How To Remove a Locked Doorknob

If you had the misfortune to have the lock on your interior door malfunction and will not open, you can still remove the locked doorknob as long as you have screwdrivers with you. It may take some time to figure out what to do but it is actually an easy operation. Below are the steps on how to remove a locked doorknob.

  • Check the type of doorknob that is installed on the door. Look for a small notch on the trim, usually found at the underside of the trim, close to the door. Insert a small flathead screwdriver into the opening and press down. It will release the trim. Some trims are screwed on so you just have to rotate it counterclockwise. Others are just pressed and locked by the small tongue on the opening.
  • Pull the trim towards the knob until you can see the screws. There will be two screws on both sides of the knob. These usually need a Philips screwdriver to remove the screws. These will be long screws that hold the two parts of the doorknob together. Once you have removed the screws you will be able to pull one part of the doorknob.
  • Remove the screws on the strike plate that covers the latch hole on the frame of the door. Push a screwdriver into the hole left by the interior part of the knob. The screwdriver should be behind the end of the latch. Push the end outward so that you can pull the latch assembly. When you have pulled it out, you can remove the outside part of the doorknob.
  • There are modern locks that have screws over the interior trim. These types of doorknobs are easier to take apart. Remove the outside screws that secure the trim. Pull the trim towards you to access the two long screws that hold the two parts of the doorknob together and remove them. Remove the strike plate screws and push the latch assembly out. Pull the latch totally from the hole so that you can remove the other part of the doorknob.
  • Your doorknob may have hidden screws behind the trim and has spring-loaded detent or button that will have to be pushed to release the knob. This is found on the barrel of the knob, just after the knob, either on the top or underside of the barrel. Push a small screwdriver into the detent slot to depress the button. Pull the knob with the detent depressed so you can remove it.
  • Locate a notch around the trim. There can be one or two notches. Push a flat screwdriver into the notch and pull the screwdriver slightly up to release the trim. Once release, slide it off the barrel. You will now see two clamping screws that hold the actuating shaft assembly. Remove the screws and pull out the actuating shaft assembly. The other part of the knob will still be held by the latch assembly. Remove the screws on the strike plate and use a screwdriver to push the latch assembly out. Once fully out you will be able to remove the other part of the doorknob.

Check first if the lock will work when oiled. It may just be stuck due to dirt. If nothing works then follow one of the steps above, depending on the type of doorknob you have installed. Replace the doorknob with a more modern one that is easier to install and remove.


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