Door handles are used to open and close a door, yet can often break due to force, stress, or age. Breaking your door handle may be inconvenient but try not to panic and resort to risky methods to unlock it.

Door handles are an integral piece of hardware that enables us to open and close doors without using keys, but these handles may become broken or misalign over time – rendering them inoperable. Luckily, there are various solutions for how you can open your door when its handle breaks from outside. 

Over time, door handles may wear down or sustain damage that prevents them from functioning correctly, necessitating routine maintenance procedures to keep them functioning efficiently and prevent their breakdown. Therefore, it’s wise to store a spare key securely away and conduct periodic check-ups to preserve their functionality and avoid breaking down prematurely. 

Sticky or broken door handles can be an extremely frustrating annoyance to deal with, but there are various techniques that you can employ to unlock them without damaging the lock mechanism. 

There are multiple strategies available for opening doors with broken handles from outside. These could come in handy in an emergency.  

Try some of these tricks to open your door: sliding a credit card between the door and frame; using a wire coat hanger to manipulate the latch; or simply kicking. 

If none of these methods work, contact a locksmith who can open your doors without damaging them; alternatively, keep a spare key hidden somewhere within your home, or install smart locks that allow entry via keypad or smartphone app access. 

Paper Clip 

DIYHacksAndHowTos’ simple trick for opening virtually any indoor door lock is sure to prove effective on those pesky push-button or twist privacy locks commonly found in bedrooms and bathrooms. Simply bend a paper clip into a large hook shape, feed it through the latch mechanism, wriggle around until your lock changes position, and you open up the door! 

An alternative way of unlocking a door from the outside is to insert a credit card between the door and frame and push it into the latch mechanism until it clicks back out and opens the door. Wiggle and maneuver it until its shift occurs back out again and open it! 

If you don’t have your credit card handy, use a flathead screwdriver instead to insert and twist gently against the latch mechanism of your door. Apply gentle pressure while twisting to simulate how a functioning handle would operate.  

There are various strategies you can employ when trying to open a door with broken handles from outside. One method involves using a paper clip bent into a small hook and inserting it into the latch – then using its strength to pull it open. Although this approach won’t always work on all kinds of doors, it may provide a quick way out if no other tools are readily available. 

The use of a credit card can also be effective. Make sure to choose an inconsequential card like one from a grocery store loyalty program or a laminated library membership card as this will allow for easier manipulation behind the latch and try pulling open. If this doesn’t work, tapping can also work but this should be avoided due to potential further damage caused to door and lock mechanisms.  

If all methods fail and still cannot open the door, seeking professional help would likely be in order as professional locksmiths possess tools designed specifically to open doorways safely without damaging them further. 

Tap The Latch 

If your door handle’s latch bolt doesn’t retract when you push on it, that indicates something may be amiss with its internal mechanism or is bent or stretched out of shape. It could also indicate that something has compromised the rod/cable connection to the latch from your handle – something can go haywire! 

An effective way to identify whether the issue lies within the internal mechanism is by trying different means of opening your door without using its handle. This will allow you to determine whether it’s due to broken latches or simply needs repositioning or lubricating. 

Snail your credit card between the door and frame and move it until it reaches the latch bolt. Or unwind a wire coat hanger into a hook shape before inserting it in the gap to reach it. When you reach it, use your card to manipulate it back into place so you can open the door. 

Try A Tennis Ball 

Door handles are essential tools that enable us to open and close doors safely and efficiently. They work by engaging the latch inside the door to allow it to move back and forth when twisted or pushed, providing access to its interior contents. 

One effective method of opening a door with broken handles from outside is leaning it against a window and tapping on it with something such as a wallet or car keys, creating enough noise to alert anyone inside to open the door for you. 

However, it’s important to remember that this method may not work on every door, and should always prioritize your safety when opening the door yourself. If this fails then contacting a professional locksmith with all of the appropriate tools and experience would likely be more successful in opening it successfully and without damage. 

There have been multiple YouTube and TikTok videos purporting to show how one can open their car door with a tennis ball, reportedly cutting a hole into it and placing it over your keyhole lock before pushing firmly against it to create air pressure and open the door. 

Though this life hack may appear plausible in movies, its applicability to real life is untested and possibly dangerous. MythBusters and YouTube users alike have attempted to utilize this trick with no success – MythBusters themselves failed in opening doors using this life hack! 

Instead, try using a credit card or wire coat hanger to manipulate the latch and unlock it from outside. Or try tapping on the door with a hammer or mallet; this might produce a loud sound that draws someone’s attention inside their home and could allow you to ask them for assistance or trick them into helping open it for you. 

The use of a tennis ball to unlock doors can also work with push button locks; simply cut a small hole into it, place it over the lock, and push hard against it until pressure opens the door. 

Use a Plastic Card 

Door handles wear down over time, often necessitating repair or replacement to restore them to full functionality. Sometimes though, an internal mechanism fails and prevents the latch from engaging properly; in such instances, another way must be found to open the door. 

