I have room mates and would like to be able to lock my bedroom door from the outside (via key). That way I can lock the room when I leave for work, etc.

Right now the door has a typical round door knob that can only be locked from the inside, like this:

enter image description here

How difficult will it be for me to replace it with a lock or lockable door knob (with key) myself? How do these knobs get removed?


  • 3
    The exact details of removal of an interior door lockset vary with the mfgr. All are designed to be removed with a screwdriver from the inside. In some there are two visible screw heads to use. In others the screw heads are hidden. In those the handle must be removed from the shaft by a setscrew, then a cover pried off to reveal the two screws. These are removed (or maybe just loosened) to free a clamping plate. Once this is removed the outer handle comes off, and then the bolt mechanism pulled out of the edge of the door. Commented Feb 16 at 15:49
  • 4
    If you are renting, keep the old lockset for replacement when you leave. Be aware that a decent exterior lockset provides decent pick protection, but a determined intruder (especially one that has all day) will be able to break in. Commented Feb 16 at 15:52
  • ask the landlord to install a deadbolt
    – jsotola
    Commented Feb 16 at 18:17
  • 1
    @JimStewart: For modern locks in the US, a spring catch is more common than a setscrew for this purpose.
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 16 at 18:20
  • Maybe 10 ya my wife got a bunch of Kwikset interior locks with lever handles. These have a setscrew on the inside of the shaft. They are reverse threaded so that turning them CW backs them out. They lock in the backed out position by advancing into the hole in the handle shaft that the Allen wrench goes into. Hence they don't have to depend on pressing down on a solid shaft. By making the threads reverse the installer turns the set screw CW to tighten which is what he expects. We are older and so the lever is easier for us than a knob. Only problem is clothes hooking the horizontal lever. Commented Feb 16 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Interior and exterior latch sets are more or less interchangeable. You remove the current one with the two screws you see here. In some cases the knob can be removed for clearance using a release tab.

  • It's easy to goof up the latch type if you're more interested in aesthetics. I guess that type is called a drive-in latch.
    – popham
    Commented Feb 16 at 21:28
  • Goof up? new hardware will probably come ready for morticed latch, but they're easily convertible to drive-in. RTFM. :)
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 16 at 22:06
  • My mom recently bought a bunch of new knobs from Amazon and broke into all of the packaging before enlisting me to install them "really quick." No conversion to drive-in.
    – popham
    Commented Feb 17 at 0:45

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