How to Lock Gate Latches

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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How to Lock Gate Latches
Rusted latches may need to be lubricated to function properly. (latch image by Joann Cooper from

Lock gate latches to reduce the likelihood of lost pets and improve the overall security of your property. Some gate latches have self-locking settings that automatically engage the lock when the latch is properly aligned and closed. Manually locked gate latches require similar alignment but must be augmented with a key or combination padlock to be properly secured. Check that your gate latches are correctly lined up and locked for safety and peace of mind.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver (optional)
  • Padlock (optional)
  • Silicone spray lubricant (WD-40)

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  1. 1

    Watch the latch closely as you close the gate from the inside to make sure that the pin goes straight into the mechanism. Adjust the position of the latch or the pin by removing screws and reattaching it to line up correctly if necessary. Spray silicone lubricant on the latch mechanism if it does not easily accept the lined-up pin.

  2. 2

    Test the gate to see if the latch has automatically locked or if you are able to release the pin by simply lifting the latch arm. Some automatic locking gate latches have auto and manual setting that can be activated with the key. Slide an open padlock through the two lined up holes that block the latch arm from raising to release the pin.

  3. 3

    Close the padlock before testing it and the latch by pulling on them and trying to release the pin so the gate will open. The gate is locked when you are not able to release the latch or pull the gate open.

Tips and warnings

  • Open the lock or padlock with the key or combination to make sure that you have the ability to open the gate when necessary.
  • Just because a gate is latched and locked does not mean it cannot be broken into or climbed over.

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