A Schlage keypad lock that won't lock is an obvious security risk that needs to be fixed right away. Let's not waste any time and get straight into what is likely wrong with your lock.
Here's why your Schlage lock may have stopped locking:
- Low Batteries
- Turn Lock is disabled
- Lock Override is engaged
- Door Latch is Misaligned
- Issue With the User Code
- Programming Error or Glitch
- Damaged or Dirty Internal Parts
There's a great chance that going through and checking these issues will help you get that lock working like new. This guide covers 8 solutions in detail to pinpoint and fix your specific locking problem.
How to Fix a Schlage Keypad Lock That Won't Lock
1. Check or Replace The Batteries
There should be warning signs, like blinking red lights on your lock, that will give you some indication that the batteries need changing. The Schlage keypad lock should lock on its own, but there's a chance it didn't warn you, or you missed it.
Also, if your lock stopped working after a battery change, the batteries may not have been put in correctly or fully reconnected. If you haven't changed the batteries for a while, try changing them out with all-new ones to test them at full power.
Pop the cover off the panel inside and give the batteries a close look to be certain you didn't miss something. Check the batteries have no damage and that everything is put in the right direction.
2. Test Your User Codes
Sticking with the most obvious solutions first, try testing your user codes. Whether you use the code to lock the door or not, confirming the codes can give us some ideas about where else to look for a problem.
If none of your programmed user codes are working, try the defaults that came with the lock. If the default codes work, the lock may have been reset, reprogrammed, or experienced a technical glitch. In the scenario that no codes work, you will want to check out the step for resetting the lock.
Check out my guide for programming a 4-digit Schlage code if you need a refresher on how to change the codes.
If the codes weren't the issue, move on to the next step to look at some features that could prevent your Schlage from locking.
3. Check the Turn Lock Feature
If you lock your door manually by turning the knob, you will want to check the Turn Lock setting. On some models of Schlage keypad locks, the Turn Lock Feature can be enabled or disabled. With this setting disabled it will prevent you from locking the door without first putting a user code in.
There is a chance that someone messed with the programming on accident or purposely disabled this feature.
To enable or disable Turn Lock on your Schlage lock:
- Press the Schlage button and then your six-digit programming code. The lock should flash and beep three times to let you know it's in programming mode.
- Once you are sure you are in programming mode, press the number "7" key on the keypad. You should hear a beep and see a green light flash.
- Press the Schlage one time to confirm the change and exit programming mode.
There is no easy way to tell if you have the setting enabled other than now testing to see if that allowed you to lock it with the turn knob. If your knob keeps turning and won't engage, see Schlage Lock keeps spinning for help with that specific issue.
If you prefer to have Turn Lock disabled so that a user code is required to lock the lock, move on to inspect the lock override.
4. Test the Key
A great way to narrow down your specific issue is to test that the key will lock it. Finding the key may also help you lock it for now if you are unable to get the problem solved right now.
If you have to push on the door to get the key working, or the key doesn't do the trick at all, it is likely an issue with the latch mechanism. If your key locks the door, you will know that it's probably not a misalignment issue but rather something with the programming or damage to the internals.
If the door is working fine with no resistance or noticeable difficulty, you can probably skip the next step and move on to check the override.
5. Check the Latch Alignment
When the lock is making noises but is just not able to lock on its own, or you feel stiffness when locking manually, a misaligned latch could be the root cause of your problem. There's a chance you already identified this as an issue when you tested out the key.
The best way to double-check the alignment is to feel out the door by locking it, but if you can't lock it, you will just have to look at it closely. Still, try locking it from the inside and seeing if the latch bolt goes in smoothly or if it's hitting something. Does the deadbolt extract or retract?
If your deadbolt simply does not extend all the way even when the door is open, you should try lubricating your lock and latch. If the deadbolt is hitting the strike plate, you will need the adjust it by loosening the screws and moving it a bit.
Be sure there is enough room in the hole for the deadbolt to fully extend inside, or else you will want to widen it. Lastly, you can check the frame and make sure no recent damage has affected the door. If you take a step back when the door is closed, you can tell if something is off when there are larger gaps on any side of the door.
