife could cause damage to the door, the doorframe and other surrounding areas.
Using a knife to open a locked door can take practice, but it’s a great skill to have for practical purposes.
5. Use A Bump Key
A bump key will only open pin and tumbler locks. Fortunately, many interior doors and exterior doors do use pin and tumbler locks.
A bump key is a key that will fit a lock to a certain extent, but won’t allow the barrel of the lock to be turned. This means it won’t open the lock by itself, you will need another tool to assist in opening the locked door.
First, you need to obtain a bump key. These types of keys can be purchased from many hardware stores or survivalist stores.
If you somehow can’t find a store to purchase a bump key, you can likely purchase one from a locksmith. As a last resort, you could make a bump key yourself.
Slide the bump key into the keyhole. Remember that pin and tumble locks have driver pins and key pins. The bump keys will lift all pins out of the way of the barrel, except the last pin in the lock.
To get past this last pin and open the door, you will need a bump hammer or some other similar tool.
Hold the bump key steady and knock the bump key into the lock using the bump hammer. The aim is to force the last pin out of the way, allowing you to turn the lock and open the door.
6. Use A Hex Wrench or Allen Wrench
You can use a hex wrench (also known as an allen wrench) to unlock a bedroom door without a key. You can also use it to unlock other interior doors like unlocking a bathroom doors without a key.
Many interior doors that have locks on which have been made in the last 30 years have a very specific type of lock. The lock is located directly in the doorknob, and it’s designed specifically to be straightforward to open if you lock yourself out.
So, if you have the type of doorknob that has a small round hole in the middle of it, then a hex wrench would be the best way to open that door without a key.
- Acquire a set of hex wrenches, you may have some already or at home, otherwise they can be purchased from most hardware stores.
- Insert the long end of the wrench into the hole on the door handle
- It may not be immediately obvious which size wrench to use, so you may need to try a couple of them before finding one that fits into the hole snugly.
- Once the wrench is fitted into the door handle, simply turn the lock and the door should open.
7. Remove The Door Knob
This is a simple method that will work on most interior doors like a bedroom door or a bathroom door. It’s true that this technique won’t work on the front door or other exterior doors, but it’s still very useful. To accomplish this method all you need is a screwdriver.
- Find the mounting screws on the door knob or door handle.
- Use a head screw driver and rotate counter clockwise to remove the mounting screws.
- The doorknob will be removed and this in turn disassembles the lock, allowing you to open the door.
Keep in mind that door knobs won’t have visible mounting screws. In this case, you’ll need to remove the rose, or the shank, or other parts of the doorknob to find the mounting screws. You will need a flathead screwdriver to achieve this.
8. Drill The Lock
Another way to unlock a door without a key is with a drill. With the right type of drill and right type of drill bit you can drill through pretty much anything. And locks are no exception.
This technique can be used on front doors, house doors and interior doors. Using a drill to open a door will damage the lock and its component parts beyond repair. This means you’ll need to replace the lock. Therefore, before using this method, ensure you’ve tried less destructive techniques first.
With that said, if there is an emergency, or someone is in danger then drilling is pretty much a guaranteed way to open a locked door.
- Find a drill bit that is the right size to do the job. The size of drill bit you need will depend on the size of the lock.
- Lubricate the chosen bit, before you start to drill.
- If you have any eye protection available to you, then it’s recommended you wear it.
- Keep in mind that the pins in the lock are located in the upper area of the keyhole. Therefore, drill into the upper area of the keyhole.
- Apply a firm pressure but don’t use brute force. Firmly but gently drill through each pin.
- Once you have drilled through the pins, use a screwdriver to open the cylinder of the lock.
- And that’s it, the pins have been destroyed, the cylinder has been turned and the lock is now unlocked.
9. Remove The Hinges
Removing the hinges of a door is one of the best ways of opening a door without a key while also keeping the door and the lock free from damage.
It may seem like it could be complicated, or a lot of hassle but it’s really quite straight forward. You are going to remove the hinge pin, and you will need a flathead screwdriver and a rubber mallet.
- Wedge your screwdriver in between the hinge pin and the lower part of the hinge.
- Using your mallet, firmly tap the bottom of screwdriver to that it loosens the pin.
- Continue to firmly tap the screwdriver until the hinge pin is fully loosened and can be pulled out using just your hands.
- Repeat this process for all the hinges on the door.
- Once you have removed all of the hinge pins, you can open the door.
This technique can be done with a hammer and a nail, or a variety of other similar tools.
10. Hire A Locksmith
If you don’t want to try any of the techniques above, or you don’t have any of the required tools available, then it’s recommended that you call a professional locksmith.
Locksmiths are trained specialists of course and have the knowledge and the tools to quickly and easily open any doors without a key.
