Schlage Lock Not Unlocking? [*Guaranteed Fixes]

Schlage Lock Not Unlocking

There are occasions where the lock just won’t work, especially when you try to unlock it. And this applies to any of the product lines especially the smart locks and electronic locks.

This is more than an inconvenience; it is a security risk. And that’s why in this article, i will be providing you with exhaustive solutions for the issue of your Schlage lock not unlocking.

Why is My Schlage Lock Not Unlocking?

There are several possible reasons why your Schlage lock may fail to unlock. You would have to patiently try each solution i present here until you find the one that resolves your situation.

To be sure, if you’re trying to unlock your Schlage lock remotely, it’ll need to be connected to Wi-Fi. If your Schlage lock isn’t connecting to Wi-Fi, I have done an article on this that should help you fix it.

Something most people experience when their Schlage lock won’t unlock is that their Schlage lock keeps spinning. I’ve done an article on this that provides a plethora of fixes

As a rule of thumb, I always advise users to start with the easy, and sometimes obvious fixes and then move on to more complex ones. This not only saves time, it also prevents you from taking unnecessarily drastic measures.

1. Self Unlock Not Enabled In Your Model

I have found that some users are not aware that not all Schlage electronic locks have self unlock enabled. For some product lines, you have to turn the thumb or lever after entering the access code in order to unlock them.

These products include BE365, BE375, FE595, and FE695. For these, The bolt or latch must manually be turned after entering the access code, because they are not motorized.

Fix – Turn Lever

For any of the products listed above, after entering your 4 digit access code, you must also turn the lever or thumb on the lock in order to unlock it. That is, as long as you see the green light after entering the code.

Also, you need to make sure to turn the lever while the green light is flashing. The green light flashes for only 5 seconds. When the 5-second period elapses, the Schlage lock disengages and you have to enter the code again.

If you do not see the green light after entering the user access code, then there are other possibilities which i will explore below.

2. Using Programming Or Wrong Code

It is rather obvious but holds true in many situations. The reason why your Schlage lock won’t unlock is probably because you are entering the wrong code.

It is possible that you have forgotten your current access code, or you are mistakenly entering the wrong code. The latter usually happens when one or more keys get stuck.

Someone else may also have changed the access code, so that’s another thing to look into.

Also, and very importantly, if you are trying to use the programming or admin code to unlock your Schlage work, this will not work. On Schlage locks, you can only use the 4 digit user access code to unlock. The 6 digit programming code is solely meant for making changes to the lock.

Fix – Ensure to use the correct code

Take your time to enter the correct code. If you recently changed your access code, try to remember the most recent one.

If someone else has access to your Schlage lock, check with them to confirm that the access code has not been changed.

If you are unable to remember your access code, you would have to reset the Schlage lock. I will provide steps for this later in the article.

Do not use the 6 digit programming code for unlocking the Schlage lock. This will not work. As i explained earlier, that code is only used for changing settings on the lock.

3. Weak Or Dead Schlage Lock Battery

A weak or dead battery is another possibility when you don’t see the green light flashing after entering your user access code.

When the Schlage lock battery is weak or dead, there is no way to process the unlock signal. This is one of the most common reasons why the Schlage will not unlock.

One sure way to know that a weak battery is the cause of the issue, is if the lock keeps spinning after you enter the correct user access code.

Fix – Replace the lock’s battery

Note: Schlage locks do not support rechargeable batteries. You must use alkaline batteries for your Schlage.

Here are the AA batteries (view on Amazon) that I personally use for my lock.

The method to change the battery may vary with the Schlage lock you have, but here is a general guide:

  1. Slide the cover of the lock up to expose the battery compartment
  2. You will see the battery tray at the top. Slide the tray up and remove it to reveal the batteries
  3. Remove the weak or dead batteries and insert the new ones. Make sure to change all the batteries.
  4. Slide the battery tray back into the lock and then insert the lock cover

Now, check to see if the Schlage lock unlocks.

If you’ve noticed that your Schlage Encode lock isn’t working properly after changing batteries, I’ve written an article on what the main culprits can be.

4. Vacation Mode Is Enabled

Vacation mode is a useful feature on Schlage locks. When enabled, it disables access for all user codes: only the programming code will work. This is great for when you are away for a long period.

It is possible that you mistakenly enabled vacation mode, or you did so intentionally but forgot. In any case, it is a good idea to check and disable vacation mode if it is enabled.

Fix – Disable Vacation Mode

To disable vacation mode, simply input your Schlage lock programming code. This disables vacation mode.

Then, input your user access code to unlock the door.

