To be clear, this window is in my house, which I own. However I don't have a key that opens it.

enter image description here

Below is another window in my house (exactly the same as this one) which I do have a key for. I've shown it locked and unlocked & open.

I don't mind breaking the lock, but I still want to be able to turn the handle so that it's closed. How do I do that?

Edit: O-kaaaay... Here's what the window looks like now below.

In process of trying to turn barrel I ripped it out. Removing screws didn't help at all so put them back - impossible to remove handle without it being open first. Trying to force the handle with a claw hammer makes the window bend so much I'm afraid of breaking it. The handle hardly moves at all. I can't see a catch or any other magic thing to click in there. Please help with this massive mess I am now in.

enter image description here

  • I'm going to assume you tried the key you have in the lock that doesn't have a key... right ? Try to pick it with a paper clip... it doesn't appears to be a tough lock to pick.
    – JACK
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 14:01
  • 1
    I bet that the little cover on the left hides a screw. Take out the screw and maybe the handle will come off and you can work with it that way.
    – Duston
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 14:18
  • 1
    A drill will take the lock cylinder out in under 15 seconds. Who needs to know how to pick a lock with today’s battery powered drills.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 14:40
  • A big screwdriver often works - thise locks are often monkey metal and break easily...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 17:26
  • When you take out the screw on the left does it allow some play, can you wiggle the base of the handle enough to see what else may be holding it or maybe get an oscillating saw in to make a cut ?
    – Alaska Man
    Commented May 9, 2020 at 19:04

2 Answers 2


I have opened a similar broken handle. Gently wiggle a thin piece of steel, e.g. stanley blade, between the rotating handle and the fixed base, below the black part of the button. There should be a sprung plastic catch that can be pushed up towards the button and then the handle should turn.

Check your other working lock first. When it is open you should be able to feel the catch.

There are usually two screws holding the handle in place. One under the gold cover on the left and one under the handle when it is open. This is a common window handle and should be easy to find replacements from online stores or local window fitters.

enter image description here


Following the comments, the thing to know is that the lock itself is only keeping the handle from rotating, so it doesn't matter at all if you rip the barrel out (other than cosmetics). The handle will still actuate the latch, which is how it holds the window securely closed.

If, as Duston suggested, you can pop that cover & remove the entire casing and handle, then you can probably remove the actual locking mech without removing or damaging the key entryway (the little silverish bit). That's the ideal solution.

Worst case, if something critical snaps in two, take the remains to $BIG_HOME_IMPROVEMENT_STORE of your choice, and buy one to match. Shouldn't be very expensive.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.