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


Are you having a hard time removing a stuck deadbolt?

Don’t worry! As frustrating as having such a situation can be, it’s not an uncommon issue to have. In fact, thousands of people deal with the same thing every day.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list of the easiest things to try to remove a deadbolt stuck in a locked position.

To remove a deadbolt stuck in a locked position:

  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.

Ready? Let’s get to work!

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

5 Steps to Removing a Stuck Deadbolt

Bulldozing the door down is not part of the solution when it comes to removing a deadbolt stuck in a locked position, so here are 5 easy steps to help you remove the lock easily.

#1 Remove the Mounting Screws

In my opinion, the best starting point to remove a stuck deadbolt is to remove the mounting screws. From the inside door, you should see one or two mounting screws. Take the screws out using a Philips screwdriver.

Remove the screws carefully so as not to damage the thread.

#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 and remove the deadbolt lock. From what I’ve seen, the plate will fall off on its own, making it simple to remove the deadbolt stuck in a locked position.

Otherwise, 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.

#3 Push the Backplate

The backplate is the one on the outside of the door. The plate might have fallen off on its own while you were removing the front plate, but in case it didn’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 the plate when you can get the door open.
A person removing a stuck deadbolt.
Use a screwdriver to push the backplate out of place

#4 Remove the Clip From the Deadbolt

The next two steps will help you retract the deadbolt from inside the door, making it easier to remove the deadbolt stuck in a locked position. Let’s start by removing the clip 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 it down.
  3. When the clip falls out, remove it from inside the deadbolt.

#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 the topper on top of the deadbolt.
  2. Use a flathead screwdriver to push the topper back. Pushing the topper back should release the lock mechanism and open your door.

Are you interested in taking a look at the steps in more detail? Then make sure you check out the following handy how-to video:

How to Remove a Deadbolt Without Screws

What if you’re trying to remove a deadbolt that doesn’t seem to have any screws? The whole thing might sound complicated, but don’t worry; in my experience, it’s simpler than you think.

Even though your deadbolt doesn’t seem to have any screws, it does; the screws are just hidden. Manufacturers hide the screws on some models for the following reasons:

  • To improve 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 everything together is a ring of metal. Once the ring is removed, you’ll be able to get to the screws on the deadbolt.

To remove the ring, 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 2 screws exposed.

There’s nothing like seeing a job being done with your own eyes. If you’d like to take a look at specific instructions for removing the metal ring, then check out the tutorial video below:

Once you’ve exposed the 2 screws, you can follow the steps mentioned earlier in this article to remove the stuck deadbolt. In case you missed the 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 deadbolt stuck in a locked position can seem tricky, especially if the deadbolt doesn’t have any visible screws. I’m sure this article has helped you locate the invisible screws on your lock mechanism and remove them so you can open your door again.

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On the site, you’ll find all sorts of solutions for everyday appliance and DIY issues, such as a washer leaking from the door or an oven leaking grease.

Have a great day!


I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more