Losing the combination to your safe can be a stressful experience. Whether you use the safe to store personal items, firearms, or important documents, it’s essential to protect its contents with a secure lock. Luckily, if you’ve forgotten the combination to your safe, there are a few ways to regain access without damaging the lock.

A small home safe with an electric combination lock and a key.

Determine the Type of Safe You Own

In order to determine how to unlock your safe, you must know the type and brand of safe you own. There are numerous types of safes, brands, construction ratings, security ratings, test performance ratings, and other factors that should be considered. By identifying the type of safe you have, you can narrow down the measures that can be used to correctly unlock the safe on your own. 

Most home safes are either mechanical or electronic, and each has its own set of features and methods for unlocking. Mechanical safes are the simplest type, with no electronic components. Instead, they rely on a combination lock that can be opened with a series of numbers or a key. 

Electronic safes, on the other hand, are often equipped with a digital touchscreen or keypad. These safes can be opened with a code, a key, or a biometric fingerprint. If your safe is equipped with a digital touchscreen, you may be able to reset the code if you’ve forgotten it.

Override the Safe With a Master Key

Some safes feature an alternative method of accessing the content of your safe called a master key override. Master keys are specially designed keys that are able to open any lock without the need for a combination. A master key is a great option if you’ve forgotten the combination to your safe as it will allow you to regain access to the contents without having to reset the lock. 

Master keys are typically only used by locksmiths and are designed to bypass the lock on a safe, so to override the lock on your safe you’ll need to contact a professional locksmith who can provide you with the necessary tools.

This convenient override offers another way to get to the contents of your safe, which is why it’s important to research your safe type to determine if there is a method to override the combination using a key. Depending on your particular safe, there’s a chance it even came with a key called a change key that’s designed to be used specifically when the combination is forgotten. If yours did, you’re in luck! Having access to an override key is the easiest and most straightforward way to regain access to a locked safe.

A single key on a gray background.

Retrieve the Combination From The Manufacturer

If your safe has a combination lock, you may be able to retrieve the combination from the manufacturer. In many cases, the manufacturer will have a record of the combination associated with your specific safe. To retrieve the combination, you’ll need to provide the manufacturer with the serial number of your safe. Once they’ve verified your ownership of the safe, they should be able to provide you with the combination. 

If you’ve changed the combination to your safe away from the factory standard combination, the manufacturer may still be able to tell you how to reset the combination to the base combo. Contacting the manufacturer with your safe’s serial number is a great step to take if you don’t have access to an override key, as they should be able to provide some guidelines for how to get back into your safe.

Hire a Professional Locksmith

If you’re unable to regain access to your safe, you may need to replace the lock. Replacing the lock can be an expensive process, but it may be necessary if you’ve completely forgotten the combination or can’t retrieve it from the manufacturer. A professional locksmith can help you determine the best type of lock for your safe and install a new one for you. 

A locksmith opening the lock on a home safe.

Forgetting the combination to your safe can be a stressful experience. Fortunately, there are a few ways to regain access without damaging the lock. Depending on the type of lock your safe has, you may be able to override the lock with a master key, retrieve the combination from the manufacturer, or replace the lock entirely. 

If you have any questions or need help regaining access to your home safe, be sure to contact the residential safe locksmiths at Pop-A-Lock to get back inside your safe quickly and professionally!