Solved: How To Remove A Deadbolt Without Screws?

Key Takeaway

  • To learn how to remove a deadbolt lock without visible screws, the first thing you must do is to examine the lock to locate the hidden screws.
  • Use a flathead screwdriver and a phillips head screwdriver to disassemble the lock by removing the lock’s decorative plate.

Like any other mechanical device or component, even deadbolt locks are susceptible to damage or general wear and tear. But having a reliable and properly working deadbolt lock is vital for any homeowner’s safety. Therefore, it is imperative that the locks are properly maintained and any issue concerning the same is quickly resolved. 

While you can easily resolve most of the commonly observed issues at home with a few essential tools, some may require complete dismantling or removal of the lock which means having basic knowledge about removing deadbolts is an important skill. If your deadbolt has screws visible, you may simply remove it by unscrewing the screws, but what happens when you have a deadbolt with no visible screws?

Deadbolt locks are available in a wide range of types and finishes. Some deadbolts come with a decorative plate that completes the aesthetic of the hardware. This plate also covers the mounting screws so they are not visible. But when the screws of a deadbolt are not visible, how do you remove the lock is a question that may cross your mind. Well, not anymore! This article will help you learn how to remove a deadbolt without screws.

Before we head on to the steps to remove deadbolt without screws, let us learn about a few instances when you might need this still.

Why May You Need To Remove A Deadbolt?

A typical deadbolt lock consists of several components like housing assemblies, mounting plates, bolts, screws, cam slots, etc. It is a magnificent piece of art and science with many individual components working together to enable its smooth functioning. However, for multiple reasons, even the sturdiest of locks can be rendered useless, leading to a situation wherein their removal becomes necessary. Some of these reasons are: 

Component Malfunctioning 

With a sophisticated device consisting of several components, the probability of an individual component going kaput and the lock malfunctioning is very high. Even the smallest of components can cause your deadbolt lock to malfunction, putting you in a sticky situation. While you can resolve some of these issues through minor repairs, others may call for complete replacement. In either of the scenarios you must learn how to remove a deadbolt lock.

Keys Lost or Broken 

Isn’t this every homeowner’s worst nightmare? A key broken or stuck inside the keyhole, or even more scary, lost. If the key is stuck or broken, the lock won’t function normally. And if it is lost, it is a serious security issue. In both scenarios, the removal of the deadbolt becomes unavoidable for the locksmith in order to remove the stuck key or to cut a new key.

To Avoid Break-ins

Of all the scenarios and situations captured in this article, I pray to god that no one gets to face this one. But as life is, your worst nightmare can strike anytime without any warning. God forbid if there is a break-in (successful or attempted) at your home, one of the first things you should do is to replace the lock, which, once again, calls for complete removal.

Are There Really Deadbolts With No Mounting Screws?

While fixing locks, many people are shocked to see deadbolts without any mounting screws. Is there even a thing like a deadbolt without screws? NO! No deadbolt lock comes without mounting screws. 

They might come in different shapes and sizes, but the screws always keep the lock attached to the door. The only reason you don’t always see them is that they are concealed. Some are concealed for extra safety, others for aesthetic reasons. In most cases, these are concealed underneath the decorative plate. 

Nevertheless, this should not be a cause of concern or any additional headache. Removing deadlocks without visible screws is not too different from removing those with visible screws. It just requires a little more effort and time. In the rest of the article, I will elaborately describe how to remove deadbolts with no screws.

How To Remove A Deadbolt Without Screws?

How To Remove A Deadbolt Without Screws?

As mentioned above in the article, all deadbolts have mounting screws. Some have them visible; others have them concealed under the decorative plate. One can go through the series of simple steps below to uncover the hidden screws and then safely and completely remove the deadbolt from your door. 

Read ahead to learn how to take off a deadbolt lock without screws.



Are your deadbolt lock’s mounting screws visible or not? That is the first question you need to answer by simply carefully observing the lock. If you have a single cylinder deadbolt, you may be able to easily find the screws below the decorative plate but if you have a double-cylinder deadbolt, the screws can be located on the inside cylinder usually. To read more about single-cylinder and double-cylinder deadbolts, click here.

Next, ensure you are all set and well-prepared for the task by gathering the right tools. Removing deadbolt locks might require a few tools. Therefore, for convenience and to save time, ensure that you have the following tools: 

  • A flat-headed screwdriver 
  • A Phillips screwdriver  
  • An awl or a sharp-edged object like an awl or a paperclip  



To learn how to remove deadbolt from door without screws, you need to access the screws which are concealed by the decorative plate. And to remove the decorative plate, you need first to remove the thumb latch. And that is precisely what we will do in this step. 

