How to Open a Skeleton Key Lock

Updated February 21, 2017

Skeleton keys are basic keys that were used in earlier times. As time went on, homeowners and others demanded more secure ways of protecting their valuables, so more sophisticated keys were developed. Today, skeleton keys are used to lock file cabinets and dresser drawers. You can open a skeleton key lock as long as you have the proper key.

Check that you have the key that goes with your file cabinet or dresser drawers. While skeleton keys basically have the same design, they do come in different sizes. Make sure that you have the skeleton key that came with your dresser or file cabinet by holding the tip of the key against the keyhole that you want it to open and checking that it is not too big or too small. If you try to jam a skeleton key into a lock that it doesn't fit, you could damage your furniture.

Insert the key into the skeleton key lock carefully. Typically, skeleton keys are inserted with the forks in the key facing downward. Push the key all the way to the back of the lock.

Turn the skeleton key clockwise until you hear a click. By turning the skeleton key, you are opening the lock. When you hear a click, the lock is opened.

Return the key back to its beginning position while still in the lock, and pull the key out of the keyhole.

Pull open your dresser drawer or file cabinet.

Things You'll Need

  • Skeleton key
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