How to Open a Stuck Door (5 Solutions)

by | Dec 23, 2021

How to Open a Stuck Door (5 Solutions)

When you are locked out of your home, it can be difficult to determine what steps would allow you to enter. Many people try numerous solutions and find that none work until they turn to a professional locksmith who uses the right tools for the job. This article will walk through five ways in which we might open a door if it is stuck and how much each solution may cost

The “how to open a jammed door lock from the outside” is an issue that many people have faced. There are 5 solutions that you can use to solve the problem.

If you’ve ever had a jammed door, you understand how aggravating it can be. And, although you should be able to solve any problem with your doors after you’ve opened them, you may not know how.

If you’re having trouble opening a jammed door, try jiggling it, pushing it open, and adjusting the doorknob. If you’re stranded on the inside, take the door off the hinges. You may also remove the doorknob using a bobby pin, paper clips, or your credit card. You might also enlist the help of a locksmith or a clever friend.

Getting stranded outside or inside is a stressful scenario that requires practical answers. You must, however, address the problems that are causing the door to get stuck. Continue reading if you want to discover all of this and more.

Getting a Stuck Door to Open

1. Experiment with jiggling the door.

You’ve probably done this a few times before, but it’s one of the most popular ways to unlock a blocked door. Depending on whether you’re inside or outside, moving the doorknob while pushing or pulling generally causes the mechanism to fall back into position, allowing you to enter or exit.

Try not to be too irritated while approaching your door. It may be damaged by slamming it or kicking it, and the repairs might be costly.

Concentrate on the knob. It may be pushed up and down, side to side, backward and forward. All of this should be done while the knob is rattling and jiggling.

2. Take out the doorknobs

If you’re caught on the inside, the easiest and fastest solution is to remove the door off the hinges. Because the hinges are normally on the inside, this approach will not work if you are on the outside of the door.

Here are some methods to help you get it done quickly:

  1. Loosen the hinge pins first. You may use a tool for this if you have one, but otherwise, a nail and a hammer will suffice. For this, you may use anything you have on hand that meets the bill.
  2. Remove the pins. If this is too difficult, you may tap it out instead. Simply choose anything that can fit under the head of the pin (such as a spoon) and something heavy (such as a large book) and strike the opposite end of the spoon. The pin should come out easily. Repeat with the other pin.
  3. Then just remove the door, and you’re done!

This is a straightforward procedure. Be aware that the doors will be large and hefty. Picking them up and moving them could need a lot of strength. Another issue is whether they are your front doors, in which case you must keep them open to allow burglars access. You might even enlist the aid of a neighbor to replace the doors or hire someone to keep an eye on your house while you’re away.

In any event, be sure to repair the doors as soon as you get the opportunity to avoid future issues.

3. Use a credit card or Bobby Pins

While it may seem those movie tactics for unlocking doors would never work in real life, they do, but it takes longer. A bobby pin trick and a credit card trick are also available. Here’s how you can do it.

To execute the bobby pin/paper clip trick, follow these steps:

  1. Two bobby pins or two paper clips are required, but you can break both in half to obtain two tools.
  2. One of the tool’s pieces should be bent into an L shape. While you work on the lock with the other tool, this will keep it in place.
  3. The remaining portion should be straight, with a little W at the bottom. This portion of your bobby pin or paper clip will be used to operate on the lock’s latches.
  4. Use the other component to locate the pins in your lock while holding the L-shaped section in place.
  5. Push the pins with the W shape, and the door should unlock.

It may take some practice and a few false efforts, but it should work out in the end.

Here’s how to use a credit card to unlock a door:

  1. Choose a card that you don’t use very often, such as an expired credit card or a gift card. It’s preferable to utilize anything that isn’t as vital as your credit card or other comparable items since it will be wrecked.
  2. Then, between the door and the door frame, push the card where the latch is.
  3. The card should face the door at a 90° angle.
  4. Wiggle the card after pushing it.
  5. Bend the card so that it isn’t in the way of the doorknob. This should move the latch out of the way.
  6. While you’re doing this, you should also press on the door.
  7. Carry on like this until the door opens and you’re inside.

