How to Open a Skeleton Key Lock

Written by contributing writer
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Open a Skeleton Key Lock
Skeleton keys are used today to lock old-fashioned dressers and file cabinets. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

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.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Skeleton key

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

    Pull open your dresser drawer or file cabinet.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.