Garage Doors

How to open a jammed door from the outside?

At times, doors get jammed and you may find yourself wondering how to open a jammed door from the outside. It can be a frustrating situation, but fortunately, there are several methods you can use to quickly and easily unlock a jammed door from the outside. In this blog post, we will discuss six simple techniques for unlocking a jammed door so you can regain access to your home without any hassle.

Use a Butter Knife

A butter knife can be a helpful tool when the door is not entirely jammed, and the latch only needs a slight push to open.

To unlock a jammed door with a butter knife, slide the knife gently between the door and the door frame. Once you have wedged the knife between the two, twist the knife handle until you feel a click or hear the latch opening. With a bit of patience and finesse, you should be able to successfully unlock the door.

Use a Credit Card

If you have a credit card handy, it may be possible to open a jammed door from the outside with it. Insert the card into the gap between the door and its frame near the doorknob or handle. Then, use gentle pressure to move the card towards the lock and try to wedge the card into the gap.

This may cause the latch to pop open, allowing you to open the door. If this does not work, try sliding the card down into the gap until it contacts the latch. If you can get the card far enough into the gap, it should be able to push the latch back and open the door.

Remember to be careful when using a credit card to open a jammed door, as too much pressure can damage both the card and the door. Additionally, some locks may be too tight for a credit card to unlock. If this is the case, you may need to try another method such as using a butter knife or a can of WD-40.

Use a Can of WD-40

If you do not have a butter knife or credit card available, a can of WD-40 can help open a jammed door from the outside. WD-40 is excellent for loosening stuck components, including door locks and hinges.

To unlock a jammed door with WD-40:

  • Locate the keyhole or lock mechanism on the outside of the door.
  • Spray the area generously with WD-40. Allow it to sit for several minutes to penetrate the lock parts and break down any buildup or corrosion causing it to stick.
  • Try opening the door with your key. If it still doesn’t work, try turning the key in both directions, as this can sometimes help dislodge the lock mechanism and free the stuck parts.
  • If your key still won’t turn, try inserting a small flathead screwdriver into the keyhole and gently wiggling it. This can help loosen the jammed parts and allow you to turn your key again.

With a bit of luck, these tips should help you successfully open a jammed door from the outside using WD-40. However, if you are still having trouble, it might be time to call a professional locksmith.

Try Jiggling the Door

To open a jammed door lock from the outside, one easy way is to try jiggling it. Gently move the doorknob up and down to loosen any rust that may be causing the door to stick. If this doesn’t work, try turning the knob in both directions.

You may also want to twist and pull at the same time to see if you can free any stuck components. If your efforts are unsuccessful, you can proceed to use a butter knife, credit card, or WD-40 to help open the locked door.

Remove the Door Hinges

Removing the door hinges is one way to open a locked door from the outside. This method requires some tools and may take a bit of time and effort.

First, identify the type of hinge on your door to get the right tools for the job. There are three common types of hinges: standard hinges, full-mortise hinges, and half-mortise hinges. Once you’ve identified the hinge type, find the appropriate tools.

To remove the hinges, start by removing the screws from the door frame. If your hinges are recessed, use a special screwdriver or drill bit to reach them. Once all screws are removed, gently tap out the pins from the hinge barrel. You should be able to lift the hinge off the door frame once all pins have been removed.

After removing both hinges, you should be able to lift the door off its track and open it from the outside. Be careful not to damage the door or frame during this process.

With some patience and effort, you can open a jammed door lock from the outside by removing the door hinges. Ensure you have the right tools on hand before attempting this method.

Remove the Door Knob

If jiggling the door and removing the door hinges don’t work, you may have to remove the door knob to open a jammed door from the outside. This is generally a last resort as it requires specific tools.

First, identify the type of door knob you have. Common types are cylindrical locks, deadbolt locks, and mortise locks. Once you have identified the lock type, you will know what tools to use.

For example, a cylindrical lock uses an Allen wrench, while a deadbolt lock needs a Phillips head screwdriver. A mortise lock may require an L-shaped hex key or a special removal tool.

