Handle Lock On Your Door Jammed? 4 Ways To Fix A Stuck Door Knob

The lock on your ever-reliable door knob is one of the things that keep your home safe from intruders that may want to trespass on your property or get a hold of your belongings. Whether you have a privacy lever or a locking door knob, it can prevent outsiders from accessing the interior of your home. However, like many other security measures, your locks can also malfunction.

Having jammed locks can be just as stressful as not having any locks at all, if not more. With a stuck door knob, you may find yourself in a number of dangerous situations. You may find yourself locked out of your room, unable to get in and access your belongings.

If your door knob is stuck in a locked position and it’s a recurring problem, you may be compromising your home’s security. Fortunately, you have this guide to help you out. In this article, we’ll explore how to repair a faulty locking mechanism on your door knob.

How To Fix A Jammed Handle Lock

If your handle lock is jammed and you cannot turn it to lock or unlock it, you may leave your home vulnerable to unwanted access from outsiders. In addition, you may also lock yourself out of the room you want to get into. It’s best to employ some simple troubleshooting techniques to see if you can get the lock to work again.

One possible reason that your handle lock is stuck could be rust, clogs, and other mechanical problems. Its internal mechanisms may have rusted shut and need some lubrication in order to function normally once more. 

This problem is typical in older door handles or interior knobs in humid places, such as the bathroom. Exterior door knobs may be designed to be more resistant to rust and corrosion, but they can still experience similar problems. This is because they’re also exposed to dust, dirt, ice, and other debris that may get stuck on the lock’s interiors.

If your keys or the thumbturn are jammed in your handle lock due to dirt, dust, rust, and corrosion, the pins may be stuck in a partially raised position. In this case, it only requires a simple DIY fix to unjam it. This will only take two steps:

  • Step 1: You will have to get a dry lubricant. Then, insert it into the keyway.
  • Step 2: Insert the key into the keyway a few times. This should help the dry lubricant settle and work on the internal locking mechanisms.

If these steps do not work, you may try using WD-40 instead. However, it’s best to call a professional if you do this to no avail. You may have to replace the internal parts of a door knob that are too worn down. If the damage is too severe, you may even have to replace the entire system.


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In the winter months, you may also deal with frozen door locks due to ice entering the internal mechanisms. When this happens, you may thaw the ice with a warm key. You can submerge the key in hot water, dry it, then insert it carefully in the keyhole. It’s best to do this with gloves to avoid injuring yourself.

Another reason for a jammed handle lock is that there is a problem with the key. Try to check if duplicate keys make the lock turn. If so, then the defective key may be too worn to operate the lock. It may be best to get a replacement or another duplicate if you have a key that’s too damaged to work.

How To Fix A Stuck Door Knob 

If your door knob is stuck and you cannot turn the whole knob, you may try to jiggle the doorknob. Doing so can help loosen the stuck parts, such as misaligned springs or latches. However, it’s best to do this with care because the last thing you would want is to worsen the problem. You may also break the door knob altogether, which can be another thing to worry about.

If jiggling doesn’t do the trick, you can also use lubricants, such as graphite, and squirt a few drops on the stuck door knob. Turn the knob a few times to ensure an even coat. After doing so, inspect the mechanisms on both sides to see where the problem lies. Loosen the stuck parts with more drops of lubricant.

Door, Lock, and Hinge Lubricant

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Sometimes, the latch gets misaligned and stuck. As a result, it may get retracted but still does not allow the knob to turn. To fix this, here are some steps to unjam the latch:

  • Step 1: Get a flat screwdriver, then place it just above the latch. 
  • Step 2: Tap it gently with a hammer to loosen stuck parts.
  • Step 3: Repeat the process on the underside of the latch.

If the latch is not the culprit behind the sticky door knob, it may be time to uninstall the doorknob from the door and inspect its other parts. The plates, tubular latch, and latch body may be defective. You may have to get a replacement door knob and install it if you feel that you need to replace the original knob.

How To Fix A Door Knob With A Stuck Push Button

If your door knob is stuck in a locked position because its push button is jammed, it can also pose a security risk. It may also signal misaligned parts within the locking system. Thankfully, it is an issue that you can quickly resolve by following a few simple steps. Here’s an effective method you can try:

  • Step 1: Push the door knob lock button and hold it firmly in place. 
  • Step 2: Release the button quickly to unjam the stuck parts. You can slide your finger off the button so that it does not lose momentum when you release it.

This method works when the force of the button release loosens the stuck parts in the system’s interior. However, if this does not work, you can press the button repeatedly or jiggle it quickly. Do this carefully to avoid damaging the door knob.

If this is a recurring problem, it could hinder your ability to properly lock and unlock the door in an emergency. In this case, it may be best to replace the internal parts of the door knob or the whole system entirely.

How To Fix A Stuck Deadbolt Lock

The deadbolt lock is usually a major line of defense against unwanted access, and having it stuck can pose a major security risk. Much like handle locks, this issue could be the result of rust, ice, or other debris. You may try lubricating the system or thawing the lock with a warm key. You can also carefully force the bolt to budge by rotating its thumbturn.

It’s also wise to check if the deadbolt lock operates with no issue outside the door frame. This may signify a misaligned door, which may be the reason the bolt does not lock or unlock properly. In this case, you may have to readjust the strike plate or deadbolt placement.

Deadbolt locks are usually more complicated to fix than latch locks, so it may be best for your home’s security to contact a locksmith to identify and address the issue of the stuck locks.


Door knob locks help keep your home secure, but they are not immune to problems. They can experience wear and tear and may require some maintenance over time. If you have a jammed handle lock or door knob button, follow the tips above to troubleshoot the issue. When in doubt, however, it’s also best to call professionals for help!

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