How to Replace a Door Handle

How to Replace a Door Handle

Replacing a door handle or door knob just requires a new door handle set and a flat-head screwdriver. Whether you want to fix a worn-out door knob or upgrade the appearance of a door with a new handle, replacing the existing handle is something that is usually hassle-free. Pick up a new door handle set that you like from a hardware store or home improvement center and get your screwdriver ready to go—soon enough, your door will have a whole new look and feel!

Part 1 of 2:
Removing the Existing Handle

1
Take off the door knobs or handles. Look for a small slot in the sides of the door knobs and insert the tip of a skinny screwdriver into it. Apply pressure with the tip of the screwdriver, then pull the handle off. Try unscrewing the knobs or handles if you don’t see this type of pressure slot. Different handles come off in different ways. [1] X Research source Some types of handles might not come off. If yours don’t seem like you can pull or screw them off, skip this step. For instance, if your handle has a rectangular plate, the handle might come off when you remove the plate.
2
Unscrew and pry off the door handle’s cover plates. Remove any screws that are holding the cover plates in place using a flat-head screwdriver. Insert the edge of your screwdriver under the plates and pry them up until they pop off, then remove them. [2] X Research source The cover plates are the round plates that sit against the door on either side. They hide the inner workings of the door handle, so you have to pry them up to remove the whole door handle latch mechanism. Not all cover plates have screws holding them in place. Some might just snap into place, so you can just pry them right off. Others might screw on, so try turning the cover plate itself counterclockwise if you can’t get it off.
3
Take out the screws holding the latch and inner plates in place. Unscrew and remove the screws holding the latch in place on the inside edge of the door. Take out the screws that hold the inner plates in place on either side of the door. [3] X Research source The inner plates are what sit directly under the cover plates you just removed. These hold the door handle’s latching mechanism in place inside the hole in the door.
4
Pull out the latch plate and door latch mechanism. Carefully pull the latch plate and mechanism out from the hole on the inside edge of the door and set it aside. Remove the plates from either side of the door and set them aside as well. [4] X Research source You should now just have holes in your door, into which you can install a new door handle.
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Part 2 of 2:
Attaching the New Handle

1
Insert your new handle’s latch into the hole on the door’s inside edge. Orient the latch so that the slanted part faces in the same direction as the door closes in. Slide the latch mechanism into the hole until the latch plate rests flush against the inside edge of the door in the old latch recess. [5] X Research source Door handle latches come in a standard size, so the new latch should fit into the old recess without any problems. If it doesn’t seem to fit for some reason, you can use a chisel to make adjustments to the depth and shape of the recess in the door.
2
Screw the new handle’s inner plates to the door. Line up the cylinders on the insides of the inner plates with the corresponding holes in the latch mechanism and slide them into place. Fasten the plates flush against the door using the provided screws. [6] X Research source If the inner plates are different, make sure to look at the instructions on your new handle to see which one goes on the inside and which one goes on the outside of the door.
3
Put the cover plates in place on top of the inner plates. Slide the cover plates on and press them until they snap into place. Attach any provided screws that hold the plates in place. [7] X Research source These plates should be the same for both sides, since they are just the cosmetic plates that cover up the inner plates.
4
Press the new knobs or handles into place. Slide the outer knob or handle onto the handle mechanism’s cylinder on the outside of the door and press it until it snaps into place. Do the same for the inner knob or handle. [8] X Research source Remember that some knobs and handles screw on. If you see threads on the door handle mechanism cylinders, screw the knobs or handles on instead of pressing them into place.
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Part 1 of 2:
Removing the Existing Handle

1
Take off the door knobs or handles. Look for a small slot in the sides of the door knobs and insert the tip of a skinny screwdriver into it. Apply pressure with the tip of the screwdriver, then pull the handle off. Try unscrewing the knobs or handles if you don’t see this type of pressure slot. Different handles come off in different ways. [1] X Research source Some types of handles might not come off. If yours don’t seem like you can pull or screw them off, skip this step. For instance, if your handle has a rectangular plate, the handle might come off when you remove the plate.
2
Unscrew and pry off the door handle’s cover plates. Remove any screws that are holding the cover plates in place using a flat-head screwdriver. Insert the edge of your screwdriver under the plates and pry them up until they pop off, then remove them. [2] X Research source The cover plates are the round plates that sit against the door on either side. They hide the inner workings of the door handle, so you have to pry them up to remove the whole door handle latch mechanism. Not all cover plates have screws holding them in place. Some might just snap into place, so you can just pry them right off. Others might screw on, so try turning the cover plate itself counterclockwise if you can’t get it off.
3
Take out the screws holding the latch and inner plates in place. Unscrew and remove the screws holding the latch in place on the inside edge of the door. Take out the screws that hold the inner plates in place on either side of the door. [3] X Research source The inner plates are what sit directly under the cover plates you just removed. These hold the door handle’s latching mechanism in place inside the hole in the door.
4
Pull out the latch plate and door latch mechanism. Carefully pull the latch plate and mechanism out from the hole on the inside edge of the door and set it aside. Remove the plates from either side of the door and set them aside as well. [4] X Research source You should now just have holes in your door, into which you can install a new door handle.
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Part 2 of 2:
Attaching the New Handle

1
Insert your new handle’s latch into the hole on the door’s inside edge. Orient the latch so that the slanted part faces in the same direction as the door closes in. Slide the latch mechanism into the hole until the latch plate rests flush against the inside edge of the door in the old latch recess. [5] X Research source Door handle latches come in a standard size, so the new latch should fit into the old recess without any problems. If it doesn’t seem to fit for some reason, you can use a chisel to make adjustments to the depth and shape of the recess in the door.
2
Screw the new handle’s inner plates to the door. Line up the cylinders on the insides of the inner plates with the corresponding holes in the latch mechanism and slide them into place. Fasten the plates flush against the door using the provided screws. [6] X Research source If the inner plates are different, make sure to look at the instructions on your new handle to see which one goes on the inside and which one goes on the outside of the door.
3
Put the cover plates in place on top of the inner plates. Slide the cover plates on and press them until they snap into place. Attach any provided screws that hold the plates in place. [7] X Research source These plates should be the same for both sides, since they are just the cosmetic plates that cover up the inner plates.
4
Press the new knobs or handles into place. Slide the outer knob or handle onto the handle mechanism’s cylinder on the outside of the door and press it until it snaps into place. Do the same for the inner knob or handle. [8] X Research source Remember that some knobs and handles screw on. If you see threads on the door handle mechanism cylinders, screw the knobs or handles on instead of pressing them into place.
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