In order to remove the thumb-latch, look for a small hole in the shaft which connects the thumb-latch to the rest of the deadbolt lock. Use any sharp-edged object like an awl or a straightened paper clip, put it inside the hole, and gently apply the pressure. You will feel the thumb latch getting released. Gently take out the latch and put it aside. 



Once the latch has been taken out of the deadbolt, you can easily remove the plate. All you have to do is to find a small notch along the rim, insert the small flat-headed screws, and gently pry the plate off the lock. And voila! The secret screws are out! 



Now that you have uncovered the hidden screws use the Phillips screwdriver to uninstall the mounting screws and remove the screws. Once the screws are completely removed, carefully and gently remove both the inside and outside cylindrical housing assembly parts and put them aside. 



The final step is to remove the latch assembly from the door. To do so, open the door and locate the screws on the latch assembly visible on the edge of the door. You will see a screw just above the bolt, which moves in and out, and the other one just below it. Once again, using your Phillips screwdriver, remove both screws. Once the screws are out, you can easily pull out the latch assembly containing the deadbolt. 

Note that 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. Once dismantled, carefully put all the components in a box or a tray. Depending on the requirement, you can replace the entire lock or an individual component and plug it back into the door.  

In case you were looking for how to replace a deadbolt without screws, after removing the deadbolt, follow the above steps in reverse to install the new deadbolt on your door.

How To Maintain Deadbolt Locks For Longevity? 

Here are some essential points to remember to maintain your deadbolt locks.

  • Cleaning – Both dust and rust are bad for deadbolt locks. you must thoroughly clean them with a clean cloth to ensure their long life and smooth functioning. All components, including the handle, bolt (retracted and protruded position), screws, housings (indoor and outdoor), strike plate, and the toggle latch, must be kept dust and moisture free. You can clean the keyhole from the inside with the help of an earbud. One can also use pressurized air to clean it from within. 
  • Annual Lubrication – According to experts, you can use Teflon and Graphite-based lubricants to lubricate the various components, including the screws. Avoid using oil-based lubricants, which can easily attract dust. This will facilitate smooth and easy movement of moving components.  
  • Door & Hinge Alignment – Prolonged and aggressive usage of the door and the lock can cause several misalignment issues. This can further, in turn, affect the locking mechanism of the door and the lock. One can easily check for door and hinge alignment issues with the help of a simple test. In case of misalignment, you can adjust the strike plate and the bolt pocket to realign the door and the lock. 
  • Screw Tightening – Screws, being screws, will need tightening now and then. Ensure that both the deadbolt mounting and housing screws, and those on the door hinges, are regularly tightened so they don’t go too loose. 
  • Key Duplication – Being proactive always helps! As a basic rule, keep the secondary copies of all your essential keys, including the deadbolt door lock keys, and store them in a safe and accessible place. This will be immensely helpful in unpleasant scenarios of lost and damaged keys. 
  • Door habits – Finally, be gentle! Not just to people in general but locks as well. Why slam the doors when you can gently shut them? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the average life of a deadbolt lock?  

Answer – Most experts believe that locks undergo severe wear and tear after prolonged use. A maximum period of 7 to 8 years is where the consensus is as far as the life of the lock is concerned. We, as responsible homeowners, must get used to this fact and stop exploiting deadbolt locks for decades. Be smart and replace the locks every 7 or 8 years before a crisis strikes. 

Q2. Is it alright to install a single-cylinder deadbolt lock on my door if the door is next to a glass window? 

Answer – If your deadbolt lock is close to a glass window, a single-cylinder deadbolt lock may not be a great option for you as somebody who tries to break-in can easily have access to the thumb turn of your deadbolt if they break the window glass. To read more about single vs double cylinder deadbolt locks, read one of my part articles.


We are all heading to newer and better technologies to ensure a more secure and comfortable life. Choosing deadbolts over traditional locks is just another example of this choice. But adapting newer technologies also calls for adapting to learn about fixing them in case of minor issues.

Removing a deadbolt lock without screws is easy if you have simple and clear instructions. If you are looking for how to remove a deadbolt lock without screws, the article must have helped you learn some efficient ways to do so. 

If you have more questions concerning changing or removing your deadbolt lock, write to me in the comment section, and I will try my best to help you!

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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.