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How to Unlock a Locked Door Without a Key

Open a locked door.
door lock. handle and key hole of door image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com

Opening a locked door without a key can seem like a difficult task. But with a few tools, you can create a key and open the locked door. Simple items you can find around the house, such as an Allen wrench, screwdriver, paper clip, straight pin and safety pin, can open a variety of doors. Before starting, read these helpful tips.

Find an appropriate screwdriver. Since screwdrivers come in a variety of sizes, try a few and choose one that fits best. Make sure the screwdriver doesn’t fit too tight--it shouldn’t touch the sides of the walls of the lock. Gently jiggle the screwdriver from side to side, using very light pressure to open the door.

Use an Allen wrench. This is considered one of the best items to use when unlocking a door. Use a grinder to shave metal off the Allen wrench, making it smaller. Keep inserting the Allen wrench into the keyhole to determine how much more you need to whittle down. Make sure the finished product doesn’t fit too tightly in the keyhole; this will prevent the door from opening.

Straighten a metal paper clip into a straight line, and ensure there isn’t any bending in the clip. Then bend a very small loop that fits easily into the keyhole. You may need to adjust the loop a few times before getting the right size.

Use a straight pin to open the lock. Use a nail file to sand down the sharp point on the straight pin. This prevents you from harming yourself while picking the lock. Insert the straight pin into the keyhole until you hear the lock engage and open.

Use a safety pin. Choose one that is metal, and smooth out the point as you did with the straight pin. Gently insert the safety pin into the lock and wiggle around until you hear the door open.

Things You'll Need:

  • Allen wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Paper clip
  • Straight pin
  • Grinder


Purchase a practice lock from a home improvement store to fine-tune your locksmith skills.


  • When having trouble picking the practice lock, turn it upside down, which will make picking the lock easier. Once you’ve fine-tuned your skills, turn the lock right side up and try again.
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