How to Open a Door with a Broken Handle from Outside

Imagine you find yourself facing a predicament where the door handle to your house or a room is broken, leaving you stranded outside with no apparent way to enter. It can be a daunting situation, especially if you don’t have immediate access to professional help. However, don’t worry! In this guide, we’ll walk you through some practical techniques on how to open a door with a broken handle from outside. So, let’s get started!

How to Open a Door with a Broken Handle from Outside

Having the knowledge and skills to handle unforeseen situations like this can save you time, money, and unnecessary frustration. Knowing how to open a door with a broken handle is a valuable life hack that can come in handy during emergencies or when dealing with older doors that might have worn-out handles.

1. Push Down on the Doorknob

One of the simplest methods to open a door with a broken handle is by pushing down on the doorknob with your hand. Surprisingly, this uncomplicated action can disengage the latch, allowing you to open the door easily.

2. Use a Credit Card

Grab a credit card and slide it between the door and the frame, where the latch is located. Gently push the card in and wiggle it until you feel it hitting the latch. Then, carefully push the card towards the door while continuing to wiggle it until the latch releases, and the door opens.

3. Use a Screwdriver

If you have a flathead screwdriver at hand, insert it into the gap between the door and the frame where the latch is situated. Apply gentle pressure and wiggle it around until you feel the screwdriver engaging with the latch. Once you do, push the screwdriver towards the door and continue wiggling it until the latch releases, allowing you to open the door.

4. Utilize a Pair of Pliers

Try using a sturdy pair of pliers or a vice grip if the door latch moves freely when you push down on it. Carefully grip the latch with the pliers and pull it towards you until it releases, effectively unlocking the door.

5. Pick the Lock

If you possess some basic lock picking skills, you can attempt to pick the lock. This technique involves various methods, such as single pin picking and raking. Keep in mind that lock picking requires practice and patience. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, it’s best to avoid this method and opt for a more straightforward approach.

Remember, these methods are last resorts and should be used only when necessary. Additionally, some of these techniques might cause damage to the door or the lock, so proceed with caution. If you’re uncomfortable attempting any of these methods, it’s best to call a professional locksmith for assistance.


Opening a door with a broken handle from the outside may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it’s possible to overcome this challenge. We’ve explored several methods that you can use in such a situation, ranging from simple techniques like pushing down on the doorknob to more advanced skills like lock picking. Always prioritize safety and use these methods responsibly.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I use any type of credit card for the credit card method?

Yes, you can use any standard credit card or a card with similar dimensions to attempt this method. Avoid using cards that are valuable or carry sentimental value, as they may get damaged during the process.

Will using a screwdriver damage the door or the lock?

When using a screwdriver, be gentle and patient to avoid causing damage. If the lock or the door is already in a delicate state, consider calling a professional locksmith instead.

How long does it take to learn lock picking?

Lock picking is a skill that requires practice and time to master. It varies from person to person, but with consistent effort, one can become proficient in basic lock picking techniques over a few weeks.

Are there any other alternative methods to open a door with a broken handle?

Yes, there may be other methods depending on the specific situation and the type of door. However, the ones mentioned in this article are the most commonly used and effective techniques.

Should I attempt lock picking if I’m not familiar with it?

If you don’t have any lock picking experience, it’s better to avoid attempting it, as you might unintentionally damage the lock or make the situation worse. Instead, rely on the other methods mentioned in the article or seek professional help.

Sharing Is Caring:

The Howtowise team has helped thousands of homemakers fix their household problems with step-by-step tutorials. Howtowise has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, Lifehacker, and more.