How to Open a Locked Bedroom Door in 3 Easy Steps

How to open a locked bedroom door

Privacy is important, but even the simplest privacy measures have the potential to backfire on you. It’s nice to be able to lock your bedroom door once you’ve settled in for the night, but there’s nothing worse than accidentally locking yourself out and realizing you don’t know how to open a locked bedroom door.

Maybe you accidentally kick the door shut when you’re struggling with the laundry basket or your sleeve catches on the door and pulls it closed. However it happens, a locked bedroom door can be a headache when you don’t have a key. Here are 3 steps to open a locked bedroom door.

Types of Bedroom Door Locks

Home security is no joke, but the primary concern is keeping intruders out. Inside the home, the primary concern is privacy which is why interior doors typically utilize different locking mechanisms than exterior doors. Most privacy knobs are “bed and bath” doorknobs which have a twisting lock mechanism on the inside or a push button on the outside.

The easiest way to identify a bed and bath doorknob is by looking for a small round hole in the center of the knob. If there’s a keyhole rather than a hole, you’re looking at a keyed lock.

Three Ways to Open a Locked Bedroom Door

Once you’ve determined what kind of lock you’re working with, the next step is to choose the right tool to use as a pick. For bed and bath doorknobs, you’ll need a long, thin object long enough to reach through the hole all the way to the locking mechanism. A small screwdriver is a great choice, though you can also use a hairpin, a heavy-duty paperclip, or even a straightened wire clothes hanger.

Below we’ll cover three of the most common ways to pick a bedroom door lock.

Hairpin or Paper Clip
  1. Bend the pin apart to create a long, straight piece of metal.
  2. Insert the pin directly into the hole in the middle of the knob until you feel resistance then push to release the lock.
  3. If the knob has a twisting mechanism, insert the pin and twist while wiggling until it catches and then apply pressure to release the lock.
Credit Card
  1. Slide a thin plastic card between the frame and the door, just above the door lock.
  2. Tilt the card toward the knob, bending it to slide it up and down.
  3. Wiggle the card back and forth while leaning on the door until the lock releases.
Butter Knife
  1. Choose a relatively thin knife with a dull blade – a butter knife works well.
  2. Insert the knife between the door and the jamb and slide it down quickly while leaning against the door.
  3. Repeat if necessary or try sliding upwards until the lock releases.

If all else fails, you can always remove the doorknob entirely. Slide a butter knife or another thin, flat tool under the collar where the knob meets the door. Pop the collar loose to access the screws holding the doorknob together and use a screwdriver to remove them. Once you’ve taken the doorknob apart, you’ll be able to slide the locking mechanism aside to unlock the door.

How to Open a Locked Bedroom Door Without a Key

If your bedroom door has a keyed lock, opening it without the key can be tricky. It’s well worth keeping a spare key hidden elsewhere in the house for accidental lockouts, but there are things you can try to get the door open without a key if you have to.

Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Take a small Allen key and insert the shorter end into the lower portion of the keyhole.
  2. Applying a little pressure, turn the lock slightly in the direction a key would turn it.
  3. Keep the pressure as steady as possible as you follow the remaining steps.
  4. Insert a paperclip into the keyhole then raise it backward and upward.
  5. Repeat the process in a circular motion, increasing the amount of pressure on the Allen key.
  6. If the lock doesn’t shift, try it pin-by-pin.
  7. Apply slight pressure to the Allen key and insert the paperclip.
  8. Push the paperclip in until it catches on a pin then bend and lift it up until it clicks.
  9. Repeat the process with the remaining pins until the door unlocks.

Accidents are bound to happen, so it pays to make sure you’re prepared for them when they do. Know what kind of lock you have on your bedroom and door and how to pick it, so you never find yourself on the wrong side of the door when it’s time for bed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to open a locked bedroom door with a credit card?

Choose a smooth plastic card without raised numbers and insert it between the door and frame just above the lock. Lean on the door and bend the card so you can slide it. Wiggle the card back and forth while leaning on the door until the lock releases.

How to open a locked bedroom door without a key?

For keyed locks, the best tool to use is a small screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver into the keyhole as far as it will go. Next, turn and twist the screwdriver until it catches in a groove and opens the lock.



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