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How to Lock a Door Without a Lock? (9 Easy & Fast Ways)

How to Lock a Door Without a Lock? (9 Easy & Fast Ways)

You’ve found yourself in the nightmare situation of your lock breaking, and you have no idea how to secure the door. Or it may be that you’re in an unfamiliar place with a door that either doesn’t have a lock or has a poor-quality one.

Whatever the situation you’re in, we’re here to help. We’ve looked at 9 different solutions that are all effective ways of locking your door without a lock. By the end, you’ll know how to get peace of mind and go to sleep without worry.

9 Ways of How to Lock a Door Without a Lock

Here are our 9 methods of how to lock a door without a lock. We’ll first look at emergency solutions that you can do right now before looking at solutions that require you to buy certain products.

1. Barricade

Perhaps the simplest method of securing your door without a lock is by making a barricade. For those who don’t know, a barricade is an improvised blockage aimed to prevent movement.

Let’s look at the scenario where you’re sleeping somewhere strange and don’t feel safe. Here you can move anything you can in front of the door. It’s important to note that this only works if the door swings inwards, which is likely as doors almost always open into a room.

The obvious choice here would be a dresser, or anything heavy. If someone tried to get in, they’d need a lot of force to move it. If you don’t have anything heavy, then the alternative is to find something that will be loud.

For example, you can place a side table or your luggage next to the door with items on top such as cutlery or glassware. If someone tried to gain entry, it’d make a crashing sound that would immediately wake you up and would have them running away.


Image: entente

2. Doorstop or Wedge

One of the simplest methods of blocking the movement of a door is with a doorstop or wedge. As with the barricade, this needs to be placed on the side of the door that swings in.

If you don’t have a purpose-built wedge to hand, then there are usually a variety of things that you can use instead. For example, you can usually fashion a handmade wedge out of either paper or card, and make sure the jam it into the door gap as hard as possible.

Another example of something you can use if the bottom gap is quite wide is a shoe. Shoes are usually thinner at the front than the back, which works well as a wedge.

3. Remove the Handle Spindle

This generally only works for internal doors (as exterior doors have more secure handles) but can be an excellent way to prevent anyone from being able to gain entry.

Most doors will have a handle on either side, with a spindle (a squared bar) connecting them. That spindle runs through the latch assembly. When you turn the handle, it rotates the spindle which, in turn, pulls in the latch, allowing you to open the door.

You can easily remove the door handle with a screwdriver, but in a pinch, you should be able to do it with a knife. Remove the door handle and then take the spindle out. This renders the outside door handle completely useless.

It’s important to note here that it also means that you can’t get out of the door until you reattach the spindle and handle.

4. Wrap the Overhead Hinge or Handle

Many commercial buildings will have an overhead fire door closure system. This ensures that the door can’t be left open unless something is blocking it from doing so. These overhead hinges open and close in a scissor motion.

With these, you can wrap something around them when they are closed. This could be a long bit of fabric, such as a scarf, but a belt is also another good idea. Put it as tight as possible, and no one will be able to open it from the outside. As with the above method, be mindful that you won’t be able to open it either.

Another method with a scarf, belt, or similar is to tie up the door handle. This works well if you have a coat hook on the door. For example, you can place your belt around the coat hook and the handle. That way, if someone tries the handle, it won’t move.

Wrap the Overhead Hinge or Handle

Image: entente

5. A Bent Fork

This one requires a bit of strength and perhaps something to bend the fork, such as pliers, but it can be done without any tools. Firstly, you need to break the fork in two, as close to the head of the fork as you can.

With the top of the fork, you need to bend in the tines at the top quarter inch at an angle of 90 degrees. You want it to grab the hole into which the latch goes. Therefore, shape your fork to suit your latch hole and door size.

Once you have bent your fork, you can attach it to the hole and slide the door shut. You then slide the handle of the fork through the tines. This blocks the forkhead from coming loose when someone tries to open the door.

