How to Open a Code Lock

Written by melissa king
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How to Open a Code Lock
Combination locks only open when the number dials show the correct code. (lock image by Horticulture from

For thousands of years, people have used locking mechanisms as a way to shield their property from theft. Early, simple locks were made of rope and wood, the materials replaced with iron and brass in later years. Combination, or code, padlocks appeared in the 18th century as a response to those who could pick regular locks with ease. All combination locks can be opened by turning the dial to the code's correct numbers. Similarly, an electronic code lock can be accessed by pressing the buttons that bear the numbers of the combination.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Turn the lock's dial to the right three times. Stop turning the dial when the small red arrow, located on top of the lock, points to the first number of the combination.

  2. 2

    Twist the dial one turn to the left so it passes the first number. Stop turning when the arrow is pointing to the second number in the combination.

  3. 3

    Turn the lock dial to the right, then stop when the arrow points to the third number.

  4. 4

    Pull the lock down, or pull the shackle up, to release the lock.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have an electronic lock, such as those on a safe, enter the correct combination using the keypad to open it. You may have to press the "#" button before the number, depending on the brand of safe.

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