SOLVED! - Kwikset Latch Won’t Retract: An Analysis

Thanks to attention to utility, latches made by Kwikset rarely let today’s homeowners down in the course of operation. Unsurprisingly, those who care about the security of their household tend to hold Kwikset latches in high esteem. That being said, despite the high build quality, Kwikset latches still act up on occasions and their retraction difficulty is a prime example. All in all, when the Kwikset latch won’t retract, people cannot close doors and that presents a source of worry.

Rundowns Of Retraction Difficulty In Kwikset Latches


Unable to get your Kwikset latch to retract in use and could use some help? If that is the case, this article is for you. Down below is everything that you have to keep in mind regarding the causes and solutions of the retraction difficulty in Kwikset latches.

Misaligned Strike Plate 

In layman’s terms, if the strike plate becomes misaligned, the latch cannot land on the hole as designed which leads to retraction difficulty. A lot of things may be responsible for the misaligned strike plate from careless installation to inflating materials. It’s not uncommon for the strike plate to go out of alignment once every couple of years. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend much time and effort to deal with a misaligned strike plate.

Fix: Your Kwikset latch won’t retract and you believe that misaligned strike plate is the culprit? Then you have two choices at your disposal:

  • Short-term: In the beginning, mark the point where your latch is landing. Next, move the strike plate toward the mark so the latch could land in the hole. You also have the option of widening the hole of the strike plate until it catches the latch.
  • Long-term: You have to go through the same process as short-term at first. Afterward, redo the finish of the door to keep moisture from coming in. Last but not least, determine whether the foundation of the door is in top shape and take proper measures to prevent shifting in the future.

Jammed Latch

As time passes by, all sorts of things would accumulate inside latches from dust to rust and that eventually jam the internal mechanism. Needless to say, if the internal mechanism experiences issues, it’s natural for the latch to get stuck in one position. In the case that your Kwikset latch is kind of old and you pay little attention to it, the risk of jam is high. Usually, when latches get jammed, they won’t go back to normal unless people address the jam by themselves.

Fix: Disassemble the latch into components, soak them in vinegar and wait for a couple of hours. By doing so, you should be able to get rid of the gunk in the components. To be thorough, scrub the components with a brush following the soaking. Also, it’s suggested that you apply a bit of oil to lubricate the components to smoothen the operation of the internal mechanism. Too much oil attracts dirt though so keep the amount moderate.

Damaged Components 

Generally speaking, similar to other mechanical devices, latches only operate if their components stay in working order. That means if some components of your Kwikset latch sustain damages, troubles like retraction difficulty inevitably emerge. One tell-tale sign of damaged components on latches is that the latches somewhat operate after homeowners manipulate the handle. As for retraction difficulty, the spindle may be broken which stops the latch from reaching the handle.

Fix: In the case that the scale of the damages is small, you could pick up replacement components from the local locksmith. However, if the damages prove extensive, it’s best to save yourself a hassle and buy a new latch.

Maintenance Of Kwikset Latches: Tips And Tricks 

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Kwikset latch won’t retract is an issue that happens to many models from Kwikset. While it’s tough to avoid the retraction difficulty entirely, you can minimize the odds of it occurring by following these suggestions

  • Clean/lubricate the latch periodically: Your Kwikset latch comes into contact with elements day after day so you should clean and lubricate it from time to time. A wide range of products exist but you should consider sticking to penetrating lubricants such as WD-40. As always, use the lubricants sparingly as you clean/lubricate your latch. The last thing you want to do is over-lubricate and give your latch extra troubles.
  • Refrain from slamming the doors: In use, most Kwikset latches could handle physical impacts to a certain extent. Still, it’s a good idea to control your force as you close doors to preserve the structural integrity of the latches. Slamming the doors may cause damages to the internal mechanism of the latches and that disrupts their operation.
  • Keep an eye on the screws: Over time, the screws that hold the latch and the strike plate can work loose which creates plenty of problems. Therefore, it’s essential to check up on the screw as often as possible to detect signs of issues. If it seems that the screw starts loosening, you must proceed to re-screw them at once. In addition, if possible, you should use at least one three-inch screw to hold things in place.


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How long do latches last?

To put it plainly, the lifespan of latches changes from case to case as factors like installation, moisture, temperature, … come into play. That being said, if you look after your latches, it’s going to be years before you have to find their replacements.

Where could I buy latches?

You would be able to grab many types of latches by dropping by stores that sell goods for home improvement projects. Don’t want to go out of your way for latches? Feel free to place an order with online retailers and have them shipped lathes to you. Nonetheless, as a precaution, you should prioritize well-known names including Amazon, eBay, etc.

What kind of shopping budget is ideal for latches? 

Nowadays, latches reach the market across the price point and the same applies to those made by Kwikset. Hene, you should have a number of options no matter how much money you intend to spend on your latch. However, it’s imperative to remember the rule of thumb: “You get what you pay for”. Buying dirt-cheap latches may let you save some buck at the moment but you have to keep picking up replacements.

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