It isn’t the strongest lock, but it works surprisingly well in a pinch. If you don’t have any tools on hand to do this, you can usually do it with just a bit of patience and a hard blunt object to bend the tines.

6. Wedge a Chair

This is the last of our makeshift solutions and another classic way to keep that door shut. Here the process is simple. You wedge the back of the chair up into the handle at an angle as tight as you can.

This will work on inward swinging doors as when the person opens it from the outside, they will press the chair into the ground. This works best on carpeted floors as the chair can slip if it’s not tight enough.

There is another way to use a chair for an outside swinging door. This often doesn’t work with traditional chairs with large wooden legs but can be perfect for steel chairs. It’s best to experiment with the different chairs you have.

The process here is simple. You want to pass the chair leg (usually the back leg) under the handle and have the front leg, or the back to the chair, beyond the door frame.

When someone from outside tries to open the door, not only will the handle be jammed but even if they can get it to turn, they can’t open it as the chair is trapped on the other side of the door.

7. Barricade Bar

Here we look at solutions that require you to buy and install something to keep your door safe without a lock. The first solution we’ll look at is a barricade bar. This is not only a good alternative to a lock but can also be a great addition to a lock.

If you don’t have a lock, or your lock gets picked, they won’t be able to get through a barricade bar. As you’ve probably worked out, this is a strong metal bar that goes across your door and is attached to two fixed points on either side.

It requires proper installation, but it can usually be done with just a few screws. It’s not an ideal solution if you’re in an emergency, but this is great for those who want a highly effective long-term solution.

Barricade Bar

Image: entente

8. Portable Door Lock

Are you heading to a hotel in a few days and worried about door security? If that sounds like a scenario similar to yours, buy a portable door lock right away. They are cheap and you can buy them from plenty of different stores.

The theory here is more or less the same as the fork we looked at earlier. You have one part of the lock which you jam into the latch hole, then another part that slots into the metal frame to prevent it from moving.

It’s a simple yet effective solution. The beauty of it is also the size. They are fairly compact, so you can easily pack them in your luggage and take them on vacation.

9. Door Lock Bar

This is exactly the same solution as wedging a chair under your handle, but a door lock bar does it much better. That’s because it’s designed specifically to make sure the door can’t be opened.

Firstly, they are adjustable, ensuring they fit every door type. Secondly, their heads are pronged to fit tightly into your door handle, so you don’t need to worry about having a tight fit.

Finally, they have non-slip legs, which is usually the worst part of using a chair. With these bars, you can have confidence they’ll remain firmly in place.


The best solution for you will depend on your situation and what you have to hand. For example, if you’re in a room right now and worrying, then a barricade or wedging your chair may be the best bet. However, it may be easier for you to try one of the other methods.

If you wanted a more long-term solution, the barricade bar or door lock bar would be wise choices. But, for ultimate convenience wherever you go, buying a portable door lock will always give you peace of mind. We hope you’ve found a method here to keep you safe and allow you to have a restful sleep.


Monday 24th of January 2022

Anyway of keeping trespassers out of bed rooms in suites . Bedrooms only lock from inside. Once you leave all your belongings are up for grabs and if your roommates are prankster while you shower they can lock your door close it and your left in a towel trying to get into your room. Universities don’t let you replace locks with your own. Need a kee bloc type device but lever handle doesn’t have an entry key To keep door handle from shifting! Help!!!

Daniel Gray

Monday 18th of October 2021

amazing article i really love it. thanks for sharing

Oliver Jane

Saturday 14th of August 2021

Thank you for sharing this information, use a fork is a great idea.

Oliver Jane

Sunday 14th of November 2021

I recently read a way that locks the door with pennies , has anyone heard of it?

Riley Reid

Sunday 24th of January 2021

Thx for teaching me everything big daddy.

Addison Rae

Saturday 7th of November 2020



Monday 30th of November 2020

hello adiison raye