Q:

How can I open a locked window?

A:

Quick Answer

Effective ways to open locked windows include removing the glass, popping the spring bolt with a credit card, breaking the glass and forcing stuck lock valves until they release the window. The best method for a particular situation depends on the type of lock involved, its location in the building and whether the lock mechanism is indoors or outside.

Know More
How can I open a locked window?
Credit: Ryan McVay Digital Vision Getty Images

Full Answer

Most windows in homes, apartments and offices have one or two locks. Each lock is connected to a screw or valve that opens and closes it. If the valves rust or get stuck in the closed position due to sloppy painting, the window cannot move. Rusty valves benefit from a liberal application of a hardware lubricant.

To open a window that is painted shut, cover the lock with a soft towel and gently knock it with a hammer. Tap the hammer from right to left. These and other screw locks open when turned counter-clockwise, and aiming the hammer blows accordingly encourages the lock to pop open.

Window locks are easy to reach from inside. It is much more difficult to open a window while standing outside. If the window is part of a door, it does not have a separate lock. Bypassing the window is still useful, however, because it makes it easy to reach inside and turn the doorknob. Insert the tip of a Philips head screwdriver into the bottom edge of the window and wiggle it around until it fits beneath the glass. Apply gentle, steady upward pressure until the window pops out.

Learn more about Doors, Windows, & Locks

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a transom window?

    A:

    A transom window is a window above a door or over another window. It is often decorative and allows extra light into a space. Historically, a purely decorative transom window allowed building owners to demonstrate their wealth.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What is a window lintel?

    A:

    A lintel is a horizontal member and structural window component. In architectural terms, lintels can execute a number of tasks, from being purely ornamental to adding actual supportive integrity to the design. Lintels are also commonly found in engineering loci outside of windows, such as in portals, doors and fireplaces.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How is window film used for decorating?

    A:

    According to Freshhome magazine, window film offers an inexpensive and easy alternative to decorating with etched glass or stained glass. Window film can also be used to make a home look and feel newer.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What are some ideas for window valances?

    A:

    Window valances are ornamental pieces of fabric or wood that surmount a window frame. They are made from a wide variety of objects and can incorporate design elements not usually considered. For example, a wooden shelf can be built and hung directly over the window to house collectibles.

    Full Answer >

Explore