How to Unlock a Door Without a Key (10 Expert Ways Guide)

In general, the best way to unlock a door without a key is to pick an unused card, like a reward card or old credit card. Slide the card towards the lock inside the door frame, pushing the door latch in to allow the door to open.

Below we will go through more methods and even provide a chart rating them on the difficulty to implement and effectiveness.

A lock consists of a pretty simple safety mechanism with a corresponding key. What if you forget or lose your keys? Or if someone accidentally or purposely locks an interior door and you can’t get in? How can you get back in quickly?

Effectivity rate chart for 10 different methods of unlocking a door with no key:

Method Effectivity RateReviews
Plastic CardHighly EffectiveVery Safe Method
With a KnifeVery EffectiveModerate Damage Risk
Screwdriver Key-substituteVery EffectiveModerate Damage Risk
Lock PickingSuper EffectiveRequires Mastery and Skill
Remove Lock RingModerately EffectiveRequires Strength
Drill OpenEffective Destructive Max Damage
Hinges RemovalEffectiveRequires Minimal strength
Door KickingEffectiveDestructive Max Damage
Hammer SmashingVery EffectiveDestructive Max Damage
Key BumpingModerately EffectiveVery Applicable
Paperclip HackEffectiveRequires Skill
With Bobby PinsEffective Requires Skill
With Bypass ToolNot so EffectiveDemands Great Effort

Why Do We Need to Know How to Unlock a Door Without a Key?

unlock without key

There is a significant need to learn how to unlock a door without a key for emergency purposes and for various reasons, such as when you can’t enter your office because you misplaced the keys elsewhere and there is an urgent need to access your files inside. Perhaps you’ve locked your keys inside your dorm and are now standing outside, uncertain what to do.

Of course, no one wants it to happen, but in the similar scenarios described above, you must have a backup plan, and the best one is to master the easy procedures and hacks for opening a door without a key.  It is possible to do this quickly by following the additional methods correctly.

Best Methods on How to Bypass a Door Without a Key

door lockWithout a doubt, having a set of keys is quite convenient, especially when it comes to the security of your property. But sometimes, because you are in a rush or too preoccupied, or for whatever reasons, you forget your keys somewhere. 

Even if you don’t have a key, there are enough options to find a way in. Yes, there are good schemes to get you into your space quickly.

1. Plastic Card Hack: Credit Card

To bypass the lock quickly and easily, you can use a credit card or a rewards card. Keep in mind that this can potentially cause damage to your card, so use a card that you no longer care about anymore. (1)

This strategy doesn’t quite work for deadbolts since a barrel bolt is extended through the frame, and you cannot unlock it with a credit/reward card. Most households, however, have handle-locks or spring-locks on their front doors, bedroom doors, and other types of doors. As a result, this hack works on nearly any door you’ll come across.

How it Works:
  1. First, bend one of the card’s corners so that it will go around the door.
  2. Slide the card towards the lock inside the door frame, pushing the door latch in to allow the door to open.
  3. Wag the door and wiggle your card while pressing it down until the door opens.

2. Using a Knife

This method is quite similar to the card method. However, employing a knife has been shown to cause damage to the door. To make this work, you’ll need a butter spreader or anything with a non-sharp blade. 

Do the same procedure; insert the knife between the door and the door jamb. Slide it down slowly while leaning against the door, and the door will unlock. It may take a few tries or even sliding the knife upwards before the latch opens.

3. With a Screwdriver

Eyeglass screwdrivers, spam keys, and paperclips are often used as substitute keys. 

Bathrooms and bedrooms are typically secured for privacy. They are installed with interior door locksets, and they usually have a single-cylinder with key access on one side. The other side of the door features a twist knob that locks the door from the outside. The knob on the non-locking side of the door has a tiny hole in it.

You need straight, stiffy, skinny items that fit in the hole to pick the lock. To do so, insert the item straight into the hole in the middle of the doorknob. Some door locks require twisting the tool and winding the knob simultaneously till the lock pops open. Push the locking mechanism with a bit of force until you hear a click; once you hear a click, it means the door is unlocked.

A Spam-key, a small key-shaped metal used to twist canned goods, can also be used. It may not be very effective, but try using it to open the door if you have one.

