Solved: Learn How To Open Magnetic Lock Without Key

Key Takeaway

  • A magnetic lock uses an electromagnet and an armature plate to keep a door locked. When electricity passes through the electromagnet, it creates a strong magnetic field that attracts the armature plate, securing the door. 
  • To open a magnetic lock on the inside of the door, explore traditional methods like using an HID card reader or pressing buttons, and if unsuccessful, try manipulating the lock’s tab or removing foam fasteners to open the door.
  • When outside the room, manipulate the handle or use a thin item to manipulate the lock. Consider removing the handle and breaking the door as a last resort in authorized or emergency situations.

Life has a way of surprising us with unexpected hurdles, and one such challenge can arise when you find yourself locked out without a key. While there is ample information available online about opening deadbolts, padlocks, or knob locks without keys, the situation becomes more daunting when it involves a magnetic lock. The scarcity of literature on the internet regarding opening magnetic locks adds an extra layer of difficulty to the task at hand.

Magnetic locks operate based on the principle of magnetism rather than the traditional pin and tumbler mechanism. I recently authored an article discussing the installation of magnetic locks, but it occurred to me that homeowners should also be equipped with the knowledge to open these locks in emergency situations without the need for a key.

In this article, we will explore several potential methods to unlock a magnetic lock without using a key. By delving into these techniques, I aim to equip homeowners with the necessary understanding to address unforeseen circumstances and regain access when a key is unavailable.

How Does A Magnetic Lock Work?

How Does A Magnetic Lock Work?

Imagine a magnetic lock as a powerful magnet that keeps a door securely closed. It consists of two main components: an electromagnet and an armature plate. The electromagnet is usually mounted on the door frame, while the armature plate is fixed on the door itself. 

When the door is closed, the armature plate aligns with the electromagnet. When electricity flows through the electromagnet, it creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field is incredibly strong and attracts the armature plate towards the electromagnet, firmly locking the door.

To unlock the door, the power supply to the electromagnet is interrupted. When the electricity stops flowing, the magnetic field disappears, releasing the armature plate from the electromagnet’s grip. This allows the door to open freely.

In most cases, magnetic locks are connected to a control system, such as an access control panel or a keypad. Authorized individuals can activate the lock by providing the correct code, swipe card, or any other authentication method. When the control system receives a valid signal, it sends electricity to the electromagnet, creating the magnetic field and securing the door. Conversely, when the authorization is revoked, or the unlock command is given, the power supply is cut off, releasing the armature plate and unlocking the door.

Since they rely on the power of electromagnetism, they don’t have complex mechanical parts that can wear out or break easily. This makes them a popular choice for securing doors in various settings, including commercial buildings, government facilities, and even homes.

Why Might You Need To Open Magnetic Lock Without A Key?

Why Might You Need To Open Magnetic Lock Without A Key?

While there are legitimate reasons for needing to open a magnetic lock without a key, it’s important to emphasize that attempting to do so without proper authorization may be illegal. However, here are a few scenarios where a person might have a valid need to open a magnetic lock without a key:

  1. Loss of Key: If you have misplaced or lost the key to a magnetic lock, you may need to find alternative methods to gain access. In such cases, it’s crucial to have proper authorization if you are unlocking a door that does not belong to you.
  1. Emergency Situations: During emergencies, such as a fire or medical crisis, immediate access to a locked area might be necessary. In these situations, authorized personnel, such as firefighters or emergency responders, may need to open magnetic locks promptly to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals inside.
  1. Malfunctioning Lock: A malfunctioning magnetic lock that fails to respond to a valid key can pose security risks or hinder operations in certain environments. In such cases, authorized maintenance personnel or locksmiths may need to open the lock to repair or replace it.
  1. Access Control System Failure: If there is a failure in the access control system or a power outage, individuals may be locked out of an area even if they have valid access credentials. In such instances, authorized personnel may need to use alternative methods to open the magnetic lock temporarily until the system is restored.

How To Open Magnetic Door Lock Without A Key

How To Open Magnetic Door Lock Without A Key

Opening a magnetic door lock without a key involves bypassing or manipulating the lock’s mechanism to release the door. The basic principle behind opening a magnetic lock without a key is to either disrupt the magnetic field or find an alternative way to retract the locking mechanism.

On The Inside Of The Door

When you find yourself on the inside of a door with a magnetic lock that you can’t open, it can be frustrating and concerning. However, there are several methods you can try to unlock the door and regain access.

1. Traditional Methods

Attempt to open the door using traditional methods first. Use your HID card reader, press the door buttons, or push the handle to see if the lock can be opened using these standard techniques.

2. Using a Small Tool

In case the traditional methods fail, you can use a small and thin tool to pull the tab of the magnetic lock. 

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Look for a plastic card, such as your credit card or any other suitable card you have on hand. Alternatively, a knife, a nail file, a thin ruler, or even a knitting needle can work as well. 

Step 2: Insert the tool between the door and the frame, near the location of the magnetic lock, and gently manipulate or pull the lock tab to unlock it.

3. Manipulating the Door Frame

If the door opens inward, you have another option. Knock over the plate band, the metal or wood strip surrounding the door, and carefully remove the foam fasteners holding the frame in place. 

This allows you to create space and push the frame away from the door, potentially unlocking it. Exercise caution to avoid damaging the door or lock during this process.

4. Applying Force

As a last resort, if all other methods have failed and you’re in an emergency situation, you can consider applying force to the door. Use your shoulder or foot to deliver a strong impact and force the door open. 

Remember, this method carries a risk of damaging the door, lock, or surrounding area, so use it sparingly and only when necessary.

On The Outside Of The Door

When you find yourself locked outside a room with a magnetic lock, there are a few techniques you can try to unlock the door from the outside to regain access. The techniques work well on both magnetic door locks as well as cabinet locks.

1. Manipulating the Handle

If you find yourself locked outside the room, start by attempting to manipulate the handle. Push the handle down firmly while pulling the door towards you. Sometimes, the lock might not be fully engaged, and this method could help release it.

2. Using a Thin and Flexible Item

If manipulating the handle doesn’t work, search for a thin and flexible item to squeeze out the lock’s tongue. You can use a cut piece of a plastic bottle or a thin book cover. 

Insert the item between the door and the frame, near the location of the lock’s tongue, and try to push or manipulate it to unlock the door.

3. Removing the Handle and Breaking the Door

As a final option, consider removing the handle and breaking the door from the outside. However, keep in mind that this method carries the risk of causing irreversible damage to the lock and door. Proceed with caution and only if authorized or in an emergency situation. 

Always remember, tampering with locks without proper authorization is not only against the law but also goes against ethical principles. It’s essential to prioritize your own safety and consider the moral and legal consequences before attempting any method to open a lock without a key.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. Can I use magnets or magnetic tools to open a magnetic lock?

Answer – Magnetic locks are designed to resist external magnets or magnetic tools. The strength and configuration of the lock are specifically engineered to prevent unauthorized access through magnetic manipulation.

Q2. Can I use a bump key or lock bumping technique to open a magnetic lock?

Answer – No, bump keys and lock bumping techniques are not effective on magnetic locks. Bump keys are designed for traditional pin tumbler locks and do not work on magnetic locks, which operate on different principles.


Opening a magnetic door lock without a key can be a challenging task, but with proper knowledge and authorization, it can be achieved. In this stepwise guide, we have explored alternative methods for opening a magnetic lock when you don’t have the key. However, it’s important to note that attempting to bypass or unlock a magnetic lock without proper authorization may be illegal and can have serious consequences. Always prioritize safety, legality, and ethical considerations when dealing with security systems.

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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.