Plastic cards can be an excellent tool for this task. Simply slide one corner of a credit card or driver’s license through the gap between the door and frame a little higher up than where the latch is situated, and wiggle and maneuver it to move forward and open it. 

If none of these methods work, professional assistance may be the way to go. A locksmith has all of the tools and experience needed to open doors without damaging them; additionally, they may offer repairs or handle replacement to restore full functionality – and thus help avoid being locked out and having to resort to more drastic measures. 

Use a Credit Card 

Credit cards can be an effective tool for opening doors with broken handles from the outside, due to their flexibility. Bending it easily into tight spaces without damaging either lock or door can be challenging but may be worth your while in emergencies when trying to gain entry. This method may require much trial and error but could save your day! 

This method works best on doors with simple knob locks equipped with spring-latch or slanted latch bolts. First, slide a credit card between the door and frame just higher than where the latch is located and move it towards it until it touches it – then apply pressure until it is back inside the door by applying more jiggle pressure or by applying pressure directly against it with another object such as your foot. Note that using this technique to gain entry onto someone else’s property could constitute illegal trespassing and should only be done when necessary! 

Use a piece of plastic such as a credit card or driver’s license to open doors with broken handles from the outside. Insert it between the latch and frame of your door while angling it downward, quickly swipe downward while wiggling and maneuvering it to push back against it to disengage and open your door. If a credit card is too thick to fit through easily try cutting off a rectangular piece from a 1.5L Coke bottle instead – this method also works for certain locks. 

Use A Wire Coat Hanger 

Door handles are an essential component of any door, enabling users to open and close it easily. Unfortunately, they are sometimes broken leaving you locked out. 

It is always better to be safe than sorry and it would be prudent to attempt various means for opening the door before resorting to more drastic measures or calling in professional help, which may help prevent injuries and damage to property. 

One of the easiest and most creative ways to open a door with a broken handle from the outside is by using a wire coat hanger. Use pliers to bend it into various shapes to fit through its latch hole, forcing it backward and unlocking it – this may require repeating this method a few times until it works successfully. 

One solution is using a wire coat hanger with a small notch at its end that fits neatly into the hole for the doorknob, creating pressure against it to open your door by popping its latch open – this works best if your door is not too tightly shut or locked shut. 

Another possible option is tapping around the latch area with a hammer or mallet; although this method isn’t foolproof, it may help dislodge and open the door. 

Use hard objects such as your car keys or wallet to create a loud noise that draws attention, such as tapping on the window of the door with something hard. While this method might require several blows before getting anyone’s attention, this can be an easy and quick way to open the door if necessary. However, if there’s any concern that damage might be done to either window or frame then seeking professional services should be your next option. 

Flathead Screwdriver 

If the latch mechanism of your door handle has broken off but you still want to open it from the outside, use a flathead screwdriver as an outside opening tool. Place it between the frame and door to force back its latch mechanism; this should help open it! 

To use this technique, place a screwdriver between the door and frame at any of its bottom corners where it meets a wall, and push and twist until a loud enough noise is produced to attract someone’s attention. As soon as they hear this sound they are likely to investigate further to see if they can open it themselves. 

If you don’t have a screwdriver handy, other strategies could include using plastic items like credit cards to move the latch mechanism. Lubricant spray such as WD-40 may help loosen it further but this should only be used as a temporary fix if reaching into the door to open manually is impossible.  

When performing any of these techniques be careful to not damage either yourself or the door; for best results contact professional door repair/replacement services immediately rather than trying to solve issues yourself 

If the handle mechanism itself is damaged, a screwdriver may help in manipulating it externally. Begin by taking steps such as removing escutcheon plates and inspecting the latch assembly; if spring cassettes appear, try taking steps such as removing washers to free them up and open up the latch. 

Most doors feature round knob handles with twistable mechanisms that open and close them, more commonly than lever-type door handles which operate by pushing or pulling. 

If there’s a window nearby, lean the door against it so its window faces outward and tap on its glass with something hard – such as your wallet or car keys – to produce enough noise that someone notices it and investigates, giving you enough time to open your door before they realize what you’re up to. If there’s no window available to use as a cover for this method, alternative methods might include kicking open the door instead. 

One method that may work is using a screwdriver. Simply slide its tip between the door and frame before manipulating it to retract the latch.  Pushing the bolt of a doorknob is an additional option, although you will require a tool with a long shaft to do this successfully. 

Finally, try tapping on the door with something such as your car keys or wallet. If the door swings towards someone else’s house, they may hear the tapping and be more likely to open it than before. However, this method only works if your door is not locked; otherwise, multiple blows would likely be required to produce enough noise to break through its surface. 

Use A Hammer 

Door handles are essential to getting in and out of your home, but broken ones can leave you locked out. Luckily, there are multiple methods to open a door with a broken handle from the outside using everyday items or DIY techniques so you can enter quickly without hassle. 

