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How to Unlock a Safe Combination Lock? – Detailed Guide

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to unlock a safe combination lock

You landed here as you’ve been cracking your head, figuring out how to open a safe that is locked. You’ve come to the right place! Now, you may sit back, explore your options below, and learn how to unlock a safe combination lock.

A Safe Combination Lock is designed to keep your valuables secure from the unknowns. There are different kinds of combination locks available, and it is important to find out the type of lock you have. Today, we’ll focus on how to open a safe with 4 number combination, one of the most commonly found safes nowadays.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Opening a Safe Combination Lock

What to prepare

  • Safe’s code combination slip or information about your safe’s combination number. Most combination safes include this slip together with the users’ manual.

This code combination slip provides your safe’s default combination code that you will be using to open a combination safe.

Step 1: Look for the indicator marks on your mechanical dial safe


To open a safe combination lock, you must first look for your safe dial’s opening indicator.

Most combination safes have these indicators– the opening mark (at the 12 o’clock position, located at the top of the dial) and the changing mark (at the 11 o’clock position).

The opening indicator is the mark where your numbers need to pass, so you could open a safe that is locked; while the changing indicator is the mark where your numbers need to pass if you want to change your safe’s number combination lock.

Step 2: Dial your four-digit number combination.


You may need the code combination slip provided by your manufacturer if you don’t know the safe combination lock, and your combination safe is still using the manufacturer’s default combination code.

Make sure you dial the numbers slowly to prevent making a mistake and repeating the process multiple times. Remember to turn the dial in the right direction. And, please note that the numbers must exactly land in the center of the opening indicator.

Once you have the information, follow this procedure to open a safe with four number combination (N1-N2-N3-N4)

  • Turn the dial to the RIGHT (clockwise), make four complete turns, and stop exactly on the first number (N1).
  • Turn the dial to the LEFT (counterclockwise), passing the second number (N2) twice, and stop exactly on N2 the third time.
  • Turn the dial to the RIGHT (clockwise), passing the third number combination (N3) once, and stop exactly on N3 the second time.
  • Turn the dial to the LEFT (counterclockwise), and stop exactly on the fourth number (N4).
  • Turn the handle, and pull the safe open.

Helpful Tips

how to unlock a safe combination lock

I don’t have the safe’s number combination; what can I do?

Before you drill your way in to unlock your safe, there are other things you can do to open a safe if you forgot the combination. Check below.

  • Safe override key – If your safe comes with an override key, that key may be retrieved or made for you by the manufacturer or a locksmith. Read how to open a safe with a key here.
  • Know your safe’s model and serial number – Most manufacturers place model numbers on the back part of the safe; serial numbers may be found at the bottom corner of your safe’s door. Your safe manufacturer’s document may also provide this information.
  • Contact your safe’s manufacturer – Inquire if your lock can be reset or overridden. For security reasons, they may require information and documents to prove your legal ownership of the safe.
  • Contact a locksmith – Suppose you haven’t changed the safe’s combination number. In that case, a locksmith can most likely retrieve the original number combination, as long as the combination has never been changed. They can also replace the dial with an electronic safe lock if you opt to.
  • Opt for professional drilling or DIY – This should be your last resort. Availing of a professional safe crackers’ service may, or may not be practical, so it boils down to your goal, the cost, and the type of safe that you have.


Certainly, a combination safe helps us keep our valuable things secured; it keeps unwanted hands away from our valuables. Therefore, not knowing how to unlock a safe combination lock, or a forgotten safe combination code is frustrating.

Whether you’ve just gotten a new safe, lost your combination safe manual, forgotten the combination, or lost access to your safe, this article, together with the accompanying information on different types of safes and manufacturers in the market, can certainly help you. Drilling or breaking your safe should be always your last resort.

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