How to Unlock a Deadbolt Without Key

Are you stuck outside your house because you’ve locked yourself out and can’t find your key? Many of us can relate to this common problem, but you don’t need to worry – getting back inside doesn’t have to be an impossible task.

How to Unlock a Deadbolt Without Key

In this blog post, we will discuss how to unlock a deadbolt without needing a key. We will share several useful tips that are sure to help you get into your home safely and quickly, all without the use of keys! So if you ever lose or forget them again in the future, then fear not – these helpful methods mean you won’t end up stranded outside like before.

Keep reading for more insight on how to unlock a deadbolt without key.

What Will You Need?

Before you begin, you’ll need to equip yourself with a few supplies. The basic tools you should have on hand are the following:

  1. A flathead screwdriver
  2. An Allen wrench
  3. A credit card or slim jim tool
  4. WD-40 lubricant (optional)

Once you’ve got these items, it’s time to start unlocking the deadbolt!

10 Easy Steps on How to Unlock a Deadbolt Without Key

Step 1: Identify Your Deadbolt Lock Type

First, you must identify the type of deadbolt lock installed on your door. Deadbolt locks generally come in two types: single-cylinder and double-cylinder. The single-cylinder deadbolt has a keyhole on the outside and a thumb turn on the inside, while the double-cylinder deadbolt features a keyhole on both sides. Identifying your deadbolt type is crucial, as the unlocking method can vary based on your lock.

Step 2: Use the Flathead Screwdriver

If you have a single cylinder deadbolt, the flathead screwdriver can be a handy tool. Gently insert the screwdriver into the keyhole and try to turn the lock mechanism. Be careful not to apply too much force, as it could damage the lock. This method requires patience and precision, but with a little effort, you can unlock the deadbolt.

Flathead Screwdriver Can Be a Handy Tool

Step 3: Utilize the Credit Card or Slim Jim Tool

You can try the credit card trick if the screwdriver method doesn’t work. Slide the card between the door and the door frame where the latch is situated. Lean against the door and wiggle the card. If the latch is spring-loaded, you should be able to press it back and open the door.

For double-cylinder deadbolts, you might consider using a slim Jim tool. While this requires a bit more finesse, it can be effective. However, remember that these methods should only be used in emergencies and on your own property to avoid legal issues.

Step 4: Try the Bump Key Method

If the previous methods don’t work, try using a bump key. A bump key is a key cut in a specific way that, when inserted into the keyhole and struck with a mallet or hammer, can unlock the lock. Be aware that this method should be employed carefully, as it can damage your lock if done incorrectly.

You’ll need to lightly turn the bump key while striking it to unlock the deadbolt. Again, this method should only be used as a last resort, and to avoid any legal issues, it should only be performed on your own property.

Try Using a Bump Key

Step 5: Consider Using WD-40

If your deadbolt is old or rusty, it can make unlocking more difficult. In this case, a product like WD-40 can be a helpful aid. Spray a small amount of WD-40 into the keyhole and wait about a minute for it to penetrate the lock mechanism.

This can help to loosen any internal parts that might be causing the lock to stick. Once the WD-40 has settled, attempt to use the flathead screwdriver, credit card, or bump key methods again.

Step 6: Seek Professional Help

If all else fails and you’ve exhausted all options on unlocking a deadbolt without a key, don’t risk further damage to your lock or door. Call a professional locksmith who has the necessary experience and tools to unlock your door without causing any harm.

While this may come with a cost, it can save you from potential repairs or replacements in the future. Remember, your safety should always be a primary concern when dealing with lock-related issues.

Step 7: Replace or Upgrade Your Lock

After you unlock the deadbolt and gain access to your home, consider replacing or upgrading your lock. Whether a keyless electronic lock or a smart lock that can be controlled via a smartphone, these modern solutions can prevent future lockouts.

Additionally, they offer enhanced security features that traditional keys do not provide. Remember, the main aim is to ensure that your home remains safe and secure while also providing a convenient access method for you.

Step 8: Practice Regular Maintenance

A Keyless Electronic Lock

To avoid future lockouts, regular maintenance of your locks is essential. Ensure that your locks are lubricated and clean from dust or grime that could cause them to become sticky or harder to operate.

If you notice any wear or damage to your lock, have it repaired or replaced promptly. Regularly checking the condition of your keys can also prevent sudden breakages or malfunctions. Remember, preventative care can save you from potential lockouts and costly repairs in the long run.

Step 9: Maintain a Spare Key

It’s generally a good idea to keep a spare key to prevent future instances of being locked out. This could be with a trusted neighbor or family member or hidden in a secure place outside your home. Alternatively, a magnetic lock box can store a spare key on your property securely out of sight. Having a spare key easily accessible can save you a lot of time and stress in the event of a future lockout.

Step 10: Be Aware of Legal Implications

Before attempting to unlock a deadbolt without a key, it’s crucial to know the legal implications. It’s illegal to unlock a door that doesn’t belong to you without the owner’s consent. This guide is intended solely for legal purposes, such as unlocking your own home when you’ve lost your key.

Always respect the privacy and property of others. If you need clarification on something, it’s best to contact a professional locksmith or legal advisor. Remember, while these methods can be helpful in an emergency, they should be used responsibly and lawfully.

By following these steps, you should have a better idea of unlocking a deadbolt without a key. Be sure to take the necessary precautions and use the methods outlined in this guide responsibly. In any emergency situation, your safety should always be your primary concern.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. If you have a paper clip or other thin metal wire, try to insert it into the keyhole and use it as a lever.
  2. If you can access a hammer and chisel, carefully chip away at the area around the deadbolt until it is free from its frame.
  3. If you have two pieces of metal that can be used together like a pair of pliers, wrap them around the deadbolt and twist them in opposite directions.
  4. You can also use a doorstop to wedge open the area around the deadbolt to gain access.
  5. If you have access to an air compressor with a blowgun nozzle, use it to try and dislodge the lock from its frame. Be sure to start with low pressure and work your way up gradually.

It’s best to try these techniques one at a time, as they can all be dangerous if used improperly. Remember to take extra caution when attempting any of these hacks, as you may damage the lock or injure yourself in the process.

Don't Use Any Type of Lubricant

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid using too much force when attempting to unlock your deadbolt without a key.
  2. Don’t use any type of lubricant, oil, or other liquid on the lock, as it may cause further damage.
  3. Try not to apply heat to the lock, as this can weaken the metal and make it more difficult to open.
  4. Don’t try to open the lock with any type of hammer or sharp object, as this may cause irreversible damage.
  5. Never try to pick your own deadbolt, as it’s illegal in many areas and can result in fines or jail time.

If you ever find yourself without a key and need help to unlock a deadbolt, contact a professional locksmith before attempting any of the above methods. They have the necessary tools and expertise to safely and securely unlock your door without damaging it.


If you’ve ever gotten yourself in a pinch and needed to get into a lock without a key, now you know it is possible if you have the right tools! Even though unlocking the door without a key may seem daunting or even impossible at first, with the right technique and equipment, no deadbolt is an insurmountable challenge.

Remember to take safety precautions when dealing with locks and tools – it’s better to be safe than sorry! With this knowledge in your back pocket, you are more prepared should this situation arise. But let’s hope it never does – nothing beats having a set of working keys!

Hopefully, the article on how to unlock a deadbolt without key has been helpful to you. Good luck!

Leave a Comment