Deadbolts are an important and basic component of any home security system, and it is recommended that every external door should be equipped with one. However, there are times when you may be required to remove a deadbolt if you’ve decided to switch from a single-keyed cylinder to a double-keyed cylinder, for example. Luckily, removing a deadbolt is much easier than putting in a new one. All you really need is a screwdriver.
In order to disassemble a deadbolt, first, unlock the bolt and open the door. This will allow you access to both sides of the bolt, as well as to the latch plate on the side of the door. First, locate the latch plate on the side of the door. This is a piece of square metal surrounding the latch itself, and through which the bolt slides. There should be two or four small screws securing the latch plate into the wood.
With your screwdriver, carefully remove the screws, making certain not to strip them if they are tight. If the screws don’t want to come out, you can try using a lubricant to loosen them or switch to a power screwdriver or cordless drill that will have more torque and power. Once the screws are removed, place them in a safe place, especially if you are planning on re-using the deadbolt in another door. Take the edge of the screwdriver and gently pry the latch plate off the door, being careful not to splinter the wood underneath.
Once the latch plate is removed, you can disassemble the lockset. On the interior side of the deadbolt locate the two or four screws which are holding the assembly together. Using the screwdriver, remove the screws, again being careful not to damage the screw heads. Once the screws are out, you will find that the deadbolt is hanging loosely through the door there are two pieces to the deadbolt which are threaded together inside the door. At this point, you simply have to separate the internal and external pieces of the deadbolt by gently pulling the pieces apart. You may have to fidget with the pieces to get them to separate, but it should be fairly easy.
After the deadbolt is removed you can take off the strike plate. This is the metal housing that is attached to the doorframe itself. Again, all you need to do is locate the screws securing the strike plate to the doorframe and carefully remove them. These screws may be longer than the other ones, so be patient and switch to a power screwdriver if that makes it easier. With the edge of the screwdriver carefully pry off the strike plate and any metal housing attached to it, and put aside.
Now that the deadbolt is removed, you’re going to have a rather large hole in your door. Make sure that you’ve got another deadbolt to replace it right away make certain it is the same size as the one you’re replacing for your safety and for the sake of cosmetics. If for some reason you don’t want a deadbolt in the door at all, you will need to repair the holes drilled into the door.
You can buy wooden plugs at the hardware store that can be glued into the hole and painted over, although this is not very secure and can also be visually unappealing. In the end, replacing a removed deadbolt with another deadbolt is the most convenient, safe, and attractive option.