How to Lock a Door From Outside Without a Key

Having a lock at the door helps keep you and your belongings safe and secure. Sometimes, you may need to lock a door from outside but may not have a key. In such situations, you will want to look for a temporary solution to secure your home. 

So, how do you lock a door from the outside without a key? In such a situation, you have multiple options, including using a latch, a security bar, or a portable lock. You can even use some DIY tricks to lock the door, such as using a pencil and string tape, a screwdriver, a thin wire, or a belt. 

In this article, we will introduce some simple tricks to lock the door even if you have forgotten your key somewhere, loaned it to someone else, or just forgot to carry it with you. 

Ways to Lock a Door From Outside Without a Key

You can use one of the following methods to lock a door without a key.

Using a Door Stopper

You may be surprised to learn that it is next to impossible to open a door if it is locked using a door stopper or a wedge.

Some door stoppers have a rubber base. This creates friction, keeping a door from sliding and forcing it closed. You can only open the door when you remove the stopper.

You can even make a door stopper on your own. For this, you will need to:

  • Have a look at what a wedge looks like. Then fold a cardboard piece into that shape. 
  • When you want to close your door, slide this makeshift stopper underneath it.

Using a Portable Lock

People who travel a lot often carry a portable lock with them, because when you travel and have a low budget, you may end up staying at a hostel or cheap motel having no locking doors. So having a portable door lock is a great option for adding some extra security.

Addalock is a common lightweight lock that you can easily carry in your pocket. These locks are robust enough to keep your room secure. They work great on sliding, glass, or even french doors. You can install it in a door handle to make it unmovable and don’t require any permanent changes to your door. So if you need to go out urgently and can’t find your keys, you can consider this lock.

Floor Mounted Door Lock

One way to lock your door without a key is using a floor-mounted door lock. This lock is easy to set up and has a lifetime warranty. People will find it difficult to get inside your house if you use this type of door lock.

closing a door

DIY Methods to Lock a Door From Outside Without a Key

We have looked at a few devices you can use to lock your door without keys. Now let us look at some DIY methods to lock a door from the outside.

Use a Fork to Lock the Door

You can lock a door using a fork, and it is one of the best ways to keep your room or home secure from the outside.

So how can you use a fork to a door? Here are the steps:

  • Firstly, you need to bend the side of the fork to about half an inch. You can do it using a plier or a hammer.
  • Now, cut the handle of the fork. Be careful as the edges will be sharp and may hurt you. Once you have reshaped the fork, you can use it to lock your door.
  • Now, open your door and hook the fork in the latch hole. Close the door.
  • Try sliding the fork handle between its teeth so that it jams under the door handle and therefore stops it from turning. You will see that the door is now locked.

Choosing a fork with a flat handle is a better option. But keep in mind that this method may not be reliable if someone opens the door forcefully. 

Here’s a video that demonstrates this method:

Improvised Door Lock Using a Fork
Improvised Door Lock Using a Fork

Use a Pencil and String Tape to Lock the Door

To use this DIY method, make sure to have a pen or pencil and tape or string. Follow these steps:

  • First, you need to lock the deadbolt from the inside.
  • Now, place the pen or pencil on the top of the lever and tape it.
  • Make sure the pencil is adequately tied to the deadbolt lever.
  • Try unlocking the deadbolt.
  • Now, you need to cut a long piece of string. Make sure it is long enough to reach the lever inside the door and over the top when you close the door. 
  • Make sure the string is flexible on the outside of the door so it is easy to pull it.
  • If you don’t have a string, you can use tape. Tie it on one end of the lever and cover it around the side of the door so it is easy to pull.
  • You will have to pull it when you lock the door and tie the string at the end of the pencil.
  • Get the string outside the door and close the door.
  • When the door gets closed, pull the string around the deadbolt. You will hear the sound of the lock.
  • Check to see that your door is properly locked.

Using Coins to Lock the Door

This is one of the oldest ways to lock the door but is effective. For this, you need to:

  • Pile around five to six coins together and wrap them up using tape. Pile two stacks of coins this way.
  • Now, close the door. Place one stack of coins at the top of the door handle between the frame and the door. Try sliding it downwards as much as you can. 
  • Now place the other stack of coins below the door handle. Try sliding it upwards as much as you can.
wooden door

Using a Plastic Bottle

To lock the door, you need a plastic bottle and two nails. Follow these steps.

  • Heat the screw nails and put them inside the plastic bottle. Make sure it is perpendicular to each other. This way, the head and tip should stand out.
  • Now you need to push the lower part of the bottle inside the deadbolt knob. The bottle will extend this way.
  • You will be able to turn the bottle anticlockwise and clockwise. This way, the door will also lock. You can set the door in the lock position clockwise when you turn the bottle.
  • Tie one end of the nail head with a ribbon. When you turn the bottle again, the door will unlock. You will see that the ribbon will get wrapped around the bottle along with the nail head and its tip.
  • Now, unroll and get the ribbon from under the door to the outside door handle and close the door.
  • When you pull the ribbon from the outside, the bottle will turn. This way, the deadbolt knob will also turn and lock.
  • Check that the door is locked successfully.

Tips to Secure Your Door

The methods and DIY tricks mentioned above are just temporary solutions. To keep your space and belongings secure, make sure to have a proper lock system for your door. If your doors open outwards, for instance, anyone can remove them if the hinges are positioned outside. A door that opens inwards may not be completely immune if it is pushed with force. So it is essential to keep your doors safe and secure. 

Using a door wedge with an alarm will keep a door without a lock secure. It does not lock the door technically, but an intruder may run away if he hears the alarm while trying to break the door.

You can lock the door from outside without keys using electric or portable locks if you don’t want to try any DIYs. These electric locks help lock the door from outside without the use of keys, and this means you can install an electronic door lock system in your home. 

If you are concerned about the safety and security of your home, then installing an appropriate electric lock may be the best option. You can also use smart locks that let you open the door with a voice command or user code.

Final Thoughts

You can lock your door using simple items found in your house, even from the outside. So with these quick and simple tricks discussed above, anyone can lock the door from the outside without a key. However, some of these tricks may not work for all door locks, and you can choose the option that works best for your situation. 

I hope the ideas and tricks shared above are clear to you and that you can apply them if needed.

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