6. Inspect the Lock Override
Many Schlage keypad locks have a lock override inside that disables the use of the keypad. You will only need to check this if the keypad isn't working or if it's having issues when trying to lock the door with a user code.
If you can open the lock with a keypad, your problem probably doesn't come from the lock override. Otherwise, the lock override could have been enabled or needs to be tightened a bit to be sure it's not slightly engaged.
A newer lock shouldn't have this engaged or need any maintenance, but it could be worth knowing about.
Engaging or Disengaging the Lock Override on Schlage Keypad
The lock override is simply a flat-head turn screw. Remove the cover inside the door and look for a hole labeled with the words "LOCK OVERRIDE."
When the line is horizontal, the override should be disengaged, and the keypad should work correctly. However, if the screw line is vertical, it will be engaged, blocking the keypad input.
Even if it is disengaged, you can use a screwdriver to move it back and forth. This will give it some use, and then you can end up in the unlocked position. Check if you can now lock it using the keypad.
Note: If you have a smart lock like the Encode you may also want to check the setting on your Schalge Auto-Lock feature. It could have been disabled or set with a delay of up to 4 minutes.
7. Factory Reset Your Lock
The old go-to when you aren't quite certain what is wrong with your Schlage lock is just giving it a factory reset. It can be good for it to get a nice refresh and work out the kinks if any technical glitches have occurred.
Don't worry if you have never factory reset your lock before; it's not that hard and can honestly fix the odd issues that come around. However, you will have to reprogram your user codes, as this will set everything back to default.
So, before you go ahead with this step, make sure you have your default codes that are inside the lock or in the included manual. You will need at least the programming code to get some new user codes programmed in.
Just remember to open up the door and be on the inside so you don't accidentally lock yourself out.
How to Reset a Schlage Keypad Lock:
- Take the inside cover off the lock. You will have to take a couple screws out to fully remove it.
- Unclip the wire from the battery or battery pack.
- Press the Schlage button one time.
- Reconnect the battery on the interior side of the lock.
- Press and hold the Schlage button shortly after reconnecting the battery. Continue holding the button until it flashes green.
While most of the Schlage keypads are reset this way, if you are having any issues with the reset, check out my guide on how to reset all Schlage locks.
8. Inspect and Clean the Inside
I really hope you haven't made it this far because I hope it was a simple fix that didn't require tearing it apart to look inside. The good news is that it isn't really that hard to open up, and it could be a simple part that got loose.
Still, you may also consider just calling Schlage support to check the status of your warranty. If it is still covered, you might be able to get a replacement.
If you aren't afraid to open it up, I would start by just taking the back cover off and looking for disconnected wires. After, you will need to get clear into the internal lock mechanism, which is inside the front panel of the lock.
When you are ready to take it apart, here's what you will need:
- Philips screwdriver
- Torx screwdriver set
If you haven't taken a Schlage lock apart before, you may want to take notes or pictures for each step to help with getting it back together. There are also plenty of video guides that explain the main things that can go wrong inside the lock
How to Fix the Internal Lock Mechanism
1 Take the lock completely off the door by removing the screws on the inside panel and disconnecting the main wire.
2. Take all the Torx screws out from the backside of the front panel.
3. Take off the face plate, and pull out the turn knob if applicable.
4. Take out the rest of the Torx screws that hold the last plate over the lock mechanism.
5. Check that the spring-loaded pin is in place.
6. Test the plastic plunger spring to see if it has enough tension to fully move up and down.
7. Consider cleaning each piece and the inside of the mechanism compartment.
When the lock is all put back together, try locking the lock again.
It usually comes down to a low battery or user error, but Schlage locks are not invulnerable to an occasional hardware issue. This is the most comprehensive guide out there for understanding and fixing a Schlage lock that won't lock, so I truly hope it helped.
If it took you some time to locate and solve the issue, remember what you learned because these steps can solve a ton of different issues with your lock.