Home Improvement

How to Remove a Door Handle With No Visible Screws

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Closeup of a door handle

If your door handle is old or broken, you may want to replace it. But what if there are no visible screws on the handle to remove it? Don’t worry, there is a simple trick to take off the knob quickly without damaging the door.

The trick is to look closely at the door handle. You should see a tiny hole somewhere on the handle. Inside this hole is a special pin that is holding the door knob in place. To release the knob, you’ll need to press this pin with a flathead screwdriver (or any other similar tool, such as a paperclip).

  • Skill: Beginner
  • Estimated time: 25-30 minutes
  • Cost: from $10

Tools needed:

  • Small flathead screwdriver (or a paperclip)
  • Phillips screwdriver

Steps to Remove a Door Handle Without Visible Screws

1. Find the Tiny Hole

Closeup of a door handle with a tiny holePin

Start by inspecting the sides, edges, and base of the handle closely. Look on the side nearest the door frame for a tiny hole, about the size of a paperclip.

This hidden slot may be disguised as a dimple or depression, so look carefully. Inside this hole is a special pin or set screw that is holding the handle secure to the inner mechanism.

2. Remove the Knob

Once you’ve located the hole, take a small flathead screwdriver and insert it gently into the hole.

While inserting the screwdriver, you’ll need to apply inward pressure to depress the pin. At the same time, carefully wiggle and pull outward on the handle to release it. You may need to try a few different angles to properly press the pin while pulling the handle.

Take care not to scratch or gouge the handle or door surface while doing this. When the handle releases, pull it all the way off the door.

3. Remove the Rose


Next, you’ll need to remove the decorative plate (cover plate) which is called a rose, and surrounds the door knob. You can easily do that by prying it off with the flathead screwdriver. 

4. Unscrewing the Handle Mechanism

Now you should see 2-4 screws that attach the handle mechanism to the door. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to fully unscrew and remove the mechanism from the door.

5. Install the New Knob

Now you’re ready to install the new replacement handle. Make sure the new handle unit is compatible with your door thickness and handing.

Reverse the removal steps – screw in the mechanism, slide the handle over the spindle, and push the interior pin back in fully to secure the handle. Ensure proper alignment and operation before closing up the door.

Related Article: How to Properly Measure for New Door Knob and Handle

With this simple trick of finding and pressing the hidden pin, you can easily remove door handles with no visible screws. You can use this method for lever, knob, or other types of handles too.

Related Article: How to Replace Your Door Knob: A Step-by-Step Guide


What if I can’t find the release pin hole?

Try inspecting from different angles, light sources, or use a magnifying glass. It may also be hidden under a cap.

The handle is stuck, now what?

Make sure you are pressing the pin fully while pulling and wiggling the handle. Try a slightly bigger screwdriver for extra leverage.

I removed the screws but the mechanism won’t budge?

There may be an additional set screw or adhesive. Try lifting upward while wiggling to break the seal.

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About the Author

James Mora is the founder of DailyHomeSafety. He is a home improvement expert, contractor, avid DIYer, and security manager. He is passionate about home repairs, remodeling, and teaching. Read More