how to remove a door handle

modern silver door handle on a classic door
Tools Needed
1 Power Drill
2 Flat-Head Screwdriver
3 Safety Glasses
4 Screws
Materials Needed
1 Door Handle
2 Hardware Parts
3 Safety Glasses
4 Phillips Head Screwdriver
Total Cost
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
20-30 Minutes
Skill Level: Beginner
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

a person turning a door handle lever to open the door

When you are getting around to some home improvements, one that you may want to consider is changing the door handle on your entry door. This may seem very simple but for many it gets confusing. Removing and replacing the door handles can be troublesome. There are so many different kinds out there and you may not know which one to get. Some are designed in different ways and you need to make sure they get installed properly. The steps below are going to help you determine what is needed to get this project done successfully.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Choosing a New Door Handle

many different kinds of door handles and handlesets in different colors styles and shapes

Before you start removing the current door handle you have, you will need to choose a new door handle. There are many options out there that would look great on any door. You may want to spend some time researching for a color, style and certain material before you make your decision. Once you have decided on the new door handle and purchased it, you can remove the current door handle.


Screw Method Removal

person using a power drill to unscrew a door handleset

The first step in this home improvement project is to remove the current door handle. There are pieces of hardware that need to be taken apart. Since there are so many different types of door handles, the steps may vary a bit. The age of the knob, if older, could make it more difficult to remove as well. The mechanism on the door handle needs to be released. This can be done in various ways. First, you have the screw type method. You will need to take off all the screws you can see. There will be screws around the plate of the door handle. You may find some others too.


Hole Method Removal

person using screwdriver to poke the door handle holes

Then you have the hole type method. Start by looking for smaller holes on your door handle base. You will loosen these up. You may need a wire that can fit in the hole to push down the door knob. Keep up with the tension your door knob while you put it out.


Behind The Plate Removal Method

showing the notch in the door that could be used to pry the door handleset and remove the handle

Next, you have the behind the plate plan. This is when you check the rounded plate near the door. If the notch is inside there, your flathead screwdriver now comes in handy. Use that to lift the plate. There should be a heavier plate you find behind that which has two different notches. You may need to shine a light under to see the smaller screws that are mounting the plate on. Turn the plate and screws until it pops out of place.

You also have the latch type method. You will need your flathead screwdriver to pry off a rounded plate that goes over the current door knob. It should come off quite easily. Once you have done that, you can see the thicker metal plate which was covered from the round plate. The hole should now be visible and you can then switch that latch by pushing down. It should then come off.


Thread Removal Method

showing the back plate of a door handle that would have to be removed and is covering some screws

Finally, you can use the thread type method. The wrench can hold the door knob or you can use your hand too. You will unscrew that rounded plate that goes around the door knob. It should loosen up. Turn it further on both sides. You will now see the hole. Turn your handle until the latch or spring is located. Press it down with your screwdriver and pull on the handle. It often comes off quite easily.


Removing Additional Parts

variety of parts that the person would have to remove when disassembling the door handle

Once you have gotten the mechanism loosened, you will be able to take the handles off from the door knob. Both the knobs should be taken out and you will sit them to the side. You can give them to someone else if they aren’t broken or toss them in the metal scrap pile since you are replacing them with a new set.

The next step is to remove the latch set-up. This will be that metal plate surrounding the edge part of your door. It is the part where your latch sticks forward. You will do this by unscrewing all screws found below and above the latch. Gently take off that plate with your screwdriver. This step is quite simple but you may have to pull it a bit if the set-up is quite old.

Now, you can finally take the inside mechanism off. It should be quite simple to pull this out from the door. Once you have gotten this out, you may need the help of a screwdriver to push the sides if it does get stuck, you can now go onto the final step.


Now that you have fully removed the current door handle, it is time to place the new door handle. The packaging for the new door handle should have instructions on how to get this done. It could vary greatly depending on the type of handle you have chosen and based on the manufacturer too.

This may seem like one of the easiest home improvement projects you can make. However, you will need to know how to properly remove the door handle you have and now you have the steps to get that done. You will need to research what new handle you will be getting and read those instructions for installing it. With this information, you can go ahead and get a new door handle for your home.

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