How to Remove a Door Lock Cylinder: 4 Easy Steps

A lock cylinder key is a lock’s internal mechanism. It is often interchangeable, and you can find them in offices and residential doors. Removing a cylinder key is not a difficult task if you know how to go about it.

Are you looking for a DIY tutorial on how to remove the door lock cylinder? That is what this quick guide is all about. We will show you four easy steps to remove the door lock cylinder easily. Let’s get right into it!

In general, you can remove a door lock cylinder in 4 easy steps. Locate the lock’s position and unscrew its front side. Remove the screw from the body of the lock. Reset the cylinder cam to a twelve o’clock position. Remove the lock from the door’s cavity. That’s all!

What You Need

To remove the door lock cylinder, you need to have a few specific items. We recommend that you have these items on hand before you get started. The best part is that you don’t need a trip to the store. You should have the tools you need in your toolbox. So, what do you need to remove the lock cylinders?

Paper Clip

paper clips

You need the paper clip we recommend using a metal paper clip to prevent it from twisting when you install it into the door lock.

If you can’t get a paper clip, a metal bobby pin will do just fine. If you don’t have this, opt for a thin metal object. However, a metal paper clip is still the best because it is readily available. (1)


screw driver's tool

The type of screws in the door lock will determine the type of screwdriver you need. A Phillips screwdriver will do if you have it and if your lock cylinders have that kind of screw.

However, if the screw has internal hex screw heads like the ones used for assembling furniture, you may use the Allen wrench because it is designed for screws and bolts with hexagonal socket heads. (2)

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Remove a Door Lock Cylinder

Step 1: Find the position of the lock and unscrew its front side

unscrew front side
Video | Billshowto

To get started, find the lock’s position and then the area where you usually insert the key. Look for the piece of metal that secures the lock. This metal is also called the escutcheon plate.

It comes with two embedded screws; one on the lower and the other on the upper parts of the metal. Carefully unscrew them to reveal the inside of the lock.

Step 2: Remove the Screw in the Body of the Lock

removing screw from the lock body
Video | Billshowto

Check the door cavity to find the locking screw. The locking screw is what fastens the euro cylinder lock. After finding the locking screw, carefully unscrew it without removing the knots holding the faceplate in place.

Step 3: Reset the cylinder cam to a twelve o’clock position

resetting the cylinder cam
Video | Billshowto

Next, you need to reset the cylinder cam by turning it to a twelve o’clock position. Here is where you need the metal paper clip.

Straighten the clip, slot it to the right-hand side of the lock, and then put it on the cylinder cam. Apply a little pressure to press the cylinder cam down towards the lock. Make sure it goes right into the lock.

Step 4: Remove the lock from the door’s cavity

removing lock from the doors cavity
Video | Billshowto

This step is easy if the lock is worn out. However, if the lock is new, you may have to attempt the removal a couple of times. It can take more attempts if it is your first time removing a door lock cylinder. Simply remove the lock from the door’s cavity, and you are done!

Wrapping Up

Here you have four easy steps to remove a door lock cylinder! Remember to have a screwdriver and paper clip handy before you start. Follow the steps carefully, and you will see how easy it is to remove lock cylinders.

Locate the lock’s position and unscrew its front side. Remove the screw in the body of the lock. Reset the cylinder cam to a twelve o’clock position. Remove the lock from the door’s cavity. That is all! 

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) metal –
(2) hexagonal –

Video References

Mr. Locksmith


How helpful was this article?

Were Sorry This Was Not Helpful!

Let Us Improve This Article!

Please Tell Us How We Can Improve This Article.

About John Fox

ebbb364ee14268bd3b77496cab3d1d78?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: Certified Alarm Technician (CAT)
Education: Denver Security Academy
Lives In: Denver Colorado

John Fox has worked as a security consultant in Denver for over 20 years.
With Safe Now, he's taken those two decades of experience and decided to share it to help people online make the right security decisions for their businesses and families.

John writes security tips and guides, product recommendations, and prevention guides.

| Reach Me