Instructables

Opening Locked DVD Cases (The Green/Red Lock Kind)

I will be walking you through how to open locking DVD cases that have the Green/Red lock symbol on the edge of the case. If you have the kind with the red bar, see this instructable.

Of course, I do not encourage you to use this for illegal purposes. I figured this out due to bringing home DVDs from the library that did not get unlocked.
 
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Step 1: Materials

In order to unlock the DVD case, the least that you can get by with are two very strong magnets. The magnets pictured below are harvested from a hard drive. Generally, the older the drive, the larger and more powerful the magnets. Some new hard drives and some laptop drives have magnets which are too small and weak to use for this purpose.

The other item that can come in handy here is a screwdriver with a small regular tip. You can also use a knife, icepick, etc... as long as it has a tip small and sharp enough to grab the plastic.

Step 2: The Locking Bar

The locking bar is not accessible from the outside of a locked DVD case. It has a magnet on each side and the default position of the magnets keeps the locking bar from moving from the position that it is presently in. This is where the magnets come in handy.
Crowyhead6 years ago
Or, here's an idea from a librarian -- if you end up with a DVD case that didn't get unlocked, how about if you take it back to the library and have it unlocked, rather than helping to increase the number of empty DVD cases I find on my shelves?

In the first place we wouldn't be having this problem if we still had HUMANS serving us at the counter instead of machines!

What r u cutting down on? A lot of these librarians were volunteers anyway! And what theft are you referring to since you have to pay for the CDs -. it's not like you're downloading them for free or something!

FIRST, I'm disabled, it's a big deal for me to drive to my library to pick up the DVD. SECOND, the library is still currently closed - too early in the morning. THIRD, I don't know when I'll be able to drive back to the library. Again, disabled. Please think about how inconvenient it is for those who come home from the library with an item then can't immediately use, then how much MORE inconvenient it is for someone with limited mobility!

Why presume that opening the case will result in theft? Do you truly expect thieves to overrun the library with magnets? And why waste the gas?
Well after working all day then going to the library or video store to get a movie its bloody annoying when you get home to realize the twit working there forgot to unlock the case, until reading this guide I would just rip the case open and tell them its there fault for not opening it.
Why drive all the way back, and do it again, when you can do it yourself. He say don't use anything here for illegal purposes. Which, stealing would be. Please, try to be nicer.
I'm sure you meant to sound polite, but you didn't come off that way. Maybe you could edit that comment so people won't think less of you.
FANtasy1211 year ago
Thank you so much for your instructables. I purchased a DVD online and the seller forgot to unlock my DVD (awkward!). Your method works very well. I have a few rare-earth magnets lying around and I didn't even need the screwdriver to guide it open; the lock just popped green really easily as I moved the magnets. Thanks so much again. This saves me either a return postage or an embarrassing trip to JB Hifi.
If you go to lowes, or home depot (or any hardware store for that matter if your country doesnt have a lowes or home depot) you can find "super magnets) that can pick up 15+ lbs. i am sure these magnets are strong enough...they are cheap to. they also have an integrated bolt that you could slide a square tube or length of wood ~1" thick, and drill a series of holes to adjust for the location of the lock bars. then you could just slide the bar w/o a screw driver...OR you could do the same thing with a 5lb magnet. they are small, and easy to work with...hope i didnt ruin your ible...maby you could add this idea to your ible...multiple methods of opening a dvd box.
Thanks so much for the instructable. I borrowed a disk from my brother and for some reason it was still locked. Now I can watch it. Hooray!
wdmartin2 years ago
I'm a librarian too, and I was very glad to find this tutorial!

A DVD that one of our patrons requested through Interlibrary Loan arrived locked. We don't lock ours, so we don't have the device for unlocking; and the original lending library is 500 miles away. Sending it back to get unlocked so they could send it to us again was not practical.

I can appreciate wanting to protect a library's collection of DVDs ... but please, O my library brethren, unlock the case if you're sending it to another library!
(removed by author or community request)
not on a CD. A CD works optically so earth magnets would have little to no effect. I guess if you somehow got a magnet strong enough you could rip the metal layer out of the CD. If you want to destroy them just microwave them for a few seconds ;)
T0BY Uru Wolf5 years ago
A magnet wouldn't make any difference at all as the metal layer in a DVD/CD is usually aluminium and so is not magnetic.
Shadowfury T0BY5 years ago
Aluminium is very slightly magnetic. It's called paramagnetic. It is weakly effected by magnetism. With such weak magnets, you will not see the aluminium fly off the CD. I have a Neodymium magnet that has a 210 lb pull strength and it does not effect CDs in the slightest.
Uru Wolf T0BY5 years ago
Ah, well there you are then. Magnets are not a problem for CD's then.
If you moved the magnets fast enough across the DVD, you'd get eddy currents. If you moved the magnets superhumanly fast, you'd perhaps cause the aluminium to be repelled, or even burn up due to heating... But no, not going to happen with everyday stuff.

:-O


Nice job! I have never seen these kind of locks, but they look really high-tech to keep burglars like monkeys and Yu-Gi-Oh! card collectors away. (Kidding).
Nice job!
rockiesjason (author)  GorillazMiko6 years ago
There is another type yet with a yellow bar that works similarly, I think Blockbuster uses them. If I can get ahold of one, I'll do another instructable for it.
the yellow ones look very similiar so they'll prob work the same.
No, the yellow bars in Blockbuster are simply a set of 6 clips that have to be pressed at the same time. It's impossible to do with your hands, but they drop it into the tool that grips it, and out they come. No magnets as far as I am aware.
all I do is get a good grip and tear it open, its hard but it works
cato26 years ago
Thanks for this. I am sick of buying DVDs where the bored checkout chick hasn't bothered to unlock the damn box. I usually have to drill the bastard out & ruin the case.
just use a hammer. much faster and easier.
Samee6 years ago
Or, here's an idea from a mom that lives in a rural area and doesn't want to waste $8 in gas for an extra trip to the library because the absent-minded librarian forgot the lock: Two "Tot Lok" magnetic "keys" (for childproofing cabinet locks) work awesome for this purpose.