A doorknob that doesn’t latch properly can quickly become an annoyance or may be a source of safety and privacy concerns, and should be changed immediately. So once you notice that a doorknob is not working smoothly, you should install a replacement before the latching mechanism fails completely.
First, remove the screws from the doorknob base plate and slide the doorknobs apart. Next, remove the screws from the strike plate on the edge of the door. This is the metal plate through which the latch bolt extends. To pull the latch bolt mechanism out of the door, you may need to use your screwdriver as a lever to loosen the strike plate from its fitting.
To ensure that you purchase a new doorknob properly fitted to your door, take your old doorknob to the hardware store with you. A hardware professional will help you find an exact replacement. If you are replacing a doorknob on an entryway door, arrange for someone to be in your home while you are away.
Remove the new doorknob from its packaging. Insert the latch bolt mechanism into the door. Before screwing down the strike plate, make sure that the latch bolt’s inclined edge faces the doorway. You can test this by gently pushing the door toward the doorway. If the inclined edge of the latch bolt makes contact with the doorway, you have installed it correctly.
Next, pick up the two doorknobs. One of them has a rod extending from it. Insert the rod through the latch bolt mechanism until the doorknob is firmly in place. Put the second knob in place. If you are installing a locking doorknob, make sure that the locking knob is placed on the inside of the door before your screw down the faceplate.
Test both doorknobs. The turning action should be fluid and the latch bolt should retract smoothly. The door should latch easily and open with a light turn of either doorknob.