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

How to Secure a Window With a Broken Lock? – 3 Methods

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to secure a window with a broken lock

Aside from door locks, window locks are also essential in keeping any premises secured. However, they are often overlooked—making them prone to damage due to neglect.

And truth be told, many homeowners leave their lock in that state to avoid the hassle of fixing it or spending a dime on hiring a contractor to replace it.

Got a broken window lock? Well, keep reading because this guide on how to secure a window with a broken lock will show you the best way to secure a window that aligns with your situation!

Ways to Secure a Window With a Broken Lock

This goes without saying, but your window is another entry point for burglars. Hence, having a fully-functional lock on this fixture can free one’s property from the risk of break-ins.

That’s why a temporary window lock is essential when yours is compromised.

However, the simplicity or difficulty of using a homemade DIY window lock depends on your window type.

Read more to know what methods would work best for your situation.

1. Double Hung Windows


A double-hung window is arguably one of the most common window types in a residential area. This type of lock is deemed ideal for houses with adventurous children, as the bottom sash can be locked while the top sash is open.

However, double-hung windows are vulnerable to burglars, considering they are easy to access due to their dual-opening panes—and even more, if their locks are broken.

How to Secure a Double-hung Window With a Broken Lock With Nails?

The best way to secure your double-hung window when your lock is broken is to use nails to block the window sashes from opening.

Follow the steps here on how to do it.

Step 1: Prepare the needed tools


Of course, you will need several tools to secure a window shut. But don’t fret because all these can be found lying in your garage.

What you need to prepare for this are two pieces of nails, a pencil, and a drill—it can be an electric or hand drill.

Ensure the nail is long enough to go through the length of one-and-a-half sash. Going for a 4-inch common nail is the safest bet. 

Step 2: Drill a hole in the window sash


The critical step to nail a window shut concerns drilling.

You first need to ensure the alignment of the top corner of the lower sash and the bottom corner of the upper sash. To do this, you need to close the window from the inside securely.

Once everything is aligned, do these steps:

    1. Using a pencil, mark down where you will put the pilot hole. Ensure the mark would be on the external sash where you can see it.
    2. Get your hand drill or electric drill. Make sure it is powered to avoid interference while working.
    3. From the inside, drill a hole onto both sides of the upper corner of the lower sash.
    4. The drilling bit must penetrate the width of the lower window sash and half the width of the upper window sash. The bit should not go all the way to the other side of the window.

Step 3: Latch the nails


Lastly, get your 4-inch nails and insert them into the newly drilled holes to lock a window without a lock. To open the window, you can just remove the nails on each side to slide the window open.

Alternative Step: Screw the Sashes Together

It is advisable to screw a window shut to close it permanently or until you install a new window.

To do this, follow these steps.

  1. Mark where you will put the screws.
  2. Make holes using a drill. Make sure that the screws are long enough to penetrate both sashes.

2. Single-hung window


Single-hung windows are yet another common type usually used in one’s residence. The only difference from the double-hung window is that only the lower sash is movable, while the upper sash is fixed to its place.

For this type of window, you will only need a nice and durable window stopper stick, like a wooden dowel, to lock windows in house.

3. Sliding Window

Follow the following steps here to secure your window:

Step 1: Prepare a window stopper stick and a saw.


The typical security sticks for windows you can find in the market are wooden dowels. The good thing is they are cheap and always readily available in nearby hardware stores.

So, get one of these and cut the wooden dowel according to the length needed to fill the gap between the moving sash and the window frame. 

Step 2: Put the dowel rod in the track vertically.


To use a wooden dowel rod as your temporary window lock, position it vertically to both sides of the upper sash. That way, the rod restricts the lower sash from moving out of its place.

Make sure that it fits nicely and will not be moved when someone uses force to open the window.


Can I use the nail method for my sliding window?

The safest way to secure your sliding window with a broken lock is to install bars in front of the window. In this case, you only need to cut the bars according to the length of the fixture. Drill holes on both the upper and lower stools, then put the bar into the holes with construction adhesive.

But yes, you can also use nails as inexpensive alternatives to bars on windows.

Can I jam a window shut?

Yes, you can definitely jam a window shut by gluing the moving window to its frame. However, reverting the window to its original state would be a hassle fix. You may use a security bar as a more temporary method.


Knowing how to secure a window with a broken lock does not mean you can be complacent with your safety. Although these methods are deemed effective, remember that many seasoned burglars have ways to bypass them.

It is also important to note that these measures are just stopgaps. You should use them until you have the means to install a fully-functioning lock to secure an open window.

5/5 - (2 votes)