Let’s Learn: How To Remove A Kwikset Deadbolt (Both Manual And Smart)

Key Takeaway

  • To remove a Kwikset deadbolt lock, you need a flathead screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the lock screws.
  • If the screws are concealed below the decorative plate, you must remove the plate to access the mounting screws.

Locks play an essential role in our lives. They are the unsung heroes of our lives that keep our minds at peace by securing our homes when we are away for a day or more. And when we talk about locks, deadbolts are definitely a preferred choice for many homes. 

Given that deadbolts are not 100% pry-free, you must invest in a higher-grade ANSI lock, and Kwikset locks are one of the best in this category. Kwikset has been in business for a very long time and is one of the leaders in the home security sector, developing a number of products that set the standard for the industry and are protecting many American homes.

Many users who have Kwikset locks installed at home often look for instructions on the removal and installation of the lock. If you are one of them, this article will take you through the steps to Kwikset deadbolt removal and will cover both manual and smart Kwikset locks.

And in case you are looking to replace old deadbolts, refer to my earlier article.

How To Remove A Kwikset Deadbolt Lock (Manual)

Removing a Kwikset deadbolt could be challenging, especially if it is your first time. But not anymore! Following the step-by-step instructions given below, you should be able to accomplish the task in a few minutes.

Here’s how,

Step 1: Prepare The Required Material

The first thing to ensure before you learn how to remove a Kwikset deadbolt is to ensure you are all set and well-prepared for the task by gathering the right tools. 

Removing a Kwikset deadbolt from your door will require using the following tools.

Required Material
  • A flat-headed screwdriver
  • A Phillips screwdriver 
  • An awl or a sharp-edged object

Step 2: Examine Your Deadbolt Lock

Removing a Kwikset deadbolt is a task that you can accomplish easily by accessing the mounting screws that hold the deadbolt together to the door. While some Kwikset lock models may have screws visible to the users, others may have them concealed under a plate for aesthetic purposes or as an added security measure. 

Hence, the next step is to examine whether your deadbolt has visible screws or hidden ones. In the latter case, you will have to look for ways to remove the decorative plate to access the deadbolt screws.

Examine Your Deadbolt Lock

Usually, a single cylinder with a thumb turn on the inner side of the door has visible screws mounted on the thumb turn. In contrast, a double-cylinder deadbolt has a keyhole on both sides and has the screws concealed below a plate. But since this is not a fixed rule for all the deadbolts, it is recommended to observe the lock for the hidden or visible screws physically.

To read more about single-cylinder and double-cylinder deadbolts, click here.

Step 3: Remove The Thumb Latch

Remove The Thumb Latch

In case the screws of your deadbolt are concealed below the decorative plate, you must first remove the thumb latch.

To remove the thumb latch, search for a small hole in the shaft that links the thumb latch to the rest of the deadbolt lock. Put any sharp-edged tool inside the hole, such as an awl, a hairpin, or a paper clip that has been straightened, and press gently. When you feel the thumb latch release, remove it and put it aside.

Some Kwikset locks might contain plastic or a metal pin on the shaft of the latch handle, which can be used to remove the latch handle. Once removed, keep the thumb latch and the pin, if any, in a safe place in case you wish to reuse the deadbolt.

Step 4: Remove The Decorative Plate

You can easily remove the decorative plate once the latch has been removed from the deadbolt. The plate in Kwikset deadbolts is usually held in place by friction and has a small notch at the edge. Simply locate the little cutout around the rim, insert the tiny flat-headed screwdriver, and carefully pull the plate off the lock.

Remove The Decorative Plate

Be careful and ensure that you do not harm the door or the plate during the process.

Step 5: Unscrew The Screws Of your Kwikset Deadbolt

Unscrew The Screws Of your Kwikset Deadbolt

Now that you’ve discovered the hidden screws use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws and keep them in a safe place.

