Are you looking to keep a door locked, without a lock actually being there?

Don’t worry – it’s more than possible! In fact, there’s several easy ways to do this.

To lock a door without a lock, try using a door wedge, tie the handles, remove the handle altogether, barricade the door, and/or buy a portable door lock. If you need a longer term solution, consider getting a door lock installed (usually $50-200).

Each of those choices can work well, and even better if you pair two or more together.

Now, I’m sure you’re familiar with the idea of barricading doors and wedging them shut. But these no doubt seem like ideas that could easily be compromised with the right amount of force.

So, are you ready to see how these ideas can turn into solid methods that will protect your home? Then make sure you check out the extended door locking guide below!

5 Ways to Lock a Door Without a Lock

Is the lock on your door jammed? If you are waiting for the locksmith to come you may need to improvise a temporary door lock. Or maybe you are going away and are trying to lock a door that you don’t have a key for. Or perhaps you’re staying at a cheap motel and the door doesn’t have a lock. Whatever the case, don’t sweat it. We can get that door locked in a jiffy. 

Take a look at the suggestions listed below that will help you to get your door locked. Most of the methods will help you to lock the door using items that you already have on hand at home!

#1 Barricade the Door 

The good old door barricade. This is the step we usually see in movies where the bad guys are chasing after someone. The innocent party barricades the door with the first thing they can get their hands on and the door is smashed through in an instant. 

But remember, that’s just in the movies! You may feel tempted to skip this step, not wanting to turn out like the innocent party in that film you watched. But there are methods that you can use to properly barricade a door. 

Here is a list of the tools you’ll need to make a great barricade:

The Tools You Need to Barricade a Door That Opens InwardsThe Tools You Need to Barricade a Door That Opens Outwards
  • A sturdy chair.
  • Heavy objects in the room.
  • A rope and a heavy object in the room.
  • A broom and a rope.

Ok, so you’ve gathered all the tools you need to make a great barricade. But you’re no doubt wondering how it all works. So, let’s get barricading with the following steps! 

How to Barricade a Door That Opens Inwards 

Barricading a door that opens inwards can be really effective. You’ve just got to make sure you give your objects a good shove so that they fix into place. So with a little bit of elbow grease and some hefty items of furniture at hand, you’ll be ready! Take a look at the methods below:

Barricading a door with a chair:

  1. Place the chair under the doorknob at an angle. 
  2. Wedge the chair as far under the knob as it can go so it’s sturdily in place.

Barricading a door with heavy objects in the room:

  1. Push heavy objects as close to the door as possible.
  2. Make sure some objects overlap the door and the door frame.

How to Barricade a Door That Opens Outwards

Barricading a door that opens outwards might seem impossible. I mean, you could as a deterrent line up your sofa and other heavy objects immediately in front of the door. But if someone really wants to get in, a little obstacle course isn’t going to stop them. In fact, it might spur them on (thieves love free entertainment). 

So here are the best two methods for barricading a door that opens outwards. Don’t worry, you won’t have to turn your house upside down for these! Take a look:

Barricading a door with a rope:

  1. Tie the rope on one end firmly around the door handle. Remember, your barricade is only as good as the knot you tie. So, make it a good one! 
  2. Pull the rope taut.
  3. Tie the other end of the rope to a nearby heavy object in the room. You could try tying it to the following:
    • A sofa leg
    • A heavy dining room table
    • A fridge leg

Barricading a door with a broom:

  1. Use super strong duct tape to tape the inside door handle to the broom. (The broom should lie vertically across the door.) Really go to town with the tape!
  2. Use the tape to attach the broom to the door across the door frame. Again, be liberal with the tape!

#2 Use a Door Wedge 

A door wedge. Now, we all have a couple of those knocking around. That’s what makes them the perfect solution to locking a door without a lock in a hurry. A door wedge is super effective at keeping the door shut. 

So, if you’re searching for the best method to lock your door using a wedge, look no further. Check it out below:

  1. Close the door.
  2. Place the wedge as close to the opening edge of the door as possible. 
  3. Push the wedge firmly under the door. (Knock it with a hammer or whatever you can to get it secured under the door.) 
  4. If you have more wedges, do the same with the others. Leave about a 12-inch gap between the wedges. 
  5. Test the door from the outside to see if you need to shove the wedge in a little further.

Don’t have any wedges at home? Not a problem. This step is also effective with other wedge-shaped items that you have lying about. They can be wedged anywhere around the doorframe to secure it. 

You can wedge your door with one of the following:

  • A block of wood.
  • An old shoe that is the same size as the gap between the door and the floor.
  • A shoe tree.

