how to remove a door knob

person holding both sides of a door knob and pulling them apart
Tools Needed
1 Flathead Screwdriver
2 Phillips Head Screwdriver
3 Gloves
4 Power Drill
Materials Needed
1 Safety Glasses
2 New Door Knob Kit
3 Pry Bar
4 Pliers
Total Cost
$5-$10
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
30-45 Minutes
Skill Level: Beginner
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

door panel with the door knob removed showing the inside of the locking mechanism

Replacing an interior door doesn’t require the services of a professional. In fact, it’s a project most homeowners can easily tackle themselves. However, when the door knob doesn’t have any visible screws showing how the knob attaches to the door, it can easily throw most people for a loop. But there’s no need to fair. Removing a door knob without obvious screws is actually very easy, as long as you know what to do. Follow the process below, and you’ll have that door knob off in no time.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Release the Latch

close up of hands trying to release a door latch on a door knob

The first step to removing the door knob is to find the latch on the knob itself. Typically, it’s a little hole or slot, or a small protruding button, located on the shank of the door handle, near the point where the knob meets the plate that is against the door. Begin by opening the door. This ensures you have full visibility. The latch could be located on the right- or left-hand side depending on how your door is oriented, so you may need to check both to find the slot.

Once you identify the latch, you’ll need to press it down to release the door handle. Often, the easiest way to do so is with a small, Flathead screwdriver. Use the end of the screwdriver to push the button or press into the hole or slot. As you depress the latch, pull the door knob straight out and away from the door. Once you get the latch in the proper position, the door handle will release, allowing it to be removed.

2

Remove the Back Plate

person using a screw driver removing a back plate of a door knob

After the door knob has been removed, you can move on to the trim plate, which is also called the rose, of the door knob. There will be a slim slot on the plate, typically located on the side closest to the door edge. Place the screwdriver tip into the slot and pry the trim plate away using firm pressure. Once it dislodges, just pull it over the mechanism.

Once the trim plate is removed, two screws should now be exposed. They are located on the face of the door and are securing a second plate that is part of the door mechanism. Typically, these can be taken out using a properly sized Phillips head screwdriver. In most cases, you’ll need to turn the screws counterclockwise to loosen them, along them to be removed after a suitable number of turns based on the length of the screw itself.

3

Remove the Latch

person using tools to remove the inside latch mechanism of a door knob

Now that the screws are removed, you can pull the secondary plate away. Grip it firmly with your hand and pull it straight out. The other side of the door knob will also be loose. At times, this will fall when you remove the secondary plate from the other side, so make sure no one is in the way when you pull the plate. If the door handle doesn’t fall off, simply grip it with your hand and remove it using firm pressure.

At this point, the only piece remaining in the door should be the latching mechanism. You’ll need to unscrew it from the edge of the door to facilitate removal. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to loosen the screws, allowing them to be removed. After the screws have been taken out, you can now remove the door latch. Grip it with your hand and pull it straight out from the edge of the door. If the door latch doesn’t remove easily, you can loosen the associated plate with a slim flathead screwdriver. Just make sure you don’t apply too much pressure, or you may damage the door.

Alternatively, you can also help guide the door latch out by pushing on the portion that protrudes into the round opening the door handle trim plate previously covered. Again, make sure to take care as you don’t want to damage the door itself in the process.

Conclusion

Once this process is complete, you’ll be left with the standard door knob opening in the door. You can then begin the replacement process using your door knob or handle of choice. By avoiding excess force during the removal procedure, you shouldn’t damage any portion of the door along the way. This ensures a replacement can be more easily fitted and additional repairs won’t be necessary to get a new one ready to use.

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