I'd like to lock an inside building door, which I'm pretty sure is possible.

The lock/doorknobs look like the pictures. The doorknobs can turn both clockwise and counterclockwise.

How do I lock the door without the key?

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Thank You!

  • 1
    that's an exterior knob. you want a privacy knob.
    – dandavis
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 16:19
  • 1
    I believe code prohibits keyed locked inside the house. Example, house is on fire and you can't find the key to get out. Just go buy a new $15 doorknob.
    – Phaelax z
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 16:22
  • 1
    @Phaelaxz You can't have a locked door on an egress path. Any "fumbling for keys" is not allowed. Heck, in commercial, doorknobs are not allowed on egress paths, must be a crash bar, note "crash bar" implies "door swings OUT", which is also a requirement because mobs of people have been found dead of smoke inhalation pressed against a door that swung in. They could not open the door because of the press of the crowd. However, that said, yeah, you can have locked offices/roommate rooms. Commented May 19, 2020 at 19:57

3 Answers 3


The lock/doorknobs look like the pictures.

Does that mean the knob in the photo is not the actual door knob you have ?

I am not sure about you door knob but on some older door knobs you push and turn to lock. It may be that it is only lockable with a key.

Grasp the door knob that does not have the key slot in it, push the knob in and then while holding it in turn it, probably clockwise, just little and it should stay in when you release it and that should lock it.

You can do this with door open so you can test the other side to be sure it is locked.

  • Can you push it in ?
    – Alaska Man
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 16:34

If you don't have the key, get rid of that doorknob Right Now.

It's a matter of time before that knob mysteriously locks on you. No one will know why, and no one will be able to get back in.

In its unlocked state, it can typically be removed. You unbend a large paper clip and jam it down the hole you can see (on the non-locking side; that releases the knob. Then you measure your spacing (center of big hole to door edge) - either 2-3/8" or 2-3/4". Go to the hardware store and get a knob set that you like.

Unless you are sharing the house with strangers, most such doors are privacy knobs that only lock from the inside. They have a hole in the end of the doorknob that you stick a paperclip into in order to override the internal lock.


You can get door handles that are designed for bathrooms, which have a small lever in the middle. This activates the same bar that the lock moves.

Or you add a bolt to the door.

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