Once you have the right tool, remove the interior door knob by unscrewing and detaching the back plate or face plate. You should then see the latch and other locking mechanisms, which can be easily manipulated from the outside. Ensure you do not lose any screws or parts during this process!

After unlocking the latch from the outside, replace the door knob and all its screws and components. You should now be able to open your locked door from the outside. If this process doesn’t work, it is recommended that you contact a professional locksmith for assistance.

Use a Lock Pick Set

Lock-picking is an ancient skill that has gained popularity in recent years. A lock pick set can help open most types of locks. Use a lock pick set to open the door if your lock keys are missing. Without proper tools, it could take a relatively long time, which is why having your own lock pick set is crucial.

You can easily find the right lock pick for your situation. Whether you need a rake, a hook, or a tension wrench, having your own set will allow you to have the right tool at your fingertips. Remember that lock picking should only be done on locks you own or have permission to pick. Lock picking can be a fun hobby, but it should always be done with respect for the law and others’ property.

How To Open Jammed Door From Outside: Additional Tips

Use a Bump Key

A bump key is a key specially crafted to bypass the pins in a lock. It works on the principle of ‘lock bumping,’ which is a technique used to open pin tumbler locks. To use a bump key, you’ll need to insert it into the lock and then apply a sharp force or ‘bump’ to the key. This force will cause the pins inside the lock to jump, allowing the key to turn and unlock the door.

However, this method requires practice and skill, and it may not work on all types of locks. Also, it’s important to note that using a bump key is considered a lock-picking technique, so you should only use it on locks that you own or have permission to pick.

Use a Screwdriver

If the doorknob or handle is loose, you can use a screwdriver to remove it and then access the internal mechanism of the lock. To do this, you’ll need to remove the screws that are holding the knob or handle in place. Once you have removed the knob or handle, you will be able to see the internal parts of the lock.

You can then use the screwdriver or another thin tool to manually turn the internal mechanism and unlock the door. Be careful not to damage any of the internal parts of the lock while doing this.

Call a Professional Locksmith

If all else fails, it may be time to call a professional locksmith. A locksmith has the necessary tools and expertise to open a jammed door without causing any damage. While this option may be more expensive, it is often the quickest and safest way to open a jammed door from the outside.

How to Prevent a Door from Jamming

Preventing a door from jamming in the first place is always better than having to deal with a jammed door. Here are some tips to help prevent your door from jamming:

Regular Maintenance

Regularly check the door and its components for any signs of wear and tear. Make sure the screws are tight, the hinges are well lubricated, and the lock is working properly.

Use the Right Key

Always use the correct key for the lock. Using the wrong key can damage the lock and cause it to jam.

Keep the Keyhole Clean

Dirt and debris can accumulate in the keyhole and cause the lock to jam. Make sure to clean the keyhole regularly to prevent this from happening.

Install Quality Locks and Doorknobs

Cheap locks and doorknobs are more likely to jam. Invest in high-quality locks and doorknobs to ensure the smooth operation of your door.

Be Gentle

Be gentle when using the key to unlock the door. Forcefully turning the key can cause the lock to jam.


Opening a jammed door from the outside can be frustrating, but with a little patience and the right tools, it is possible. Whether you use a butter knife, a credit card, a can of WD-40, or any of the other methods mentioned above, remember to be careful not to damage the door or the lock.

If you are unsuccessful in opening the jammed door yourself, it may be time to call a professional locksmith. They have the necessary tools and expertise to open the door without causing any damage.

Lastly, remember that prevention is always better than cure. Regularly maintain your door and its components to prevent it from jamming in the first place.

Please Note: Some of the methods mentioned above should only be used as a last resort and on locks that you own or have permission to pick. Never attempt to open a lock that you do not own or have permission to pick. Doing so may be illegal and could result in criminal charges.

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Nyla Rose

Say hello to Nyla Rose, a special person who helps people make their homes pretty and comfortable. Mary went to the University of Creativity to learn all about making spaces beautiful.

For more than 10 years, she’s been sharing her smart and fun ideas about home decorating with people all around the world. Mary loves to talk about cool DIY projects, how to decorate on a budget, and choosing the perfect items for your home. Her friendly tips and stories are loved by many because she makes home decorating easy and joyful!

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