How to Fix a Deadbolt Lock That Spins?15 Easy Steps to Conquer the Challenge

Picture this: You arrive home, tired after a busy day, only to discover that your trusty deadbolt lock has decided to start spinning around like it’s playing a game.

It’s frustrating and worrying, right?

But don’t worry. We’re here to help you solve this head-scratcher.

In this guide, we’ll show you the simple steps to tackle the issue of a spinning deadbolt lock. With a bit of knowledge and the right techniques, you’ll soon regain control and ensure your home stays secure.

how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins-infographics by emma marshal

Let’s jump in and figure out how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins!

How to Fix a Deadbolt Lock That Spins?

If you’re dealing with a deadbolt lock that’s mysteriously spinning, don’t worry; there’s a straightforward fix! The most common reason for this issue is a loose set screw, typically located on the inner collar of the lock.

Using a screwdriver, tighten the set screw snugly, and your spinning deadbolt should be back to functioning as it should. If this doesn’t solve the problem, it might be wise to seek assistance from a professional locksmith, as there could be a more complex issue at play.

But before that, do go through step by step guide on how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins in this article. This might solve your problem without seeking any professional help.

Tools and Materials Required to Execute How to fix a deadbolt Lock that Spins

To successfully fix a spinning deadbolt lock, you’ll need a few essential tools and materials, each serving a specific purpose:

1. Head Screwdriver

orange color head screwdriver

A head screwdriver is crucial for disassembling and reassembling the lock. It allows you to access the set screw, which is often the culprit behind the spinning deadbolt.

2. Hammer

A hammer

A hammer comes in handy for minor adjustments and securing the lock components in place. It helps ensure everything is snug and in the right position.

3. Level

level instrument in yellow and black color

A level is useful for ensuring that the lock is aligned correctly, preventing any potential issues with the locking mechanism or door frame.

4. Chisel

a wooden chisel

A chisel helps in removing excess wood or material from the door or frame, ensuring a proper fit for the deadbolt components. It’s essential for precise installation.

5. Safety Glasses

safety glasses in orange color

Safety glasses are a must to protect your eyes during the repair process. Chiseling, hammering, or handling screws can generate debris that you want to keep out of your eyes.

6. Work Gloves

work gloves in brown.shown on one hand with white background and other placed on left side

Work gloves provide protection for your hands and help maintain a firm grip on tools. They also keep your hands clean and shielded from any sharp edges.

These tools and materials are required to ensure a safe and efficient repair process when dealing with a spinning deadbolt lock issue, allowing you to restore security to your door effectively.

Why Is My Deadbolt Not Working?

You turn the key or attempt to lock your door, and there it is – the unnerving spin of your deadbolt lock, leaving you puzzled and concerned. What causes spins in a deadbolt lock? This issue can stem from several factors, which we will discuss below:

1. Damaged Internal Parts

Internal component damage, particularly to elements like springs and moving parts, stands out as a frequent culprit behind a spinning deadbolt lock.

damaged spring inside lcok

Repeated use or external forces can wear down these components, causing them to malfunction.

2. Incorrect Installation

Incorrect installation serves as another prevalent cause behind a deadbolt lock spinning.

incorrect installation of lock

When the lock’s sides aren’t aligned correctly during insertion into the door, it can result in operational issues and gradual damage to internal components.

3. Misaligned Door

misaligned door by

At times, a deadbolt lock may spin due to the door’s misalignment with the frame.

Factors like warping, settling over time, subpar installation, or external damage can all contribute to this issue, making it vital to assess the overall alignment for a proper fix.

4. Damaged Key

damaged key by

A spinning lock can also be attributed to a damaged key. An old or worn-out key may fail to engage correctly with the lock cylinder, resulting in the spinning phenomenon instead of effectively opening the lock.

5. Dirty Lock Cylinder

dirty lock cylinder by

Additionally, a deadbolt lock may exhibit spinning behavior when its internal cylinder accumulates dirt and debris. Over time, dust and other particles can hinder the lock’s proper functioning.

To address this, it’s essential to utilize a specialized cleaning tool along with lubricant to thoroughly clean the lock cylinder, ensuring optimal performance.

6. Latch Is Jammed

jammed latch

When you find yourself struggling to open or close the door, a possible culprit could be a jammed latch.

Fortunately, you can often resolve this issue by applying gentle pressure to the latch while simultaneously turning the key, allowing it to disengage smoothly.

7. Faulty Wiring


Lastly, don’t rule out faulty wiring as a potential cause of a spinning deadbolt lock. When the wiring providing power to the lock’s motorized components is flawed or disconnected, it can disrupt the lock’s proper functioning.

