Learn How To Rekey A Kwikset Lock (Even Without A Key)

You’ve just moved into a new house and are concerned about who has access to the key. Or maybe you’re sick of carrying around a bunch of keys in your pocket or purse and want just one key that opens all of your doors. Both of these are valid reasons to rekey your home’s locks. You might be surprised that the task is pretty simple.

You might be wondering why you should rekey your lock, but I, an expert, will recommend that you do so semi-regularly to increase your home’s security. Rekeying a lock is a quick and easy approach to verify that you and your chosen ones are the only people who can enter your home when it is locked. Rekeying the lock may also be a more affordable option than replacing it if you have misplaced the keys to your lock and don’t want to jeopardize your space’s security. And it obviously spares the horror of caring for multiple keys. 

However, for a novice homeowner, it might be challenging enough to rekey any door lock. But if you have Kwikset locks installed in your home, you may be delighted to know that Kwikset locks can be rekeyed easily without the need of a locksmith.

To rekey your Kwikset lock, you need the current keys of the lock and a Kwikset SmartKey. SmartKey helps in rekeying your lock in less than a few minutes. However, if you do not have the original key, you may still be able to rekey your lock using a more challenging process. For the latter, do not hesitate to take a locksmith’s help if required.

This article will explain how to rekey a Kwikset lock. The article will also explain how to rekey a Kwikset lock without the original key. But first, let’s go over the fundamentals of rekeying a lock.

What Does Rekeying A Lock Mean?

Rekeying a lock is the process of replacing the operational key with a different key without having to replace the lock. In other words, the lock remains the same, but the old key no longer works. When you rekey your locks, you change the mechanism of the lock so that the old key no longer works. Instead, a new key will be required.

Because each sequence of keyholes in your lock corresponds to a different key pin, replacing the key pins in your lock essentially creates a new key that will lock and unlock the lock instead of the old one. Regardless of how difficult it appears, it is a simple process that should not be difficult if you have the proper equipment.

If you are a Kwikset lock user, you would be pleased to know that the process of rekeying your lock is simple, and you may perform it yourself. The Kwikset Smart Lock system is distinguished in the way that it can be rekeyed without the lock being disassembled or a new cylinder or core being installed.

What Is a Kwikset Smart Key?

Kwikset SmartKey Rekey Technology enables you to rekey your locks in seconds. It has made it possible for homeowners and businesses to change their locks without having to call a locksmith or hire an expensive professional service provider. All you need is a Kwikset SmartKey, and you are good to go.

What Is a Kwikset Smart Key?

The best part is that you don’t need any special tools to remove the cylinder or any other part of the lock or to destroy it. This means you can rekey your locks without having to replace them, and anyone with access to the lock, its original key, and the SmartKey can do it.

How To Rekey A Kwikset Smart Lock?

How To Rekey A Kwikset Smart Lock?

Following the steps given below, you will be able to rekey your Kwikset lock. You may also refer to the video on Kwikset’s official website for a visual illustration of the procedure. 

Rekeying your Kwikset Smart Key Lock is simple enough that almost any homeowner can have their new keys working in minutes. 

  • Step 1: Check that your lock is installed correctly and the door is completely open. 
  • Step 2: Check that the lock deadbolt is in the locked potion if you have one. Also, check that any knobs or levers are in the locked position.
  • Step 3: Insert the key that is currently in use to open your lock. 
  • Step 4: Turn the key clockwise at 90 degrees.
  • Step 5: Insert the SmartKey tool into the SmartKey hole completely and firmly. You will hear it click inside the lock. 
  • Step 6: Remove the SmartKey utility and the current key.
  • Step 7: Put in the new key that you want to use with the lock. Ensure that your key is completely inserted so that the key’s edge makes contact with the cylinder.
  • Step 8: Turn the key 180 degrees counterclockwise without pushing or pulling. 
  • Step 9: Now turn the key 180 degrees clockwise. 
  • Step 10: Pull the key to ensure that it does not come out. In case the key comes out, you will have to troubleshoot your Kwikset lock for the issue.
  • Step 11: Now return the key to its starting position by rotating it 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
  • Step 12: Take out your new key. 
  • Step 13: Test locking and unlocking your lock using the new key as your Kwikset lock has been successfully rekeyed.

If you think rekeying is a feature of only smart locks, you are mistaken. Kwikset allows its deadbolt user to rekey their locks as well. 