Step 6: Remove The Kwikset Deadbolt Cylinder

After all of the screws have been eliminated, the two halves of the Kwikset deadbolt are free to be removed. Pull the inner and outer parts of the Kwikset deadbolt carefully and gently remove the Kwikset deadbolt cylinder components and set them aside.

Remove The Kwikset Deadbolt Cylinder

If you intend to use the same lock again, you must ensure that you don’t lose or damage any individual component of the lock.

How To Remove Kwikset SmartCode Deadbolt

Remove The Kwikset Deadbolt Cylinder

If you have upgraded your deadbolts to the newest technology and have the Kwikset SmartCode deadbolts installed at your home, this section of the article will guide you with the instructions for the same. Trust me; the process is as straightforward as it is for manual deadbolts.

Follow the steps given below to learn how to remove the Kwikset SmartCode deadbolt.

Step 1: Unlock your Kwikset deadbolt using the key or the code.

Step 2: Next, locate the two retention screws on the inner side of the Kwikset deadbolt and remove them using a Philips head screwdriver. Removing the screws will enable you to remove the outer cylinder and tailpiece. 

Step 3: Disconnect all the cables from the keypad side of the deadbolt.

Step 4: Now locate the screws holding the Kwikset deadbolt’s mounting plate to the door and unscrew them. This will help you remove the latch assembly. Carefully remove the cylinder components of the lock and save them in case of future use.

Why May You Need To Remove A Kwikset Deadbolt?

Even the sturdiest of the deadbolts, like the Kwikset deadbolts, may need to be removed at times. The reason for the same may vary from user to user. 

A few of the possible reasons are listed below.

Your Kwikset Deadbolt Lock Is Too Old

Most experts believe that locks undergo severe wear and tear after prolonged use. Hence, it is advisable to replace your deadbolt lock, irrespective of the brand, after 7-8 years of use. Hence, you may need to remove your Kwikset deadbolt lock after this period to install a new one unless you wish to exploit your lock for decades, compromising the security of your space. 

Your Kwikset Deadbolt Lock Is Damaged

A deadbolt lock consists of several components like housing assemblies, mounting plates, bolts, screws, cam slots, etc. All the components of the lock play a vital role in the smooth functioning of the lock. So if any of the components is acting faulty, you may have to remove the lock to repair or replace the component.  

Your Kwikset Lock Key Is Damaged Or Broken

If you have a broken key stuck inside the keyhole, you will have to disassemble the lock to access the cylinder to be able to remove the stuck key. And if the key is lost, removing the deadbolt may become necessary for security reasons. 

In cases where you have misplaced your deadbolt key and are locked out of your home, refer to my article about different ways to open a deadbolt without a key for help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. The faceplate of my Kwikset deadbolt is corroded, so I am planning to replace it. How to remove the Kwikset deadbolt faceplate?

Answer – To remove the faceplate of your Kwikset deadbolt, you must first remove the outer and inner cylinder components of the door. Once they are removed, you can access the faceplate of the deadbolt. Keep in mind that the bolt and the faceplate of a deadbolt are usually joined together, hence must be replaced together.

Q2. How to remove a broken key from a Kwikset deadbolt?

Answer – To remove a broken key from a Kwikset deadbolt, follow the steps given below.

Step 1: Adjust the keyhole of your Kwikset deadbolt lock to a vertical position for easy access.

Step 2: Spray some penetrating oil into the keyhole.

Step 3: Take needle-tip pliers to pull the broken key out from the keyhole.

Though the given instructions should help you remove a broken key from the keyhole, however, if the key is badly stuck inside, you will have to disassemble the lock to remove the key.


To ensure a safer and more comfortable living, we are all moving toward newer and better technologies. Another example of this decision is choosing Kwikset deadbolts versus conventional locks. However, adopting newer technologies necessitates learning how to repair them in the event of minor problems. 
If you are a Kwikset lock user and are looking for how to remove a kwikset deadbolt, the article must have helped you find the detailed guide. Write to me in the comment section for any other assistance on home security. I will be happy to help!

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Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.