In such situations, the remedy often involves wiring replacement or the consultation of a professional locksmith for expert assistance.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Fix a Deadbolt Lock That Spins

Here is my list of step-by-step guides on how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins:

1. Check for Loose Components

screws and bolts lying on brown background.symbolizing to tighten them in a lock for stopping the spinning of deadbolt lock


Before diving into complex troubleshooting, start with the basics. A common cause of issues like a spinning deadbolt lock can be loose components.

Ensure that screws, bolts, and other parts of the lock are securely fastened. Sometimes, a simple tightening of these components can resolve the problem, restoring the lock’s functionality without much hassle. This is always supposed to be the first step in resolving how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins.

  • Tight the Screws of the Deadbolt Lock

This brief phrase emphasizes the action required to address potential issues with loose screws in a deadbolt lock.

screw on white background showing message of tightening the screw of deadbolt lock for fixing spinning lock

Inspect the deadbolt lock thoroughly, paying close attention to the screws securing it in place. If any of these screws are loose, use a screwdriver to tighten them snugly.

This simple yet effective step can often eliminate the spinning issue and ensure the fixing of a deadbolt lock that spins to give you the security and peace of mind you need.

2. Check for Broken Springs

Broken springs within a deadbolt lock can lead to a variety of issues, including spinning.

broken spring on floor

Examine the lock mechanism carefully for any signs of damaged or worn-out springs.

If you spot any, it’s advisable to replace them promptly. If not done, then fixing a deadbolt lock that spins will not be possible.

Springs play a crucial role in the lock’s proper functioning, so ensuring they are in good condition is essential for optimal security. If there are no loose components and springs, then this is the next step in resolving how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins.q

3. Clean the Lock

a lock being cleaned to remove dust dirt and debris

Sometimes, a spinning deadbolt lock may simply be in need of a good cleaning. Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate inside the lock, hindering its operation.

To remedy this, use a specialized cleaning tool and lubricant to clean out the lock’s cylinder. Regular maintenance like this can often prevent spinning and keep your lock in top working condition.

4. Use a Lock Pick

lock picks set on a white background to use to free stuck pins

If cleaning the lock doesn’t resolve the issue, another approach is to consider using a lock pick to free any stuck pins or other components within the mechanism.

This method can be particularly effective for older locks that may have become stiff due to the passage of time. It’s a handy technique to fix a deadbolt lock that spins before considering a lock replacement, potentially saving you time and money.

5. Remove Stuck or Broken Keys from the Lock Housing

a black broken or bent key

Repeatedly attempting to turn your key in a stubborn deadbolt lock can sometimes lead to the key getting stuck or even breaking.

Before considering a lock replacement, it’s worth a shot to delicately extract any broken key fragments from within the lock housing.

This simple step could save you the trouble and expense of a full lock replacement.

6. Check for Loose or Damaged Strike Plates

A spinning deadbolt lock can also result from an insecurely attached strike plate on your door or frame. In such instances, a quick fix involves tightening any loose screws and ensuring that the strike plate aligns correctly with the latch on your deadbolt lock.

 Loose or Damaged Strike Plates on a brown door

This adjustment can often resolve the issue of fixing a spinning deadbolt lock, restoring the lock’s functionality and your peace of mind.

7. Determine if the Issue is with the Knob or Cylinder

Before embarking on any lock repair, it’s crucial to pinpoint the source of the problem. To do this, conduct a simple test: while someone attempts to unlock the door from the other side, try turning the knob.

If the knob turns, but the cylinder remains immobile, the issue likely lies with the knob and should be addressed accordingly.

door knob in golden

However, if both the knob and cylinder turn simultaneously, it’s the cylinder that requires your attention for repair. This initial assessment can guide your repair efforts of fixing a spinning deadbolt lock in the right direction, saving time and effort.

8. Repairing the Knob

a golden knob

When the issue lies with the knob, you can remedy it with the help of a screwdriver. Begin by removing the screws securing the knob in place, and take it out.

Next, utilize a hammer and chisel to remove the old pins carefully.

Replace these with new pins and reposition the knob.

Finally, secure it in position by tightening the screws.

This straightforward process can restore the knob’s functionality and resolve the problem of spinning the deadbolt lock effectively.

9. Repairing the Cylinder

a red and grey screw driver

When the issue resides within the cylinder, you can address it with a head screwdriver. Start by removing the screws and securing the cylinder in its position.

Extract the old pins and substitute them with fresh ones. Reinsert the cylinder and fasten it by tightening the screws.

This straightforward process can rectify cylinder-related issues, ensuring your deadbolt lock functions correctly once more.

10. Re-Key the Lock

installation of rekeyed lock

If you believe your lock’s security has been compromised, you may need to re-key it to safeguard your home from unauthorized access. Most locksmiths can perform this relatively simple process for you, ensuring the security of your residence.

