How to Install a Door Lock

1-2 hours

Boost your home’s security with a new deadbolt door lock

Upgrading the doorknob and deadbolt on your front door is a cost-effective way of upgrading the curb appeal of your home and improving security.

This guide will show you how to install a new a new doorknob and deadbolt lock in little over an hour.


Choosing a new lock

• If you want the key for the new lock to match your other locks, be sure to make a note of the current brands installed and bring in the existing key to your local Home Depot. This will help you select a lock that is compatible with the key.
• Before you shop, you’ll also need to know the diameter of the holes currently cut out of your door so you can select a new door lock that fits those dimensions. Take care to measure carefully as matching the size can be especially problematic in older homes.

Measuring for the replacement lock

• Your current doorknobs are connected through a hole in your door that is under the plate around the knob itself. A typical diameter for this hole is 2 1/8 inches, but it pays to remove the existing lock set and check.
• Measure the distance from the edge of the door to the center of this hole. This measurement is called the setback and it’s typically either 2 3/8 inches or 2 ¾ inches.
• Select a lock with the same setback. Many new lock sets allow you to adjust the latch to either distance.

Replacing the latch

• Begin by removing the screws from the door knob from the interior side of your door. This allows you to pull the door knobs off the door from both sides.
• Remove the two screws from the latch plate on the edge of the door and remove the latch from the opening.
• Insert the new latch into the opening with the tapered side facing the direction you will push the door to close it.
• Check that the new latch plate fits the recessed area and is flush with the surface of the door.

Install door knobs

• The long metal piece sticking out of the exterior knob is called the spindle. It’s the spindle that turns with the knob and causes the springs within the latch to slide the bolt back into the door so it opens.
• Install both knobs by sliding the spindle through the slot in the latch.
• Align the two long screws from the inside knob into the cylinders on the exterior knob and tighten the screws.
• Remove the two screws holding the strike plate in place on the door jamb and install the new one in the same position.
• Open and close the door several times to check that the latch aligns properly with the strike plate and that the knob turns smoothly.

Remove the old deadbolt

• Remove the existing deadbolt following the steps used for the door knob.
• Remove the screws holding the deadbolt together from the interior side, then take out the two screws on the edge of the door and remove the bolt

Install the new deadbolt

• Insert the new bolt into the opening on the edge of the door and fasten it to the door with the provided screws.
• Next, insert the exterior part of the lock into the door by feeding the long metal piece through the opening in the center of the bolt.
• If the deadbolt comes with an interior plate and a decorative outer plate with a recessed screw, just place the interior plate over the hole from the inside.
• Now, attach the interior part of the deadbolt lock by inserting the two provided long screws through the interior plate, the two screw holes in the bolt, and into the exterior side of the lock.
• Hand-thread the screws, then tighten them using a screwdriver or drill, then snap on the decorative outer plate.
• If your new deadbolt has a concealed screw for the interior knob, consult the installation instructions for your specific lock.


• Install the strike plate and test that the deadbolt is working properly and check that the hole in the door jamb is deep enough to accept the entire bolt.
• If it’s not, remove the strike plate and chisel out more wood until it’s deep enough. Then reattach the strike plate.