How to fix a door that swings open

Written by mary lougee
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How to fix a door that swings open
Hinge pin adjustments keep doors from opening on their own. (bifold door image by Scrivener from

When doors are not completely shut, they may swing open on their own. This is because the doorjamb is not completely square and the top hinge does not hold the door tightly in place. Bending the top hinge pin to hold the door in place is a much quicker fix than removing the entire door from its hardware, adjusting the depth of the hinge with a shim and replacing the door.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Large nail
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Close the door that swings open on its own.

  2. 2

    Stand on the outside of the door where the hinges are visible.

  3. 3

    Slide a piece of cardboard between the door and its doorjamb on the side with the doorknob near the top of the door. Fold the cardboard in half if need be to achieve a thickness that holds the door closed.

  4. 4

    Hold a large nail with the point at the bottom of the hinge pin near the top of the door.

  5. 5

    Strike the nail with a hammer to drive the hinge pin upward out of the hinge.

  6. 6

    Grasp the top of the hinge pin between a thumb and forefinger and pull straight up to remove it from the hinge.

  7. 7

    Place the hinge pin outside on the sidewalk, driveway or a hard surface.

  8. 8

    Strike the hinge pin one time in the centre with great force.

  9. 9

    Place the hinge pin in the top of the top hinge with the flat surface pointing up.

  10. 10

    Tap the hinge pin with a hammer to insert it into the hinge. The pin will be more difficult to replace than it was to remove due to the bend in it.

  11. 11

    Remove the cardboard from the doorjamb.

Tips and warnings

  • Placing any material in the doorjamb wedges the door in the jamb so that it remains in place. Striking the hinge pin on a hard surface will bend the pin so that it fits tightly in the hinge and holds the door closed.
  • Take care when removing and replacing the hinge pin so as not to strike fingers with the hammer.

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