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How to Lock a Door Without a Lock: 10 Secure Methods

All hotel rooms must have a lock on them for the guest’s privacy.

But when staying in hostels, room shares, Airbnbs, or other accommodation functioning locks aren’t always provided.

If a bedroom door doesn’t have a lock, it can be reinforced with various temporary and permanent contraptions.

Read on to learn how to lock a door without a lock and what the best temporary door locks are.

1. Use a Door Jammer Pole

Fit them at an angle, with the prongs around the door handle and the base plate securely on the floor. The base plate is designed to resist sliding when pressure is applied, preventing inward doors from swinging open. 

When fitted around a doorknob, the poles prevent the handle from being turned. They are adjustable in height, enabling them to be temporarily fitted to any door with handles.

2. Remove the Door Handle

Removing the door handle is another way to lock a door without a lock. When the handles are removed and the door is closed, it’s difficult to open without specialist tools or the door handle itself. 

Equipment needed to create this DIY lock include a screwdriver and/or a flathead. Make sure the handle is removed on both sides. Keep both handles within your possession. 

Remove the handle on both sides, or else someone can wedge the handle into the door to open it again from the outside. This method is suitable for doors that open inwards and outwards.

Is there a way to lock a door from the outside?

Most ways to lock a door without a lock require the door to swing inwards rather than out. Lock a door from the outside by:

· Removing the door handle. Most doors become nonfunctional when the handle’s removed.
· Installing a deadbolt on the outside of the door. This enables it to be locked outside.
· Force a very sturdy wedge under the door. While doorstops aren’t nearly as effective as when placed under the inside of the door, it will effectively hinder a door’s movement even from the outside if pushed in deep enough.

3. Bend a Fork Into the Latch

Another secure way to lock a door without a lock is to use a fork. This DIY door lock is quick to make and easily transportable. You’ll also need pliers or wire cutters. 

First, use pliers to bend a quarter of the fork’s prongs inwards to a 90-degree angle. Then, cut half of the fork handle off using wire cutters. Fit the bent prongs into the door latch, close the door, and slide the handle between the prongs to secure it in place. 

If tools aren’t available, this lock can also be built without tools by bending the fork prongs within the door latch itself.

4. Wedge a Doorstop

If the room has a doorstop, place it firmly under the door so it is as tight as possible. A heavy-duty doorstop prevents the door from opening fully, but it’s unlikely to withstand brute force. 

At the very least, a doorstop in place gives more time to escape or call for help if someone is forcing the door. This method doesn’t work if the door opens outwards instead of inwards.

5. Secure the Back of a Chair

A standard wooden or metal dining room chair offers another way of locking a door without a lock.To lock a door with a chair, turn it around and angle the top of it under the door handle. 

If the height is right, this prevents lever door handles from being pulled downwards. It also creates pressure that prevents or delays the door from opening. This option is only suitable if the door opens inwards. For extra security, consider tying the handle to the back of the chair.

This method is not 100% reliable, as the chair can slip or break if brute force is applied. This is particularly the case if the chair is wooden. But it does delay intruders, giving you time to get help or escape.

How do you lock a door without a lock with a chair?

The key to locking a door without a lock with a chair is the height of the chair being slightly higher than the distance between the floor and door handle.

With the back of the chair to the door, tilt it so it is almost horizontal. Then, slide the top of the chair directly underneath the door handle. Since it’s slightly taller than the height of the handle, it will create a tight pressure between the floor and the handle.

If successful, the chair will be tilted, so that some of the legs are off the floor. The door will be effectively jammed shut. 

6. Tie Rope Around the Handle

For lever door handles or doors that open outwards, tie a strong rope or metal chain around the handle to lock it. A belt can also be used, but it won’t be as secure. 

To lock the door, tie one end of the rope to the handle and the other to a heavy object in the room. Suitable options include a refrigerator, a bed, or a couch. Make sure the rope or chain is pulled taut, with no slack. 

This way of locking a door prevents the lever from being pulled downwards and opened. It also stops outward-opening doors from being opened, as the resistance from the rope tied to the heavy object keeps it closed when pulled. 

7. Install a Security Bar

For a longer-term solution, a secure way to lock a door without installing a lock is to fit a security bar over the inside of the door. Security bars only work on doors that open inwards, not outwards.

A custom-built security bar is made from thick metal or steel. Fit brackets on either side of the door and position the bar in place. Make sure long, thick screws are used to secure the brackets. 

Security bars prevent doors from being kicked in. They also prevent intruders from picking the lock and entering the room. It’s possible to make a DIY security bar for an unlocked door using wood.

Simply nail or screw a strong wooden block to either side of the door. To remove these DIY security bars, the nails or screws need to be taken out. 

For this reason, DIY security bars are best fitted to doors not in use in buildings with another entrance, like a side door in a barn, garage, shed, or outhouse. 

8. Fit a Floor Barricade

Floor barricades are another contraption permanently installed to a door without a lock. There are two parts to these devices. The first is a panel that’s screwed into the floor. Doors can still be opened and closed like normal when only the panel is installed.

The second part is the barricade itself, which is a heavy-duty block with two long bars on it. The bars slot securely into the floor panel when the door is closed. This effectively prevents forced entry.

9. Use a Portable Temporary Door Lock

A portable door lock is a universal solution to locking a door without a lock. It’s temporary and easy to install on any door. It doesn’t require any drilling or screwing to install. They are particularly effective in bedrooms or shared bathrooms.

Temporary locks usually have a long, curved middle section that slots into the door latch when open. Behind the spout are two metal side plates that fall between the door and the frame when the door is closed. 

This prevents the door from being opened more than an inch when someone outside attempts to open it. Because they stop doors from swinging inwards, these portable locks are not suitable for doors that open outwards.

10. Move Furniture in Front of the Door

To barricade a door quickly in an emergency, move heavy furniture in front of the door. Blocking enough furniture in front of the door can prevent the door from being pushed open. 

It is not foolproof, but furniture in front of the door buys time and enables an escape during a particularly dangerous situation. 

When locking a door without a lock using furniture, only use heavy items. Ideally, these should block the entire width of the door. Beds, couches, bookshelves, refrigerators, washing machines, and heavy cabinets are good choices. 

To decrease the likelihood of the door being pushed open, pile lots of furniture in front of the door. If possible, line the furniture up until it reaches the wall to lock it in and prevent sliding. 


How do you lock a door outside without drilling?

Lock a door outside without drilling by installing a hook and eye latch. While these aren’t as secure as conventional locks, they are easily installed with command strips rather than drilling. This maintains the structural integrity of the door, which is useful if you’re renting.

How do you lock an outward door without a key?

You can lock a door without a key using a key blank, which is filed down to match the shape. But this is complicated and time consuming. The best long term solution is to call a locksmith and have the lock and key replaced.


There are many ways to lock a door without a lock. Some of these solutions are temporary, while others are long-term. 

In the home and elsewhere, locks are among the most essential of security measures, so they should always be in place when possible.