I am trying to remove a door handle from my front door but I can't figure out how to get it off.

I have taken the screws off the plate (with minimal force) but I can't pry the plate off:

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There are no visible screws on the handle itself on either side:

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There is a small hole on the inner side but poking it with a screw hasn't helped.

If it matters, the door was painted after the handle was installed.

The answers on How do I remove the rest of this lever-style door handle? don't seem to apply.

How can I take the handle off without breaking anything?

  • 2
    You may need something longer and narrower than the average screw to poke with, and while poking, you may need to pull or twist. In any case, you need to remove the handle-shaft before the latch mechanism will come out.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 15:50
  • 3
    Also, using your chisel as a prybar is doing it no favors.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 15:56
  • You need to remove the handle(s) first. Your first pic shows the slot in the escutcheon plate that you need to pop off to access the fasteners. I bet there are two screws under that, connecting to the exterior handle...
    – Huesmann
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 13:59
  • Good heavens! That looks like a 1/4" / 6mm Narex chisel. Even the cheap ones are expensive. Don't use them as pry-bars!!!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 14:56
  • Also, it appears that the outside of the door was painted before this particular lockset was installed. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 14:58

3 Answers 3


This may require a little trial & error.

You obviously cannot take the latch out until the handle is off - the spindle is holding it in place.

The rose [doorplate/escutcheon] may rotate to unscrew exposing the fixings beneath. Sometimes, there is a tiny grub screw in an out of sight location you must undo first. A lot of the furniture in my house operates that way. Sometime twist, sometimes grub screw plus twist, others grub screw & lever outwards from the screw's location - pop off.

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BTW, this is more likely for the inner handle. The outer may only be releasable from the inside, for security.


This looks to be a Kwikset Lido lever (https://www.kwikset.com/products/detail/lido-lever-keyed-featuring-smartkey?variant=740ll-11p-smt). Following the instructions in the installation guide in reverse:

  • Use a 3/32" hex key in the hole on the side of the indoor lever to loosen it.
  • Pull the lever off.
  • There should be a small gap around the rim of the rosette, which you can get a small prybar or screwdriver in to pop it off.
  • With the rosette removed, the screws will be exposed. Remove them.
  • Pull the assemblies on each side of the door out.
  • The latch should now be free to slide out.

The one thing that's certain is that the inside handle must be removed first.
(Otherwise, someone could remove the lock from the outside.)

You say "There is a small hole on the inner side".
I suspect that that is where the handle release mechanism is.

Use a nail rather than a screw to ensure that the inside latch is fully depressed; a screw might not get in far enough.
(If you have difficulty holding it, use a pair of pliers.)

If the nail goes in only so far, but will go a little farther with additional pressure, then this is the latching mechanism.

While depressing it, turn the inside handle (try both directions) and it should come loose without much force.
(It might make a difference whether it is in the locked or unlocked position.)

Or, if there is no response to applying pressure, possibly a small allen-key needs to be inserted into the hole hole to unscrew the latch.
You could shine a light into the hole to see if there is a hex socket.
(Again, try turning in both directions to see which one works.)

  • My locks have a small allen screw in the small hole to release the handle. Then the round cover can be popped off by prying on the door edge. The locks I have have a left hand threaded allen screw so when you turn the allen screw CCW it goes down into the shaft and releases the handle. I don't know if this is widespread but with this type the allen screw does not come out to release the handle. Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 20:35
  • ^^this, and once you have the handle off, put a thin slot screwdriver into the slot in the rosette and push. The rosette should pop free (you might have to cut the paint line) and then you'll have access to screws. (And quit using your nice chisels to poke at metal!) Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 21:13

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