Tips on Opening a Locked Sliding Glass Door from the Outside

Do you have a sliding glass door that you can’t open from the outside? It can be very frustrating when you’re trying to get into your house and the sliding glass door won’t open.

If this has ever happened to you, then you know how important it is to know what method you should apply to open a sliding glass door from the outside.

In this blog post, I’ll show you step-by-step how to easily open a sliding glass door from the outside with some related guides.

What Should You Do Before Trying to Unlock?

Check the Lock Type

You probably agree with me that different locks require different methods of unlocking. So should know what type of lock your door has.

The most commonly used locks are key locks, lever locks, and deadbolt locks. Knowing the type of lock will help you determine the best way to unlock it from the outside.

Find a Way to Reach the Lock

Before you try, there are a few things you can try that might help you get inside.

  • Find any objects: If find any object that’s long enough to reach the lock. It would be a broom handle, a mop handle, or even an old golf club.
  • Reach the lock: Try using a pair of tongs or a pair of pliers to reach the lock. Try to unlock them. Rubber-tipped tongs will work best as they provide more grip than metal tongs.

Check if the Door is Blocked

If you find your sliding door is somehow blocked by something/objects, try to remove them. In this case, you can use a thin object like a bobby pin or safety pin. Then try to unlock.

Tools or Steps You Need

  • Screwdriver (flat)
  • Credit Card
  • Thin Piece of Metal
  • Strong Stick

Guide to Open a Sliding Glass Door from the Outside

Simple and thin sliding glass doors are not very secure. So follow these simple steps to enter your house through the sliding glass door without a door key.

Open door with Flathead Screwdriver

The first method you can try with a flathead screwdriver. Simply bend down and place the flathead screwdriver under the door at the very corner.

Then push the screwdriver up there by sticking it there. When the door is up, you simply need to slide it open with some force.

Open sliding glass door from outside
Open sliding glass door from outside

Keep in mind when your latch pivots downward instead of upward; you must pry it open in a different manner. You may require more force to turn or bend the bracket or latch away from the lock.

Sometimes the door may not open if you are unable to free the bracket and latch.

However, after prying the latch off, you may need to reinstall it. It may also be necessary to replace the bracket.

Note- Some sliding door locks are attached so tightly that there is no space to move. Therefore, you cannot place a screwdriver under the door.

There are some other ways too. The below video will help you to get some tips.

Try a Credit Card to Open the Door

You can use a credit card to open a sliding door from the outside which is another method. Simply insert your credit/debit card between the frame and the door, right beside the latch.

Once the card is in, move the card around until you find the sweet spot that will unlock the door and you can open it.

Note- This method may not work on newer, more secure doors. If you cannot open a door using a credit card, you can try another method.

Try a Thin Piece of Metal

You can use a thin metal rod, like a coat hanger. Firstly insert the thin piece of metal between the door frames. Try to inter it about 6 inches from the corner, diagonal from the latch, at the bottom.

Next push up them and disengage the latch. This method mostly works for older doors. With a bit of pressure, you should be able to open the door using this method.

Open balcony door

Open Sliding Door with Stick

Using a stick for opening a sliding door would be a great way to save time. Here are some steps to help you open your sliding door quickly and safely.

  • Find a sturdy stick that is long enough to reach the handle of the door.
  • Position the stick correctly.  Because it is wedged between the door and the frame.
  • Slowly push the stick down until it is firmly wedged in place. Then pull up on the handle of the door.
  • You should apply enough pressure to pop the lock and open the door.
  • Once you’ve opened the door, remove the stick.

Call a Professional to Open the Door

If you cannot open your sliding glass door applying all of the above methods, you can call a locksmith or handyman. They can easily open the door because they will have the necessary tools and experience.


After learning how to open a sliding glass door from the outside, you won’t have to worry if you find yourself stuck outside without a key.

You should be aware that a low-quality sliding door lock may compromise your security. Therefore, you must use a high-quality door lock.

In some cases, the thief may attempt to break the glass to gain access. For this reason, it is recommended that you use some additional security devices like patio door bars in order to ensure maximum door safety.

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I'm Bobby Taylor, a tech lover, writer, and editor for Smart Home Protector. I am also a customer relationship officer of a well established electronics manufacturer company in the United States.

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