How to Remove Deadbolt Stuck in Locked Position

Are you faced with a door lock dilemma? Is your deadbolt stuck in the locked position and you can’t get it to unlock no matter how hard you try? Don’t panic, as there are some simple steps that can help save the day.

How to Remove Deadbolt Stuck in Locked Position

In this blog post on how to remove deadbolt stuck in locked position, we will walk through all of the tips and tricks on how to remove a deadbolt that is stuck so that you can get back inside your home with ease. So if your door won’t open and unlocking isn’t an option, follow along to discover what methods work best.

What Causes a Deadbolt to Get Stuck in Locked Position?

Before we jump into the solutions, it’s important to understand why a deadbolt gets stuck in the locked position. There can be several reasons for this issue, including:

Wrong Key:

If you have recently changed your locks or are using multiple keys for different locks, it’s possible that you may be trying to use the wrong key. This may cause your deadbolt to remain stuck in the locked position.

Misaligned Lock:

Over time, a lock can become misaligned due to wear and tear or improper installation. This can prevent the deadbolt from turning properly, causing it to get stuck in the locked position.

Frozen Lock:

During cold weather, locks can freeze due to moisture. This can cause the deadbolt to freeze in place and become stuck.

11 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Remove Deadbolt Stuck in Locked Position

Step 1: Inspect the Key

If your deadbolt won’t turn at all, check the key to make sure it’s not damaged or worn out. If necessary, replace the key or try using a spare. It’s also possible that the keyway is dirty or filled with debris, preventing the key from turning properly. You can use a lubricant or compressed air to clean out the keyway. You can also try wiggling the key gently while trying to turn it.

Step 2: Use Correct Key

Make sure you are using the correct key for your deadbolt. As mentioned earlier, using the wrong key can cause it to remain stuck in the locked position. But if you are certain that you have the right key, move on to the next step. It’s also a good idea to try the key in another door to make sure it’s not the issue. You can also try jiggling the key while turning it to see if that helps.

Step 3: Check for Misaligned Lock

If you have confirmed that the correct key is being used, then it’s possible that your lock is misaligned. To check this, insert the key and turn it slightly in both directions. If you feel resistance or hear a grinding noise, this could indicate a misaligned lock. You can try using a lubricant or graphite powder to fix the issue. This will help the key to turn smoothly and realign the lock.

Using a Lubricant or Graphite Powder

Step 4: Apply Pressure

If none of the above steps have helped, then you may need to apply pressure while turning the key. This can be done by pushing on the door with your shoulder or hip while trying to turn the key. it may take a few tries, but this can help loosen the deadbolt and allow it to turn. This method is particularly useful for frozen locks. It’s important to avoid using excessive force, as this can damage the lock.

Step 5: Use a Bump Key

A bump key is a specially designed key used to open locked doors. It uses the principle of tapping on the key while turning it to “bump” the lock open. This should only be used as a last resort and with caution, as it can damage your lock further if not used properly. It’s recommended to seek professional help if you are not familiar with using a bump key.

Step 6: Remove the Door Handle

If the deadbolt is still stuck, try removing the door handle and latch mechanism. This will give you better access to the deadbolt and allow you to see if there are any obstructions preventing it from turning. You can also try manipulating the bolt with a flat-head screwdriver to see if that helps loosen it. You may also need to adjust the strike plate if it’s misaligned. However, if the issue persists, move on to the next step.

Step 7: Use a Hammer or Mallet

If you can see that the deadbolt is stuck due to corrosion or debris, you can try tapping on it gently with a hammer or mallet. This may help dislodge any obstructions and allow the deadbolt to turn. This method is best used for locks that are not frozen or damaged. You can also try using a rubber mallet to avoid damaging the lock. It’s important to avoid using excessive force, as this can cause further damage.

You Can See That the Deadbolt is Stuck

Step 8: Use a Screwdriver

For deadbolts with exposed screws, you can try using a screwdriver to turn the bolt manually. This may be helpful if the keyway is not accessible or if there are no other tools available. However, this should only be used as a temporary solution until you can properly fix the issue. This method may also damage the screws or cause them to break. It’s important to use caution when using a screwdriver.

Step 9: Try a Heat Source

As mentioned earlier, frozen locks can be a common cause for deadbolts getting stuck in the locked position. To thaw a frozen lock, you can use a heat source such as a hairdryer or heat gun. Be sure to keep the heat source at least 6 inches away from the lock and avoid heating it for too long as this may cause damage. This method should only be used for metal locks, as plastic locks can melt.

 Frozen Locks Can Be  Common Cause for Deadbolts

Step 10: Use Lock Lubricant

If your deadbolt is not turning smoothly, you can also try using a lock lubricant specifically designed for locks. This will help loosen any debris or rust that may be causing the issue and allow the deadbolt to turn more easily. It’s important to use the correct type of lubricant as some may cause damage to your lock if not suitable. You can also use graphite powder as an alternative.

Step 11: Call a Locksmith

If all else fails, it’s best to call a professional locksmith for assistance. They have the necessary tools and expertise to handle any type of lock issue, including deadbolts stuck in locked position. It may be a bit more costly, but it will save you time and potentially further damage to your lock. This is also a good option if you are not confident in trying any of the above methods yourself.

Following these steps on how to remove deadbolt stuck in locked position should help you successfully remove a deadbolt stuck in the locked position. Remember to always use caution when dealing with locks, and if in doubt, seek professional help.

With proper maintenance and care, your deadbolt should function smoothly for years to come.  So next time you encounter a deadbolt stuck in the locked position, don’t panic! Simply follow these guidelines and you’ll be able to handle the situation with ease.  Happy unlocking! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can Using the Wrong Key Cause a Deadbolt to Get Stuck in the Locked Position?

A1: Yes, using the wrong key can cause the deadbolt to remain stuck due to incorrect alignment of the pins inside. It’s important to always use the correct key for your deadbolt.

Q2: Should I Try Forcing the Key to Turn if it Gets Stuck?

A2: No, forcing the key to turn can cause damage to both the key and lock. If you encounter resistance or difficulty in turning the key, try one of the other methods mentioned above.

Q3: How Often Should I Lubricate My Deadbolt?

A3: It’s recommended to lubricate your deadbolt at least once a year, or more frequently if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions. Be sure to use a lock-specific lubricant and not oil or WD-40.

Q4: Can Frozen Locks be Prevented?

A4: Yes, to prevent frozen locks you can use a lock de-icer or apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the key before inserting it into the lock. It’s also important to keep your deadbolt well-maintained and lubricated regularly.

 You Can Use a Lock De Icer


With the right tools and knowledge, removing a stuck deadbolt is easily achievable. Don’t let a damaged lock complicate matters unnecessarily; try using oil or graphite to lubricate the lock if it’s stuck and then you should be able to unlock it in no time. Consider investing in quality door locks as well so that your property is always secure and safe. If these solutions have failed, you may need to call a locksmith for an emergency door-unlocking service.

No matter what method you choose, make sure you take all safety precautions when tackling this task. Once you’ve successfully freed up your deadbolt, don’t forget to fix any other issues with your lock! That way, your door will remain secure for years to come—so protect your property now by starting with the basics of how to remove a deadbolt that’s stuck in a locked position! Thanks for reading this article on how to remove deadbolt stuck in locked position.

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