#3 Tie the Handles

Tying your door handle is also a great way of keeping intruders out. There is a method for tying the handles that will work for both double and single doors.

Your success when using this method is largely dependant on two things:

  1. The strength and sturdiness of your rope. 
  2. The complexity of your knot. 

Do you own a good rope and have a trick up your sleeve for tying great knots? Then there should be nothing keeping you from securing your door with this method!

Ready to get started? Then take a look at the tools you’ll need for this method below:

The Tools You Need to Tie the Handles on Double DoorsThe Tools You Need to Tie the Handle of a Single Door
  • A rope
  • A thick, flat rope or a long, strong non elasticized piece of material. A nearby, fixed heavy weight. The weight could be any of the following:
    • A stair banister
    • A pillar/column
    • A ceiling beam

How to Tie the Handles on Double Doors

Do you have double doors to secure? Then you may think you’ve got double the problem. But that’s not necessarily the case. Tying the handles and securing a double door is a lot easier than doing so with a single door. Why? It’s easy to tie the two handles together to prevent the doors from opening. 

The security of your door massively depends on your ability to tie a good, sturdy knot. So, make sure you give it some oomph!

Ready to get started? Then take a look at the steps mentioned below:

  1. Leave 12 inches (30 cm) of the rope dangling.
  2. Use the rest of the rope to loop around the handles in a figure eight. Keep the rope taut as you loop.
  3. Tie the two rope-ends together with a tight knot. Here’s your opportunity to show off your rope tying skills!

How to Tie the Handle of a Single Door

You’re definitely going to have to think outside the box for this one. You’ll need to tie your door handle to something sturdy and elevated. As mentioned in the toolbox, any of the following will work wonders if they are elevated above your handle:

  • A stair banister
  • A pillar/column
  • A ceiling beam

These must be elevated so that they will stop your handle from being pushed down and the door opening.

To tie your door handle, take a look at the following steps:

  1. Tie one side of the rope to the door handle with a firm double knot. 
  2. Wrap the other end of the rope around your stair banister, pillar, column, or whatever you will be using. 
  3. Tip! If your support doesn’t have any ridges, such as is the case with some columns, the rope could slip. Use duct tape to hold the rope in place.
  4. Without twisting the rope, pull it down and wrap it taut under the handle. The rope should be firmly fixed under the handle so that it cannot be pushed down.
  5. Loop the rope back up to your heavy weight and tie it with a double knot. Double-check that the rope is taut under the handle.

#4 Remove the Door Handle 

How to remove door handles.
Use a screwdriver to remove the existing knob from the interior side of the door.

You have to use a handle to open a door. This is true regardless of whether the door is locked or not. So, if you are looking for a way to secure your door, you can remove the handle! 

If you remove the handle, intruders will not be able to turn the mechanism to get through the door. This is a great way of keeping your door locked while waiting on a locksmith. This works if your lock is damaged as long as the closing mechanism still functions. 

Ready to see how to do it? It’s dead easy:

  1. Close the door.
  2. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the screws of the outer plate. 
  3. Unscrew the handle by turning it anticlockwise motions. 
  4. Keep the pieces safe in a box or a bag. 

#5 Buy a Portable Lock

A temporary, portable door lock.
A temporary, portable door lock you can use for added security.

Portable locks are easy to install and can be moved from location to location. If your door is compatible with a portable lock, then this may be one of the quickest ways for you to secure your space.

Portable locks are probably one of the priciest methods included in this article. But, it may be one of the easiest ones for you to set up – where’s the adventure in that? But still, if you don’t feel like rearranging the furniture and tying ropes strategically across the home, then this will be a great option for you.

Portable locks come with varying instructions depending on the style of the lock. So, to install one of these, make sure you check your instruction manual.  

How to Discourage Would-Be Thieves

What can you do to discourage thieves from attempting to break-in to your home? Take a look at some of the following suggestions:

  • Install a home security system. This is the most fool-proof method for securing your home.
  • Get a dog. A dog of a decent size with an intimidating bark is a definite deterrent to intruders.
  • Lock your windows. Make sure your windows are locked at night and when you leave the house.
  • Install motion lights. Motion lights will turn on when someone moves in the house. This is a great deterrent for a thief as they think that someone is at home or awake.
  • Put in a front gate. Time is of the essence for a burglar. So, if they see a house with a high gate, they may skip it. 


Locking a door without a lock definitely requires a little creativity. But as I am sure you have seen, it is by no means impossible. 

I hope that this information has shown you some of the best ways that you can get your door locked without a lock. 

If this article has been useful to you, then why not consider checking out some of our other articles and free guides? 

Have a great day!