How to Change the Lock Cylinder in an Entry Door

Written by alec preble
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How to Change the Lock Cylinder in an Entry Door
Eliminate the need to change a lock by keeping your key copies safe. ( Images)

A lock cylinder is the part of a lock in which the key is inserted. Rather than replacing an entire door knob or lock set, you can simply replace the cylinder. This is especially useful when working with expensive, decorative or vintage door hardware; replacing the cylinder alone can save money and time. Lock cylinders should be replaced in the event that a key is stolen, the lock is faulty or the residence changes hands.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver

Show MoreHide


    Deadbolt Lock

  1. 1

    Unscrew and remove the thumb-turn, then remove the screws from beneath it.

  2. 2

    Remove the housing and the screws from the back of it.

  3. 3

    Grasp the cylinder tailpiece, remove the cylinder and insert the replacement.

  4. 4

    Replace the screws and reattach the housing to the door. Replace the thumb-turn.

    Rim Lock

  1. 1

    Remove the facing screws and lock case from the door carefully.

  2. 2

    Remove the screws from the retaining plate and the plate itself. Hold onto the cylinder and remove it carefully from the housing.

  3. 3

    Place the new cylinder in the housing, then reattach the retaining plate and lock case.


  1. 1

    Remove the knob trim screws from both sides of the knob, then remove the knob.

  2. 2

    Put the key in the lock, turn it 45 degrees counterclockwise and carefully remove the cylinder from the knob. Remove the key.

  3. 3

    Insert the new lock key into the new cylinder, then place the new cylinder inside the knob.

  4. 4

    Screw both knobs back into place.

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