Does your deadbolt refuse to close from the inside? Then take a look at the 4 steps in this article that will help you fix this problem so you can rest with the door safely shut tonight!

To fix a deadbolt which won’t close from the inside do this

  1. Remove the screws then the outside case
  2. Maneuver a screwdriver between the lock mechanism. Twist it anticlockwise until it frees.
  3. If necessary, remove the mechanism from the door
  4. Clean any dirt from the mechanism to free the clip

Fixing a deadbolt is a quick and easy job that you should be able to complete within minutes. Are you ready to get yours on the mend? Then take a look at these 4 steps in more detail coming up next.

How to Fix a Deadbolt

So your deadbolt won’t turn from the inside. Leaving the door unlocked is, of course, not an option. And locking the door from the outside then climbing through the window to get back in is far too much effort and simply ludicrous. So, what can you do to fix your deadbolt so that you can lock your door just like everyone else?

Fixing a deadbolt that won’t turn is super simple. So much so that you’ll see everything you need to do to right this problem in 4 easy steps. Here are all the tools you will need for this job. Grab your supplies then meet me at step 1.

You Will Need

Step #1 Remove the Screws

The first thing to do when fixing your deadbolt is to remove the screws on the outside. You can use a screwdriver* for this job.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws from the deadbolt. Put them to one side.
  2. Pull at the outer casing of the deadbolt to remove it from the door. This should reveal the lock mechanism.
  3. Pull on the deadbolt on the other side of the door to remove it

But what if your deadbolt doesn’t appear to have any screws? In this case, you are probably dealing with a deadbolt with a protective casing. The screws will be hidden underneath the casing.

Here’s what you can do to lift it.

  1. Use a flat head screwdriver to pry underneath the protective casing on the deadlock. Once you have wedged the screwdriver underneath it, tease the casing off.
  2. After you have removed the casing, use a screwdriver to remove the screws from the deadbolt
  3. Go to the other side of the door and pry a flat head screwdriver under the protective casing. Tease the casing off.
  4. Then use a screwdriver to remove the screws on this side of the deadbolt
  5. Pull the deadbolt away from both sides of the door. This should reveal the lock mechanism.

*TIP: To avoid doing further damage to the deadbolt, use a screwdriver instead of a drill for these jobs.

Step #2 Maneuver the Lock Mechanism

With the screws removed from the deadbolt, you should now be staring down the barrel of the lock mechanism. To fix your deadbolt, you will need to get the lock mechanism moving again.

Here’s what you can do to get your mechanism to slide freely.

  1. Use a flathead or a normal screwdriver to push through the center of the lock mechanism
  2. Tease the screwdriver anticlockwise. You may have to wriggle the screwdriver back and forth a couple of times before the lock begins to free up.

Fancy taking a look at this step in action? Then why not check out this handy video tutorial?

Step #3 Remove the Lock Mechanism

What if you have tried to maneuver the lock mechanism but haven’t been successful so far? In this case, you may need to remove the entire mechanism from the door. Doing so will help you to examine it better and remove the blockage that is stopping the clip from moving.

Here’s how you can remove the lock mechanism from the door.

  1. There are normally two screws around the bolt. Remove the two screws on the side of the door then put them to one side. If your bolt does not have screws holding it into place, you may simply be able to slide it out. You can do this by pulling on the lock mechanism using a screwdriver.
  2. After you have taken the screws out, pull on the bolt to remove the lock mechanism from the door. If the bolt is tricky to remove, slide a screwdriver through the lock mechanism to help you pull it out.
removing screws from deadbolt
Remove the screws from the bolt

Step #4 Clean the Lock Mechanism

With the lock mechanism removed, it is now time for you to inspect it over to see what the problem is. More often than not, the mechanism is jammed with dirt and grime. You can use an old rag to clean it. It may also be helpful for you to use a thin Allen key to push between the mechanism and pry the dirt out.

Once the mechanism is clean, it is time to test if it is working again. To do so, slide a screwdriver or a flat head screwdriver through the middle of it. Try to turn it anticlockwise. The clip should move freely. If you are able to open and close the mechanism then you have fixed it. Why not celebrate with a cup of coffee? You can then use a screwdriver to put it back together.

But what if cleaning the mechanism didn’t work? Then you should inspect it to see if all of the pieces are still intact. If a piece of the lock mechanism is broken, you will need to replace it.

If a piece of your deadbolt is broken, you should take the mechanism you have down to your local hardware store. This will make it easier for you to find matching parts. Alternatively, you can replace the whole deadbolt. You may want to consider buying a new deadbolt if it is more than 10 years old.

Can You Use WD40 on a Deadbolt?

WD40 is a great solution for mechanisms that aren’t turning properly. Sometimes a little lubrication is all they need to get moving again. But, it may not be the best thing to put on your stuck deadbolt. Here’s why.

WD40 will lubricate the lock mechanism. The mechanism is a place that typically attracts dust and dirt. The grease from the WD40 could cause debris to stick inside the mechanism. Once enough dust and dirt have built up inside you could face a bigger problem. This could make turning your deadbolt even harder. It could cause it to jam completely.

Instead of using WD40, it would be best for you to clean your deadbolt mechanism with an old rag. You can use something small such as a thin Allen key to clear any dirt from between it. This is the best method for keeping your deadbolt in good condition.

WD40 used on door
Spraying the deadbolt with WD40 could make the lock stickier


Is your deadbolt refusing to close from the inside? Then you’re probably concerned about leaving the door unlocked. You’re no doubt wondering whether you will have to call a locksmith and have the entire deadbolt changed.

Thankfully, this article has discussed 4 steps that you can use to fix a stuck deadbolt. I am sure it has helped you to get yours back into working order.

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Have a great day!