How to open a safe without the combination. All methods

How to Open a Safe Without the Combination

So, you find yourself locked out of your combination safe and do not how to unlock it? Forgot or lost the combination or the code? This actually happens to many of us. And it doesn’t matter if you have a fireproof safe or a regular one. The ways to solve the problem are the same.

There are a few different ways to open a safe without the combination. The method you choose will depend on the type of safe you have. A dial safe will require a different method than a digital/electronic safe for example.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to open a safe without the combination, covering various methods for different types of safes. And also clear up when it is better to call a professional locksmith. But whatever the situation may be, do not worry, you will regain access to your valuables.

Understanding the Safe Combination and Code

To better understand how to open a safe without combination let’s just answer a simple question of what a safe combination is.

A safe combination is a unique sequence of numbers or letters that, when entered correctly, unlocks the safe. It is typically set by the manufacturer with the option for the future owner to reset it and assign a new combination. It is kept secret for security reasons.

Why Do You Need to Open a Safe Without the Combination?

Life is unpredictable. You might forget the combination, inherit a mystery safe, or face some other urgent situation when the combination doesn’t work. That’s when knowing techniques on how to unlock a fireproof or a regular safe becomes extremely helpful.

What Are the Different Types of Safes with Combination?

Safes come in various forms, but when it comes to combinations, there are two main types:

  • Dial Safes: These rely on a mechanical dial. You must carefully dial the combination to open them.
  • Digital Safes: These have electronic keypads. A PIN code or password is your path to access.

Now, let’s explore how to open these safes without the combination.

How to Open a Dial Safe Without the Combination

The Combination Retrieval

Begin by checking any records and paperwork that came with your safe. The manufacturer supplies all the necessary information with the safe itself. So, if you purchased your safe from an authorized dealer or reputable online store, these documents should have been included. Therefore, you can easily find the combination right there in the documentation.

Contacting the Safes Manufacturer

If you however cannot find the documentation, you should call the manufacturer and ask for help directly. You will be typically asked to provide the safe’s serial number (usually located on the back side of the safe itself) or safe model.  The manufacturer then will instruct you on necessary steps to get the right combination.

The Brute Force Method

If you can’t use the documentation and you can’t reach the manufacturer, there’s an option of brute force. It is a method we do not recommend. It involves systematically trying every possible combination. Or trying other physical applications like drilling, hammering, slamming. All of which can damage the safe and leave it in even a worse state.

The Stethoscope Method

You may have seen movie characters using a stethoscope. By listening for subtle clicks and sounds while turning the dial they determine the correct combination. This works in the movies but not so much in real life. Modern locks are quite sophisticated and you will most likely end up wasting your time.

Locksmith services

Finally, there’s the method that is going to be the most reliable if you have not been able to retrieve the combination yourself. It is simply to contact your local locksmith and ask them to unlock your safe. A locksmith specialist will ask you all the necessary questions to evaluate the cost and the specialized methods needed to be applied.

Sometimes however the cost of the services might be higher than the same itself. Thus, it makes more sense to use this method for higher-end safes or if you really need to get access to your items. The proof of ownership may also be required by the locksmith.

How to Open a Digital Safe Without the Code

If somehow you don’t remember the combination of digits (a code) to your fireproof safe with electronic lock, you can still recover the access. The easiest method is to use the override code.

The Master Override Code Method

Digital safes typically have a master override code. It is your safety net if you forget the combination. Consult your safe’s manual, this is where the necessary code is supplied.

In case you don’t have the manual or any other documentation that comes with the safe, contact the manufacturer directly. The manufacturer will be able help you to retrieve this code. You will simply need to provide the ownership proof in this case.

Using Brute Force

Similar to dial safes, you can attempt a brute force attack on digital safes. But beware, this may trigger lockout features or damage the electronics.

The Locksmith Method

When all else fails, you can always call in the professionals. Experienced locksmiths specialize in safe openings. They have the skills and tools to bypass electronic locks without compromising the safe.


Knowing how to open a safe without the combination can be a lifesaver in various situations. The methods to unlocking it depend on the type of lock and the manufacturer.

If you’re uncertain about your abilities or don’t want to risk damaging the safe, it’s wise to contact a professional locksmith. They can safely and efficiently handle safe openings.

To prevent possible lockouts, keep digital records of your combination, store them securely, and share them with a trusted individual only.

And if you are using a safe with a Key lock and somehow you are locked out of it, we have this guide on How to Unlock a Fireproof Safe Without a Key

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • Q: How do you open a safe if you forgot the combination?
  • A: If you’ve forgotten the combination to your safe, you can try methods like retrieval from documentation, brute safe manipulation (not recommended), or contacting a professional locksmith.
  • Q: What Can I Do If I Lose the Combination or Key to My Safe?
  • A: Losing your combination or key can be challenging. Refer to your safe’s documentation or consider professional locksmith services to regain access.
  • Q: How do you reset a 3-digit combination lock if you forgot the code?
  • A: Resetting a 3-digit combination lock typically requires entering a specific sequence of numbers provided in the lock’s manual or consulting the manufacturer.
  • Q: Can any locked safe be opened?
  • A: Yes, with the right methods and tools, any locked safe can be opened. The approach depends on the type of safe and the situation.
  • Q: How do I use a safe override key?
  • A: A safe override key is a backup key provided by the manufacturer. Refer to your safe’s manual for instructions on using it to open the safe.
  • Q: How long will a safe lock you out for the wrong password?
  • A: The lockout duration varies depending on the safe’s manufacturer and model. Typically, the lockout timer may be between 5 and 20 minutes. Refer to your safe’s manual for specific lockout details.

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