Introduction: Crack and Reset an Electronic Safe

Picture of Crack and Reset an Electronic Safe

long story short, if i removed the contents of the safe for a friend, i could keep the safe... why not give it a shot.

Step 1: Decide How to Start

Picture of Decide How to Start

had i know there was a red reset button inside the safe and how to use it, i might have been able to push it using a flexshaft through the little hole in the back of the safe,
but a grinder is more fun.
so i cut a big enough hole to remove the contents.

Step 2: Screws? Lets Take Em Out

Picture of Screws? Lets Take Em Out

so looking into the hole, there was a red button, i pushed it, it beeped, but i didnt know what i was supposed to do... not like i had an instruction manual,
but if i did, i would have known to pressed the red button, punch in a new combo, and press A/B,
then to open the safe, punch in that combo, press A/B and it would open

so the electronics had a case around them, held in with 4 screws, i took them out, and jiggled the panel back enough to see what was inside, the panel couldnt be removed, becuase the lock bolts were holding it in...
but there was were 2 wires plugging into the circuit board which went to the lock mechanism, by unpluggin and connecting those wires to +6V i would have been able to unlock the safe and the door swing open.

there was also the battey case, i slide the panel off and took out the batteries and put them back in, hoping the safe would reset.... i proceeded to press buttons, and then the safe poped open.. cool.
thats when i really discovered how the red reset button and electronics worked...

next step is to weld that hole shut, and probably reinforce the safe with more steel plates... i plan on mounting the safe in my wall behind a portrait.. awesome.

Step 3: Weld It Back

Picture of Weld It Back

i welded the plate i cut back on, cleaned up the welds with a grinder, and finally gave it a flat black paint job.

safe works great!


JeremyT85 (author)2017-11-29

hi I have a JSH safe, I changed the batteries and now i5 says “no date”????

Please h

SimoneF (author)2015-04-13

omg - the warming of the door tip works brilliantly. But need to be patient and follow to the T the timings. 20 mins to heat up the door and 10 min to cool down. Otherwise it truly doesn't work!! Great tip and thanks so much.

Bedi123 (author)SimoneF2015-12-12

I lost my diplomatic safe password so how can I open

ThaddC (author)2015-08-04

I was given a steelcity electronic safe with out a combo to open it. I drilled a 1.5 hole in the back and was able to push the red button with a wood stick. It beeped and I pressed 1234 the A button and then the B button. I did it again as you said but it won't open ? What am I doing wrong ? Press A button and b button at the same time ??? Help

SheikhA4 (author)ThaddC2015-08-20

the idea worked thank thaddc

daisybooz (author)2015-06-23

Good stuff. Do you know how to override the alarm so it doesn't lock you out after three wrong entries? It would help me a lot :-)

billy.armstrong.18 (author)2015-01-09

to open the safe that has no bypass lock, look under the key pad area, underneath, there should be a socket there like a phone connection, this is an override thing for hotels to use, so what you need to do is get an old phone cable, cut the cables on each end , you should have two cables on each end, now you will have to prise The phone socket part out from the safe as far as you canwithout completely disconnecting the entire unit, so get a 6v batt from alarm system, or you will have to buy one, join both bare cables to the batt, and then put one cable onto the phone socket that you prised out, have a good look up into the section, where you prised this socket out from and in around the key pad areayou should see other wire connections, so the second bare wire you will have to try to hit one of those connections, its trail and error, but if you have the right connection at the phone socket part, and you make the other connection with the right cable joint behind the keypad you should be getting the power to the door lock, remember its trail and error , you will have to do this a couple of times to make sure you are hitting the right connection, its works I just solved the same problem on my safe , i hope this helps you . Good luck


ThomasT2 (author)2014-12-30

I was appalled to find by accident that my Yongsheng safe (key+passcode) had actually *2* different passcodes: the one I had set after purchasing it, plus a second one, "123456".

This does not seem to be mentioned in the usage instructions, which are surprisingly terse. I have no way of knowing whether there is a 3rd password and a 4th one also. I'm pretty upset.

Re-typing a new password after entering it changes only that password; but pressing the red button only changes password #1 (which defaults to 1234).

johnswooten (author)2014-12-28

I have a safeplace safe from hotel demolition job. I think model number xd70. No code. Cannot open. Tried hitting the top. Did not work. It's electronic and I'll post pics following the message. Would like to know how to get open. Thank you.

