How to Open a Window from the Outside: Unlocking the Secret Tips

Having the skill of opening the window from the outside can be a lifesaver if you are prone to forgetting your keys inside. Besides being absent-minded, this skill can also do wonders if your room windows mostly stay jammed from the inside. However, learning how to open a window from the outside can be challenging for those who have never attempted this. 

But fear not; this article will unlock secret tips for all homeowners providing the confidence to tackle this task with ease. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from different types of windows to selecting the right tools and techniques. 

So get ready to unveil the window-opening secrets that you never knew existed!

How to Open a Window from the Outside

Guidance on How to Assess the Window 

Before putting your efforts into opening the window, it’s essential to access it from the outside. Doing this can help you identify any issues that are not visible from the inner side. 

For this, we’ve shared some of the tips that you must follow:

  • Firstly, inspect the window frame and check if there’s any visible damage on the frame, such as chips, cracks, or anything else. 
  • Secondly, check if the glass of the window is broken or damaged in any area. If yes, it’s a safety hazard and can cause injury. 
  • Furthermore, look for any obstructions, such as tree branches or anything else, as they may hinder the window’s opening. 

Pick the Right Tools 

Undoubtedly, opening locked windows from the outside can be a frustrating and stressful experience. But if you have the right tools, this stressful task can become unchallenging, and you can safely gain entry. So before knowing how to open a window from the outside, you should first know about the important window opening tools. 

Here are some of the necessary tools that you must have when opening a window from outside:

1. Screwdriver

Klein Tools 32500 11-in-1 Screwdriver / Nut Driver Set, 8 Bits (Phillips, Slotted, Torx, Square), 3 Nut Driver Sizes, Cushion Grip Handle

The first and foremost tool that one should have is a screwdriver. This tool can help you remove screws from the window frames and locks. But make sure you choose the right size and type to avoid damage to the window. 

2. Sturdy Ladder

Little Giant Ladder Systems, SkyScraper, M17, 9-17 Foot, Stepladder, Aluminum, Type 1A, 300 Lbs Weight Rating, (10110)

Windows located at heights demand a sturdy ladder to access them easily. Ensure that the ladder can support your weight and reaches the required height. 

3. Window Wedge

Window Wedge | Made in USA |, Window Stopper to Baby Proof and Child Proof Providing Safety for Baby, Window Security and Overall Better Home Security (4 Total, 2 Two Packs)

Don’t forget to keep a window wedge with you, as it will help to hold the window open while working on it from the outer side. But the wedge should be of suitable material and size to prevent damage to the frame.  

4. Pliers

Edward Tools Slip Joint Pliers 6” - Heavy Duty Carbon Steel with Rubber Grip Handle - Fine Grip Teeth in front and Coarse teeth in back - Rust resistant finish (1)

Pliers are also one of the most important tools to consider for this job. They grip and turn the levers or the knobs of the windows. Not just the levers and the knobs control the window lock, but the pliers also help remove the pins that hold the hinges in place. So, don’t forget this handy tool to keep the whole window-opening process hustle free. 

Different Types of Windows

Park Ridge Products VBHI3218PR VBHI Vinyl Basement Hopper Window, 32" x 18", White

In the previous section, we discussed the tools you must have when opening a window from the outside. But the selection of the tools mainly depends on the type of window you’ll unlock. That’s because not all windows have the same locking mechanisms, so you should consider the type of window before selecting the tools. 

We’ve presented you with different types of windows. Let’s glance at them:

  • Single-hung
  • Double-hung
  • Casement
  • Sliding

Here are the details about each of them.

1. Single-hung Windows

Single-hung windows are the traditional type with two sashes. The upper one is fixed, while the bottom one moves vertically. 

2. Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows come with two sashes, one at the top and the other at the bottom. You can move both the sashes up and down. 

3. Casement Windows

The third type is the casement windows that open outward like a door. They have a single sash and are hinged on the side. 

4. Sliding Windows 

Sliding windows are a modern type of windows that have two or more sashes. They slide horizontally on a track and are easier to use than other windows. 

