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How to Remove Lock from Steelcase File Cabinet?

File cabinets are an essential part of any traditional office. If you haven’t gone completely digital yet, chances are you’ve got a file cabinet filled with important documents, contracts, images, or whatever else might be relevant to your business.

All Steelcase file cabinets are equipped with a key and lock to help you keep your secrets safe. The lock is discreetly fitted into one of the file cabinet doors and can be locked and unlocked with a small key.

Let’s break down why you might want to remove the lock from your Steelcase file cabinet, and how you can go about taking it out and putting a new one back in. You don’t need any special tools to do this, but you do need a specific kind of key, which we will discuss shortly.

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Why You Might Remove the Lock From a File Cabinet? 


There are a few reasons why you might want to remove the lock from your file cabinet.

To start, you may just not want to have a lock on it anymore. Not everyone feels the need to have everything under a lock and key and it may just be easier to take it off than worry about locking it and losing the key one day. However, we still recommend keeping the lock and key in a safe place just in case you change your mind.

You may also want to remove the lock to replace it. If you are using the file cabinet to store sensitive or important information, certain circumstances may prompt you to want to change the lock.

Finally, losing the key is a very good reason to change the lock on a cabinet. Luckily, a lost key isn’t a lost cause, and you can continue keeping your stuff safe after following a few simple steps.

How to Remove the Lock?

Lock Core Removal & Install for Steelcase FR or XF File Cabinet

Start by taking your key and unlocking the file cabinet. The file cabinet must be unlocked before starting — this is very important.

Once you’ve completed those steps, it’s time for the secret weapon.

A control key (also known as a pull key) is literally the key to removing the lock on a Steelcase filing cabinet.

Insert the control key into the lock and turn it. This should ‘unlock’ the lock from its slot, allowing you to pull the entire lockout in one piece.

A Steelcase control key can be purchased in several places and looks similar to a regular key, although it’s usually a different color.

You can purchase a pair of Steelcase control keys  on Amazon. They have excellent reviews from other Steelcase customers who needed to change their locks in a pinch. Customers said the quality of the key is great and that it worked really well for their lock-changing needs.

How to Put a New Lock-In? 

to replace a lock for a Steelcase file cabinet
To replace the lock, you will also need a control key and a new Steelcase file cabinet lock. We recommend sourcing your new lock from an authorized Steelcase dealer or reseller.

Buying and trying to install an inauthentic or broken lock may damage your file cabinet, which would be a massive inconvenience.

Take the lock and insert the control key into it. The key should be inserted before putting it into the file cabinet otherwise it won’t work.

Then, put the lock and key into the lock slot of the file cabinet, and turn the control key to secure the lock. Once it’s secured, remove the control key.

After that, you’re ready to use your new lock with its designated key like normal!

Other Things You Should Know

other things you should know
Here are some other things to keep in mind before you begin your lock-changing journey.

  1. Steelcase has designed their furniture to be as user-friendly as possible. If you feel like you’re having to force the control key to turn or come out of its slot, something’s not right and you should try moving it a different way or be less forceful.
  2. Always read the reviews of a control key before buying one. Not all keys are made equal and the last thing you want is to have wasted your money on a useless piece of metal that doesn’t get the job done.
    The control key we linked above has great reviews. We recommend it.
  3. Just as you should always be careful when buying a control key, you need to exercise the same caution before purchasing a new lock. Buying an inauthentic lock may void your warranty or mess up your furniture — so proceed with caution!

Are you as surprised as we were by how simple it is to remove or change the lock on a Steelcase file cabinet? While Steelcase has certified repair shops and resellers, we think you can handle this task on your own!

Have you ever removed or changed the lock on your Steelcase file cabinet? How did it go? Is there anything you would do differently next time? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments below!

Good luck!

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