11. Use Brute Force To Destroy The Lock
This technique is a blunt and crude as it sounds. However, if you’re desperate and there’s no other way to open the locked door, then using brute force will usually do the trick.
Remember, when using brute force you’ll more than likely destroy both the door and the door frame. But if you really need to figure out how to unlock a door without a key, then go for it.
Kick The Door In
- Face the door squarely and take a solid stance.
- If you’re able to brace your hands against a sold surface that won’t move then do so.
- Lift your foot and kick the lock on the door with the bottom of your foot.
- Never kick the foot with your toes or the top of your foot, the way you might kick a football. Doing this could cause serious injury to your foot and leg.
- Continue kicking the door until the lock shatters and breaks.
Use A Hammer To Destroy The Lock
You can actually use any heavy blunt object to destroy the lock, including a mallet, a chisel, a dumbbell and other things besides.
- Hold the hammer (or other heavy object) with a solid grip.
- Hold the hammer with two hands if you’re able to.
- Smash downwards on the lock, doorknob or door handle.
- Don’t immediately smash the lock with all of your might as this may not be necessary and you could hurt yourself.
- First, start with a firm, but lower level of force and work your way up in force. This means you will only use the exact necessary level of force required to destroy lock, and no more.
12. Find An Open Window
This method doesn’t require you forcing the lock, or picking it in any way. In fact, it doesn’t interfere with the lock or the door at all.
If you are locked out of your house front door or any other external door, check to see if there are any open windows on the first floor. If there is an open window, you may be able to climb through the window, and thereby gain access to your home.
It’s important that you only look for an open window and that you do NOT smash any windows to gain access. Not only are you very likely to injure yourself, you will also incur the cost of replacing a window, which can run into hundreds of dollars.
Never attempt to climb through a window that’s not on the first floor. Trying to access a window on an upper floor could result in serious injury.
This method is not suitable for everyone. You should carefully assess whether you have the physical mobility to climb through a window.
13. Ask Somebody In The Room Or Building To Unlock The Door
This is the easiest and safest way to open a door without a key. If you’re locked out of your home or another building you own, then simply ask anyone who is inside to unlock the door and let you in.
This seems like an obvious solution, but may not be what comes to your mind when you realize you’ve forgotten your key and locked yourself out.
This is especially useful to remember if you live in an apartment building with communal areas. You can try and get the attention of your neighbours and ask them to let you in.
If your building has concierge, then you can ask them to allow you entry.
Ultimately if you’re locked out of a building where people know you, then asking them to unlock door and allow you entry should be the first action you take.
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Unlock A Door Without A Key
There are many questions that are asked about how to unlock a door without a key. Below are some expert answers to those common questions.
How Do You Unlock A Bedroom Door Without A Key?
There are a plenty of different ways to unlock a bedroom door without a key. These include picking the lock, using a credit card, using a knife, and using a Hex wrench, among other methods. If you’re trying to unlock a bedroom door, then first check what kind of lock it is.
A hex wrench can open unlock many bedroom doors. That’s because many bedroom doors that have locks on have a very specific type of lock that’s designed to accept hex wrenches in the absence of a key. The lock is located directly in the doorknob, it looks like a small round hole, and it’s designed to be straightforward to open if you lock yourself out. So if you have that type of lock on your bedroom door, then you can use a hex wrench to unlock the door easily.
If you don’t have that type of lock on your bedroom door, don’t panic. This article contains detailed instructions on the other techniques you can use to open a bedroom door without a key
How To Unlock A House Door Without A Key
A house door can be unlocked without a key in a few different ways. These include drilling through the lock, using a hammer to smash and destroy the lock, and calling out a locksmith for assistance.
It’s not so easy to pick a house door lock or other exterior locks with bobby pins or lock picking set. This is because exterior locks have higher grade security features that render majority of lock picking methods ineffective.
If you’re comfortable drilling through your house door lock but can’t access your drill as it’s in your home, then ask to borrow a neighbour’s drill. By doing this, you can avoid calling out a locksmith, who would more than likely determine that drilling the lock is the best way to open the door.
How Do You Unlock A Door Without A Key Or Bobby Pin?
If you don’t have a key or a bobby pin, then you can unlock a door using other methods. These include drilling the lock, using a knife, and opening a spring lock with a credit card. You can also use remove the doorknob or remove the hinges. Plus, other techniques besides. All of these methods have been detailed above in this article.
Final Thoughts On How To Unlock A Door Without A Key
Locking yourself out of your home or your room can cause you to panic and feel anxious. But there’s no need to worry, there are lots of ways you can gain access to your bedroom or bathroom without a key. If you’ve read this guide then you’ll know that many of those methods don’t need any prior knowledge and can be done by beginners.