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We’ve all had experiences with locked doors that we either don’t have a key to, or our key to the entrance is on the other side of the locked door. Fortunately, most of the time, a bedroom door will have a privacy lock installed, which is a simple knob lock that isn’t very difficult to bypass to unlock bedroom doors.
When a more complicated lock has been installed on the bedroom door that you are trying to open, you may need to either remove the door hinges to gain entry or, unfortunately, you will need to break down the door or drill out the lock mechanism to bypass the locked bedroom door. It depends on how badly you need to reach what is on the other side of the locked door (crying toddler, pet, sleeping spouse, elderly parent).
How To Open A Locked Bedroom Door Without A Key
Table of Contents
In the case of a privacy handle lock preventing you from entering the bedroom because the door is locked, you need only a very small file with a pointed end, spam can key, or an eyeglass screwdriver will all work perfectly. The privacy handles are pretty easy to identify, as they have a very small hole in the handle to allow the lock to be disengaged.
First, locate your tool, and one of the three listed above will be your best options. Push the tool into the little hole in the doorknob. Push the tool straight in and turn it until the tool catches a groove in the lock and clicks it to the unlocked position. In the case of the privacy handle having a push-button lock instead of a knob lock, it will be even simpler to open with your tool. You’ll simply push the tool straight in, all the way until it hits resistance, and by applying a slight amount of pressure with the tool, the push button lock should disengage and click out to the unlocked position.
This is the best-case scenario that you can hope to encounter when you have to unlock a bedroom door without a key. Unfortunately, most of the time, it won’t be that simple. You may need to open it with a credit card, drill out the lock assembly, remove door hinges or the doorknob lock assembly, or in the worst-case scenario, completely destroy the door in order to gain access.
For instance, if your infant is crying on the other side of the bedroom door, you may be highly motivated to quickly destroy the lock assembly and forego other methods. If you are merely trying to gain access to your sisters’ bedroom to borrow her shoes, you will probably want to use a less noticeable entry method.
How To Unlock A Bedroom Door Without A Keyhole
In the event that the bedroom door you wish to unlock is not the type with a keyhole, you will more than likely fare better to remove the entire doorknob and use the internal mechanism to turn to the knob and open the door. If you have a Philips head screwdriver, disassembling the doorknob is a matter of locating and loosening two long set screws that are holding the doorknob assembly together.
However, if the knob has been installed with the set screws facing outward, you will not be able to access the set screws to unscrew them and slip the knob mechanism apart. In the case of set screws being on the same side as the knob or lock button, you will need to move the lock mechanism away from the frame with a credit card, or you will need to destroy the actual door lock to gain entry without damaging the bedroom door itself.
If you are lucky and the set screws for the doorknob assembly are facing you, you simply unscrew them with a standard Philips head screwdriver, and the knob will easily pull apart. There will be one half of the knob/handle assembly on your side, one half on the locked side, and the lock mechanism will be all that is remaining in the door. At this point, you can use your screwdriver to slide into the tube that the two-knob halves slide inside of, and turn the lock mechanism with your screwdriver.
How To Open A Locked Bedroom Door With A Knife
When you are trying to open a locked door with a knife, the first thing to remember is to use a butter knife. Using any sort of sharp knife to try to manipulate the lock and door hardware as you will need to do is very dangerous with a sharp knife. The first time that the knife slips out of the door jamb or the lock mechanism, you will more than likely incur a severe injury if you are trying to open the door with a sharp knife.
The second matter to be mindful of is that the unlock bedroom door with a knife is only going to work if it is a spring-loaded latch lock device or a push-button lock. If it is either of those types of locks, you should have no problem opening the locked bedroom door with a butter knife. First, get your butter knife, and for a push-button lock, wiggle your butter knife into the keyhole on the doorknob. Push the butter knife into the doorknob lock as far as it will allow, and shake your knife around until you hear a click. The click will be the push-button lock popping out to the unlocked position.