4. Lock Picking

Use everyday household items such as hairpins, and other similar thin, stiff pins, and a tension/Allen wrench. However, professional pick sets are available elsewhere for your convenience. (2)

Lock picking is still a technique that takes years to master. This is quite complicated; however, you may do some research if you want to read more instructions and do a little more practice. You should be aware that locks, regardless of size or shape, typically function in the same way.

Scrubbing Method:
  1. With slight pressure, insert the short end of a tiny tension wrench into the keyhole’s lower edge.
  2. Apply steady pressure to the paper clip above the tension wrench.
  3. Push the paper clip at the lower half of the keyhole back and forth until the knob is free to turn.
  4. Repeat in a circular motion until the lock will shift and the door unlocks.
Pin by pin method (if the scrubbing method doesn’t work)
  1. Maintain constant pressure on the Allen wrench.
  2. Place the paperclip gradually.
  3. If the paperclip comes into touch with a pin, try to catch it on the bend.
  4. And then lift it upward until it snaps into place.
  5. Repeat as necessary until the lock turns.

5. Unthread the Knob Lock Collar or Knob Ring

knob ringIf you have misplaced the key to your knob door, one option is to unscrew the door lock collar or ring. Every knob door has a small pin set just in front of the knob. The only tool required is a flat screwdriver or anything that can press down the tiny lock pin found after opening the ring.

It is as simple as twisting the knob ring counter-clockwise. It may take some effort, but you may locate the little pin inside the circle once loosen. The pin is an integral element of the internal locking mechanism. Gently remove the collar or ring to reveal the tiny lock pin. Push the small pin down with a flat screwdriver while twisting open the knob with your other hand until it releases. 

Check video below;

6. With a Drill

Another quick technique to access a door without a key is to take a drill and drill it open. It sounds like you are going to use a hand drill to destroy the pin so you can turn the knob freely. Because you want to drill out slightly above the keyhole in line with the shear line, start with a tiny drill bit size and lubricate it with oil. After you have finished drilling all the way through, insert a flathead screwdriver into the keyhole and turn the knob then it unlocks.

However, because this technique can harm the door and the doorknob, it is not guaranteed that you will open the door without causing any damage. If you are lucky enough, you may only need a lock replacement; else, the entire door.

If you have tried everything to unlock the door and nothing is working, then you have some other options:

  • Removing the door hinges
  • Kick-in the door
  • Smash the doorknob with a hammer

These are pretty damaging, and you may wind up replacing the entire door or injuring yourself as a result. So take caution.

7. Lock Cylinder Key Bumping

bump keyAlmost everyone is aware that their front door lock is easy to pick or break into. You may have a high-priced lock with a low-cost cylinder. A lock cylinder is the central portion of a lock where you insert your key. That is what activates the bolt, allowing you to lock and unlock it. Different brands of cylinders are used in high-end locks. You may have a high-end lock, but its cylinder is trash. In such a scenario, the door lock may appear safe, yet it is easy to open.

One of the safest methods to unlock a door without keys is to use a bump key. A bump key would not turn the lock unless you applied a slightly hard force.

The principle of a bump key is that when you put it into the keyhole and whack it with something (like a screwdriver handle), the tumblers all get hit at the same time and crack. Then apply a slight turning pressure, and the door pops open. Sometimes the door opens after a couple of tries. Sometimes you may need an o-ring for spacing to push the key out after every hit.

Check video below;

8. With a Paperclip

opening door with paperclipThis approach requires the use of two tools. One is the tension wrench. The tension wrench is the most crucial tool for picking a lock. Make a tension wrench out of one of the paper clips. To apply tension to the lock’s actual plug or keyway, you will require a tension wrench. Once you poke all the pins inside the lock, it starts to move.

  • Extend the paperclip a little bit.
  • Take one of the ends a pretty nice bend to create a bar end of a tension wrench.
  • It is what you are gonna stick into the top or bottom of the keyway.

The lock pick is the other tool you’ll need. To make a pick, simply stretch the clip as far as it will go. However, any slender piece of metal strong enough to reach all the individual pins inside the lock and extend the pick straight out can be used.

  1. With a tension wrench, apply light tension with your thumb.
  2. Using your other hand, stick the pick inside the keyway on top of the tension wrench.
  3. Once you’ve located the binding pin, pull each pin-up individually. The pins may be hard to detect and need a bit more practice. You won’t be able to see it, but you can feel it with your touch.
  4. The door will unlock after all of the pins have been picked.

