How to Pick a Door Lock with a Screwdriver | A Step By Step Guide


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Whether for personal satisfaction or out of necessity, it’s best to keep in mind that knowing how to pick a door lock with a screwdriver is a skill that you should use responsibly and legally only on your property. No other purpose is foreseen, and the indications we will give you can be used in cases of need without infringing the rights and privacy of others. 

Types of Door Locks

Before learning how to pick a door lock with a screwdriver, it’s best to be informed of the types of door locks available.

Door locks are different – they can differ in size, the principle of the locking mechanism, the method of installation on the door, and, most importantly, reliability. The last point can be called vital, and it depends on a combination of various factors. 

In an attempt to resolve the issue of choosing a door lock, first of all, a person is interested in nothing more than the reliability of the locking mechanism and the availability of all kinds of protection against unauthorized opening. There are no ideal locks in this regard – no matter how sophisticated the manufacturers of these devices are there will still be another person who can open the lock without keys. Therefore, all locks produced today are divided into three categories of reliability, namely, according to the time that an attacker may need to open the lock.

Read More: How To Fix A Sliding Glass Door Lock


Locks of the first and second categories do not present any problems for a burglar at all – it takes them no more than a couple of minutes to open such mechanisms. These types of locks are suitable only for interior doors and office partitions, but it is better not to install them on the front doors. The third category of locks is already better – to open such mechanisms, an attacker may need at least 10 minutes. As a rule, if an apartment or house contains an alarm, this time is quite enough for the security agency employees to come. This is precisely the type of locks that you need to equip your front door with too.

Read More: How To Fix A Door Lock

In principle, almost everyone knows about such a division of door locks – according to the installation method, they are divided into the mortise, overhead, and hinged. Let’s start examining them in order of reliability.

How to Pick a Door Lock with a Screwdriver


As sophisticated as their locking mechanism is, these devices are easy enough to hack. One movement with a pry bar or a cut of an ordinary door – and either the lock are bad or the hinges for it broken. In general, this is not the best option for the front door to a house or apartment. In most cases, they are used to lock sheds and other rooms where precious things are not stored.

Overhead Locks

These are often not very reliable locks for entrance doors – people use them only because they do not violate the integrity of the door leaf. For this reason, the lot of such locking mechanisms is the “protection” of wooden entrance doors. You can easily knock out a wooden door with a mortise lock using your foot. Another drawback of such locking mechanisms can be considered the unsightly appearance of doors equipped with an overhead lock – little attention is paid to this factor since people prefer its reliability. 

Mortise locks

They are widespread both in entrance metal doors and in all types of interior doors. This type of lock has one crucial advantage – hidden installation. For interior doors, these are high aesthetic characteristics, and for entrance doors – an additional obstacle in the way of an intruder. If you are looking for an answer to the question of which door locks are the most reliable, then you have found it. There is nothing more reliable than a mortise locking mechanism installed in a metal door.

Learn More: How To Install Pocket Door Lock

How to Pick a Door Lock with a Screwdriver

Unlocking the door lock could be the sole means to enter the room if the key is damaged or misplaced and there is no spare. You have two options for dealing with this situation: attempt to unlock the gate yourself, or get in touch with a business that offers such services. There is another option: to invite a locksmith from the housing office, but in this case, you cannot count on a quick result, since first you have to fill out an application for a call, and then be patient and wait for the visit of the master, the only one for the quarter. It will not be easy to open the lock on your own, especially when it comes to the front door on which two locks are installed.

However, several methods on how to pick a door lock with a screwdriver exist. We will now examine them, so read them carefully and proceed with extreme calm and precision. Of course, you can use the methods we propose when you forget the keys or, worse, when you do not know where they have ended up, and you cannot return to your home. 

When you have a cross-shaped lock

You can open the door with a screwdriver; this is especially easy to do with a cross-shaped lock. For this, you need to remove its upper part or drill a hole above the keyhole, then insert the screwdriver and turn the mechanism. This is also an excellent way to open the door if the handle breaks. If you need to slide the latch, remove the front panel and feel it with a screwdriver.

You can open the door with a screwdriver in different ways, depending on the type of lock. To open a standard interior door lock without a key, the mechanism of such an operation is quite simple. If the lock is a plug with a spinner on the back, you can try to open it with a flathead screwdriver, pliers, clip, knife, a tension wrench, butter knives, or credit card. Sometimes, you can even turn it with a fingernail without using foreign objects. 

If the handle breaks, you need to try to push a screwdriver, card, or any other suitable object into the opening between the door and the frame to move the tongue.

When you have a balcony door

If you have a balcony door that has slammed and there is no handle on the back to open it, you must somehow get to it. To do this, it is necessary to remove the glass unit from the door leaf with the aid of a screwdriver. Glazing beads usually hold this, so carefully remove them and remove the glass. Now, you can reach the handle without any problems.

The second way is to reduce the strength of the porch. To do this, take out the screw on the hinges using a screwdriver. You can do this through the following steps:

  • Locate the base screws. In these locks under the knob, there is always a metal sheet or cover for ornamental purposes where the screws reside.
  • Take off the lid. Sometimes it will be necessary to remove the knob by turning it in both directions. In others, the screws are always in sight.
  • Once you have located the screws, remove them using the screwdriver.
  • Removing the screws is almost half the job. Now pull the knob or the base of the knob towards you. This will expose the mechanism (bolt) of the lock.
  • There is still a knob on the other side. Remove it by pushing with the screwdriver.
  • At this point, try to open the door by pushing. If it does not open, you must force the latch.
  • The screwdriver pushes the springs that actuate the bolt mechanism in the opposite direction to the latch. Keep pressure on the springs.
  • Evenly pry the screwdriver to open the door.

Read More: How To Unlock Magnetic Door Lock

When you have an interior door

The minor problems are caused by opening an interior door since simple locks are often put in such structures. Such structures are equipped with a latch on one side and a keyhole on the other. Parents of curious kids often have to deal with this problem. A child can easily slam the door and turn the handle, but the reverse process can be complex for him. Then the parents face two tasks: how to open the lock and keep the door intact. Here’s what to do in this situation:

  • inspect the structure of the lock, the nature of the keyhole;
  • select a screwdriver that you can insert into the keyhole;
  • Carefully insert the screwdriver into the keyhole and attempt to open the door, careful not to damage the canvas and the lock.

How to Pick a Door Lock with a Screwdriver: FAQs

How do you open a locked door with a screwdriver?

To open a locked door with a screwdriver, push the screwdriver into the hole. Next, turn the screwdriver until the lock opens.

What is the easiest way to open a locked door?

The easiest way to open a locked door is to make use of a screwdriver.

How do you pick a lock without a key?

To pick a lock without a key, insert a suitable screwdriver into the lock and twist it gently.


In conclusion, loss of keys is not a reason to panic, but it is the most suitable occasion to master the skills of a locksmith urgently. Opening a door lock with a screwdriver, as highlighted above, would work great in this case. On the other hand, you must do this with great care, as mishandling the lock can only aggravate the situation.

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