Msteichler (author)2014-10-29

Can't open my safe due to low battery. Followed the advise below to warm the door with a blow dryer for 15-20 minutes and let cool down for 5minutes. Try again with the password and voila it opened! Thank you very much for the advise! So happy with the result :-)

ragar (author)2013-02-05

I have a chubb blackbox electronic safe ,9v battery,but not working on ;R ,beep,C ,Silent to lock .Is there a way jumpstart?

harvest33 (author)2012-11-23

thanks for your post. it was so helpful. my safewell credit card now open. how do i set back the password and program my credit card? my keypad has only numbers 0-9, * & #.

ellis1 (author)2008-07-04

thanks for posting the pics, it helped me open my safe after the batteries had run out. I'll explain how and why below, incase anyone has the same problem: I have a small electronic safe hidden away under the main bar in our pub for change. unfortunatly the batteries must have ran down (still accepted the code, but wouldn't open the door). and again, unfortunaly I had no override keys, as the last owner must have taken them when we took over the pub. knowing that the code was still valid and working, tring to reset the safe by poking the red button thru the whole probably wouldn't have helped. but in the pics above, you can see that the door mech is secured by a solinoid, which needs to move downwards in order to allow the 'key' to turn. so I assumed the batteries didn't have enough power to activate the solinoid. therefore I entered the code and gave the top of the safe a heavy whack (in true Fonzie style) and the 'key' turned...presto!! hope this helps

mcassidy2 (author)ellis12012-06-28

Thanks Ellis for your post......I managed to reset the code but just like you, I was unable to open the door. I searched on-line and found your post suggesting a heavy whack which, was duely delivered to my safe. Hey Presto....the door opened!! Well done and again, many thanks. Best wishes, Martin.

ian-wooldridge (author)ellis12012-02-19

if your batteries are getting low but have enough power for you to enter your code and you can hear the beeps but the batteries are to low to activate the solenoid. you can warm the door with a hair dryer ( i use a heat gun ) for about 20 minutes, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then re enter your code and the heat will have put enough charge into your batteries enough for the solenoid to be activated.
as a locksmith i have had my fair share of callouts to these type of safes and if its old or tired or flat batteries then its a method i use all the time and has worked every time, if its a forgotton code then i use the bypass method to re set the code. hope this is of some help to you,
and if you dont have a heat gun or a hair dryer just try to move the safe over to a radiator or any form of heater and let it sit there for a while, but always let it cool for ten minutes or so for best results.

THANK YOU, The hairdryer worked. I am very happy. Blasted all of the door and left it to cool just like you said and I got in. Batteries all changed and all good. I love it when things work. Many thanks

Hi Ian,

All sounds straightforward with a hairdryer, however, what part do you heat? I have a Pregex small safe, electronic, low batteries beeping but not enough energy to open. Plastic front with turn knob and keypad. Have taken off the plastic bit which covers the lock and heated it and heated to the side of the plastic keypad directly onto the door, but am I aiming in the right place? I have never clocked where the batteries are inside....have our passports inside, so would appreciate any advice at this stage! I also never bolted, so like the idea of a knitting needle, but no idea where the little red button inside is either. And yes, I am a dippy woman who should've changed the batteries along time ago (no idea where the key is either!). Many thanks in advance.

Karl81 (author)2012-02-28

This thread saved my butt.. I changed the code on my safe while drunk, why? I hear you ask, I have not got a clue :s especially as I don't have an override key anymore, and haven't for months, I lost a bunch of keys a while back and my one and only key was on there.. Anyway, I had a lot of money as well as what I can only describe as priceless momentoes in the safe and was litterally bricking it, but the old knitting needle through the bolt holes (luckily I've not bolted it down yet) worked a charm.. Kudos to you Mr Author, I think I pretty much love you for starting this thread :) and to the person with the Yale safe, not sure if yours is the same as mine, but when you open the door, there should or could be a red button on the inside rim if the door? worth checking mate.. If you have, just press it and your safe will beep, then enter the code you want and press the B button on the keypad to save the code :)

brainii (author)2011-12-10

Wait a minute now..
I have a similar safe (with electronic keypad but it also has a key which is impossible to copy) and I have mine bolted on the wall AND on the ground so all the holes are covered.

The safe also has a special key that you use in case the batteries run out (which are external, and the place for the special key is behind the batteries).

Is there any way for a thief to open the safe without first removing it from the wall/ceiling or force opening it (like with a grinder)?

Needless to say I have changed the default combination and both the key and the special key are not in the house..

tomwilki (author)brainii2012-02-24

hi just wondering if you could help me with something please ,, i have got a yale safe which is electronic im just struggling how to change the default code from 8888 to one of my own choice any help would be much appreciated thanks alot

Yes, a locksmith or talented thief can access it.

If mankind can design it, mankind can break it - Don't be so sure the key cannot be copied for one thing, or the lock picked for that matter.

As a locksmith, I am limited in what I can say - Not all safes are the same, so I cannot be sure without knowing the make and model of your safe (nor do I want to know, and nor is it safe to post such information on here anyway...) but there are almost certainly other methods of entry.

Your security comes in those methods being known by very few people and generally only known by trusted, honest individuals who will not rob anyone.

Security follows the law of dimishing returns. You can get some security by just printing a sign that says "Do Not Enter" and costs almost nothing. Greater security than that, costs progressively more and more money, for smaller and smaller increases.

