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How to Reset a Combination Lock

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One of the reasons combination locks are so popular is because you don’t need to worry about keeping track of (and potentially losing) the key. Instead, there is a code that the owner of the lock remembers and puts into the combination dial to open the lock, making things super easy . . . that is, unless the combination gets forgotten or lost. Fortunately, most combination locks are resettable, giving owners the ability to change the sequence of numbers required to open the device. Here are some tips on how to reset your combination lock.

How to Reset Combination Locks

Many combinations lock codes can easily be changed by the owner by following a few simple instructions from the owner’s manual. Here are some things to keep in mind to help the process move more smoothly.

  1. Resettable combination locks can only be reset from the open position. This can be a problem if you forget the combo, so keep the code in a safe place to begin with. If the lock is closed, you will need to call a qualified locksmith or use bolt cutters to open the lock.
  2. Resettable combination locks will come with a tool or reset lever (the tool comes with the lock; the reset lever will be found inside once you open it). This is used to manually set the wheels inside the lock to a new combination of numbers.
  3. When moving the wheels to a new number combination, the numbers themselves must line up perfectly with the setting indicator in order for the sequence to work.

Resetting the Combination Lock through the Manufacturer

If your lock is not designed to be resettable by the owner but has a serial number on it, then chances are that you can retrieve the combination from the manufacturer. While the process will vary from one manufacturer to the next, in most cases, you have two options. You can bring the lock to a distributor or retailer and they can contact the manufacturer for you to have them release the combination, or you can submit a lost contribution form. Usually, if you send in a form it has to be notarized by a Notary Public. Also, it can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to get your combination via this method, so only do this if you don’t need to use the lock in the immediate future.


Forgetting the combination to your lock can be a big hassle, so keep a record of the sequence in a safe place. Many combination lock companies now have a secure website vault (that’s accessible 24/7) where you can store your combination lock.

Learn more:

Combination Lock Sets for Your Home

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