Upgrade Front Door Locks With Keyless Door Locks

Updated: Apr. 07, 2024

An electronic keypad entry system solves all those missing key problems

FH07JUN_KEYLES_01-2 keyless entry door lock front door locksFamily Handyman

For get your key? Unlock your front door with a four-digit number that you simply punch into an electronic keypad. This electronic lock is easy to install; you only need a screwdriver.

Photo courtesy of Schlage.

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Install an electronic keypad entry lockset

install keyless locks

Photo 1: Mount the keyless entry door lock keypad

Hold the keyless entry door lock keypad upright and slide the battery cable over the top of the dead bolt and the driver bar through the center slot of the dead bolt.

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Photo 2: Install the inside mounting plate

Pull the battery cable through, then hold the front door keypad and the inside mounting plate together while you tighten the screws.

Photo 3: Connect the battery

Hook up the battery and snap it into place, make sure the front door keypad and inside plate are level, then screw on the cover plate.

Keyless Locks

What with friends, contractors, pet sitters and others, it’s easy to lose track of extra house keys. For better control of front door locks and who can get in and out—and a permanent solution to the lost-key problem with kids—replace one of your dead bolt locks with electronic keypad entry keyless locks (typically $100 to $200). Also called at keyless entry door lock. Instead of using a key, you just punch in a four-digit number, so you don’t have to worry about being locked out. You can pick your own number and change it anytime. You can also program in additional four-digit codes for visitors, then delete them later.

Consider these pros and cons before you make the jump from a traditional door lock to a keyless entry system.

Get a keypad entry lock on Amazon.

How to Install the Door Lock:

Start by removing the old dead bolt (and the handle if you’re replacing it). Set the new dead bolt to match the existing 2-3/8-in. or 2-3/4-in. “backset” (measured from the door edge to the center of the dead bolt hole), then install it in the deadbolt hole. Make sure that “TOP” is facing up and that the bolt is fully retracted.

Install the outside front door keypad first (Photo 1), then secure it in place with the inside mounting plate (Photo 2). Connect the wires to the battery and tuck them out of the way before attaching the inside cover plate (Photo 3). (Note: We used a Schlage lock; other manufacturers may have different installation procedures.)

With the door open, check to make sure the dead bolt extends and retracts smoothly. If it doesn’t, disassemble the lock and make sure the parts were installed correctly. To unlock the dead bolt, just punch in the code and turn the latch. Plus: Check out how to find the best home security camera for you.

How to Change the Code on the Door Lock:

The lock we installed comes preprogrammed with two unique user codes. To change them or add more, follow the lock’s programming instructions.

The lock will send a signal when the battery needs replacing. A key is also included in case the lock ever malfunctions or loses battery power and needs to be opened manually. One big caution: Don’t lose the programming guide. It contains the user codes, programming codes and instructions for changing codes.

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Required Tools for this keyless entry door lock Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver

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