How To Unlock a Door Without a Key

It’s probably happened to you before. You step out of your house, apartment, or room for just a quick second, only to hear the door close behind you. And then it hits you. You’re locked out! Sometimes this is just a nuisance, but if you have a baby, someone who cannot care for themselves, or something on the stove, you start to panic very quickly. However, before you start panicking, you can follow these simple tricks below to help you unlock your door without a key.

How To Unlock a Door Without a Key

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Your Phone is Your New Key

E-Keys are apps that utilize Bluetooth technology or Wi-Fi to connect to smart locks. The smart lock senses your phone is close to the door and automatically unlocks the door. UniKey is one good example. Simply install the smart lock and UniKey app. Since there’s a good chance you will have your phone with you, the odds of getting locked out are greatly reduced.

Other Tricks for Unlocking Your Door
Note: The methods explained below are for emergencies only. We do not recommend trying to pick a lock unless you absolutely have to since there is a possibility of damaging the lock.

How to Unlock a Door Without a Key

Bobby Pin

To try this method, you need two bobby pins. Begin by taking one of the bobby pins and bending it until it looks like an “L,” with the small tail between 2 to 3 cm from the bottom. Straighten out the other bobby pin completely.

Unlock a Door With a Bobby Pin

Insert the L-shaped pin into the bottom of the keyhole and push the pin horizontally or sideways. Next, insert the straight bobby pin into the upper part of the keyhole. Try shimmying the pin under the pins in the lock.

This may take several attempts. Once the lock turns, slowly slide the straight bobby pin out of the keyhole. Use the L-shaped bobby pin to continue rotating the lock until you feel and hear the door unlocking. As you sense the door unlocking, pull out the L-shaped pin gently.


In this method, slide a card past the bolt and push the bolt out of the door frame. Pick a card from your wallet. Don’t use your ID or credit card, as this process may damage it. We recommend a store rewards card since they can be easily replaced. The thinner and more flexible the better.


  • Slide the card between the door frame and the door near the handle. Try to push the card in as far as you can.
  • Next, tilt the card in the direction of the doorknob until it touches the doorknob; the closer the better.
  • Once the above step is completed, bend the card in the other direction. Lean slightly against the door to apply pressure. In this stage, you can wiggle the card back and forth. You should hear the card slide past the bolt as it forces the bolt out of its hole. Your door should now be unlocked.

Unlock a Door With a Card

Butter Knife

A kitchen knife can also be used to shimmy open a locked door. A thin and flexible blade is best. Butter knives are good options since they aren’t as sharp and dangerous.


  • Slip the knife between the space in the door and the frame around the lock’s location.
  • Using the knife, try to push the lock bolt back into the door. You may need to tilt the knife some as you find the right angle.

Unlock a Door With a Butter Knife


Choose a small screwdriver (either Phillips or flat head) and insert it into the keyhole.


  • Stick the screwdriver into the keyhole, trying to get it between the tumblers. This usually works best when you can get the screwdriver into the keyhole as far as possible.
  • Twist the screwdriver around until you feel and/or hear the lock click open.

Paper Clip

Similar to the bobby pin method, you will need two large metal paper clips. Straighten one out completely and bend the other in the shape of an “L.”


  • Put the L-shaped paper clip into the lower part of the keyhole. Next, insert the straightened paper clip in the upper part of the keyhole against the lock pins.
  • Move the straightened paper clip back and forth. Also, apply some pressure to the L-shaped clip to move it around the lock until you figure out the way the lock turns.

This method requires a lot of patience, but once pressure is applied correctly with both pins, the door will unlock.

Unlock a Door With a Paper Clip


Opening a locked door without a key is not easy, but with patience and practice, the above methods just might get you back in your house when you have no other choice.

If you have any questions or comments, please add them below in the comment section. Similarly, please let us know if you spot any mistakes or omissions. Thanks!

About the author

Hi I’m Alexander, founder of and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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