Revolar is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Open a Night Latch Lock From the Outside? – 2 Ways

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to open a night latch lock from the outside

More often than not, it is frustrating to hurriedly go inside the house and realize that you left your key inside the house. You think about calling your locksmith or breaking your door, which usually comes with wasting money and time.

However, if your door is held down by a night latch deadbolt, then you are in luck. Night latches can be opened from the outside with proper tools and technique.

In this article, I will show you how to open a night latch lock from the outside.

Step-by-step to Open a Night Latch From the Outside


There are two ways to open a night — lockpicking it or disassembling the lock from the outside.

Option 1: Pick the night latch with a tension tool


Lockpicking a night latch lock is the same process on how to pick a file cabinet lock with bobby pin since both involve pins. Here are the steps to defeat hotel door locks with night latches using lockpicking:

  • Step 1: Prepare your tools. Prepare a sturdy tension tool to turn the lock and a thin but flexible hook to raise the pins.
  • Step 2: Insert the tension tool. In a counterclockwise manner, put pressure on your tension tool to mimic a turning key.
  • Step 3: Insert the hook. Slide the hook inside the keyway and locate the pins.
  • Step 4: Set the pins. With the tip of your hook, raise the pins one by one until all of them are set.
  • Step 5: Rerun the pins. If you think all of the pins are set but the lock is not opening, check the pins again if there’s something you have missed.
  • Note: Put constant pressure on your tension tool. A slight downward change in pressure might reset one or more pins inside the lock.

Related tricks:

Option 2: Disassemble the night latch


If you have a night latch locked out and you do not know how to do lockpicking, disassembling the night latch lock from the outside might be your best choice.

Here is the process to do disassembling:

Step 1: Check your lock. Determine your lock first, since it might be hard to identify your lock especially if you are just renting a room or a house.

Step 2: Prepare your tools. Prepare a sharp object to stick onto the night latch lock and a screwdriver that is appropriate for your door screws.

Step 3: Unscrew the door frame. One by one, remove the screws from the door frame.

  • Note: keep the screws since you will be putting it back on once you’re inside the room or house.

Step 4: Locate the night latch lock. After the door frame is ajar, the night latch lock can be seen on the door near the keyhole as a small hole.

Step 5: Stick a sharp object. Turn the sharp object to the left until you hear a small click.

Step 6: Open the night latch lock. After the click, you can now open the night latch lock from the outside.

  • Note: you have to put back the door frame after opening the night latch lock.



What is a night latch lock?

A night latch lock is a type of spring-based lock which consists of a knob or short handle on the inside and a keyway on the outside. It automatically locks itself without key when the door is closed.

Some modern versions of night latch locks, such as Yale night latch, can do double locking — locking from the inside and the outside.

Although it boasts excellent security, it is not commonly utilized as a device to secure doors but as means to keep doors closed. However, some experts claim that it is okay to make a night latch function as a security device, provided that someone is awake inside the house who can open the door for you.

How does a night latch lock work?

Its function is the same as when you open a slide lock but with added intricacies that make it more reliable and secure.

  • The night latch lock is equipped with a rear electronic module (REM) cylinder that can be locked or unlocked with a key. Since the cylinder is designed with spring pins, the key of the night latch lock has distinct grooves.
  • When the night latch is locked, it cannot be opened from the inside or the outside.
  • The defining feature of a night latch lock is the snib. When the snib of the night latch lock is raised, the night latch cannot be opened on either side. However, if the snib is lowered, the lock can be opened from the inside.
  • If you want your night latch lock to not automatically lock when you close the door, turn the knob from the inside to retract the latch and raise the snib to stop it from locking. This is useful when you want to get your groceries from the outside or you want to dump the trash from the inside.

What are the differences between a chain lock and a swing bar lock?

Swing bar locks, also known as bar locks, use a metal bar and a peg that interlocks to create a locking mechanism. The metal bar can be moved sideways to lock and unlock swing bar lock.

On the other hand, a chain lock utilizes a chain that is fixed to the door frame and a track that is fixed to the door itself.

Both locks are used to create a peeking opportunity, especially for doors without peep holes. This means that you can slightly open the door without having to compromise security.

To open a chain lock from the outside, a rubber band is used to loop around the chain lock and the door handle.

To open bar lock from outside, people sometimes use an anti lockout emergency access tool to hold down the peg from moving while opening the door.


Whether it’s because you forgot or lost your night latch key or you don’t want to wake other members of your family, it is important to get inside your room and or house safe and sound.

Knowing how to open a night latch lock from the outside will save you from getting locked out while also improving your handiness. Save money and time by just doing it yourself rather than hiring someone.

5/5 - (2 votes)