You’ll need some general knowledge to figure out how to change a combination lock.
The next step is to figure out what kind of lock you’re dealing with.
Not only does it matter whether the combination lock is mechanical or electronic, but it also matters what sort of system the combination lock is mounted on and how it affects what needs to be done to alter the combination lock.
For example, changing the combination on a safe, whether digital or otherwise, is not the same as changing the combination on a padlock or a door lock.
Variation is important. It is so important that much of this information might not be applicable to your situation.
However, this is the greatest combination of general and unique data that can be combined.
General Advice When Changing Combination Locks
- Don’t rush.
- Until attempting to change the combination, open the door.
- To adjust combination locks, you can need a specific form of “reset tool.”
- If you make a mistake at some point during the process, take a break and start over.
- Re-lock the unit only after you’re certain the new combination is right.
- Before closing the safe door after changing a safe combination, open the safe three times with the new combination.
- Some safes require the services of a safe locksmith or another safe technician to change the lock because it cannot be done at home.
- Find basic details on how to adjust lock combinations by looking up the name of your lock.
What Is the Combination Lock Installed On?
Combination locks are used on a wide range of products. The location of the lock will reveal a lot of information about it.
It can, for example, assist you in determining the best method for changing the combination.
Here are some key points to remember when changing the combination locks on the following units.
Change Safe Combination
When dealing with secure combinations, the most challenging technique for changing a combination lock is likely to be encountered.
The complexity will be determined by whether or not the secure combination is digital.
Combination shift protocols for mechanical dial locks are more varied and often more complex than those for secure electronic combinations.
A missing safe combination means you’ll need assistance to open the safe unless it’s already open.
This is one of many instances in which you would need the services of a locksmith to unlock your door.
Look for a section of your user manual titled “shift combination” or “how to change combination lock.”
You can look up your user manual online if you don’t have one.
Continue reading for some useful general/specific details.
Change Safe Combination: Manual Dial
Chances are if you bought your safe from one of the best safe firms, it has a Sargent and Greenleaf mechanical manual dial.
The procedure for changing a secure combination is a little complicated, but as long as you can find your change key, you can do it yourself.
- Open the door to your safe.
- Manipulate the dial with the current combination when the safe door is open.
- You will, however, transfer the numbers to the change mark (the mark to the left of the 12 o’clock mark that is used to open the safe).
- Leave the last number in your combination on the secure dial.
- In the keyhole on the inner side of the safe lock, insert your change key.
- Turn the secure key in the keyway without over-torquing it.
- Use the change mark to dial your new combination, then follow the rotational procedure to open the safe.
- Leave the last number of your new combination on the secure dial.
- Delete the shift key by turning it.
- While the door is still open, test the new combination many times.
You can find more information on this sort of lock here.
In case you have an older or antique safe, changing the combination can necessitate following different procedures.
The process of combination shift is most likely a variant of the one mentioned above.
Before attempting this method, make sure you know what you’re doing or seek professional advice.
Change Safe Combination: Digital
A reset button or dialing protocol will be available for digital locks, which will put the digital keypad into programming mode.
The safe’s automated combination lock can only record codes as attempts to open the safe if it is not put into programming mode.
Call a locksmith or look up the user guide if you don’t know what protocol your automated secure combination lock uses to reach programming mode.
After you’ve put the safe in programming mode, most automated locks will require you to enter the current code before you can adjust the combination.
Since most healthy manufacturers use this brand, you’ll almost certainly have an S&G (Sargent and Greenleaf) bolt.
The following is the combination shift procedure for S&G wireless secure locks:
- When the door is open, click “7,” “4,” and finally “*.” (the asterisk button).
- The lock will be switched to programming mode, but you must still enter the current safe combination and click the “#” key (the pound button).
- Wait until five distinct beeps have been detected.
- By pressing “1,” then “*,” you can adjust the secure combination (the asterisk button).
- After inserting the new code, click the “#” key (the pound button).
- Wait until three distinct beeps have been detected.
- Click “#” after inserting the new code a second time (the pound button).
- Wait until you hear three distinct beeps, which means both the first and second codes are right.
- The digital lock can no longer be programmed.
- Before you close your safe, double-check that the new combination is working properly.
You will read more about Sargent and Greenleaf electronic locks in the literature available here.
To change a safe combination on other, less complicated electronic safe locks, open the safe, press “0” six times, enter the current code, then enter the new combination twice.
Call a locksmith if none of these options are working.
Change Padlock Combination
It is not possible to adjust the combination of every combination padlock.
Many companies are incorporating this feature into new product designs for modern combination padlocks, but older combination padlocks are stuck with the combination that came with it.
This, too, can vary.
Look up the name and model number of your lock to see if it’s an exception to the law.
If you don’t know the model number, you can look it up on the internet by looking at photographs or product lists of combination padlocks of the same brand name.
It is likely to be a simple procedure to adjust the combination on your padlock.
Since these locks are intended for the general public, the designers have made it easy to alter the combination (because that is what most consumers want).
This compromises the padlock’s security, which is why combination locks aren’t included on any list of the best padlocks of all time.
- Use the steps below to see if you can adjust the combination on your padlock, as well as the method for doing so.
- Navigate to your preferred search engine.
- Fill in the blanks with the information you have about your padlock.
- Name of the manufacturer.
- Combination style.
- The model number.
- Any additional information you may have about the lock.
- Search for a video or official documentation.
- Make sure you can visually confirm that the lock being discussed is the same model as yours.
- Try out the method.
If attempting to change the combination, avoid breaking the bolt.
