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How to Install Window Locks? – Quick Guide with Pro Tips!

How to Install Window Locks
Written by Willie F Brodson
Last Update: August 23, 2022

There are so many types and styles of windows and window locks that it’s hard to find the right lock for the type of window you have. But if you’ve successfully made the right choice, it’s easy to install the lock.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to walk you through the whole process!

Install Window Locks: A Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools

  • Window lock set
  • Impact driver/ manual screwdriver
  • Power drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Phillips bit
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Nails
  • Tape
  • Pliers
  • Safety glasses

Step 2: Identify the window type

Identify the window type

First identify the type of window you have. Is it a sliding, single-hung, double-hung, awning, round, or a casement window?

There are so many types and styles of windows; so are their locks. It’s necessary to determine what type of locks will suit your window best.

Step 2: Choose lock options for your window

Choose lock options for your window

Once you’ve specified the type of window you need a lock for, it’s much easier now to get the window lock accordingly. You’ll find several styles of window locks for every window type.

You can use a “stop lock” or a “key track stop” for sliding windows. You may need one or more locks, depending on your window setup.

Step 3: Remove the old lock

Remove the old lock

After you have the new window lock handy, remove the old window lock (if you have it). Most window locks are screwed in, so you should be able to unscrew with an impact driver or a manual screwdriver easily.

Sometimes you won’t be able to see the screws because of the many paint layers on the window. Make sure you use your flat-blade screwdriver to get access to the screw heads.

Step 4: Place the new lock

Place the new lock

Place the new lock right where the old one was to hide the stains the old lock has left. Select a convenient position if it’s the first time you’re locking the window.

Note: Read the user manual first because some manufacturers explain how to do the installation step-by-step. But don’t worry if that’s not the case or if you don’t understand the language.

Step 5: Mark the screw holes

Mark the screw holes

Give yourself a moment to lock the position of the strike plate over the window track. Get a pencil into the holes to mark the drill points.

Step 6: Attach the lock to the sash

Attach the lock to the sash

Hold the lock to the right place and screw it to attach it to the window sash/casing. It’s a good idea to drill the screw holes first using a drill bit about the same size as the shank of the screw.

You can use an impact driver or a hand screwdriver. Then use a spacer so the lock has enough space for the striker plate.

Step 7: Insert the bolt

Insert the bolt

Push the bolt into the window lock when it is in position and attached to the sash. Push down on the bolt with just enough force so that the tip of the bolt makes a point or mark on the sill.

Don’t hesitate to check a few times and push the bolt down harder until you get the point to drill.

Step 8: Attach the striker plate to the sill

Attach the striker plate to the sill

Once the bolt leaves the mark on the sill, pick a drill bit slightly thicker than the bolt to get the correct fit and drill a hole for the bolt. Put the striker plate perfectly in place keeping the bolt hole in the middle. Now go ahead and drill a couple of pilot holes to drive the screws down.

Step 9: Test the lock & replace the covering

Test the lock & replace the covering

lock the window. Check to see if you can take out the bolt. Your lock is successfully installed if you fail to take the bolt out even after trying it out hard.

Now replace the screw cover on your lock to complete the task.

Quick tips to install window locks

  • Set the lock to either keep your window entirely closed or to limit how far it will open
  • Track locks can be an excellent option as they make windows difficult to pry open, take virtually no time to install, and are easily affordable
  • Depending on the lock style, either you need to clip the lock to the window sill or frame, or screw it to the sill or track to hold in position
  • Your groundfloor AC units are easy to access points for burglars and intruders. You may install window bar locks to save them from being pushed open
  • Make sure your lock is set tightly to avoid possible burglaries
  • You can pick the place on the window’s sill or track where you’d like the lock
  • In a double awning window, use mini push locks for the bottom awning and put a window catch on the top awning to secure it onto the lockable lower awning
  • Many homeowners tend to lock the ground floor windows to prevent intruders from breaking in, but locking the upper-level windows can stop children from falling.
  • Get quality locks for your windows. Intruders will first check your windows to see if they’re unlocked or they can be pried open because breaking the glass can make noise and attract attention
  • Plastic locks on windows are not enough. You may count on sash locks or metal track locks for extra reinforcement
  • A good rule of thumb is to choose locks made of aluminum or steel for your windows and avoid plastic or other elastic material.


1. How do I pick a window lock?

Ans: Picking a window lock might not be the easiest. But in case you lost the key and it came to the crunch, you can try the tip of the scissors, paper clip, safety pin, a bump key, hairpin, and similar pointy things to disintegrate the inside mechanism of the lock.

2. Are window locks any good?

Ans: In reality, 60% of all burglaries in the United States have a connection with forcible entry. Keeping your windows locked is indispensable; especially at night. It helps keep the intruders or nuisance varmints out and your little ones in.

3. Can I screw my window shut?

Ans: You may not want to screw the windows shut, this could be potentially hazardous in the case of a fire or other emergency.

About the author

Willie F Brodson

Certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and a master of Science in Occupational Safety Management from Indiana State University, Willie F Brodson is an occupational safety expert who believes in the age-old saying – “It is better to be safe than sorry.”

Willie’s areas of expertise include legal guidelines for health and safety, coding and construction safety, fire prevention and theft, and environmental technology. Over a span of four decades, he has provided safety training and consultation and developed safety manuals for a number of state-owned and private organizations.

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