You may be wondering – is it possible to lock a door without a lock? In short, the answer is yes. There are many ways to do this, as well as many circumstances where this information can come in handy. While locks usually come to mind for securing doors, there are other ways to do so without locks at all. 

Why does knowing how to lock a door without a lock come in handy?

Why is this information helpful, you ask? Well, the primary function of a lock is to secure a door. A lock would be meaningless if it does not serve this function. Therefore, the function presides the tool used to facilitate it. Basically, you’ll still need a way to secure your doors even if a lock isn’t present. In this case, you would find alternative methods of securing your doors quite useful and even necessary.

Knowing how to lock a door without a lock helps in situations where a lock is broken or if a lock isn’t present. In the case of a broken lock, you may just desire to secure your door for a short while before calling the locksmith. In this case, alternative locking methods are helpful. This type of knowledge prepares you to improvise in emergency situations and, let’s just face it, it’s nifty info to know!

1. Add a Portable Lock

For doors that aren’t equipped with locks on their own, adding a portable lock can do the trick for proper security. This is a pretty simple and straightforward solution, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Padlocks are famously portable and have been used for centuries for just the purpose of locking doors that do not contain their own locking mechanisms. As far as portable door locks go, there are a lot of products to choose from. You’ll want to choose a portable lock that best fits your needs. These locks usually are fitted onto the side of the door you want to be kept locked and secure. Portable locks aren’t particularly suited for use guarding exterior doors, as they’re not strong enough to withstand damage, cutting and tampering. 



  • Portable door locks are lightweight and efficient. They can easily be carried anywhere. 
  • Adding a portable lock to a door can be done in minutes. Most of these products are geared towards being easily installed. 


  • Your door may not operate by normal means, and a padlock leaves much to be desired regarding true secure protection. 


  1. Disassemble the Handle set

In order to add a portable lock onto a door, you may need to disassemble and remove the existing handle or knob set. Some doors are not constructed with the intention of locking. If you’d like to change that, some of the door’s primary components will need to be removed. Here are other ways to restrict access than with a lock. Removing the mechanism that controls a door’s lock can essentially keep the door from being accessed.


  • The solution can provide a locking solution on in-swinging doors and out-swinging doors.
  • The method is easy and can be carried out on most interior commercial and residential doors if you have a screwdriver.


  • Taking apart the door handle and doorknob is a safety hazard because it restricts egress.
  • This locking solution does not prevent someone from kicking in the door.

3. Use an Improvised Barricade or a Constructed Barricade

Barricading your door is another way o secure doors that lack locks. You must know which way your door opens, either inswing or outswing, in order to barricade it. You’ll want to barricade your door against the direction that it swings. A barricade can be either homemade, like a large slat of wood, or they can be bought preconstructed from the store. Security bars are an example of pre-constructed barricades.  


  • Barricades focus on withstanding the impact of forceful attacks. 
  • Improvised door barricades are cost-effective for sure, and can be assembled by combining easily accessible objects like furniture.
  • Constructed barricades are easy to install. Also, they do not impair egress, which helps when exiting a room in an emergency.


  • Barricades can’t be used to secure the front end of left-hand ins winging doors.
  • Improvised barricades aren’t usually as strong as a proper barricade.
  • The strength of your improvised barricade will depend on the items you have.

4. Utilize Door Jammers and Door Wedges

Door jammers and door wedges are another way to barricade your door. These tools restrict the door’s mobility. They are smaller than barricades though and are better suited for guarding specific parts of a door. These are great solutions for securing your door without a lock, and they’re not so cumbersome as a barricade.


  • Wedges, door stoppers, door jammers, etc. are great tools for restricting the mobility of doors and door handles.
  • Wedges and stoppers can be constructed from everyday household items.
  • This solution works well on doors that do not have any handles or knobs.


  • Wedges are best for doors that open inwards and rely on the force from the opposite end of the door.
  • Improvised wedges aren’t as strong as constructed wedges, and they won’t last as long.

5. Anchor the Door Knob or Handle Set

Anchoring the doorknob or handle works for securing a door that sings outwardly. These kinds of doors aren’t very compatible with the methods listed above, so this is the way to go if you have a door that opens outward and away.


  • Using an anchor point is most effective on doors that open outwards toward the person opening it.
  • Anchor points can be made of cost-effective and easily accessible materials.


  • An anchor point will not work without the presence of something to securely tie the door handle or knob to.

Additional Security Considerations

Consider that your security is the most important piece. These alternative ways of locking a door without a lock are interesting, but they have many vulnerabilities compared to doors that contain proper locks. There’s a time to use alternative methods, and there’s a time to look for something stronger.

Final Thoughts

It’s nice to have a few alternative locking methods in the old’ arsenal. You never know when these tips can come in handy. Stay safe and stay secure!


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