Seeing a door knob falling off is something that business owners and homeowners deal with from time to time. This becomes inconveniencing, especially if you are in a hurry to go out. Fortunately, fixing the doorknob that fell off is straightforward and may not require a lot of expenses or time.

To fix a doorknob that fell off, you need to ascertain the cause of the problem. You might also need a new doorknob if the one that fell is no longer usable. Before you start working on your doorknob, make sure that you have the necessary tools.

This article gives a step-by-step guide on how to fix your doorknob. Read on to understand how to permanently fix the problem without spending a lot.

Why Your Doorknob May Come Off

There are several reasons why a doorknob becomes loose and falls off. For instance, there may be a missing or loose screw on the door plate. Additionally, there may be dirt or other obstructions that hinder its useability, making it loose and fall off. In other cases, there may be a malfunctioning issue with the locking mechanism. Either way, fixing your doorknob is not a burden.

Determine What Kind of Doorknob You Have

Different Types of Doorknob Attachments

Doorknobs are typically attached in different ways. For instance, if the knob came off in your hand, it’s most likely the type that slips over a cylindrical spindle. These types are mounted on the door as part of the latch assembly.

On the other hand, if the lockset has a square and a solid metallic shaft, then your doorknob is held by a set screw. These are the set screws you need to remove and mostly use Allen wrench, and some take a flathead screwdriver.

Popular Types of Doorknobs

The process of fixing a broken doorknob depends on the doorknob’s design, how it is placed, and the spindle. Therefore, the first thing you should do is determine what kind of knob you have on your door. Below are the popular types of doorknobs, and your doorknob may be one of them.

Passage Lockset

This is a doorknob that can be used for hallways or closet doors. It is ideal to use where privacy is not a priority.


  • It has two non-locking knobs on each side of the knob
  • It is available in different finishes and styles

Dummy Knob

The dummy door knob is popular and ideal for decorations or in areas where you do not need a latch.


  • Has no latching mechanism and does not turn
  • Comes in different styles and finishes

Mortise Knob

This is a flat and rectangular box that will fit perfectly into a recess in the door from its edge. It is used on different door types such as heavy entrance doors, residential doors, or apartment buildings.


  • It is available in the right or left-handed styles
  • Latch operates from either side when the knob is unlocked
  • It includes two faceplates

Tools You Will Need

When doing any DIY task, the first thing you should do is to collect the necessary items. In this case, some of these items that you will need include the following:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Paperclip or firm wire
  • Awl
  • Allen wrench
  • Stiff wire
  • New lockset
Fixing a doorknob that fell of.

Fixing a Doorknob That Fell Off

1. Remove the Handle or Knob

You have to detach the knob or handle. This is determined by how fastened the knob is, and the position of the screws. Some knobs have hidden screws while others are exposed. If you have hidden screws, you have to display them by determining where the detent access hole is located. This pin is spring-activated and could prevent the knob from rotating since it sticks out.

After locating the pin, use a flathead screwdriver to press down on it and remove the handle. You need to remove the rose for the screws to be exposed. In this case, locate the thin slot that you’ll find between the plate and door and use the flathead screwdriver to remove the rose. This way, it will be easier for you to locate and remove the screws.

On the other hand, if you have exposed screws, it is easier to remove the knob. You need to find the set screw and loosen it with the Allen key or screwdriver. After you remove the handle, uncover the shaft, and twist the shaft’s handle to make it flush the door. If the knob has an unthreaded shaft, you can tighten the set screw down, and you have removed the handle or knob.

2. Remove the Knob Depending on How It Is Fastened

As mentioned above, how the knob is fastened determines how you will remove the knob. What you need to remember in this case are:

  • If there is a small hole, you will use a straightened paper clip or a strong wire to spring it and remove the knob.
  • In case there is a slot, you will insert a flathead screwdriver and use it to push the detent, thus releasing the knob.
  • If you have a hex-head screw, use an Allen Wrench to turn it counterclockwise until the knob is free.

3. Remove the Base

Removing the base comes next after the handle or knob is separated from the spindle shaft. Use the flathead screwdriver to loosen the ring holding the base. Be extra careful when doing this to avoid damaging the backing plate. If the backing plate is damaged, it could be destructive to the whole set, resulting in the need to buy a new lockset. Therefore, ensure that you do it right to avoid losses.

4. Tighten the Screws

If the ring is removed, you will see the screws you need. These screws run through the door from the inside to the outside backing plate. It holds the whole assembly together. After you get the screws, check if they are damaged or not. Fixing the doorknob with damaged screws is in vain since the doorknob may fall off after a short time.

After confirming if you have all the screws needed, hold the backing plates on the doorknob space and tighten each screw separately. Do this thoroughly to avoid having the plates fall off in case you bang the door.

5. Restore the Base and Set the Knob in Place

The only step remaining is restoring the base and putting the handle back in its position. To do this, snap the ring on the backing plate and put the handle back on the spindle shaft.

Once the handle is placed on the spindle shaft, turn it to ensure that it is in-line with the holes and detents, then click it into place. If you have detached the rose or it is not part of the knob assembly, start by installing it before installing the knob. You should start with the outside part of the door before proceeding inside.

Use a head screwdriver to fasten all the screws to ensure that they are tightened. Additionally, slide the knob and turn it until the detent clicks into the alignment, and has access to the slot. You should also use the Allen wrench to tighten the recessed screws.

Extra Tip

Ensure you don’t over tighten the screws that can bind the bolt and knob action, and this is why you need to use a flathead screwdriver or the Phillips screwdriver as opposed to a power screwdriver or a drill.

You need to alternate between the screws to ensure even pressure, and as you tighten, you need to snug them down.


Your doorknob is one of the items in your home or office that may malfunction and fall off. Although this may cause several inconveniences, it should not be a source of tension. You can fix the problem within a short time, without having to contact a professional. With the right tools, you can quickly achieve this. Use the information discussed to guide you in what you need to get your door functioning again.

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