How to Take Off Old Door Knobs & Locks


The removal of old door knobs and locks is a task most homeowners can perform, whether a door has a cylinder or a mortise lockset. A cylinder lock has a wide, tubular body that extends through the door, with the unit's locking mechanism located in the knob itself. The mortise lock employs both a latch and a deadbolt, all of which are housed within a door cavity, called a mortise. Take off old door knobs and locks so that you can install new units to provide increased security after moving into a new home or replace models that are damaged or malfunctioning.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

Cylinder Lockset

  • Press the end of a small screwdriver into the slot located in the shank of the door knob on the interior side of a cylinder lock. Pull out the interior knob and remove the rose behind it.

  • Unscrew the mounting bolts that secure the mounting plate. There are normally two of these bolts. Remove the mounting plate.

  • Pull out the knob on the door's exterior side. From the same side, remove the rose, followed by the cylinder.

  • Remove the screws from the face plate on the door edge, and pry off the face plate. Pull the latch assembly out of the door.

Mortise Lockset

  • Unscrew the set screw in the shank of the interior door knob with a small screwdriver. Remove the interior knob from the spindle it was installed upon. Pull off the exterior knob from the other side.

  • Unscrew and remove the set screw from the deadbolt knob on the interior of the door. Pull off the deadbolt knob.

  • Unscrew the cylinder set screw, located in the lock face plate on the door edge. Loosen the set screw with a screwdriver to free the cylinder enough so that you can unscrew and pull out the cylinder from the exterior side of the door.

  • Unscrew and remove the screws from the face plate that anchor the lock into the mortise in the door edge. Pull the lock body out of the mortise.


  • "The Home Problem Solver"; Don Vandervort; 2000
  • "The Big Book Of Small Household Repairs"; Charlie Wing; 1995
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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