How to Change Locks to Have a Matching Key

In many cases, you can re-key a lock in approximately 10 seconds with a do-it-yourself re-key kit. Many kits even come with multiple keys for you and your family members. Re-keying can give you peace of mind, knowing you have new locks and a set of new keys. For multiple locks compatible with the same key, re-keying is also convenient as you now only have one key to open multiple doors.

Kits that Don't Require Changing Pins

Re-keying door locks is convenient with do-it-yourself kits.
  1. Turn your old key 1/4 turn clockwise. Depending on the brand and instructions, this step may be slightly different.

  2. Insert the special re-key tool provided--in some instances it must be purchased separately--and remove the old key.

  3. Insert the new key and turn 1/2 way counterclockwise. Your lock is re-keyed.

Kits Requiring Changing the Pins

  1. Remove the old lock, if needed, using a screwdriver. Use the old key to take out the lock cylinder plug according to the instructions provided.

  2. Change the color-coded pins according to the included instructions. Special tools are often included in the kit to help you change the pins.

  3. Re-key the lock once the pins are changed by inserting the new key into the lock mechanism.


  • When purchasing online, be aware you may need to specifically ask for matching keys if you are re-keying several locks. Color codes are often used to distinguish keys and pins for re-keying kits.