How To Open A Locked Window From The Outside

How To Open A Locked Window From The Outside
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: February 24, 2022
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

Knowing how to open a window from the outside could save you money if you’re prone to forgetting or losing your house keys. Is there a way to make this happen? Windows are important for every home because they allow light and fresh air to enter. It can be aggravating to be unable to open a locked window.

Windows are normally locked from the inside. So, if you find yourself outside without keys, you cannot enter your home.

Inside the house, it’s easy to unlock windows, but a few factors can make it harder. It’s possible that the lock is painted shut or somehow jammed, or that you don’t understand how it works. In such situations, it’s highly advisable to consult with a window and shutter repair expert to help you out without causing any damage to your window or shutter system.

Inside the house, it’s easy to unlock windows, but a few factors can make it harder. It’s possible that the lock is painted shut or somehow jammed or that you don’t understand how it works.

We’ll go over how to open a locked window based on this article’s different sorts of locks and window types. So, let’s get this party started!

Know About The Type Of Window Locks

The technique is determined by the type of window and its location. First, we’ll review some of the most common window kinds and their locking methods. The three types of window locks are listed below.

Sliding Windows Lock

Sliding Windows Lock

One non-movable and one sliding half is used in aluminum and vinyl windows. They can be locked with a catch on the frame or two locks, one of which has a catch on the bottom track. Unlatching one of the latches will not open the window if the window has both. To open the window efficiently, you should work with both.

This window type contains strings that allow it to support an automatic locking system. The sliding system can easily stop working if the windows move out of the track, rendering the window immovable. If this occurs, lift the window and turn the pivot handle to unlock it.

Casement Window Lock

Casement Window Lock

Hinges connect the opening portion of a casement window to the window frame. The casement’s hinges might be on the side, top, or bottom. Side-hinged casement windows are frequently made up of two casements. A lever or crank must be turned to unlatch the casement from the frame to open.

Double-Hung Sash Window Lock

A sash window is made of a glass panel called a sash that slides within a frame to open. When we talk about sash windows, we usually refer to those that slide vertically. Single or double-hung options are available.

Double-Hung Sash Window Lock

A single-hung sash has only one moveable sash, whereas a double-hung sash has both top and bottom sashes that may be moved.

Steps To Open A Locked Window From Outside

Collect Needed Tools And Materials

  • screwdriver
  • putty knife
  • pry bar
  • ladder
  • hammer
  • level

Casement Window’s Lock Unlocking Process

  • Check the position of the lever on your casement window to see if it functions with a lever that you press up to remove it from the frame to open it.
  • Even though the window is closed, a lever in the horizontal position usually indicates that it isn’t locked shut. When the window is closed, the lever is usually vertical.
  • So, with your fingertips, you should be able to pry open an outward-opening casement. If an inward-opening casement isn’t fastened, it can be pushed open.
  • Opening the window from the outside is much more difficult if the lever is fastened or the window opens and closes using a crank.
  • A casement that opens outward sits proud of the window frame on the outside. The casement can be yanked out from the frame with a lever. You’ll need a crowbar to pry the casement away from the frame.

Sash Window’s Lock Unlocking Process

  • Locate the sash’s upper point. It is usually constructed of wood and is located in the middle of the window.
  • Put your hands there. To divide the windowsill and the bottom of the window, push up the sash upward with your palms.
  • Push high enough to fit a hand between the windowsill and the released sash. Now, with both hands underneath the sash, push the window open. A sash lock window is opened in the same way.

Sliding Window’s Lock Unlocking Process

  • You won’t be able to unlatch every sliding window with the jiggling method, but if you can move the sash around in the frame, you might be able to.
  • You can also use a level for unlocking or losing the sliding window lock from the outside. A crowbar or pry bar is needed for this procedure.
  • You can usually leave the sash open with a pry bar between the sash and frame. The lock will be popped or broken.

Alternative Methods To Open A Locked Window

Remove Window’s Metal Or Rubber Strip

The plastic or metal band surrounding the window frame is known as the beading. One corner has a beading channel that you may pull out by inserting your screwdriver into the channel and doing so incrementally. Reach the other corner by moving forward. Pull the beading free with your hands after the fastening has been removed.

The beading could get distorted if it is removed. Beading occasionally carries a hefty price tag. Before seeking admission in this manner, remember this.Remove Window's Metal Or Rubber
You might be able to keep the beading in place and yet lever the window free, depending on your circumstances.

Remove Window Glass From Outside

With your free hand, hold the glass in place so that it won’t fall and break when it comes free. When the glass is out of the mounting, slide it off to the side and open the window to your home. If your window has partially burst free from the mounting, try to grab the door handle or a set of keys.

Remove Window's glass.

Be extremely cautious if there is any shattered glass present. You might be surprised by how sharp jagged glass is. If you sustain a deep cut, take care of the wound as best you can and seek medical attention if required.

Slide-Off Window’s Glass Door

Most sliding glass doors are not anchored directly to the framework of your home, in contrast to conventional hinged doors. Many are locked in place and rest on a track, but you can go around them by jumping the door out of the track.

Slide-Off Window's Glass Door with screwdriver.

A flathead screwdriver used to pry up and outward can be used to jump a light sliding glass door. When attempting to make your door skip its track, proceed with caution. It can suffer costly damage if it falls. You might wish to use a security bar like a wooden dowel to secure the sliding window doors in your home to make them less susceptible to break-ins.

Cutting The Window Glass Is The Last Option

Cutting or shattering the glass allows you to access the window’s lever, latch, or crank, allowing you to open it from the outside. Remember that some casement windows with a crank handle can be removed for security reasons.

So, if you look through the window and see that the crank has no handle, there’s no purpose in cutting the glass to get at the crank.

A Simple Way To Cut Window Glass

You’ll need the appropriate tools, which you may or may not have, to cut the glass. Using a circle glass cutter is the best option. As the name implies, it will make a circular hole in your window. It works well for a window with just one glazing.

Cut Window Glass

To use this cutter to cut the inner pane of a double-glazed window, you would require access to the inside.
Alternatively, use the handheld glass cutter included with the aforementioned circular cutting tool for the inner pane.

A Simple Way To Break Window Glass

If breaking the entire pane of glass is not an option, the next option is to cut the glass. If the casement or sash is locked, breaking the entire pane of glass will let you climb through the window. Remember to shield your hands, face, and torso from flying glass.

Break Window Glass

As you climb through, be careful not to cut yourself on any stray glass fragments. Crowbar ends, and even screwdriver tips are tools you might use to break the glass. Alternatively, you may throw a stone or brick against the window.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Windows Get Stuck?

Although sliding doors have a fantastic mechanism, they frequently become stuck. This occurs because the window’s moving tracks become clogged with debris or other foreign objects, especially if your house is near a busy road.

Is It Ok To Break Window Glass?

Yes, it is, given that you own the house. Additionally, this can be the only entrance in rare circumstances. You can open a locked window with the correct equipment if you have the necessary tools and skills. To accomplish this, you must first be familiar with each sort of window’s locking mechanism.

A burglar’s first and easiest target is typically valuable and portable items, so avoid keeping them in your garden.

Final Verdict

It is not difficult to open a stuck or locked window, but it requires expertise and ability. We’ve covered several windows, their locking mechanisms, and how to open each one in this post.

If you have the correct mentality and, of course, the right tools and talents, you should be able to succeed. However, if you are already in this scenario, replacing your window or hiring an expert is still the best option.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.