The Schlage programming code can be found on:

  • The Schlage lock user manual
  • Behind the keypad when you detach it

If you have changed your programming code and no longer remember it, you would have to reset your Schlage to factory settings.

5. Lock Override Is Enabled

Lock override is a feature that enables you to disable the keypad entirely. When lock override is enabled, you will be unable to unlock the Schlage using your user access code. In fact, the keypad will not light up. You must disable lock override to enable keypad access again.

Fix – Disable Lock Override

Follow the steps below carefully, to disable lock override:

  1. Remove the battery cover
  2. Carefully detach and remove the battery from its socket.
  3. Check whether the lock override slot is set to lockout.
  4. If so, rotate it to normal using a small flathead screwdriver.
  5. Now put back the battery, and fix the cover.

6. Moisture Or Dirt Inside Lock

Condensed water during cold weather, dirt, spilled fluid, and other substances inside the lock can cause your Schlage lock to malfunction. These substances can block or interfer with the electrical, electronic, or mechanical systems of the lock, causing it to not respond properly to unlock signals.

Fix – Inspect and Clean the Lock

Follow the steps below to inspect and clean the Schlage lock:

  1. Slide the lock cover open to reveal the Schlage lock panel. If yours is secured by screws, use a screwdriver to remove the screws.
  2. The panel inside is also secured by two screws. Disengage them with a screwdriver and gently remove the panel.
  3. Inspect it from back to front for any moisture or foreign material.
  4. If you find any, gently wipe it away and make sure there is nothing obstructing the normal functioning of the lock
  5. Secure the panel again with the 2 screws
  6. Then place back the outer cover

Note: Do not try to do any mechanical repairs to the lock. Do not tamper with any wires either. If you find anything out of place, it is best to contact Schlage or a professional to have a look at it.

7. Bug or Glitch on Schlage Lock

Hopefully, you would have resolved your Schlage lock issues by following the steps I have provided so far. But if the issue persists, your last resort may be to reset the lock to factory settings.

Sometimes, as is the case with electronic systems, your Schlage lock may run into a programming error which you can only fix by resetting it.

Note that resetting the lock will erase all user access codes, and you would have to create new ones using the programming or admin code.

It will also reset the programming code to the one that came with your lock. So, make sure that you have this code available. If you have lost your user manual, you can find the programming code on the inside of the lock panel.

Fix – Reset Your Schlage Lock

  1. For BE489, BE499, FE789, reset using the steps below:
  2. Take off the battery cover.
  3. Press and hold the black circle reset button to the right of the thumbturn on the inside of the lock. The LED will flash red. Keep holding the button until the LED stops flashing red (approximately 7 seconds).
  4. The LED will light solid blue when the factory default reset is complete. It may take up to 10 seconds before it lights.

Your lock is now reset to factory defaults.

  1. For Sense Smart Deadbolt BE479
  2. Disconnect the batteries.
  3. Press and hold the outside Schlage button.
  4. While holding the outside Schlage button, reconnect the batteries.
  5. Release the outside Schlage button.
  6. If reset is successful, a checkmark will flash 3 times.
  7. For Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt BE468 and BE469
  8. Remove black battery cover (slide cover up) and disconnect the batteries.
  9. Press and hold down the Schlage logo on the front of the touchscreen.
  10. While you are pushing the logo, reconnect your batteries. The green check on the keypad will flash three times and the inside Schlage button will flash three times.
  11. For Schlage Touch Keyless Touchscreen (FE695/BE375)
  12. Disconnect the battery
  13. Press and release the Schlage button
  14. The following steps must occur within 10 seconds:
  • Reconnect the battery. The indicator light will light green for one second
  • Then press and hold the Schlage button until the indicator light is green and the lock beeps
  1. For PFE135
  2. Remove the battery cover
  3. Remove one of the batteries
  4. Press and hold the “Enter Button” (it has 3 lines on it) and reinstall the battery that was removed.
  5. Reset is complete when you hear a long beep followed by 2 short beeps

8. Replace Schlage Lock Or Contact Support

If you have checked the batteries, did a reset, checked for damage, and tried all of the other small fixes, and it still won’t unlock, it’s time to either replace your Schlage lock.

I personally use the Schlage Encode, which I picked up from Amazon.

Or contact Schlage Support.

Note: Only pick up a new Schlage lock if you’re convinced the one you currently have has too many issues. There’s no point in picking up a new lock if the problem with your current lock can easily be fixed.

Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced writer and marketer with who currently writes for Robodens as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf and Techzillo. At Robodens, he focuses on general smart home advice with his interest being accessories and gadgets. Read our Editorial Guidelines and Fact Checking process.


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