How to Reverse a Door Lock

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When installing a door lock, the keyhole should be positioned on the outside of the door so you can unlock the door with a key from the outside. However, the two sides of a lock assembly are a mirror image of one another, and any lock can be installed with the keyhole facing either direction. Any key-in-knob or deadbolt lock can be easily reversed if it has been installed improperly or you need to change the direction of the keyhole for any reason.

Things You'll Need

  • Philips screwdriver
  • Unscrew and remove the trim screws from around the lock with a Philips screwdriver. Remove the trim if possible at this point and set aside.

  • Unscrew and remove the edge plate screws from the trim around the bolt with a Philips screwdriver if reversing a deadbolt lock. Pull the trim and bolt from the door edge and set aside.

  • Pull the doorknobs or lock trim apart and out of the door panel. Replace the knobs or lock cylinder on the opposite sides of the door panel.

  • Replace the deadbolt and edge plate. Replace the lock trim and all screws. Test the lock.


  • "Windows & Doors"; Ron Hazelton, et al.


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