How to Change Entry Keys for Doors

Your front door is likely the primary entry point to your home, and you want it to be as safe and secure as possible.
New entry keys provide increased home security.New entry keys provide increased home security.
If you have moved, lost a key or your keys are malfunctioning, it's a good idea to replace them with a new set. This doesn't mean you need to change the entire lock set and trim pieces. Instead, you can purchase a new lock cylinder and key set and install it inside the existing faceplate.

Step 1

Unscrew the trim screws from the strike plate on the edge of the door with a Philips screwdriver and remove the plate.

Step 2

Pull the knobs apart and remove them from the door. If they do not come apart readily, look for a poke hole on the handle or knob and press it with the tip of a Philips screwdriver to release the knobs.

Step 3

Insert a flat head screwdriver into the hole in the end of the spindle protruding from the side of the knob with the keyhole. Turn the spindle counterclockwise, as far as it will go.

Step 4

Locate the square retaining tab at the base of the spindle. Insert the end of the flat head screwdriver beneath the tab and pry the tab away from the spindle base.

Step 5

Hold the knob in one hand and place the tip of the screwdriver against the spindle base. Push until the cylinder pops out of the front of the knob.

Step 6

Insert the replacement cylinder into the front of the doorknob. Press firmly until the cylinder clicks into place.

Step 7

Insert a flat head screwdriver into the end of the spindle and turn it clockwise as far as it will go. Insert the key into the keyhole to test the cylinder.

Step 8

Insert both sides of the door knob back into the knob holes and through the cylinder until they click into place. Replace the strike plate and trim screws and test the lock.

Things You Will Need

  • Philips screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Replacement cylinder and key set

About the Author

Alec Preble began writing professionally in 2007. He began blogging in 2006, writing media reviews for the "Post-Standard" from 2007-2008. Preble received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Empire State College in 2005.