So if you are looking for how to rekey the Kwikset deadbolt or smart lock, following the instructions given above should solve your problem.

How To Rekey A Kwikset Lock Without The Original Key?

How To Rekey A Kwikset Lock Without The Original Key?

Well, I do understand that it is not always that you have access to the original key to your Kwikset lock. In case your key is lost or stolen, you will have to rekey your lock by other means if you prefer to avoid replacing the lock. 

In this section of the article, I will help you rekey your lock without the original key. The process, however, is challenging. In case you find it complicated, I would recommend taking a professional locksmith’s assistance. 

Follow the steps given below to learn how to rekey a Kwikset lock without a key.

  • Step 1: Remove the Kwikset lock from the door by unscrewing the two screws holding the outer and inner lock assemblies together.
  • Step 2: Detach the lock housing from the cylinder and inspect the cylinder core. A small retaining clip holds the cylinder core in the lock housing. To release the lock cylinder, slide the retaining clip to one side using a small flathead screwdriver.
  • Step 3: Now, remove the plug from the lock cylinder.  To remove the plug successfully, the wafers must be aligned with the shear points. The simplest method is to manipulate the plug’s wafers with a lock pick. However, a paperclip or a similar tool may also be able to do this job well. When all of the wafers align with the shear points, the plug should easily slip from the core.

    Caution: The plug is made up of two parts. The pieces will try to separate as soon as they are free of the core. Keep the plug in place so that the two pieces do not separate, as the internal parts will become free if the plug separates.
  • Step 4: Align the wafers in a way that the reset tab becomes accessible to you. Pull the reset tab when you have the appropriate alignment of the wafers.
    Align the wafers
  • Step 5: Now insert your new key in the keyhole while holding the reset tab. Release the reset key once the new key is fully inserted into the plug.

The above procedure should rekey your Kwikset lock and enable you to lock and unlock your lock using the new key. 

How To Rekey A Kwikset Deadbolt?

How To Rekey A Kwikset Deadbolt?

Follow the below steps to rekey Kwikset deadbolt.

  • Step 1: Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the mounting screws from the thumb-turn of the lock.
  • Step 2: Remove the lock cylinder.
    lock cylinder.
  • Step 3: Using tweezers or pliers, remove the retaining clip from the back of the cylinder assembly.
  • Step 4: Take the tail out of the cylinder assembly.
  • Step 5: Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the spring cover while the cylinder is upright.
    flathead screwdriver
  • Step 6: Remove the springs with tweezers or pliers and set them aside; they will need to be replaced during reassembly.
  • Step 7: Using tweezers or pliers, remove the top pins.
  • Step 8: Remove the plug from the cylinder while keeping the bottom pins in place.
  • Step 9: Now remove the plug’s bottom pins by turning over the plug and dumping the pins out.
    plug's bottom
  • Step 10: Insert the new keys into the lock keyhole.
  • Step 11: Insert the bottom pins until the top of the new pin matches the shear line of the key.

Once you are done reassembling your device, follow these steps in reverse order, beginning with step 8.


Q1. Can you still access the lock using the old key after rekeying the lock?

Answer – The rekeying process changes the locking mechanism of your lock so that the lock can be operated with the new key. You cannot access a lock using the old key after successfully rekeying the lock.

Q2. How do locksmiths make keys without the original key?

Answer – Depending upon the lock and the locksmith, a locksmith may use a different approach to cut the key for your lock. The major techniques used to make the duplicate keys without the original keys are making an impression of the key using the lock, cutting the key as per the key code, or as a last resort, dissembling the lock.

Q3. How to perform a factory reset on a Kwikset lock without the key?

Answer – If you do not have the Kwikset Smartkey, you can perform the reset using a paperclip. To read more about resetting a Kwikset lock, read one of my past articles.


Due to the hectic pace of modern life, we all tend to be a little reckless from time to time. Incidents like losing your keys or forgetting them at someone’s place are not uncommon.  However, if you do not rekey the locks after losing the keys, your home’s security may be jeopardized.

The article talks about how Kwikset users can easily rekey their locks on their own using SmartKey and the current key. However, if you don’t have the original key, you may be able to rekey your lock using the instructions on this page. I hope you found the information helpful.

If you have any further questions about Kwikset locks or home security, please leave them in the comments section.

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