How to Open a Jammed Door Lock from the Outside

When you find yourself locked out of your home or office, it can be quite frustrating and stressful. At times like this, knowing how to open a jammed door lock from the outside can save you time and money.

In this blog post, we’ll explore different methods for unlocking a jammed door lock from the outside.

1. Identify the Type of Lock

Before attempting to open a lock from the outside, it’s essential to know what type of lock you’re dealing with. Some common types of door locks include deadbolts, knob locks, and padlocks.

Deadbolt locks are often used as an additional security measure in homes and offices. They operate with a key or thumb turn on one end and a bolt that slides into the door frame on the other end.

Knob locks are common in residential settings. They operate with a knob on one side and a keyhole on the other end.

Padlocks are portable locks that usually attach through a hasp or chain link by utilizing either a key or combination locking mechanism.

Regardless of which type of lock you have, they all share similar components that may get jammed over time due to wear and tear or exposure to weather conditions.

2. Assessing The Situation

Before attempting to pick or unlock your jammed lock from outside access, assess whether it’s safe for you to proceed with unlocking it yourself or if it’s necessary to call for professional assistance such as locksmith.

If there is any suspicion of break-in attempts such as damaged windows or doors around where your locked entryway is situated, immediately call local authorities.

3. Gather Necessary Tools And Materials

Once you’ve assessed that proceeding is safe, gather essential tools such as a screwdriver, lubricant spray (such as WD-40), a paper clip or bobby pin, and anything else you may require to unlock your jammed lock from outside access.

4. Try Non-Destructive Methods

One of the easiest and most common ways of unlocking door locks is by using non-destructive methods such as using a credit card or paper clip. While these methods might not work in every scenario, they are worth trying before moving on to more forceful techniques.

If you’re trying to open a deadbolt lock, slide the credit card between the door frame and the latch while applying some pressure towards the frame. Twist and wiggle until the latch releases.

For knob locks, insert a bobby pin or paper clip into the keyhole until you hear a click noise. This should release the lock mechanism inside.

5. Apply Forceful Techniques

In case non-destructive methods fail to work, it’s time to try more forceful techniques; however, keep in mind that this approach may result in damaging your lock permanently or even causing property damage or injuries.

To use forceful techniques without causing any damage, first use a rubber mallet or hammer with something soft like an old towel wrapped around it gently tap on the area where your jammed lock is situated on the doorframe repeatedly for several times. This could loosen up any stuck mechanisms inside without breaking anything.

If tapping fails or if there is no response, proceed with drilling out small holes near latches using drill bits before inserting something thin like wire coat hanger through said holes while jiggling in upward/downward motion. This can loosen the mechanism and unstuck it.

Please note that drilling holes into your lock will permanently damage it and must always be used as a last resort.

6. Seek Professional Help

If all the above methods fail, it’s time to seek professional help by contacting a locksmith. Locksmiths are experts in unlocking door locks and can provide you with a range of services such as emergency entry, lock picking, or break-in prevention.

In addition to opening your locked doors without damaging anything, they can also advise you on security measures that will prevent future issues from occurring.


In summary, opening a jammed door lock from the outside is possible using non-destructive techniques like using credit cards or paper clips or more forceful methods like drilling or seeking help from professionals like locksmiths.

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