My bedroom door has a lock on it and the key is stuck between a 90 degree turn and the top (pictures below). The weird thing is that when I turn it counter clockwise it moves the latch bolt just a tiny amount and then gets stuck again. I’ve tried turning the handle while attempting to unlock or remove the key and everything else I could think of. I really don’t want to have to call my landlord just for a locksmith to come and fix it in 10 seconds because of something stupid I couldn’t think of. I’ve never seen a key/lock get stuck like this before so all help is appreciated, thank you!

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    I would try squirting a little bit of WD-40 in the keyway to try to loosen it. Any kind of light oil will do. Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 15:17
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    A product called Houdini is meant specifically for lubricating locks. Spray it in liberally though the delivery tube that comes with the can Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 16:28
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    Quickly check the keys, check if key is the correct one. Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 22:42
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    What a bummer! Can you disassemble the lock assembly and remove it. If so you could then take it to a locksmith if you cannot get the key out.
    – Gil
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 2:42
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    The landlord is responsible for the locks on the doors, and there's no evidence that you've done anything wrong or unusual here, so call your landlord. Either it's defective or someone else has put something in the keyway that's jammed it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


That looks pretty much like a standard Euro Cylinder.
On the face plate on the edge of the door, about the height of the cylinder, there should be a cross-head [Phillips] screw. Release that & by jiggling the key in the lock you should be able to pull the barrel towards you & clear of the door.

That will at least let you get a slightly better look at it. They're a bit monolithic, so there's not a lot you can do with them if some oil & a poke doesn't do it. They're not worth trying to split. If you do need to replace it, you can get new ones for as little as $£€ 10 [more for higher security].

While you've got the barrel out, you may as well have a look at the actual lock mechanism & make sure you can move it easily. You might get better access with the entire plate off the door edge… but you might not. Some are easier to deal with than others & you won't know til you start to open it up.
Getting to all this is pretty simple stuff. It's only once you get to the innards you face issues. Mostly locks aren't 'user serviceable' so don't bother if oil & finagling gains nothing - just replace.

A locksmith will, of course charge you more like 70 to just change the barrel, so it might gain favours with the landlord. Have a word.

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    Always good to check with the landlord before making "repairs". Even though you're willing to make the fix yourself & at your own expense, a cranky one might try to claim it's and unapproved modification and withhold security/damage deposit money. (Local laws may vary.)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 17:59
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    Absolutely - this one is one you can 'have a sneaky look at' first, though ;)) if you can't fix it, put it back & ring the landlord. Tell him your genius scheme to save him money. I have a good landlord. If I had something like this I'd just fix it & tell him what it cost me. He'd sort the money.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 18:00
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    A house call for this will be orders of magnitude more expensive than the lock itself. Get the landlord approval for a self-replacement, with ample photos documenting what was done and what the insides of the door like.
    – Nelson
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 2:08
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    Thank you so much! This worked like a dream. Well not quite haha but after a lot of frustrated fiddling and pushing the cylinder back and forth the key could turn fully around and work as normal from both sides of the lock!
    – EGJ
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 19:13
  • Uh, you should either replace it, or grease it up (if you know what you're doing, not WD40!) You're just asking to be locked out one day and that'll require a locksmith and $$$$.
    – Nelson
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 2:52

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