How Do Keyless Door Locks Work?

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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With the improving and ever-growing technology, safety features are becoming more powerful, safeguarding, and fashionable. For this reason, keyless door locks are fast becoming a big trend for most residential and commercial properties to provide security and convenience.

There are several great intelligent devices out there that would be fine to have. And then some devices will make you wonder how you ever lived without them. Keyless door locks are at the top of the list.

This type of lock can make you throw away your keys and enjoy the safety and comfort of managing your locks because they are designed to give homeowners more control over their homes. Look at what they are, how they work, and some of the many benefits they provide over a traditional door lock.

What are Keyless Door Locks?

A keyless door lock, also referred to as a smart lock, is a door lock that can be locked and unlocked without the need for a physical key, unlike traditional door locks. These locks can be opened differently depending on the model.

While some can be controlled remotely using a smartphone app, many models feature a numeric keypad on the lock where you can enter a unique access code to lock or unlock the door. Also, some designs can be accessed using biometrics such as fingerprints and facial recognition.

Types of Keyless Door Locks

types of keyless door locks


Choosing what type of keyless lock to use depends on your needs and the lock’s capabilities. These types include;

a) Keypad Locks

Keypad lock features an integrated backlit ten-digit keypad into which homeowners can enter a code to unlock the door. They’re simple, easy to program, and easy to use if you choose codes you can remember. Keypad locks also allow you to assign different codes to different users, and you can change the codes at any time. It will enable you to manage access to your building easily.

b) Biometric Locks

A biometric lock is a lock that grants access based on a unique body trait of the person trying to open it. It can be either your face or your fingerprint. It contains a scanner that scans and converts the body trait into a numerical template that tells the system to unlock the door. It’s a secure option since fingerprints and faces are unique and difficult to replicate or forge.

c) Key Fobs

A key fob is a small, programmable device that provides access to a keyless entry system. It provides on-device, one-factor authentication to facilitate access to the keyless door. With a key fob, you do not have to unlock the door with a real key as with manual locks. In addition to providing remote-enabled access, the key fob is more convenient and secure.

types of keyless door locks


How the Keyless Door Locks Work

A keyless door lock works just like a standard key lock. The waves have actuators that connect the bolt to a motor buried within the door. An electrical impulse controls the motor, which you can trigger in many ways, including a keypad, wireless remote control sensor, or an electronic card reader for the door to lock or unlock.

how the keyless doors work


Keyless locks are configured to rotate the motor-driven actuators once they receive the correct electronic input. The locking mechanism turns inwards or outwards depending on whether you are locking or unlocking your door. However, this will depend on the keyless door lock you installed.

How to Unlock a Keyless Door

how to unlock a keyless door lock


1. Using pin code

The most popular electronic door lock is the pin code; for this, you set a pin code to the device the same way you can set a pin code on your cell phone, and upon entering the code, the doors open.

2. Using A fingerprint

Fingerprint locks combine the keypad with a fingerprint reader. The fingerprint reader has a sensor that recognizes the fingerprint and automatically unlocks the door to grant entry.

how to unlock keyless doors


3. Using facial recognition

Using facial recognition, you can unlock your door by presenting your face to the camera; after that, the device will scan your face, recognize it and then open the door.

How to Install Keyless Door Locks

how to install keyless door locks


When installing keyless or intelligent door locks, you need exact dimensions measurements because they tend to be larger in height and thickness than standard deadbolts. The correct dimensions will ensure your lock device fits correctly on both sides and is centered perfectly to avoid being so large that it bumps up against your door. The installation usually involves feeding through a small cable from one side to the other that plugs into a port to provide power to the lock mechanism. Ensuring all lock mechanisms fit correctly is essential.

Tips for reducing the risk of security lapses in Keyless Door Locks

Keyless lock protection features


Smart lock technology is very convenient, and it is worth the investment. There are various tips you can consider to reduce the risk of security lapses in your keyless entry locks, including;

  • Change passcodes and PINs periodically. Changing the passcodes and having multiple passcodes for different users is an easy way to prevent codes from being memorized by an unauthorized person.
  • Update the applications. For smart locks, it’s important to keep the lock and all the firmware and applications that access the locksupdated. You can update these applications on your phone or computer.
  • Always check that the casing and hardware are not damaged because people are not always gentle with the doors.
  • Frequent keyboard or touch screen use will leave fingerprints or make them wear out over time. To save from this, you should use decoy codes, a pattern of lighted keys that you match before typing in the actual passcode.

Advantages of Keyless Door Locks

  • Easy to install
  • The benefit of a good security system to protect your home
  • The convenience of a keyless system

Disadvantages of Keyless Door Locks

  • Possible power failures or outages can cause issues with keyless door lock systems, which might lock you out because they depend solely on electricity.
  • If you have a problem remembering keypad codes, a keyless system might not fit you because they should be changed occasionally, as buttons can be worn out.
  • They can be more expensive than traditional locks.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) How secure are keyless door locks?

Keyless door locks are more secure than traditional locks since it is more difficult for someone to guess your code than it is for them to pick a traditional key.

2) What happens if I forget the code for a keyless door lock?

If you forget your codes, you have to reset the keyless lock system to gain access to your home. You can call a locksmith to reset the door professionally.

3) Do keyless door locks require batteries?

Yes. Keyless door locks require batteries that you need to replace periodically.

Final Thoughts


The concept of keyless door locks is sure to become the way of the future for residential settings and commercial security needs. This technology ultimately assists in giving homeowners and business owners more convenient and reliable security control of their properties.

Keyless door locks have many features that have generally made life easier. Also, correctly installing the keyless door locks is important to improve efficiency.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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