How do you unlock a door with a hole? 4 simple and reliable methods (2023)

I know that you have often seen a lock with a lockable hole in the bedroom or bathroom and often come across situations where these locks cannot be picked.

These types of doorknobs are called privacy locks. Most private locks are button locks. Instead of locks, this type of lock has a small hole.

Luckily, it's easier to unlock than deadbolts and other front door locks. It is specially designed to ensure privacy. You can find this on your bedroom or bathroom door.

There are many ways to open a locked door with a hole. This tutorial gives you several options to choose from. You are free to choose which method works best for you.

In this guide, we'll look at how to tell what type of privacy lock you have and how to use household items to unlock it.

What is a privacy lock?

A privacy lock is a lock that allows someone to quickly lock a room for privacy and is used on interior locks such as bathroom and bedroom doors. These locks are usually activated by pressing or turning a knob when privacy is desired.

The purpose of these blocks is not based on security but on privacy. Therefore, they are also equipped with an emergency hole that allows you to quickly and easily insert a slim tool to unlock them.

They can be easily bypassed using a variety of household items, as well as emergency keys.

What types of privacy locks are there?

The first step to unlocking a doorknob with a hole is to determine what type of lock it is.

Generally there are two types of privacy locks with holes:

  • Keylock:The lock is activated by a push button and deactivated by turning the knob.
  • screw cap:The lock is activated by turning a tab on the handle and unlocked by turning in the opposite direction.

Depending on which of these you have will determine the method you must use to unlock it.

If you're not sure what type you're dealing with, don't worry, you can quickly try the two methods below and one will surely work.

How to unlock a privacy lock?

There are many ways to open the privacy screen lock; Now we will explain them in detail.

How do I unlock a button-type privacy lock?

The button-type privacy lock is the easier to bypass of the two types.

They are also the older of the two and will be more commonly found in older homes, but you will also find them in newer homes.

As a tool, you can use any rigid, pointed object that is small enough to fit in the hole. Commonly used things are wire hangers, clips, bobby pins, ink cartridges, etc.

  • To unlock a push-button privacy lock, take your tool (a small screwdriver, paperclip, or other thin object) and insert it as far into the basement as you can.
  • Then apply force by pushing the tool further into the keyway. With sufficient force, the locking mechanism should engage noticeably.

That's all; the door is now unlocked!

How do I unlock a privacy thumb lock?

Next comes the privacy lock with a twist of the thumb. These locks require a little more effort, but are still just as easy.

The ideal tool you will need is a flat head screwdriver small enough to fit in the hole. However, you can improvise with other objects as long as they have a similar end to a flathead screwdriver.

  • To unlock a privacy screen lock with your thumb, take your small screwdriver and insert it as far into the basement as you can.
  • With the screwdriver in the lock, slowly turn it until you feel it drop into a slot. Then turn the screwdriver clockwise (to the right) until you feel a click.

That's all; the door is now unlocked!

Useemergency key

If you are in a scenario where you need to open these locks frequently, e.g. B. if you are caring for the elderly or have children, there are privacy lock unlocking tools called “quick emergency keys”.

As we have seen in this guide, these tools are not essential and can easily be replaced with a small screwdriver.

However, it can be useful to have a special tool that you can leave in a specific place where no one touches or moves it, as it has no other purpose. I can never find my 30+ small screwdrivers when I need them most.

Remove hinges

Removing the hinges is a great, non-destructive alternative to moving an interior door.

However, this method is only available if the hinges are on the outside of the door.

You'll also need at least a hammer and screwdriver (or hinge removal tool) and time to remove the hinge pins.

using a plastic card

If there is a small gap between the door and the door frame, you can also try to install or remove the latch with a plastic card or credit card.

There is another way to unlock your door handle with a hole punch if you don't have any lock picking items available around your house. The procedure involves the use of a plastic card or knife.

You should use a card that you don't mind getting damaged, e.g. B. a gift card or a membership card. It should also be strong enough that it won't easily bend or break when you try to open the door.

You can also use a knife if you don't have a plastic card. The best kind of knife is a butter knife. Avoid using a sharp-edged knife as this type of knife is usually thin and breaks easily when pressure is applied.

Step 1: Hold the doorknob

If you don't have anything to pick the lock, you can also use a card to open the door. First you need to hold the doorknob with your non-dominant hand.

If you are right-handed, grip the doorknob with your left hand. This is necessary as you will have to push and pull on the door while trying to hit the lock strike plate.

Step 2: Lean your body against the door and insert the card vertically.

To maximize the gap between the door and the frame, lean your body against the door.

After placing your body, insert the card perpendicular to the door. To get to the striker, slide the card by folding it. Give a little nudge towards the doorknob.

Step 3: Move the card up and down until the door opens

Move the card up and down with the right force. If you have trouble opening the door, pull the button while moving the card. This is useful to reduce friction and pressure on the latch.

As soon as the locking cylinder is retracted, the door opens automatically.

With strong power

Interior doors and locks are not designed for security. This makes them very vulnerable to brute force attacks.

With a powerful kick near the doorknob (point of resistance), you can easily bypass the door. You can also pry off the locking mechanism with a hammer or pry bar.

So if an emergency arises and you don't mind replacing a door, brute force is always an available option.

Step 1: Mark the best spot to kick the door

This method is only recommended when an emergency arises and you need to open the door as soon as possible. You need to kick the door as close to the handle as possible, but not kick the handle itself.

Also, avoid kicking the middle part of the door as it could break and injure you.

Step 2: Front kick to the best spot you found

Say you don't know how to do a front kick; Better not try this method as it may hurt you. It would help if you kick the door down.

If the situation can wait, you can try other methods above to avoid injury and damage the door. If you don't want that, you can call a locksmith to help you.


Did you learn to open a door with a hole? There are so many ways you can unlock a privacy lock. Apart from that, the items you need can easily be found in your house. No need to spend money on fancy lock picking tools.

As you can see, opening a door with a hole in the handle is extremely easy.

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