Digital door locks offer a lot of advantages over traditional keyed locks: You don't have a physical key that can get lost or stolen or broken, for one thing, and you'll never have to hide a spare key under the door mat or in a potted plant. Instead, you'll lock and unlock the door by entering a code, and you can change the key code on your door lock at any time without having to call a locksmith. Each manufacturer has its own process for adding a code to your lock.
Change the Key Code for a Door Lock
One crucial feature of digital locks is their ability to store separate codes for individual users, from a handful at the lower end to hundreds on more sophisticated models. Giving someone a "key" is as simple as creating a new code, and taking it away is just as easy. This means you can give temporary access to anyone – from a delivery driver to a new babysitter – in a matter of moments.
The exact process will vary between brands and models, but most follow a similar pattern. First, you'll usually need to punch in a master passcode in order to enter programming mode. Give this code to just one or two people because anyone who learns it can program a new code to give anyone access.
Once you've entered programming mode, you can go ahead and enter the new lock code. If your door lock only supports a limited number of codes, you may need to delete an old one before entering any new ones.
Programming a Schlage Digital Door Lock
Schlage is one of the major manufacturers of door locks, both conventional and digital. To program one of the company's connected digital locks, such as the BE369 or FE599, follow these steps:
- Enter the six-digit programming code. The button with the Schlage logo will flash three times, and you'll hear three beeps.
- Press the Schlage button. The keypad will turn blue to show that it's awaiting your input. Press the 1 button and wait for the same three lights and three beeps.
- Enter a four-digit user code. Wait a moment for the three lights and three beeps to repeat.
- Now, re-enter the same user code to verify it. You should see the Schlage button turn green, giving one long flash and one long beep.
Programming a Weiser Digital Door Lock
Weiser also manufactures a wide range of conventional and digital keysets. These instructions apply to the popular Premis model of digital door locks. A master code isn't mandatory on the Premis but is strongly recommended, and these instructions assume you've created one.
- First, open the door and lift off the lock's interior cover. Press the Program button once and you should hear your unit beep five times and see its checkmark icon at the keypad's bottom left flash five times.
- Press the checkmark once and then enter the master code. Press the lock symbol once at the bottom right of the keypad. You are now in programming mode.
- Enter a user code of four to eight digits and then press the Lock button. The checkmark should light, and you'll hear one beep.
Programming a Yale Digital Door Lock
Yale door locks leave the factory with a default master PIN code, which you must change before you begin entering user codes. The sequence to program a Yale Real Living digital deadbolt is straightforward:
- Enter your master PIN number of four to eight digits and then press the # key.
- Press 2 for "register user code" and then enter a user number (1 to 25 ordinarily or you can have up to 250 with the optional network module) and press the # key again. Next, enter the PIN number for that user.
- Press the # key if you want to set up another user or the * key if you're finished.
Digital Door Lock Tips
Many digital door locks offer remote access from your computer or cellular phone, including the ability to add new users from wherever you are. The programming process in that case is determined by the company's app and will probably differ from the in-person instructions. It's always a good idea to make sure you're familiar with the process before you need to use it.
You might find it useful to keep a list of which codes you've used and to whom you've given them. This list needs to be secure, so it should be kept in an encrypted or password-protected file on your phone or computer. If it's a physical list on paper, keep it in a safe or locked file cabinet along with your other sensitive papers.