Skip to main content

How to Remove a Doorknob

How to remove a doorknob

There are times in which we need to do replacements around the home. Replacing the HVAC filter, change out the blinds, and even replacing a door knob. This may not happen too often, but sometimes we do need to do that. It may be it no longer does its job or you want a new one. This is often seen on a front door more than anywhere else in the home.

How do you remove a doorknob? Well, it depends on the type that it is but most of them will require a Philips screwdriver and each type is a different process. The most common involves looking for a tiny slot or hole in the doorknob, pushing the detent to release the knob, pop off the rose, remove the screws, and replace the latch plate.

We will take a look at why you need to know about replacing a doorknob, the various types of door handles, the easy steps for replacing a doorknob, maintenance for doorknobs and other areas, and when to call a professional.

Why You Need to Know About Replacing a Doorknob

As mentioned above, it is not often that a doorknob needs replacing. However, there are times that one will break or stop working or you want to change up the decor. You might also need to know how to do it so you don’t have to call a professional and spend more money. The tips below should help you.

lever handle
Lever door handle with child safety lock

Types of Door Handles

  • Lever handles- these are modern and often seen on the doors inside the home.
  • Pull handles- often these are on the cabinets in kitchens
  • Door knobs- these can be on the front door or on interior doors in the home. They often come in rustic, key entrance, and privacy to name a few.

For this article, we are going to focus on replacing the doorknob. There are different types of doorknobs and we will take a look at those.


The locket comes with everything you need for installation: Knob, rose, spindle, latch (also called a striker), and latch plate. Often, you can use a Phillips or sometimes you need an Allen wrench to put the lock on. This is because of hex head screws that might be in the package.

Thin Hole

A firm wire or a paperclip that is straightened can go into the hole on the knob and push the spring. This is called a detent and releases the knob from the part that holds the door knob parts together.


The slot is another type of doorknob. This uses a flat head screwdriver to reach the detent.

doorknob with recessed screws

Steps to Remove a Doorknob

Here are the steps to remove a doorknob and start with the door open so you can have access to both sides:

1. Look at the Knob

Look at the knob side of the lock and see if there is a slot or a hole or a recessed screw. This will tell you which type of knob you are working with.

2. Releasing the Knob

The key to releasing the knob is determined by how it is fastened.

  • Slot – use a flat head screwdriver and push it in the detent. This will release it.
  • Small hole- use a paperclip that is straightened to spring it
  • Recessed hex head screw- turn it counterclockwise with an Allen wrench

3. Remove the Rose from the Doorknob

If you don’t see the screws when releasing the knob, you may need to remove the rose. This is the part that holds the backing plate to the door. To do this:

  1. Locate the thin slot in the seam between the plate and door
  2. Insert the tip of a flat-head screwdriver
  3. Pop off the rose

4. Remove the Screws

Take a Phillips screwdriver and remove the screws that hold the entire knob and latch assembly together. You will take all of this out. This includes the spindle, backing plates, latch, and old knobs.

latch plate

5. Take the Latch Plate Off

The latch plate is very important as it is the metal that goes to the door jamb and is the metal that the latch passes through when the door is closed. When you put a new knob on, it will be important you use the latch plate that comes with the new knob as it must be compatible. Take note of the direction the curved side faces so you know for when you replace the knob.

6. Add New Latch Plate

When you took off the latch plate, you should have noted the direction that the curved side faced. Put this one on the same way.

Put the new knob in place. You will start with the knob for the outside of the door and put it in place. Then do the same with the inside knob.

Take the spindle and the screws and put them through the latch assembly and into the other knob. You want to tighten the screws with a Phillips head screwdriver.

The knob goes on the end of the spindle, then turn it until the detent clicks into alignment with the access slot or hole. If you need to, tighten the recessed screws with the Allen wrench.

Here is a video to show you how to do this:

Maintenance for Doorknobs and Other Areas

It’s a good idea to try the door knobs throughout the year to make sure they lock and unlock properly. The last thing you want is someone getting locked in a room and no one can get to him/her without breaking the door down. Knowing what type of locks you have is important so they can be replaced easily.

Additionally, if you are thinking about selling your home, a home inspector will check to make sure the knobs are working on exterior and interior doors.

"On" setting of AC

When looking through the house at the doors, keep an eye on any that might look like they are sticking. Is your AC fan in the “on” or “auto” position? In the south especially, it should always be on “auto.” This is because the humidity increases in the “on” setting, so the fan doesn’t pull the moisture out of the air.

Lastly, also be on the lookout for any mold issues in the home. You never know when water will get into the home or the humidity is too high. You may spot it on the carpet or on the walls. The earlier you can catch it the better.

Taking your time once a year to look through your home for any issues is a smart idea. The earlier you can find an issue, the better.

When to Call a Professional

Call a professional if you have issues with the doorknobs in your home and can’t fix them, or if you find other problems in your home and need assistance. Additionally, if you decide you want to put your house up for sale, you can have a pre-listing home inspection to make sure that the doorknobs, as well as the other areas in the home that will be checked, are all up to standard.


Changing out a doorknob may be one of the easier home improvements or fixes an owner can do on their own. Sometimes changing the type of doorknob can create a different look in the home! All Coast Home Inspections will inspect your doorknobs and doors and other areas during your home inspection in Houston, Texas.

Leave a Reply