Secret Tips to Open Windows from Outside

Want to know how to break into a window or how to break a window quietly to get an easy access inside? Why break into the window when you have the easiest ways to unlock the window? 

We know you have been waiting so long to step into the section on how to open a window from the outside. So without any delay, let’s find out the secret tips to open each of the above-discussed windows. 

1. How to Unlock a Single-Hung Window from the Outside?

how to unlock a window from the outside

To unlock a single-hung window from the outside, you’ll need the following:

  • Ladder
  • Piece of Plastic or Credit Card
  • Pair of Pliers  

Step-by-Step Instructions

When unlocking a single-hung window from outside, you’ve to follow these instructions:

  • Step 1: First, position the ladder and locate the window’s lock. These windows mostly have the lock located at the bottom sash.
  • Step 2: Insert a credit card or a thin piece of plastic between the sash. 
  • Step 3: Wiggle the piece of plastic up and down while applying pressure. Doing this will release the lock.
  • Step 4: When the lock is open, you can easily open window from outside by pushing the bottom sash. 

2. How to Open a Double-Hung Window from the Outside?

open window from outside

Do you want to know how to open a window from the outside, mainly a double-hung window? To start the process, you first need the following tools:

  • Sturdy Ladder
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver

Step-by-Step Instructions

Let us tell you that double-hung windows are a bit tricky to open from the outside compared to single-hung windows. But the steps discussed below will make it easy-peasy for you. 

Here’s how to open a locked window (double-hung) from the outside:

  • Step 1: Start the process by locating the window you want to open.
  • Step 2: Take a screwdriver and remove all the screws or the hardware. 
  • Step 3: Find the window latch present on the bottom rail of the lower sash. 
  • Step 4: Use the pliers to grip the latch. Now unlock the window by sliding the latch left or right.  
  • Step 5: Place your hands on the lower sash and push it up. In the same way, pull the upper sash down and open the window. But don’t apply too much force as it can harm the window. 

3. How to Open a Casement Window from the Outside?

how to unlock a window from the outside2

When trying to open a casement window, you should have the following tools:

  • Knife or Pry Bar
  • Sturdy ladder

Step-by-Step Instructions

Casement windows are pretty easy to open if they have a crank. For this, push down on the crank and turn it in any direction. And ta-dah! You’ve succeeded in opening the casement window from the outside.

Hold on; what if your casement window is with a broken crank?

In this situation, all you need to do is:

  • Step 1: Use a knife or thin tool like a pry bar to slide between the window frame and the lock.
  • Step 2: Now, gently push the lock back to release it.
  • Step 3: Once the lock is released, turn the crank handle on the window to swing it open. 
  • And it’s all done!

4. How to Open a Sliding Window from the Outside?

how to open a locked window

If your room is locked and you want to open a sliding window from outside, you’ll need the following tools to start the job:

  • Ladder
  • Hacksaw Blade
  • Screwdriver

Step-by-Step Instructions

To learn how to open a locked window with a knife or a blade, here’s the step-by-step guide:

  • Step 1: Locate the tracks on the bottom that the window slides on. 
  • Step 2: Now insert the hacksaw blade into the track on the side of the window close to the locking mechanism. 
  • Step 3: Start sawing back and forth while applying pressure to the blade. It will create a gap between the window and the track, allowing you to pry it open.
  • Step 4: Use a pry bar or a screwdriver, apply pressure, and push the window in the opposite direction of the track.
  • Step 5: Once the window has been pried open, slide it along the track until it is fully open. 

How to Break into a Window? 

In case none of the above-discussed tools and instructions worked for you, you should know how to break a window quietly. It will surely help you get inside the room but don’t forget; it can also cause damage to the window and injuries to your hands. So follow the steps with great care and attention.

The safest tool to use for this risky task is the glass cutter. Cut a part of the glass near the latch and unlock the window. Now remove all the glass from the window frame and enter the room. If you don’t have a glass cutter, a hammer would also work the same to break the glass. 

how to break into a window

Once you reach the room, clean up the mess and remove all the glass pieces to prevent accidents or injuries.  

