How to Reset a Combo Lock

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How to Reset a Combo Lock

A combination lock is a great way to secure valued belongings. Whether a lock owner uses a lock to secure a locker, a storage shed, or a bicycle, the owner rests assured knowing that his or her belongings are safe and secure. However, what if someone gets hold of the lock's combination? Before resetting a combo lock, lock owners must determine which type of lock they have, whether or not it is resettable, and which steps to take to reset the combination of the lock.


Types of Combination Locks

There are two main types of combination locks: padlocks and dial locks. The steps necessary to reset the combination of a lock depends on which type of lock an owner has.


Type of Lock



Flat, rectangular lock with combination located on bottom of lock

3-5 separate rolling mechanisms used to enter combination to unlock

Dial lock

Round lock with a dial at front

Unlocked by turning dial to three different numbers that make up lock's combination


Each of these locks works in a different way. Lock owners should be aware of which lock they own before taking steps to reset it. The steps necessary for the resetting of a combination lock depends on the internal mechanism of the lock.


Determine Lock Type

When resetting a combo lock, lock owners should first determine which type of lock they have. Some locks are not resettable. If a lock is not resettable and the lock owner needs a new combination, then the purchase of a new lock is necessary. In addition, when resetting a combination lock, the owner needs to have the current combination to the lock for the reset process.


Resetting a Combination Padlock

To reset the combination of a padlock, the lock owner must first open the padlock. Keep the padlock in the open position, meaning the 'U' bar is not set into the lock during the resetting process.

Open the Lock Cover

Once the lock is unlocked and the 'U' bar is in the unlocked position, take off the back of the lock using a screwdriver. The screws are usually on the bottom of the lock or on the back of the lock. Lock owners should be sure to use the right screwdriver to remove the back.

Reset the Combination

After removing the cover of the lock, align the dials that normally turn to enter the lock's combination into the current combination series at the proper guide points. Next, locate the red reset button inside of the lock and press the button or flip the button into the reset position, depending on the type of lock. Next, align the dials to reflect the new combination. Press the reset button again or flip the button back into the lock position.

Test the lock three times to ensure the new combination is functioning properly. If the new combination is working properly, reaffix the lock case to the lock and screw the screws back into place.

Change the Combination

First, open the lock. Once the lock is open, turn the dial counter-clockwise three times. Next, turn the dial counter-clockwise until the first number of the old combination stops on the 'change' position of the lock. This is either the 11 o'clock or 1 o'clock position on the dial, depending on the manufacturer of the lock. If the instruction manual that came with the lock is available, refer to it to determine which position is the lock's 'change' position. Otherwise, try the process in both positions to determine which one works.

Next, turn the dial counter-clockwise until the first number of the new combination reaches the 'change' position. Then, turn the dial clockwise until the second number of the new lock combination reaches the 'change' position. Finally, turn the dial counter-clockwise until the third number of the new combination reaches the 'change' position. Then place the 'U' hook into the lock. Test the new combination three times to ensure it is working properly.


How to Buy Combination Locks on eBay

To buy a combination lock on eBay, use the search bar located on any eBay page to enter the search term for the item for which you are looking. For example, enter 'combination padlock' into the search bar and filter through the results to find the lock that you are looking. If you need multiple locks, look for listings that offer more than one lock or sellers who are offering more than one listing and ask about combined shipping to save on shipping costs.

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