Can’t Remove a Stuck Deadbolt? Here’s How To Unlock It


Are you having trouble removing a stuck deadbolt? Don’t panic! There’s a step-by-step guide coming up in this article that will help you open the door without the use of a chainsaw.

Here’s what to do if you can’t remove a stuck deadbolt

  1. Remove the mounting screws from the plate
  2. Pull the front plate off the door
  3. Push the backplate out the other side
  4. Pull the clip out of the bottom of the deadbolt
  5. Push the topper back to retract the deadbolt and unlock the door

Removing a stuck deadbolt doesn’t have to require a call to the locksmiths. I’ve explained each of these 5 steps in more detail below. Take a look.

Disclaimer – while we’ve tried to provide as general instructions as we can, this guide can’t cover every type of deadbolt out there. Some types of deadbolt may differ. If our instructions don’t line up, try to identify the brand and have a search online for specific instructions.

Stuck deadbolt
You could save yourself a call-out charge by following the steps below!

5 Steps to Removing a Stuck Deadbolt

Are you trying to remove a stuck deadbolt from your door but aren’t sure what to do? Don’t panic. Bulldozing the door down is not part of the solution. Here are a few easy steps that will help you to remove the lock.

Step 1: Remove the Mounting Screws

The first thing you need to do to remove a stuck deadbolt is to remove the mounting screws. From the inside door, you should see one or two mounting screws. Take them out using a Philips screwdriver. Remove them carefully so as not to damage the thread.

Step 2: Remove the Front Plate

With the mounting screws out of the way, it should be fairly easy for you to remove the front plate. In most cases, the plate will fall off on its own. If it doesn’t, here’s what you can do.

  1. Pry a flathead screwdriver under the rim of the front plate.
  2. Pull the plate away from the door

Step 3: Push the Backplate

The backplate is the one on the outside of the door. This plate might have fallen off on its own while you were removing the front plate. Just in case it hasn’t, here’s what you can do.

  1. Poke a screwdriver under the deadbolt through to the backplate
  2. Apply pressure on the screwdriver to push the backplate away from the door. Allow the plate to fall on the floor, you can retrieve it when you can get the door open.
Removing stuck deadbolt
Use a screwdriver to push the backplate out of place

Step 4: Remove the Clip From the Deadbolt

The next two steps will help you retract the deadbolt from inside the door. But we’ll start by removing the clip that is holding the deadbolt in place.

  1. Pry a flathead screwdriver between the clip and the deadbolt
  2. Tease the clip out of place by pushing down
  3. When the clip falls out, remove it from inside the deadbolt

Step 5: Retract the Deadbolt

Now there’s just one last thing you need to do to remove the deadbolt from the door.

  1. Locate the topper. You should find it on top of the deadbolt
  2. Use a flathead screwdriver to push the topper back. This should release the lock mechanism and open your door.

Do you fancy taking a look at these steps in more detail? Then make sure you check out this handy how-to video.

How to Remove a Deadbolt Without Screws

What if you are trying to remove a deadbolt that doesn’t seem to have any screws? Then don’t worry as this cryptic conundrum is not as complicated as it looks.

It is important to know that even though your deadbolt doesn’t seem to have any screws, it will. The screws on these types of deadbolts are hidden. Manufacturers hide the screws on some models for the following reasons.

  • To better the security of the door
  • To improve the aesthetics of the lock

You first need to get the cover off of the lock to be able to proceed with removing the deadbolt. Holding it all together is a ring of metal. Once the ring is removed, you’ll be able to get to the screws on the deadbolt. To do this, try the following.

  1. Get hold of a thin, flat edge you can use to pry the lock ring out of the mechanism. Push a utility knife around the inside rim of the lock. Circle the knife around the inside rim and try to get under the lock ring.
  2. Push the ring out away from the deadbolt.
  3. Pry the utility knife between the plate and the deadbolt to remove the plate. You should then see two screws exposed.

There’s nothing like seeing a job being done with your own eyes. If you fancy taking a look at this one, then make sure you check out this quick tutorial video.

Once you have exposed the two screws, you can follow the steps mentioned earlier in this article to remove the stuck deadbolt. Just in case you missed those steps, here is a quick rundown of what you’ll need to do.

  1. Remove the mounting screws
  2. Remove the front plate
  3. Push the backplate
  4. Remove the clip from the deadbolt
  5. Retract the deadbolt


Removing a stuck deadbolt can seem like a tricky task. This is especially true if the deadbolt doesn’t have any visible screws. I’m sure this article has helped you to locate the invisible screws on your lock mechanism and remove them so you can get your door open again.

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Have a great day!


Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more