11. Check for Warped or Bent Parts

bent and warped part of a lock

If the lock continues to spin even after you’ve cleaned it, re-keyed it, and replaced the cylinder, you might be dealing with some warped or bent parts within the mechanism that requires replacement or repair. This might fix a deadbolt lock that spins.

12. Lubricate the Lock Mechanism

lock lunrication with spray on a white door lock

To ensure the smooth and reliable operation of your lock, it’s essential to lubricate the lock mechanism regularly.

This simple maintenance step can prevent issues like a spinning deadbolt and help extend the life of your lock. Using a specialized lock lubricant, apply a small amount to the key and insert it into the lock.

Turn the key a few times to distribute the lubricant throughout the mechanism. This will reduce friction, making it easier for the lock to engage and disengage, and ultimately keep it in optimal working condition.

13. Test the lock

lock in brown on right side and a door lock on the right side with text written of test the lock

After completing the lock repair, it’s essential to conduct a functional test to ensure it operates correctly. Begin by turning the knob and attempting to unlock the door from the opposite side.

If the door opens smoothly, your job is complete. However, if it doesn’t, it’s advisable to revisit the repair steps to confirm that you’ve followed them accurately.

This thorough testing ensures that your lock is back in working order and your home security is restored.

14. Replace the Lock Entirely

mentioned in text to replace the lock if none of the efforts solve the issue of spinning of deadbolt lock. A lock and a door in green on the left

If none of the previously mentioned methods of fixing a deadbolt lock that spins yield positive results, it may be the right time to consider replacing the entire lock. This comprehensive solution guarantees that your door’s security is fully restored, preventing any unauthorized access to your home.

15. Call a Professional Locksmith

a locksmith office building on left side and a locksmith working on right side. below text recommends to call locksmith as a final resort to solve the issue of spinning deadbolt lock

When all other attempts prove unsuccessful, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional locksmith for assistance.

They possess the expertise to diagnose the problem accurately and provide tailored solutions for your specific situation, ensuring that your deadbolt lock is restored to optimal functionality.

Precautions You Must Take While Fixing a Deadbolt Lock That Spins

precautions while fixing deadbolt lock

1. Do Not Force

Avoid applying excessive force when trying to address a spinning deadbolt lock. Forcing it can potentially cause further damage.

2. Check the Latch

Ensure that the latch mechanism is functioning correctly to avoid complications with the lock.

3. Clean and Oil the Lock

Regular cleaning and lubrication of the lock can prevent spinning. Use suitable cleaning solutions and lubricants.

4. Check the Door and Frame

Confirm that the door and frame are in proper alignment, as misalignment can contribute to lock issues.

5. Check for Loose Screws

Secure all screws holding the lock firmly in place to prevent instability.

6. Upgrade to a Higher-Quality Lock

Consider upgrading to a more durable lock if your current one is consistently problematic.

7. Use the Lock Properly

Ensure you operate the lock correctly, following manufacturer guidelines.

8. Keep the Lock Protected

Shield your lock from environmental elements that can lead to corrosion and malfunction.


Understanding how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins is a valuable skill for maintaining home security. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can address common issues and restore the functionality of your deadbolt lock.

Remember, patience and proper troubleshooting are key to resolving lock-related challenges. If you encounter persistent difficulties, it’s always wise to seek professional assistance.

Maintaining the security of your home begins with a well-functioning deadbolt lock, and with the right knowledge and care, you can conquer the challenge of a spinning lock.


How to Fix A spinning Deadbolt Lock?

To address a spinning deadbolt lock, begin by cleaning and lubricating the lock mechanism. If the issue persists, check the alignment of the strike plate and ensure it is securely fastened. If necessary, replace worn or damaged lock components. If these DIY steps do not resolve the problem, consider seeking professional locksmith assistance.

Is it possible to fix a spinning deadbolt lock myself?

Yes, many spinning deadbolt lock issues can be resolved through DIY troubleshooting. However, if you are still determining or the problem persists, it is advisable to consult a professional locksmith to ensure the lock is secure and functioning correctly.

What should I do if I’ve tried fixing a spinning deadbolt lock and it’s still not working?

If your attempts to fix a spinning deadbolt lock prove unsuccessful, it is essential to seek expert assistance. Contact a qualified locksmith who can diagnose and effectively address the issue to restore your lock’s proper functionality and security.


  1. New patterns in residential burglary: The method of deadbolt lock picking
  2. Locks: Centuries of Security
  3. How to Fix a Deadbolt that Spins
  4. How To Fix A Deadbolt Lock That Spins In 5 Easy Steps

Leave a Comment