It’s likely to be inexpensive to repair, but you don’t want to expose anything you’re covering any more than it already is.
Change Door Lock Combination
A combination door lock will still have a way for you to change the combination.
A specific procedure for changing combination locks on a door lock (and all other locks) will be followed.
Also, for modern keypad door locks, you’ll notice the most variation in these devices.
The method of changing the combination on a residential door lock is less complex than changing the combination on a commercial lock.
A commercial locksmith is more likely to be needed to adjust door lock combinations on commercial locks.
You can also need the services of a home locksmith if you are having difficulty changing a combination lock.
Change Combination Lock: Mechanical
There are no batteries in a mechanical combination door lock.
It will still have buttons that have to be pressed in a specific order, but it will not require strength.
The basic procedure for changing the combination on a door lock is as follows:
- Remove the lock from the door by disassembling it.
- With the current code, unlock the door.
- Throughout the remainder of the procedure, keep the reset button pressed.
- Remove the combination pad’s back cover.
- There will be two sets of pins, each with its own unique characteristics.
- Locate the pin styles that have been inserted into the current combination number slots.
- To change the lock’s combination, move the pins.
- Remove the back cover and replace it.
- Press and hold the reset button.
- Check to see if the new combination is successful.
- Replace the doorknob’s lock.
This approach is not the only way to change a door’s combination lock.
This form of combination shift protocol is likely to be encountered, but not always.
It’s challenging to list all of the exceptions to this law, but if you can’t fix the combination lock on your door using this method, call a locksmith.
Change Combination Lock: Digital
If your wireless combination door lock is a smart lock, you’ll probably be able to change the combination using the app.
You must locate your reset protocol if you have a simple digital combination door lock.
This is a code that can be found in the lock manual and/or the interior hardware of many Schlage digital combination door locks.
It is also possible to reset the programming code.
The fact that these locks have too many programming options makes them confusing.
It’s easy to reprogram the lock in an unexpected way.
SmartCode by Kwikset Locks becomes more difficult to open, requiring you to remove the battery pack and hold the reset button before reinserting the battery pack.
You must wait for the lights to blink before proceeding. Since you’ve reset the lock to factory settings, press the software button again and then follow the installation protocol.
If you’re having trouble figuring out how to change a door’s combination lock, look up details on the lock’s manufacturer and model.
Reach out to a nearby locksmith if you can’t or are frustrated at any point during the process.
Change Briefcase Lock Combination
Wheel combination locks are often used in briefcases, with each numbered wheel rotating independently.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the current combination; this type of combination lock gives the appearance of protection.
You don’t have to be concerned about this sort of lock being vulnerable until it’s reopened.
You should decode the combination by inserting a feeler gauge to determine the pattern or hold the entire pressure on the release mechanism and turn each wheel to determine which number provides the most resistance.
If these decoding methods are unfamiliar to you, you should probably contact a locksmith.
Follow these measures once you’ve received the briefcase set:
- Pull the lock release lever and keep the lock latch unlocked.
- Rotate the wheels to the new combination while keeping pressure to hold the lock open.
- Enable the latch to spring back to its fully extended position by releasing pressure.
- Check to see if the new combination works when the briefcase is open, and the latch is extended.
- Put the case away.
Change Locker Combination
Mechanical dial combination locks are installed into lockers to make changing combination locks easy and fast.
Since these locks are used in schools and workplaces, you must maintain meticulous records of any adjustments you create.
This knowledge does not extend to locker locks that the user brings in. Go to section 2 for details on adjusting detachable locker locks (padlocks) (Change Padlock Combination).
Master Lock makes the most common built-in combination locker locks.
True, Master Lock is a low-cost security brand, but it does an excellent job of locking lockers (which are insecure by their nature).
For Master Lock built-in locker locks, there are two ways to alter the combination.
The first (for older models) calls for you to do the following:
- Insert the change key and turn it clockwise (right) before it comes to a complete stop.
- Set the dial to “0.”
- On the back of the lock hardware, press a button.
- Switch the dial two marks (to “48”) counterclockwise (left) when pressing the button.
- Let go of the button.
- Delete the key by turning it backward.
- Turn the dial counterclockwise (right) before a click is heard.
- Verify that the current combination is the same as the previous one in the sequence.
It is much easier to adjust the combinations on the more recent Master Lock built-in locker locks.
- Insert the shift key and transform it 14 times counterclockwise (to the left).
- Two counterclockwise clicks on the dial (left).
- Return the key to its original position.
- Rotate the dial before a click is heard.
- Remove the key and verify that the combination has shifted to the next in the sequence.
If you don’t have a spare key, contact a locksmith right away.
This procedure should not be carried out without the use of a change key.
Changing these types of locks by picking the lock cylinder is not a reliable method.
Change Combination Lock vs. Changing a Lock’s Combination
Call a locksmith for instructions on how to change a combination lock by removing it and replacing it with a different lock system.
This work is not always possible, and even when it is, it can be challenging.
If a combination dial is broken or you want to replace a manual dial with a digital combination lock, you should take this drastic measure.
Check in with a safe locksmith if your safe won’t open, and you’re hoping that changing the combination lock will fix the problem.
For your combination lock, there could be a better option.
The Bottom Line
The majority of combination padlocks are built to make changing the combination easy.
The intended ease of changing the combination on door locks is often identical.
Only when you get to things like safes does this job become more difficult.
Mechanical dials on safes, in particular, would be extremely difficult to deal with.
Changing the combination locks on a safe with mechanical dials almost always necessitates the assistance of a locksmith.