Can You Unlock a Door Without a Keyhole?

Not all doorknobs have keyholes.  It may seem humorous or silly when you see it on television or in a movie.  However, if you find yourself on the wrong side of a locked door, it is not nearly so funny. 

If there is someone in danger inside and you are trying to get to them, call a locksmith immediately.

Plastic Card

Firmly hold the doorknob with your non-dominant hand and push the door so the gap between the frame and door is as wide as possible.  Insert the card in the gap above the doorknob at a slightly downward angle.  Gently wiggle the card until you get to the locking mechanism, which has an angled end.  Slide the card against the angled part of the locking mechanism and push the mechanism by using leverage on the card.  As soon as you feel the lock start to loosen, push open the door.  You may need to wiggle the card and doorknob.  It may take several attempts.

Most plastic cards will break during this process.  If you use one with a mag strip or chip, it will probably need to be replaced.

A pocketknife will also work with this process but you have an increased chance of damaging the paint or cutting yourself.

Realize that this process only works on lockset doors.  If you are trying to open a door with a deadbolt mechanism, it won’t work.  Deadbolts can only be opened with a key.  Plastic cards also do not work on electronic locks.  If you are dealing with one of these types, the only solution is to call a locksmith.  These are times that it is advisable to leave a key with a trusted neighbour.

Remove the Doorknob

There is only a small space between the screw and the doorknob, so you will need a very small screwdriver or similar object to maneuver.  The screws are on either side of the knob.  Manually remove the screws and pull the mechanism out of the door and the door will open.

Remove Hinges

If the door swings toward you, the hinges will be on your side of the door and they can be removed.  Look at the hinge pins.  If there is any paint on them, that will need to be removed.  Place the tip of a screwdriver under the hinge pin at an angle.  Strike the bottom of the screwdriver with a hammer or other hard object to dislodge the pin and push it upward out of the hinge.  Repeat with the other hinge. 

Be careful that the door does not fall on you as the hinges are removed.


If it is an interior door, it will have a small hole on the outside of the knob.  The device to open this door is usually on the top of the door frame.  If it is gone, use an unbent paperclip.  Insert it into the hole and twist.


This is a set of tools that are specifically designed to open a locked door.  However, unless you have had instruction and practice, they are not especially useful.

Call a Locksmith

The best choice is to call a reliable locksmith who will make a house call and open your door safely and quickly. 

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