How To Open A Locked Bedroom Door

Getting your bedroom door jammed is something that happens more frequently than we would like. Because of this, it is important that everyone knows how to open a locked bedroom door, in case of an emergency. 

If you have kids around the house, this is even more important for you. This is because kids have a much higher chance of locking themselves in. And when a child is locked in, it becomes an emergency as they could hurt themselves with anything in the room.

Before You Start Unlocking The Door

Before you go ahead with unlocking the door, you have to first determine what type of door lock mechanism the locked door used. It is the knowledge of this lock mechanism that will enable you to determine what method is best to unlock it this locked door.

There are three main types of locks that are used for bedrooms and interiors in general. The first is called the “push-in button” lock system. The second is called “the twist-button” or “turn button” lock system. While the third is simply a lever lock system. 

You should be able to tell what your locked door’s lock mechanism is by simply looking at the kind of slot or hole it has on the outside doorknob. 

For the push-button system, the outside knob would have a tiny hole. This hole should be able a quarter inch in diameter. For a twist-button system, the outside doorknob should have a small slot. This slot would be about half an inch long and an eighth (⅛) of an inch wide. 

If you have a lever system, you would simply see a door lever (also called a handle), not a doorknob. 

Now that we know what type of locking mechanism your bedroom door uses, let’s look at the different ways we can unlock it. 

Unlocking A Push-Button Lock

How To Open A Locked Bedroom Door
Photo by Lillian Grace on Unsplash

Doors locked with the push-button locks are probably the easiest ones you can unlock without a key. It’s the famous one you see in movies where the good guy just bursts out a paper clip and unlocks the door in 3 seconds. While the timing might be altered for the film’s sake, the method is definitely accurate. 

To unlock your push-button lock mechanism, you’ll need to get a wire paperclip. If you don’t have that, you can also utilize a wire cloth hanger

Straighten the wire paperclip and then insert it into the hole at the center of the doorknob. Once you’ve inserted it, move the tip of the cloth hanger or the paperclip father into the hole, making sure not to tilt it at all. 

Keeping the wire paperclip as straight as possible is necessary because the locking mechanism is usually located at the direct middle of the push-button lock system. If you do this correctly, you will begin the feel the lock. 

Once you can feel the lock, apply a little bit of pressure on the wire so that the lock pops. Once the lock pops, you can turn the doorknob and open the door. 

You should have some patience when trying this. You most likely will not get it the first time. If you don’t try again and try to keep the wire as straight as possible. You will definitely get it in no time. 

Unlocking A Twist-Button Lock

The good thing about most twist-button locks is that they often come with an emergency key. So, in the case of an emergency, that should be your first try. 

8 Kwikset Emergency Keys for Interior Door Locksets (8) (Original Version)

If you don’t have an emergency key, not to worry, there are other options you can try. The main thing about these emergency keys is that they have a flathead. So, if you don’t have one, a flathead screwdriver is a sufficient replacement. 

You will need a very small screwdriver because of how tiny the slot on the doorknob is. If you cannot find a screwdriver that matches those specs, then a flat strong wire can also suffice. 

Please note that you cannot use a paper clip or wire hanger in this instance. It will not work. 

Alright. So, to unlock the door, you’ll need to insert your emergency key or whichever tool you could find into the doorknob. Just like the push-button system, you’ll need to keep your hands and the key as straight as possible. 

Continue pushing until you come in contact with the lock’s release button. Once you get here, you would need to maneuver whatever tool you’re using until it fits nicely into the allocated slot. 

Once that is done, you can simply turn the lock with your emergency key like you would turn a screw to open the door. For most doors, turning it in a clockwise direction should open the door. However, if that doesn’t work, then turning it in an anti-clockwise direction would definitely do the trick. 

Unlocking A Lever Style Lock

Photo by Alexander Rumpel on Unsplash

There are two main methods of unlocking a lever-style door. The first is by using a card, while the second is by using a knife. Let’s take a look at the two methods:

For this, we suggest that you use a card of little significance. Something like your debit or credit card should not be used. This is for safety reasons in case there’s any damage to the card. Instead, easily replaceable cards like a library pass or store reward cards. 

Now that you’ve gotten the appropriate card, to unlock the door should be fairly easy. Basically all you need to do is to place your card in the space between the door and the doorjamb. 

Once you’ve done this, slide your card downwards or upwards, towards the direction of the lock. While doing this, it is best to push the door to apply a little pressure on it. You should also be holding down on the lever also.

With a little maneuvering, you will get the door unlocked in no time. Just like the other door lock mechanisms, you might not get this on your first try. It is important to have patience and try multiple times until you are able to get the door unlocked. 

Using A Knife

This method is the same as the card method, except this time you’ll be using a knife. However, it’s not just any knife. If you want to do this, in order to avoid injuries, we advise that you use a bread knife or any other type of knife that doesn’t have a sharp blade. 

If you can find this type of knife, it would be better to use compared to a card. This is because the handle of the knife will provide you with more grip when you’re sliding up and down the locking mechanism and also while you slightly push the door. 

If Picking The Locks Don’t Work

If everything we’ve given you so far seems to have failed, then we’re in the last chance saloon. Below, we’ll give you several things you can do that are surefire ways to unlock a locked door. 

However, they all cause some type of damage to the door, which is why they should only be used in a case of emergency and when all else fails. 

Remove The Door’s Hinges

The first method which causes minimal damage to the door is to remove its hinges. To remove the hinges on your door, you’ll need a screwdriver, and a hammer or a mallet. 

Put the screwdriver at the bottom of the pin on the door. Then use the hammer or mallet to gently tap on the head of the screwdriver downwards. This would force the pin on the hinges to loosen. 

Once it’s loose, remove the pin and the head. Of course, you have to do this for all the hinges on the door. It is quite a time consuming and does take some level of effort and force to accomplish. But it’s worth it as it won’t destroy your door. 

After fixing the locks, you can simply replace all the hinges and your door will go back to the way it was. 

To properly understand how to remove door hinges, we suggest that you watch the video below:

If All Else Fails…

Break The Doorknob

Another option will be to break the doorknob or lever, whichever your door comes with. You can use a hammer to do this. Simply continuously smash the knob with the hammer to break it free. You will have to be careful, though, as this can send pieces of wood and the knob flying. 

Break The Door Down

If removing the hinges proves to be too time-consuming for the emergency at hand, then you are left with no choice. You would have to kick or push the bedroom door down. 

Yes, this might destroy the door, the door frame, the knob, or everything at once. This is why we have kept it as the last piece of advice. It should only be used if every other means we’ve looked at during the course of this article has failed.


Now that you know how to unlock your bedroom door, you can practice the first few tricks from time to time to hone your skills. This way when the time comes to actually use the skills, you would already know what to do and how to do it. 

Also, try to get an emergency key if you have a door with a twist-button lock. You can hide it around the edges of the door. Another place to hide your emergency key is behind a photo or an art piece that you have on a wall close to the door.