Check video below;

9. With Bobby Pins

bobby pinThis hack almost has the same steps as the paper clip hack. The method usually required a lever and a lockpick, however this time with a bobby pin instead.

How to make a lever and lockpick out of bobby pins:
  1. Bend a bobby pin until it forms a 90-degree angle.
  2. Remove the rubber piece from the straight end.
  3. Make a slight bend at the tip of the straight end. It would serve as a lockpick.
  4. Take a second bobby pin and bend the closed end 90 degrees to one side. You utilize this pin as a lever.
How to pick a lock with bobby pins:
  1. To apply tension, insert the bent end of the lever into the lock and turn the lever to one side.
  2. Insert the pick’s bent end into the lock above the lever.
  3. To open the lock, all pins must be pushed up to the same point inside the lock.
  4. Press the pins up with the end of the pick.
  5. Begin near the outside of the lock and press one pin at a time. When you encounter resistance, you have discovered the seized pin.
  6. To push the seized pin, move the pick up and down. Insert the pick deeper and further into the hole as you go.
  7. Continue until you hear a click.
  8. When the seized pin is moved up, keep applying pressure with the lever to turn the lock slightly.
  9. Continue to pull up the seized pins with the pick until the door opens.

Check video here;

10. The New Non-destructive Bypass Tool

bypass toolA new bypass tool is now available. It is a bypass tool that will unlock a door in seconds without causing any damage to the components. And that applies to nearly all knockoffs that employ the same concept, whether it is a standard pin tumbler lock or a smart-key system. You’ll find yourself able to get through it in a matter of seconds using a BBC 100 bypass tool. It works by moving the locking pole within the lock to unlock it. (3)

How to Unlock:
  1. To begin, use a small flathead screwdriver to pry the metal cover of the doorknob away.
  2. Once the lid has been popped open, look inside for the two tiny holes where you will feed the toll to beat the lock.
  3. Take note of the fact that you are attempting to drag the locking pole with this tool. When the door latch is on the right side, the locking poll is on the top part.
  4. Insert the tool through the hole.
  5. Once it is inserted all the way up, twist it so the tool’s handle is pointing towards your belly.
  6. Drag it out gently until you feel the locking pole.
  7. Turn the handle at that point to dig the pole’s tip down.
  8. The door will unlock if you continue to drag the locking pole.

Check video below;

How Difficult Is It To Pick a Lock?

It is an unfortunate fact that there is no simple method for picking a lock. Standard door locks are less challenging to crack than smart key system locks. But, in general, there is no simple way to do it. The most popular technique of raking the keys is to use a lockpick set and maintain steady pressure on the wrench until the door unlocks. However, to perform it correctly, one must first become familiar with lock manipulation skills as much as possible.

Do You Need Special Lockpicks to Pick a Lock?

It depends on the lock system. Some locks are considerably easier to pick using a DIY lockpick, while others need the use of a precise instrument, such as special lockpicks. Furthermore, experienced lock pickers employ a variety of readily available lockpicks. In practice, utilizing a specialized lockpick may get you on the job quickly while also saving you money on locksmith services.

Can a Locksmith Make a New Key?

Yes, authorized locksmiths can make replacement keys when supplied information to the company. They can simply cut a key from an existing copy or original and construct the key from scratch. A standard locksmith can quickly and legally alter or replace the emergency keys lock. Even if you don’t have a key for a particular lock, a locksmith can possibly help you duplicate one.

In particular, there are various methods on how to unlock a door without a key. Have you tried any of this? How did it work out? Leave a comment below.

(1) credit card –
(2) Allen wrench –
(3) smart-key system –

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John Fox

John Fox

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is John Fox and I’ve been working as a security consultant for over 20 years now. During my time in the industry, I’ve learned about what it takes to ensure your home and family are always safe. With Safe Now, I’ve tried to take those two decades of experience and share it with others. My goal now is to help others figure out how to make the right choices for their businesses and families. On my website, you’ll find tips and guides on how to prevent crimes, as well as product recommendations. What’s more, my readers can learn more about what to do in case of an emergency and how to protect themselves at all times. So, if you want to know everything there is about security systems and home safety, I invite you to join me and my team and help us build a community together. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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