How to Change the Combination on 3 Combination Luggage Locks

Written by marianne descott
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How to Change the Combination on 3 Combination Luggage Locks
Keep your valuables safe by changing the combination on your luggage lock. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Luggage locks are one of the best ways to keep your bags and their contents safe. Three-dial locks, or three-combination locks, require a three-digit numeric combination to be opened. Luggage locks either come with a preset combination that is provided by the manufacturer or are set to a neutral combination like 0-0-0. Depending on the lock, there could be several different ways to change the combination. By simple trial and error, you can change the code to one that you can easily remember.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paper clip or manufacturer-provided reset tool, if applicable

Show MoreHide


    Trial One: Reset Hole

  1. 1

    Check the top, side and bottom of the lock for a reset hole. If there is one, set the lock to its current combination.

  2. 2

    Insert either the manufacturer-provided reset tool or the end of an unfolded paper clip. You may have to turn the tool or paper clip 90 degrees or keep the tool pushed in while changing the combination.

  3. 3

    Slowly reset each dial to the new number. When all three dials are set, return the tool to the original position or take it out of the reset hole. Since requirements depend on the lock, you may need to try both with the clasp open and closed. After testing the new combination, spin all three dials to secure the lock.

    Trial Two: Reset While Closed

  1. 1

    Reset the combination while the lock is closed if there is no reset hole.

  2. 2

    Enter the lock's current combination and push in on the clasp.

  3. 3

    Keep the clasp pushed in and enter the new combination on the dials. Release the clasp and scramble the numbers to relock. Test to see if the new combination works.

    Trial Three: Reset While Open

  1. 1

    Open the lock using the previous combination if attempting to reset the combination with the clasp closed doesn't work.

  2. 2

    Open the clasp until it clicks or stops, either 90 degrees or 180 degrees. Attempt to reset the combination.

  3. 3

    Push down on the opened clasp and reset the combination if the combination still won't set. Release the clasp and return to the closed position.

Tips and warnings

  • Write your combination down in a safe place or record it online.
  • When travelling by air, make sure that your checked-luggage locks are TSA-approved. If they can't be opened by TSA without your presence, they will be cut off.

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