For a spring-loaded latch lock, you’ll need to slip your butter knife in between the latch of the doorknob and the striker plate that is screwed into the door jamb. Again, you may need to wiggle it around to get it in between the two pieces of hardware, but once you get your butter knife in between the plate and the latch, it should be as simple as prying the lock back, which will unlock the knob. In the case that it doesn’t open the knob when you pry it back into the door, just put your shoulder and the weight of your body against the door as you press the latch again into the lock assembly. The door should open up as soon as the latch is out of the striker plate while your body weight is forcing it to give way.
How To Open A Locked Bedroom Door With A Credit Card
One of the simplest ways to slip past a spring-loaded latch lock is with a credit card. However, don’t use one of the thin, chip style credit cards. You want to choose a more massive old swipe style credit card, membership card, or another thick and laminated plastic card.
In the same fashion as if you were using a butter knife to the unlocked the bedroom door, you want to slide the card between the spring-loaded latch and the striker plate that is screwed into the door jamb. Make sure that you have the credit card lined up to be exactly flush to the door frame. Bend the credit card back so that it is forcing the spring-loaded latch back into the doorknob mechanism.
If there isn’t adequate space between the spring-loaded latch and the frame to force the credit card into the slot, slide the credit card in the right above where the striker plate sits, then swipe down quickly and forcefully, and it should force the spring-loaded latch lock into the doorknob assembly, popping the door open. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t pop it right open on the first attempt. It can take several tries to get the credit card bent in such a manner that it puts pressure on the spring-loaded latch in the right spot to make it slide back into the hardware.
Removing The Door Hinges
If you have attempted all of the above and the knob or button lock won’t disengage to allow you to open the locked door, you may need to try removing the door altogether. It may also be the case if you are dealing with a slider lock or deadbolt assembly. In the event of either of those locks, you will more than likely need to start with drastic measures, or call a locksmith, because butter knives and credit cards will not get you past those types of assemblies.
To remove the door hinges, start with a standard flat head screwdriver and a hammer. Wedge the screwdriver between the bottom knuckle of the hinge and the pin. Start tapping the screwdriver end with the hammer. You shouldn’t have to tap it very hard, but you may need to do it several times in order to get the pin loose enough to tap out of its groove.
Once you have the pin tapped mostly all of the ways out, prepare yourself to catch the door as it starts to come out of the jamb. Be sure you start with the pin in the center hinge, then the bottom hinge, follow with the top flap. This is so you aren’t trying to remove the remainder of the hinge pins with the door sliding out of the jamb at the top and threatening to topple over on you.
Once you have the final pin tapped and pulled, the door will need to be pulled sideways out of the jamb, then back away from the strike plate that is holding the lock mechanism in place. It should be relatively easy to do because once the door is off of the hinges, it will want to come to a resting position on the ground as it’s no longer hanging inside of the jamb.
The Last Action (Destroying The Door, Destroying The Lock/Knob)
If you have attempted all of the options we have given, and you still cannot get the lock to pop, or the hinges are old or rusty and won’t allow for the pins to remove, you may need to resort to more drastic measures. Your next option is to drill out the lock itself. To drill out the lock, you will want to use an impact drill for force, and you’ll want to start with a small drill bit, working your way to a more significant if it is necessary.
Beginning just above the keyhole, start drilling into the lock mechanism. You need to drill in a pretty substantial depth because you need to be able to insert a flat head screwdriver and use it to turn the lock over like a key. It shouldn’t be difficult at all to turn the lock over once you have drilled the inner portion of the lockout.
However, let’s say that drilling the lockout doesn’t help, either. It is time to stop worrying about damaging the door and the doorknob. You may need to take your hammer and beat the doorknob with the hammer until the doorknob starts to separate and fall apart. Or you can hit the door with the hammer until you have punched a hole through the door and can reach through the door to manually unlock the door.
The one condition is that the door is a hollow-core door. If it is a solid core or a metal door, you may very well need to concede and contact a locksmith. If you are dealing with a hollow core door, however, you can break through the door if you have a hammer or a jigsaw or ultra saw. Keep in mind, though, the cost of a new door assembly will cost you upwards of $50 for the door blank alone. That will be the unhung and untrimmed door blank, which, if you don’t know how to trim and install it, you will incur additional expense having the door hung with new hardware.