Home Improvement

Locked Yourself Out with the Key Left in the Lock on the Other Side?

To be locked out with the key in the door is anyone’s nightmare, and it can happen at any time. Imagine, you just quickly popped out to the grocery store and “banged” the door behind you with the key left inside the lock on the other side. And then, only to find upon your return that you’re locked out of the house with the key in door.

To make matters worse, imagine, you’ve left something on the hob to simmer while freaking out outside trying to “jiggle out” the inside key to no avail. Well, we know, you’ve only left the house for 5 minutes…

So, read on our useful post if you:

  • want to take precautions against a lockout situation, just in case.
  • have had lockout troubles in the past and you want to avoid such in the future.
  • are wondering what types of locks will prevent you from locking yourself out.

How to open a door when locked out with key in door

Well, we’ll be honest here. Panic mode is what will stop you from thinking of possible “out-of-the-box” solutions to your lockout situation. This is especially valid when there’s some sort of an emergency at hand, such as your child being locked inside, left to play safely on their computer with headphones on while you’ve gone out for a few minutes.

Right then, there are few solutions when the key is left in the door and you’re locked out that involve actions from applying intuitive thinking or simply staying calm and calling a locksmith to using forced entry methods.

  • Do you have a backdoor?– Why not try to enter your home through the backdoor?
  • Have you left a window open that faces your back garden? – “Wow, I’ve never thought about this, honestly!”
  • Use your debit card – Apparently, spring locks can be disengaged with a plastic card if you manage to insert it between the door and the door frame, and then, slide the card downwards “sharply” towards the locking mechanism.
  • Some sort of emergency? – No minutes to waste, because you worry about your elderly mum inside, who is a bit deaf? Then, try to break your backdoor window or use another forced entry method, if you can.
  • Does by any chance your front door open outwards? – This is rare in the UK for security reasons, unlike Sweden, but if you’ve got an outward-opening front door, you can ask a neighbour to help you remove it from the hinges.<
  • Call an emergency locksmith! – Yep, the safest way to get inside your locked door is to pay the price and call a professional locksmith.

Also, let’s address a couple of common questions that people may find their answers helpful in a lockout situation.

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Can you unlock a door if the key is on the other side?

Yes, you can, providing that your door has been furnished with a frictioned cylinder lock or one that has an emergency function. These two types are designed to be unlocked with a key even if there’s another key inside on the other side of the door. Their mechanisms are created for this exact purpose.

So, even if you’re not sure what kind of lock your front door has, you can still attempt to insert your spare key and see if the trick will work.

Can a key inside the door be pushed out?

Yes, it can, if you’re extremely lucky that day. You see, it may just happen that the key inside is in a perfectly vertical position. Then, you could try to gently tap the key you’ve just inserted in the lock and this way, succeed in pushing the inside key out. Well, other people have managed, so you too can if chance is on your side.

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Need help from a professional locksmith?

If some of the above tips fail to work, you can always resort to our emergency locksmith services in London. We work with a range of BS3621 locks, so your locksmith can supply you with the right one for you, upon request.

Fantastic Services will send a lockout specialist within 30 min of your call to help you out. In addition, you can use our locksmith solutions to replace your front door lock with one that has an emergency function so that you avoid being ever locked out in the future.

Locked out of your house?

Book your Fantastic locksmith to have your door unlocked.

Add a valid postcode e.g. SE1 2TH


  • Stay calm if you find yourself locked out with the key left inside the door on the other side.
  • Try unlocking the door anyway, just in case your door has a lock with an emergency function.
  • Think out of the box and try a few other tricks, such as going inside through your backdoor.
  • If nothing works, call a professional locksmith, who is likely to help you without damaging the lock.


Did you find this post helpful? Do you know other tips that mitch help our readers in lockout circumstances? Please, comment below!

Image source: Shutterstock / rzoze19

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