If you’re eager to gain entry, the first thing you should do is kick the door with the foot that dominates (right foot for right-handed individuals). Be careful not to strike too forcefully or else it could damage both the door and its surroundings. 

Sometimes the handle latch doesn’t open smoothly because it has become stuck, which requires dislodging using a hammer or mallet. A light tap to dislodge it should do the trick – however, too much force may damage or break off the knob, so use only as necessary! 

If your door features a latch mechanism with no handles, an appropriate-sized screwdriver can help you operate its latch mechanism. Simply insert it and apply gentle pressure while turning clockwise or counterclockwise – to recreate the action of function handles. 

Try knocking on the door using something soft like your shoe if possible; this might take several attempts but could get it open without resorting to extreme measures or consulting professionals. 

Door handles are an integral piece of hardware, used to open and close doors. They’re typically attached to the outside of a door and used to twist or push open any latches inside to release them. 

But when they break, operating the door can become extremely challenging. Luckily, there are ways around this problem that are relatively straightforward and manageable. 

One effective method for opening a broken door handle with no other special tools required is using a hammer. Simply hit the handle area with your hammer to create pressure that will dislodge any latches preventing entry and allowing you to open the door. 

One alternative to using a hammer is placing something heavy, such as a brick, against the door frame to create pressure that may dislodge and break off its latch allowing you to open it more easily. 

Regular inspection and replacement of door handles is also key, to prevent accidental breaks that might require you to access your home using other means. Doing this, will reduce future incidents of their being broken off accidentally and save you from resorting to these methods of accessing it. 


Depending on where your door handle has broken while outside of the home, creative methods may exist that will allow you to gain entry. A tennis ball, credit card, or even a wire coat hanger could help break through and gain entry. However, if none of these solutions work then seek a professional locksmith or door repair service assistance immediately. 

If there’s a window near your broken doorknob, try climbing through it to gain entry to your home. Or you can lean it against it and tap on its glass surface, creating noise to alert others that something has happened and need help opening their door. Once someone comes to assist you in opening it. 

If you have a screwdriver handy, use it to unscrew the cover plates holding on to the inner handle or knob of a door. Each cover plate may feature a small pressure slot where your screwdriver could fit. Be careful when prying off this method or you could cause permanent damage or injuries. 

This option should only be attempted if you’re confident in both your abilities and tools, and only as a last resort. It requires more skill than other approaches, and can even damage your door latch mechanism in the process if used improperly, making this approach one to be approached with extreme caution. 

Start by drilling into the handle hole from inside of the door using a screwdriver from within it, in short bursts until you destroy all locking pins. Once that has happened, wiggle open your latch with a screwdriver. 

Another method involves placing a piece of wood or hard object in the gap where the handle goes, causing a loud enough noise for someone inside the house to hear and open up the door. 

If your door latch is simply stuck and not broken, if the door is locked shut and you cannot open it try hitting the latch area with a mallet or hammer; take care not to strike against any hinge pins as that could further damage your door. Alternately kick with your dominant foot (right foot if right-handed). This often works and the door will eventually swing open after several attempts. 

Coat Hanger 

As a last resort, coat hangers can provide an effective method of entering your house. Simply unwrap and straighten one at its neck until a metal tool with an upright hook forms; this should fit behind the latch and allow you to pull down its handle without damaging anything on its way in. For those hoping to avoid damaging their door further, this method offers the best solution. 

If there is a window nearby, you may also try using it to unlock your door. Lean the broken doorknob against it with its outward-facing edge, and tap on it with something hard like your car keys or wallet – this should create a loud noise that should draw anyone’s attention inside and motivate them to open it for you. 

If none of these solutions work, it may be time to call in a locksmith. These experts possess special tools and can open your door without causing any further damage, repair your broken handle to make it function again properly, and install new door handles if necessary. It’s always wise to have a spare key hidden somewhere safe just in case one ever goes missing, and regular maintenance could prevent your handle from breaking altogether. 

Seek Professional Help 

At its core, opening a door with a broken handle requires prioritizing safety first and foremost. You should never put yourself or your property at risk by employing risky methods or taking shortcuts that may end up doing more damage than good. If all else fails, seeking professional assistance might be your best bet for finding a resolution without incurring further damage. 

The first steps in dealing with a broken handle include assessing its extent and any internal malfunction that might be contributing to it. Repair may involve simply reconnecting loose components or adjusting internal linkages; in more extensive wear-and-tear cases however, replacing may be more suitable as this ensures it fits seamlessly with your door model and works as intended. When selecting replacement handles they must match up well to each door make and model as this will guarantee proper fitting and function as intended. 

If none of the methods above work to open your door, professional locksmith services could be necessary to unlock it safely and without damage to doors and frames. They possess various tools that enable them to open doors quickly without damage; additionally, they may repair or replace door handles if required – always choose a reputable service that meets all your needs to ensure quality and safety!


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