How to Take Off Old Door Knobs & Locks

The removal of old door knobs and locks is a task most homeowners can perform, whether a door has a cylinder or a mortise lockset. A cylinder lock has a wide, tubular body that extends through the door, with the unit's locking mechanism located in the knob itself. The mortise lock employs both a latch and a deadbolt, all of which are housed within a door cavity, called a mortise. Take off old door knobs and locks so that you can install new units to provide increased security after moving into a new home or replace models that are damaged or malfunctioning.

Cylinder Lockset

Changing door knobs and locks can often be accomplished without a locksmith.
  1. Press the end of a small screwdriver into the slot located in the shank of the door knob on the interior side of a cylinder lock. Pull out the interior knob and remove the rose behind it.

  2. Unscrew the mounting bolts that secure the mounting plate. There are normally two of these bolts. Remove the mounting plate.

  3. Pull out the knob on the door's exterior side. From the same side, remove the rose, followed by the cylinder.

  4. Remove the screws from the face plate on the door edge, and pry off the face plate. Pull the latch assembly out of the door.

Mortise Lockset

  1. Unscrew the set screw in the shank of the interior door knob with a small screwdriver. Remove the interior knob from the spindle it was installed upon. Pull off the exterior knob from the other side.

  2. Unscrew and remove the set screw from the deadbolt knob on the interior of the door. Pull off the deadbolt knob.

  3. Unscrew the cylinder set screw, located in the lock face plate on the door edge. Loosen the set screw with a screwdriver to free the cylinder enough so that you can unscrew and pull out the cylinder from the exterior side of the door.

  4. Unscrew and remove the screws from the face plate that anchor the lock into the mortise in the door edge. Pull the lock body out of the mortise.

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