When your issue is with the lock, your door has a spring bolt, and you’re outside the door, this approach works well.

4. Remove the doorknob

If the hinge approach doesn’t work because you’re trapped outdoors, you might try removing the doorknob instead. This will make it easier for you to operate on the mechanism and open the door.

Keep in mind that if your door has a deadbolt and is locked, this approach will not work.

Your doorknob’s screws may be visible or concealed. If they’re concealed, you should be able to notice small holes to the side or below your knob if you look attentively. Here’s what you’ll need to do next:

  1. Find a tiny wire-like item that you can straighten out, such as a bobby pin or a paperclip.
  2. Push the tip into the hole — or the screw — and hold it there. You should feel resistance if the screws are buried, which indicates you should press even harder and as far as you can. You should also turn the doorknob at the same time. Carry on in this manner until the doorknob comes off.
  3. Remove the plate that hides the lock and pull the mechanism with your tool. If you’ve never done this before, it should open with a little try and error.

Again, this will only assist if your issue is a locked door. However, if it’s winter and the door gets stuck due to the cold, this may not be the best solution. You should be able to push open a swelled or frozen door if everything else is working.

When employing force, be cautious not to harm the door.

5. Contact a locksmith or a resourceful friend

You should investigate additional options in addition to attempting to unlock the door yourself. Especially if none of these suggestions work for you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Make an appointment with a locksmith. They are the most knowledgeable about these difficulties and should be able to assist you right away.
  • Make a call to a buddy. They may be able to provide you with the tools you need to resolve your issue.
  • Experiment with different entrance points. Try the windows, doggie doors, or anything similar if the door won’t budge.

Inspecting a door that keeps getting stuck.

What’s causing your door to get stuck?

Once the door is open, you must determine what caused it to get stuck. Here are a few examples:

Installed incorrectly

This is one of the most typical causes of your door sticking. Doors may seem to be easy, but they are not, and you must correctly install them in order for them to function. Even the tiniest error might result in an issue such as sticking. Removing the doors entirely and then properly installing them is a straightforward solution. Make sure your dimensions are accurate.

The foundation is swaying

You may have a shifting foundation if your property was not examined before or after your home was constructed. This isn’t always apparent, particularly from within the home or from a distance, but it’ll be obvious on your doors.

A shifting foundation may dislodge windows or doors from their frames to the point that they no longer function correctly. The only way to fix this is to fix the foundation first, then the doors.


Humidity and weather conditions, as you may be aware, may have an impact on your property. Your doors are one of the most vulnerable elements of your house. Particularly your front door, which has the most impact. Humidity stretches doors, causing them to stick.

You’ll need to remove the door from its frame and sand the edges to repair it. You must also be cautious not to sand too much, since this may result in a gap.


Debris accumulated around your door might also cause it to get stuck. Even anything that is difficult to perceive, such as a speck of dust or grit along the hinges, might be an issue. It would be necessary to remove the doors and clear out the filth to clean it, but you may avoid this by cleaning it more often.

Hinge problems

If the hinges are drooping, it might be the source of the issue. The hinges will be loose if the screws go free, and the door will tilt slightly. So, repair the hinges, and the issue should be solved; if they’re damaged or old, you may also replace them.

Problems with latches

The latches also create a lot of problems. It’s usually because they weren’t oriented correctly, and the door can’t join effectively with the frame. It’s as simple as aligning the strike plate to correct it. You may accomplish this by unscrewing the strike plate and then adjusting the strike plate to make it operate better.

Old age

Over time, even doors may show signs of wear and tear. If your door is outdated, you should definitely replace it since it will cling and create a slew of issues.

What to Do If a Door Keeps Getting Stuck?