That’s because safety should be your top priority when opening a window from the outside. And yes, don’t forget to use a sturdy ladder to access the windows at a height easily. Also, ensure it is stable and securely positioned against the wall to prevent any accidents during the task. 

Furthermore, it’s crucial to have a spotter who assists you in holding the ladder in place and handing you the necessary tools. 

To conclude, you know how to open a locked window, whether it’s a single-hung, double-hung, casement, or sliding window. 

A Final Glance at the Methods of Opening Window from the Outside

The table below will help you compare all the methods you can use for opening the window from the outside. 

How to open a window from the outside

Troubleshooting When Opening a Window from the Outside

Despite all the above-discussed instructions about how to open a window from the outside 

and your best efforts, you may still encounter some issues when attempting to open a window from the outside. Want to know about the common troubleshooting scenarios? 

Here are some of them, along with a solution for each:

1. Jammed Window

If the above instructions about how to unlock a window from the outside aren’t working in your case, one reason can be a jammed window. If the window is jammed and won’t budge, the main reason can be debris. Check for any debris or obstructions that may be blocking it. To remove any stuck parts, gently tap the window frame with a rubber mallet. 

2. Stuck Lock

If the lock is stuck and won’t turn, use a lubricant to loosen it. Applying a small amount of lubricant to the keyhole or lock mechanism would be the best solution. Once applied, please wait a few minutes before trying to unlock it again.

3. Broken Lock

What if the lock of the window is broken? You will need to replace it entirely. Regarding this, contact a professional locksmith to assist you with this.

FAQs About How to Open a Window from the Outside

How to open a locked sliding window outside?

You’ll need a thin piece of plastic to open a locked sliding window from the outside. A credit card will also work well in this regard. Now insert the card into the gap between the window frame and the sliding sash. 

Now use it to push up or down on the latch mechanism until it releases. Yes, it’s that simple.

Which tools do I need to open a window from the outside?

Here are some of the common tools that you must have when opening a window from outside:

  • Screwdriver
  • Sturdy Ladder
  • Window Wedge
  • Pliers
  • Knife
  • Pry Bar

But you should also know that the selection of the tools depends on the type of window and the lock it has. So look at the window and its locking mechanism to make the whole window unlocking process trouble-free.

Can you open uPVC windows from outside?

UPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) windows are made of plastic, with either casement, sliding, or sash locking mechanisms. So you can easily open them just as the other windows using the unlocking tips.

How to open a locked window with a knife?

To open a stuck or locked window with a knife, follow these simple steps:

  • Use a utility knife for scratching the area between the window sash and frame.
  • Now insert a putty knife between the frame and sash and gently tap it with a hammer.
  • If the window still doesn’t budge, insert a pry bar under the windowsill and gently tap it with a wooden block placed underneath.
  • Repeat the process around the entire window sill until the window finally opens.

How do you manually roll up a stuck window?

Majority think that learning how to open a window from the outside manually is difficult at all. But it’s not! All you have to do is:

  • First, remove any debris or object that may obstruct the window’s movement.
  • Second, place one hand on the window and the other on the bottom edge of the window frame.
  • Now push the window up using firm but gentle pressure.
  • If the window still doesn’t move, try lubricating the tracks with lubricating oil.
  • Once the window is open, inspect it to see any damage or issues.  

Final Thoughts

So, knowing how to open a window from the outside was quite interesting. Doubtlessly, it’s a valuable skill to have in emergencies or when locked out of your home. However, it’s essential to approach the task with caution and ensure that you have the necessary tools and knowledge to do it safely.

Remember to assess the window and lock type, choose the right tools for the job, and troubleshoot any issues. Above all, always prioritize safety and never force a window open if it won’t budge.

We’re sure that by following these tips and practicing in a safe environment, you can master opening a window from the outside. And if you ever feel unsure or uncomfortable with the task, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance.

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