How to Unlock a Storm Door From the Outside

Are you struggling to unlock a storm door from the outside despite having tried every possible combination and key? Have you considered that there may be more than one way to tackle this issue? If so, then this blog post is for you! In it, I’ll discuss several common and not-so-common methods of how to unlock a storm door from the outside, as well as go over some tips on how to keep your door secure after the problem has been solved.

How to Unlock a Storm Door From the Outside

So, if you’re looking for an easy solution or just curious about what else can be done, continue reading for reliable advice on how to unlock your storm door.

What is a Storm Door?

A storm door is an exterior entryway that can be locked from the outside. It’s designed to keep unwanted guests out while still allowing natural light and air into the home. Storm doors come in various styles and materials, ranging from wood frames with glass panels to aluminum or vinyl frames with metal screens. There are many different ways to unlock a storm door depending on the type, including keyed deadbolts and lever-operated handles. It’s important to know the type of storm door you have before attempting any methods of unlocking it from the outside.

Why Would You Want to Unlock a Storm Door From the Outside?

Well, there could be several reasons. Maybe you’ve accidentally locked yourself out and need to get back in quickly. Or perhaps someone has tampered with the lock and you need to fix it. Whatever the case may be, knowing how to unlock a storm door from the outside can be a handy skill to have. Plus, it can save you time and money from having to call a locksmith. You never know when an emergency might arise, so it’s always good to be prepared.

Gently Pulling Down on the Handle

Methods for Unlocking a Storm Door From the Outside

1. Use the Key

This may seem like an obvious solution, but many people forget that their storm door has a keyed lock. If you have a key, simply insert it into the keyhole and turn to unlock the door. However, if you’ve lost your key or don’t have one for some reason, there are other methods you can try.

2. Try Using a Credit Card

This method may be more common with regular doors, but it can also work on storm doors. Take a credit card or any thin, sturdy object and slide it between the door frame and the latch of the lock. Wiggle it around until you feel it catch on something, then push the card towards the strike plate (the metal piece that catches the latch) while turning the handle. This should release the latch and unlock the door.

3. Use a Screwdriver

Similar to the credit card method, you can also use a screwdriver or any flat object that can fit between the door frame and latch. Gently push the screwdriver into the gap and try to move the latch out of the strike plate. This may take some patience and skill, but it’s worth a try if you don’t have any other tools on hand.

4. Remove the Door Knob

If you have a lever-operated handle, you can try removing the door knob to access the locking mechanism. Look for a small hole or slot on the side of the handle and insert a pin or paperclip into it. This should release the knob and allow you to pull it off. Once removed, you should be able to see the locking mechanism and unlock it using a screwdriver or similar tool.

Try Pushing and Pulling

5. Use a Thin Saw Blade

This method may seem extreme, but it can work if all else fails. Carefully slide a thin saw blade between the door frame and latch, and gently saw back and forth until you cut through the latch. This will release the door and allow you to open it. However, keep in mind that this method may damage the door and should be used as a last resort.

10 Simple Steps on How to Unlock a Storm Door From the Outside:

Step 1: Check for a Keyed Deadbolt

If your storm door has a keyed deadbolt, the first step is to check if you have the right key. If you don’t have the correct key, try to find it or find a locksmith who can help you get access to your storm door. That being said, you can also use a bump key – a specially designed tool that can pick and open most standard locks. Remember to be careful when using a bump key, as it’s illegal in some states and can damage the lock if used incorrectly.

Step 2: Try Manual Lever-Operated Handle

If your storm door has a lever-operated handle, try gently pulling down on the handle while turning the knob clockwise at the same time. This should unlock the latch and allow you to open the door if successful. But if you find that the lever isn’t turning or it won’t open altogether, try using some lubricant on the handle and latch to see if this helps. Make sure you use a lubricant that is safe for the door material and won’t damage it.

Step 3: Check for a Keypad Lock

If your storm door is equipped with a keypad lock, simply enter the code on the pad and then press “enter” or “unlock.” Make sure to double-check that all numbers are correct before pressing the button. If the code isn’t working, you may need to reset it or contact the manufacturer for assistance. It’s also possible that someone else has changed the code or keyed it to a different combination.

Step 4: Look for a Hidden Button

If your storm door has a hidden button, look for a possible switch or button near the handle. Pressing this button should unlock the door without needing a key. But if there’s no button visible, you may need to do a bit of digging. Look for small openings in the frame or handle – these can sometimes lead to hidden buttons. Before you do any digging, make sure to check the manufacturer’s manual or website for more detailed instructions.

Step 5: Try Pushing and Pulling at the Same Time

If your storm door is equipped with both an inside and outside lever-operated handle, try pushing down on one while simultaneously pulling up on the other. This may result in unlocking the latch if successful. If the latch is still not opening, try pushing and pulling with a bit more force. After a few attempts, the latch should unlock. It’s important to be careful when doing this as too much force can damage the lock or door.

Step 6: Check for Other Possible Entryways

Check to see if there are any other doors or windows that can be used as an alternate entry point into your home. This could be helpful if you can’t get access to your storm door. It’s also important to make sure these entryways are secure and locked. However, if these doors and windows are not an option, it might be time to call a locksmith. So, if all else fails and you can’t get access to your storm door, contact a professional for help.

Step 7: Contact a Professional Locksmith

Consult With a Locksmith

If all else fails, you may have to contact a professional locksmith to help you unlock the storm door from the outside. Make sure to ask them how much it will cost before they start any work. It’s also a good idea to check their references and make sure they are certified to help you with this type of task. That way, you can rest assured that you are in good hands.

