Remove a door knob that has no screws???

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My wife and I just bought our first house. It is about 40 years old, but is in surprisingly good shape. One of the first things we did was replace all of the door knobs on the doors that go outside. However, once we got to the front door, we ran into a problem. That’s right, as the title of this post suggests, the front door knob did not have any screws on it for removal…

Old doorknob, outside   Old doorknob, inside - no screws!

I guess technically it does have screws for removing the latch, but those did not affect the rest of the doorknob. It turns out that doorknobs like this are pretty common in older houses, and you usually only have to find a slot behind the interior knob, and push in on the slot with a pointy object while simultaneously pulling on the knob. This I did, the knob did come off, but then nothing else would budge. It turns out that our door knob was of the Schlage brand, which used to implement a little tomfoolery with their knobs. In addition to the slot, they also include a little wire that you must depress to remove the knob’s rose (the big round part that is flush against the door.) Pushing/leveraging the wire in will probably work best with a very small screwdriver (that’s what I did) or a straighten-out paperclip (per Mo’s comment below.) Click the images below.

The old doorknob, spot the slot and wire.   The old doorknob, with the slot and wire labelled.

After pressing the wire in, I had to put a knife blade under the rose to pry it off, because it was a little bit stuck to the door’s wood stain, but it took very little force. Here are the pictures of the knob before and after removing the rose:

Doorknob with knob removed.   Doorknob with knob and rose removed. Look! Screws!

That’s right! There were screws under the rose! It was all a cinch after that. Just unscrew the screws, and pull the knob out from the exterior side of the door. Normally, the inside part and outside part will separate and pull out in their respective directions, but this old doorknob was pulled out entirely from the exterior side of the door. The latch pulled out simply after removing its screws. Here is the new doorknob that we replaced it with:

New doorknob.

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This entry was posted in Home Projects, Home Updates / Repairs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

115 Responses to Remove a door knob that has no screws???

  1. Angela says:

    You sure are handy!

  2. Mo says:

    Thanks for the tip about the wire on the ring as that did the trick! The photo helped. I straightened a large, oversized paper clip and that worked. May want to post the paper clip to use for the wire.

  3. admin says:

    Good point, Mo. I have added that suggestion to the post. Thanks!

  4. Dave says:

    Your pix and guidance were excellent! Great job, it really helped me out.

  5. admin says:

    I’m glad it helped out.

  6. Danielle says:

    Thank you so much! This was a godsend!!!!

  7. Kirsten says:

    I Googled ‘how to remove a door knob with no visible screws’ and your site came up first. In a word Brilliant! Thanks so much for posting the solution to such a dilemma!

  8. admin says:

    I’m glad it helped out! When I first started trying to remove the doorknob, I also tried Googling the problem, but couldn’t find much. I’m surprised that not very many web sites describe this, since it is apparent that a lot of people run into this problem.

  9. da says:

    Thanks!! Yours is the first to accurately and clearly show where to find the secret slot — the others vaguely refer to a pin or hole located ‘somewhere’. I visited many useless tip sites before I found your excellent info. We have a bunch of locks in our house just like the one pictured and they are over 50 years old — they are just starting to need to be replaced! Good on Schlage!

  10. JW says:

    Thanks. The clip did the trick!

  11. Maiti says:

    My God Thank You!!!!!
    I was almost in tears after exchanging locks and then finding the silly wire that did not do anything. THANK YOU FOR YOUR DIRECTIONS! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PHOTOS!
    p.S. They sold me a lock that doesn’t fit BUT I can all take all those old pieces there to get one that will. May you be rewarded for all you do!

  12. Ann Kelly says:

    My 89 year old father has been fixing and repairing things all his life but this door knob completely stumped him. He’s not exactly “into” computers and the web, but I sat him down to read your solution – he loved it. He made the comment, “It sure is easy when you know what you’re doing.” Thanks a bunch.

  13. LWilliams says:


    Thanks so much for this page. We have a five inch Shlage doorknob on our front door that stopped working. Had it not been for your instructions, I still would be scratching my bald head trying to figure out how to remove the knob!!!

    Again, thanks much.


  14. admin says:

    I’m glad my description was able to help you. It took me quite a long time to figure out the trick with this door knob, even with my engineering background! Schlage certainly should win a “confusing design” award for this knob!

  15. Tara says:

    Just wanted to add another thank you :)
    I had the same Schlage knob, and I could not fathom how to remove it! Your pictures really helped too.

  16. Connie says:

    OMG – thanks! The pics totally helped. I couldn’t figure it out either and I just bought my first place and am replacing the ugly doorknobs. Gonna try this tonight!

  17. Frank says:

    Thanks! Ultimately, I would have wrecked a fine wooden door had I not found your advice. Great!

  18. thomas says:

    I had this same problem with some older door knobs on my bathrooom door and bathroom closet door. I pressed the slot and nothing I could not get the door know to come of so i found another way to solve this problem it’s called a hacksaw…after i got out my hacksaw the door knob was off in no time at all…LOL hope this helps any other frustrated remodelers.

  19. Ken Francis says:

    Just brilliant! Thank you so much! I was totally lost without you! Can’t thank you enough. All the best from Down Under!

  20. jacqui says:

    Oh, my God!!! Thanks you so much for your help!

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