How to Fix a Door Latch That Won’t Latch Properly

To protect your valuables and feel safe in your house the door must latch properly into the door jamb. The unfortunate thing is that some doors fail to latch properly. The cool thing is that you can easily correct the problem.

How to Fix a Door Latch

You should inspect the screws on the door hinges and ensure that they are tight. If there are any screws that are loose you should tighten them using a screwdriver. Loose screws usually cause the door to fall forward which misaligns the latch with the strike plate.

You should also take a look at the screws on the strike plate on the door jamb. If they are loose you should tighten them. To see where the latch hits you should remove the screws-a rub line should be on the strike plate’s surface.

If a rub line appears above the latch plate’s hole you should extend the top portion of the hole in order to accommodate the latch. If the rub line is below the hole you should extend the bottom of the latch plate’s hole.

To extend the hole you only need to rub a metal file across the top edge of the hole. You should then set the strike plate on the jamb and trace the hole using a pencil. Using a ½ inch chisel you should extend the hole.

You should then place the strike plate back on the door jamb and secure it in place with screws that you had removed.

The strike plate hole may have obstructions such as dirt and debris which can prevent the door from latching properly. If you inspect the inside of the strike plate and notice obstruction you should remove them.

Replacing the Latch

If you have tried all of the above and still the door doesn’t close properly you should consider replacing the latch. All you have to do is to head to a reputable store and purchase a new latch. You can fix the latch by yourself or you can hire the services of a professional locksmith.


These are tips on how to fix a door latch that doesn’t latch properly. To avoid damaging your doors always use the right tools. If you feel that you don’t have the right skills you should consider hiring a professional locksmith to do the work for you. To save money hire a professional who is near your area of residence.