Step 8: Replace Your Lock or Handle

If the latch is damaged or broken, it might be best to replace the lock or handle completely in order to ensure that it won’t fail again in the future. If this occurs, make sure to talk with a qualified locksmith in order to buy and install the right product for your system. If you already have a deadbolt installed on your storm door, make sure to get the right size so that it fits properly and securely.

Step 9: Install Additional Security Features

Installing additional security features, such as a security camera or motion sensor light, is a great way to improve the overall safety of your home. This may also help deter any potential burglars who try to access your storm door in the future. That way, you can feel secure and confident that your property will remain safe and sound. So, if you’re looking for a way to protect your home further, consider adding these types of features.

Step 10: Keep Your Storm Door Locked

The best way to keep your storm door locked from the outside is by always ensuring it’s securely shut and locked when not in use. You can do this by using a keyed deadbolt or another form of lock, making sure all entry points are closed and secure when you leave. Remember to also change the code or combination on your lock every few months in order to make sure that it’s up-to-date. If you do find yourself locked out, follow these steps or contact a professional locksmith to help you safely unlock your storm door. This way, you won’t have to worry about any intruders and can always feel safe in your home.

While unlocking a storm door can be tricky, these steps should provide enough guidance on how to unlock a storm door from the outside. If these steps don’t work, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional locksmith for help. With the right help and security measures in place, you can rest assured that your storm door will remain secure from unwanted intruders.

Change the Code or Combination

Tips for Preventing Lockouts:

  • Always Make Sure Your Storm Door is Securely Locked When Not in Use.
  • Consider Installing Additional Security Features, Such as a Security Camera or Motion Sensor Light.
  • Change the Code or Combination on Your Lock Every Few Months to Ensure It Stays Up-to-date.
  • Keep Spare Keys in a Safe and Secure Place Outside of Your Home but Away From Your Storm Door.
  • Regularly Maintain and Lubricate Your Storm Door’s Locking Mechanism to Prevent Malfunctions.  So, These Are Some Tips That Can Help You Prevent Lockouts in the Future.
  • If You Ever Find Yourself Locked Out, Stay Calm and Follow the Steps Above to Safely Unlock Your Storm Door. Don’t Try to Force It Open or Break the Lock as This Can Cause Damage and Potentially Make the Situation Worse.  Remember That Your Safety is Always a Top Priority.
  • Consult a Professional Locksmith if Necessary for Assistance in Unlocking Your Storm Door or Replacing Damaged Locks. They Have the Expertise and Tools to Safely and Effectively Handle Any Lock-related Issues.  Keep Their Contact Information Handy in Case of Emergencies.
  • Familiarize Yourself With Your Storm Door’s Locking Mechanism and Always Refer to the Manufacturer’s Manual for Specific Instructions or Troubleshooting Tips.
  • Regularly Check and Maintain Your Storm Door for Any Damages or Malfunctions That May Make It More Prone to Lockouts. Fixing These Issues Early Can Help Prevent Future Lockouts.
  • Communicate With Your Household Members About Proper Locking Procedures and Ensure That Everyone Has a Key or Knows the Code to Unlock the Storm Door From the Outside. This Can Help Reduce the Likelihood of Lockouts and Promote Overall Safety Within Your Home.

Do You Need to Get Help From a Professional?

If you’re still having trouble unlocking your storm door from the outside, it may be time to seek help from a professional locksmith. They have the expertise and tools to handle any lock-related issues safely and effectively. It’s always a good idea to keep their contact information handy in case of emergencies or future lockouts.  Remember, trying to force open or break the lock can cause damage and potentially make the situation worse. Stay calm, assess the situation, and contact a professional for assistance if needed.  With these tips and precautions in mind, you can confidently handle any storm door lockouts that may occur and keep your home safe and secure. So don’t let a locked storm door stress you out – follow these steps to safely unlock it and get back to your day.  Stay safe and secure!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Is It Possible to Unlock a Storm Door From the Outside? 

A: Yes, it is possible. However, depending on the type of lock and handle, it may require some specific techniques. It is best to consult a locksmith for help if you are unsure about how to proceed.

Q: How Can I Tell If My Storm Door Has a Keypad Lock? 

A: Look around where the handle or knob is located for a keypad. Many storm doors have a small panel with a series of numbers or symbols that can be used to unlock the door from the outside. If you don’t see one, your door may not be equipped with this feature.

Q: How Can I Make My Storm Door More Secure? 

A: Installing additional security features, such as a security camera or motion sensor light, is a great way to improve the overall safety of your home. Additionally, make sure to keep doors and windows locked when not in use.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Unlock a Storm Door?

A: The cost of unlocking a storm door will vary depending on the type of lock and the complexity of the job. Make sure to consult with a locksmith first before any work is done in order to get an estimate of how much it may cost.


From simple locks to more advanced, electronic ones, storm doors provide an important layer of security. Despite their purpose, they can be quite tricky when it comes to unlocking them from the outside. Thankfully, with some patience and the right know-how, it isn’t one that is impossible to overcome. By following this guide, you should now know how to unlock a storm door from the outside without too much hassle.

Whether you’ve forgotten your key or simply need to gain access for maintenance reasons, it’s comforting to know that now you can. Being able to do so will ensure greater peace of mind if needed in the future. Thus, if your storm door ever needs opening from the outside again, hopefully, you’ll have already created a plan for whatever specific lock that securely holds your entryway door shut may be – whether that be a knob or a more modern digital version.

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