How to Retrieve a Lock Combination

By Donny Quinn; Updated April 24, 2017
Keep your combination in your wallet to prevent problems.

Teachers hear many excuses for missing homework; even a legitimate excuse, such as forgetting a locker combination, gets old quickly. At the beginning of the school year, remembering your locker combination can prove difficult in tandem with class schedules and homeroom locations. If you forget a combination, it can result in a poor grade, or a drop in a good one. To avoid these complications, even the best student should know how to "crack" her locker.

Pull the shackle up with your finger. Keep the shackle pulled up.

Turn the dial clockwise to the right until your lock “clicks,” if you own a Fortress combination lock. Once your hear a click, rotate two numbers to the right. This is your first number. Do not release the shackle.

On a Masterlock, turn the dial counterclockwise until it stops. This is your first number. Do not release the shackle.

Turn your Fortress lock dial counterclockwise until the dial stops. This is your second number. Do not release the shackle.

On a Masterlock, turn the dial clockwise until it stops completely. This is your second number. Release the shackle.

Turn your Fortress lock’s dial clockwise, continuing until the lock opens.

On a Masterlock, enter your first two numbers into the combination lock without lifting the shackle. From the second number, turn the dial one digit at a time. At each digit, pull up the shackle; it opens when you reach your third combination digit.


Even if your lock is "uncrackable," you can open most three-digit combination locks within three hours, according to Jim Loy. Try all possible three-digit combinations; only use the even numbers on the dial for the first two digits. Try every number on the dial for the last digit.


Only attempt to find the combination for a lock you own. Breaking and entering, theft and lock picking result in severe penalties. If you have any questions about the legality of cracking a combination lock, contact a lawyer, police officer or school official.

About the Author

Donny Quinn has been writing professionally since 2002 and has been published on various websites. He writes technical manuals for a variety of companies, including restaurants, hotels and salons. Quinn is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English at Georgia State University.