how to unlock deadbolt from outside


In an emergency situation, knowing how to unlock a deadbolt from outside can be crucial. Whether you’re locked out of your house or need quick access to a room, understanding the steps to unlock a deadbolt can save you time and hassle. In this step-by-step guide, we will explore the process of unlocking a deadbolt from the outside.

Have you ever found yourself locked out of your house with no spare key? Or have you ever needed quick access to a room with a locked door? Knowing how to unlock a deadbolt from outside can be a lifesaver in these situations. In this article, we will guide you through the process of unlocking a deadbolt, ensuring that you can regain access to your space without any complications.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with a step-by-step guide on unlocking deadbolts from outside. We understand the frustration and stress that can arise from being locked out, and our aim is to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to handle such situations confidently.

As an expert in the field of door hardware, I have encountered and dealt with numerous lock-related challenges. My experience and expertise in this area allow me to explain the unlocking process in a clear and concise manner, ensuring your understanding and success in unlocking a deadbolt.

Step 1: Assess the Deadbolt

The first step in unlocking a deadbolt from outside is to carefully assess its type and condition. Deadbolts can vary in design and mechanism, requiring different methods of unlocking.

If you have a standard cylinder deadbolt, you will typically find a keyhole located on the outside of the door. This means you can use a key to unlock the deadbolt. However, some deadbolts may have a thumbturn on the inside, making them only lockable from the inside.

Once you’ve identified the type of deadbolt you’re dealing with, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Use a Bobby Pin or Tool

If you find yourself without a key, you can utilize tools like a bobby pin or a tension wrench to unlock your deadbolt. These items can be easily found around the house or sourced from a nearby store.

Take the bobby pin and bend it to form a straight line with a small hook at one end. Insert the straight end into the keyhole while applying slight pressure with your other hand. Move the pin gently inside the keyhole, searching for the deadbolt mechanism.

Keep experimenting with the tool until you feel it catch onto the deadbolt mechanism. With a smooth and continuous motion, try to turn the tool to unlock the deadbolt.

Step 3: Utilize a Credit Card or Plastic Shim

If you prefer not to use a bobby pin or if it proves unsuccessful, you can try unlocking the deadbolt using a credit card or a plastic shim. This method is best suited for spring-latch deadbolts.

To use this technique, insert the edge of the card or shim between the door frame and the latch. Apply gentle force while simultaneously pushing the door forward. This action should compress the spring mechanism and unlock the latch.

Please note that this method may not be as effective with stronger deadbolt mechanisms, which require specialized tools and techniques commonly used by locksmiths.

Step 4: Seek Professional Assistance

If all else fails or if you are uncomfortable attempting to unlock the deadbolt yourself, it is advisable to seek professional assistance. Calling a locksmith who specializes in deadbolt unlock services can ensure a safe and efficient resolution to your situation.

Locksmiths possess extensive knowledge and experience working with different types of deadbolts. They have specialized tools and techniques that allow for a quicker and more effective unlocking process.

Remember, it is always better to rely on a professional when dealing with delicate situations or high-security deadbolts.


Unlocking a deadbolt from outside doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the step-by-step guide we’ve provided, you can regain access to your space quickly and efficiently.

Remember to assess the deadbolt type, utilize simple tools like bobby pins or plastic shims, and seek professional assistance if needed. These actions will set you on the path to successfully unlock a deadbolt and help you avoid unnecessary frustration and stress.


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