The first step in resolving a blocked door is to keep an eye on it. Look for any visible damage, scrapes, or broken items. Then look around your door for any dirt or debris. Make a thorough cleaning and ensure that all of the filth has been removed.

You may also purchase stock paper and wrap it around the closed door. It should proceed without a hitch, except for the problematic areas. Another method for locating the issue is to open and shut the door while holding each section of the door and then determine where the door resists the most while closing it.

Whether you suspect the hinges, listen to them to determine if they are squeaking; if so, they may need to be oiled.

The door will undoubtedly stick if the humidity or weather changes, particularly during the winter. Of course, your door may respond differently in the summer when the humidity is higher, but it is entirely dependent on the door.

You may sand the door a little in both circumstances, but be cautious not to sand too much or you’ll wind up with a gap. You could also want to consider installing a roof cover since this will help to shield the door from the impacts, which may be so little that you won’t notice them.

As previously said, rubbing a bar of soap on the door will provide a rapid fix. It will function properly and allow you to open and shut the door as desired. Make sure you’re not using a moisturizer with your soap; the soap should leave a powdery residue. During humid periods, this is an excellent option.

You may also use your air conditioner to reduce the dampness, allowing your doors to shut and open smoothly. A dehumidifier might also be beneficial. It may be placed near a door and will quickly shrink. You can do it even if you don’t have a dehumidifier.

If the issue is with the hinges, you should try oiling them to see if it helps. You can replace them if they don’t work. It’s also possible to use petroleum jelly.

If the hinges are not correctly fastened, tighten the screws while being careful not to overtighten them. This is why you should use a screwdriver rather than a drill: if the screwdriver is too tight, the wood may be harmed. Check to verify whether the door is working properly.

Whether none of the above appear to be the issue, you should examine if your door needs to be trimmed. This is a long-term cure, but it must be done correctly. Remove the door and examine the area where it is stuck. After that, use a block plane to finish trimming the door. Make sure you don’t go overboard, since this can damage your door. The more complicated pieces may be sanded using a palm sander.

When you’re finished, you may repaint this section of the door, but first, make sure it works properly.

What Should You Do If Your Door Is Stuck Open?

Another typical issue is when the door is stuck open or unlocked, which may be unsafe for your family and welcome the elements inside.

Because the bolts on an older lock are likely to be rusted, you should remove them and replace them with new ones. It’s possible that if your key is damaged, it won’t operate as well. Check whether the lock works with another tool, and if it does, the problem is with the key.

Your cylinder, on the other hand, may be damaged, and the key will not operate. In this scenario, you should replace it — or, if it can be repaired, repair it. Finally, if the door is not properly oriented, this is one of the most prevalent issues. When your door is open, it will most likely lock, but not when it is closed. Remove the door in this case and re-align it properly.

Because humidity may prevent you from closing the door entirely, utilize one of the suggestions for draining moisture from wood, such as:

  • Turning on the air conditioner
  • Making use of a dehumidifier
  • A light sanding of the door
  • Use a bar of soap as a fast cure.

When your door is stuck but locked, the causes are likely to be the same as when it is jammed open. As a result, the answers are almost identical.


A jammed door is inconvenient, but with a few easy tactics, you can pry it open. Once you’ve done that, don’t forget to address the problems that are creating the sticking. Otherwise, your house might be dangerous, and you never know when you’ll be trapped inside or outdoors.

In any event, don’t apply too much force or the door may be damaged. However, forcing it open while using other ways, such as the card or bobby pin trick or shaking the doorknob, may make it open more rapidly. Remember to ask for assistance if you need it.

Watch This Video-

The “door latch stuck in locked position” is a problem that can occur with older doors. There are many solutions to this issue, but the most common is to use a screwdriver to pry open the door.

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  • how to open a stuck door from the outside
  • how to open a stuck door handle
  • how to open a jammed door lock from the inside
  • key turns but door won’t open
  • how to open a stuck door with no knob

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