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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

How To Lock A Closet Door Without A Lock

by Taylor October 31, 2022

When burglars break into a house, they often go straight toward the bedroom. That’s where people keep jewelry, money, firearms, and other possible valuables. They’ll likely break into your closet, whether or not you want them to.

Or maybe it’s not about burglars. Perhaps you live with someone that shouldn’t be in your closet. A young child or a senior with dementia can end up where they shouldn’t and potentially hurt themselves. Maybe your closet is another place you don’t want them to go.

Unfortunately, interior locks are often neglected. Most designers assume that you don’t need security on the inside as long as your perimeter security is solid. This isn’t an entirely flawed line of thinking, as strong interior locks are often fire hazards. But a closet lock doesn’t contribute to that, and it can be helpful to lock a closet door.

Your closet is likely not designed to be locked. So how can you learn how to lock closet doors if you really need your closet doors inaccessible?

Here’s an overview of how to lock closet doors effectively.

  1. Non-Lock Alternatives
  2. Locking Products
  3. Other Locking Parts
  4. Mechanical Locks
  5. Electronic Locks

1. Non-Lock Alternatives

You can learn how to lock closet doors without spending money and time installing new locks. You can make a lock with items lying around the house that can help secure your closet door.

Any hard-to-move barricade could work, particularly if you’re trying to keep out a child or senior. Think about chairs, chests, and trunks in your room.

You can also jam the closet door pretty well on a doorstop. This will take time to move whenever you use the closet, but if you’re trying to stop burglars, every second counts. A burglar can be deterred by locks, due to the incentive to leave the house as soon as possible, and this has the same principle. If you don’t have a doorstop, a piece of cardboard or sock shaped into a wedge works.

You can cut the handle off an old fork, stick the tines into the door plate, and thread the handle through the tines. If this is too high for your child to reach, it’ll stop them from opening the door.

You can try to disable the handle. Door handles can be disabled by being tied down with a belt or rope. And if you’re crafty enough, you can remove the handle to stop it from opening.

That’s the basics of how to lock closet doors with household items.

2. Locking Products

If you have nothing around the house that’ll work, you don’t need to install an entire lock. There are all kinds of other products that could work. And if you want to know how to lock closet doors with them, it’s pretty simple.

Look into portable locks. They’re often easy to use and install, being designed to lock doors without locks. Some may not be compatible with your specific closet doors, so double-check that they make sense with your configuration.

Some look like barricades, while others are bars that lie across handlebars. Some are fastened to the inside or through strike plates. As a whole, portable locks come in all different varieties. Research and figure out which would work best for your closet doors.

There are a lot of simple childproof locks that won’t work against burglars but can help prevent others from accessing your closet.

If you have two handles, you can tie something around them and secure them with a padlock. Make sure the thing you use for tying is also secure. A strong chain is your best bet, but you can go lighter if the material is still time-consuming to cut through.

That’s how to lock closet doors with a bit of cash and time. But there are other security measures to keep an eye on.

3. Other Locking Parts

There are a few other ways you can learn how to lock closet doors without installing an actual lock. These are best combined with a portable lock or other locking device and shouldn’t be used alone, but they’re still worth looking into.

Security studs go into an outward swinging door’s hinges and prevent the door from being removed, if that’s something you’re worried about. This might be something to consider if you’re trying to prevent a crafty housemate like a teenager or roommate from reaching your closet.

You can install strike plate locks if you have strike plates on your closet door. This helps prevent the door from being kicked in, which can be effortless on some interior doors.

These may not be strategies on their own, but they’re a solid step in knowing how to lock closet doors.

4. Mechanical Locks

If none of the above are good options for you, you probably need to get a lock installed. If your budget is tight, you can go for a simple mechanical interior lock installation. You can do this yourself if you think you know how to lock closet doors on your own or hire a locksmith to guarantee everything goes fine.

A simple hasp latch can work well. Hasps can be bypassed by intruders, but this bypassing takes time that the intruder may not have. And they’re great at preventing other housemates from accessing your closet.

Cam locks can also be an easy lock type to install, as can plunger locks and barrel locks. Some simple locks are built for sliding door locks if that’s what your closet has.

For someone too short to reach the door or anyone without the full use of their hands, you can get a simple hook lock, sliding bolt, or shutter door installed in your closet.

If you have a dummy doorknob (that is, a doorknob with no lock in it), you can always get it replaced with a lock.

That’s how to lock closet doors the typical way. But you can also opt for something a little fancier.

5. Electronic Locks

Maybe you have more money to spare and need something a little more high-tech. In that case, there are several interior electronic lock options to ensure that your closet stays locked. It’s pretty easy to learn how to lock closet doors with one of these.

There are electronic touchpad locks that open with a specific key combination. These combine convenience and security quite well – they’re impossible for the average person to break into but not hard for you to open as long as you know the key code. This is also useful if multiple people need access to your closet.

You can get an electronic lock that reads an RFID sensor inside a card. Cards work much like a regular key, with the benefit that it can’t be picked.

And while you’re looking into electronic interior door locks, consider getting an electronic sensor. This, of course, isn’t a lock, but it can set off an alarm and even send you an alert when someone comes near your closet. Most burglars run at the sound of alarms, making this quite helpful.

That’s the basics of how to lock closet doors without locks. Hopefully you’ve found your solution by now.


How do you lock closet doors?

Interior doors tend to come with less protection than exterior doors, and, as a result, many closets don’t have locks. But it’s not hopeless – you can still know how to lock closet doors without a lock.

If you need it closed temporarily, you can barricade it with something heavy or tie the handles down. You can also buy an easy-to-use (and easy-to-install) portable lock or other security devices.

How do you lock closet double doors?

Double doors are often easier to lock than other closet doors, as you can simply tie the handles together. To keep children out, all you need is a basic tie. But for burglars, you can go more high-security. A combination of a strong chain and a padlock works well. A zip tie could work in a pinch, as long as the intruder has nothing to cut it with.

How do you lock a closet door without a lock?

A small, portable lock is great for doors that don’t already have locks, and you can always hire a locksmith to install a lock. If these aren’t options, you can try using doorstops and other wedges made of cardboard or socks. You can also barricade the door with something heavy or tie the handle to something. You can even dismantle the handle altogether.


You’d want to learn how to lock closet doors for several reasons. Maybe someone you’re looking after is a little too curious and explorative. Maybe you confiscated something from your kid and need a secure place to hide it. Or perhaps you’re likely to face burglary and have all kinds of expensive things hidden in your closet.

Unfortunately, home designers often don’t take these factors into consideration. Attention is given to outside security, which is usually all that is necessary. But sometimes, you need extra internal protection as well.

Fortunately, there are options if you’re stuck in this predicament. You can buy all kinds of simple locks and other door-stopping tools to prevent the door from being opened when you don’t want it to. You can also hire someone to install a lock for you. In the end, this is a solvable problem.

Whatever solution you choose, you now know how to lock closet doors without a lock, and your closet door should be more secure than ever. Now your valuables are safe from those that might try to get access to them.

Category: Commercial, Residential, Safety & Security

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