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How to remove a broken deadbolt lock

Updated February 21, 2017

A broken deadbolt lock will leave you and your home vulnerable. It is important to replace the deadbolt as soon as possible. Removing a lock is not as difficult as it may appear and both the removal and replacement can be done by homeowners who are comfortable with do-it-yourself projects. Deadbolt locks are secured to the door with long screws through the lock and thumb turn assembly. The deadbolt assembly is screwed to the front edge of the operating side of the door.

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  1. Unscrew the lock and thumb turn assembly with a screwdriver. Screws unscrew by turning the screwdriver counterclockwise. These screws are on the interior side of the door.

  2. Open the door and remove the screws that secure the deadbolt to the door with a screwdriver. Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise to remove the screws.

  3. Pull out the thumb turn assembly and key assembly with your fingertips. If the lock has been installed for a long time, you may have to use a screwdriver tip to pry it out.

  4. Slide the deadbolt assembly out of the front operating edge of the door by pulling it with your fingertips. Use the tip of a screwdriver to pry it out if necessary.

  5. Brush out any dust or debris from the lock openings with your fingers and blow any hard-to-reach areas with your breath to ensure a clean space for the replacement deadbolt.

  6. Tip

    Take your old deadbolt with you when looking for a replacement to ensure that you get one that is the same size for your door.


    Wear eye protection when removing a broken deadbolt.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.

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