Thanks for the info but are there any practical ways I can use to make it more difficult for them?

stone3408 (author)2007-01-20

Many of these safes have the power pack in the front not the inside. (The unit in the picture is better but your done if your batteries run out!) If they do have the batteries on the front, simply pop off the front. You will find two wires going inside the safe door. Application of voltage to those leads will activate the solenoid. There is usually a second key lock on the front as well. The keyed portion comes off with the front. A scewdriver will work the lock then. Your in. If your good and pratice its possible to get it back together. Safes of this nature are to make sure your kids don't get your gun and to protect documents in the event of a fire. These are far from high security units.

matt (author)stone34082007-01-21

there is a manual key lock on this safe, so if the batteries run out, you can use a key (its hidden behind a clip in logo)..... but in this case, i dont have the key, so i may install a new lock.

cali1923 (author)matt2010-07-11

Thank you for the tip about the key being hidden behind the logo. I couldn't get in because the batteries died and I did not realize there were batteries that were dying because I bought mine (it's part of a computer desk) used and there was no instruction manual!! So when I saw the tip about the key being hidden behind the logo I inspected and voila, there were the batteries behind the logo so I was able to open it. I was starting to panic as to how I was going to get in.

chalky (author)matt2008-01-21

if you get a knitting needle through the anchor bolt hole you can re-set the combo

A fire safe is not the same as a security safe.

kibo (author)2010-03-05

i cant believe that i would have spent in excess off 70 dollars to have some smart a..... fundi put back the safe in use, thanks a great deal.

XOIIO (author)2009-05-07

Nice, i have the same one! 40$ in black!

Patented (author)2009-02-19

Tes quebecois en?

Patented (author)Patented2009-02-19

Cest ton bac de recyclage qui ta trahi :P

ChadSH (author)2009-01-09

I read the instructions on the safe door to the Diplomat H25, which I got for free at a garage sale. The owners didn't know the code. Flashlight through the top hole, so as to see the memory button perfectly through a side hole, then anything about a foot long, and an 1/8th thick straight through the back hole to hit the memory button, and beep. I was in. Extremely simple, and if bolted to the floor, could be easily pried up, so how is this thing a "SAFE"? Glad it was free, and definitely only good for keeping babies out, but my 10 year old cracked it as well in about 2 minutes.

ellis1 (author)2008-07-04

just as a extra..I've just had a look inside my safe which is similar to that pictured, but the red button is recessed into the internal wall, and not proud like the one above. which will explain why I spent 20mins with a knitting needle and no sucess!

chalky (author)2008-01-21

there's a little reset button that you can just reach through with a knitting needle or piece of wire and reset the combo its easy as piss to open these what your best doing if you have one of these is take out the batteries and use the key instead!

PsychoSmart (author)2007-01-20

SO wait you kinda just ruined a safe...put a big weakness in something that is supposed to protedt your valuables...And who wants a safe you can just pick up and carry around???

trebuchet03 (author)PsychoSmart2007-01-20

read much? "next step is to weld that hole shut, and probably reinforce the safe with more steel plates... "

vatosupreme (author)trebuchet032007-01-20

Nice....I'm interested though, what happens if the batteries die? Do you think you could put a a van de graaf generator or something outside of the safe to get that solenoid to go off and open???

It's unlikely that a Van de Graaf generator or similar signal would work.. The safe casing should act like a Faraday shield to protect the electronics from the electrostatic field or any other electrical interference.

PsychoSmart (author)trebuchet032007-01-20

Yeah I did read that but you tell me what is stronger, a piece of steel that is perfect by itself or something that has been welded???

trebuchet03 (author)PsychoSmart2007-01-20

If done properly(that is, no crazy big throat sizes and such) -- a welded joint will be stronger than the material by itself. At the same time, the surrounding area will be heat treated (stronger) :P

One way to test your welds.... Take the piece and put a load on it. If the material breaks before the weld -- your weld is good ;) That's how catrike tested their welds (after all of their FEA and such :P).

matt (author)PsychoSmart2007-01-20

you ever been to a hotel? similar safe, they bolt em to the floor

Dark_Helmet (author)PsychoSmart2007-01-20

I believe the idea is to bolt the safe down through the two holes in the bottom of the safe. Plus, once you bolt it down, the weak part is harder to get at.

trike (author)2007-03-12

My little brother and I had a small ships safe when we where kids; we spend hours trying get the combination to the safe. till one day we broke it. then we decided to change the combo and shut the door.......... bad idea. if done wrong those old ships safes wont ever open again; well we then took a very large rock and some gravity and beat the safe till it cracked. it was open and the fire brick lineing was gone and the safe was an unsafe from then on.

E-104_Epsilon (author)2007-01-20

Um... What is the point of keeping the safe now??

sam (author)E-104_Epsilon2007-01-21

You could re-hash it as an electronic door lock.

akimbo m (author)E-104_Epsilon2007-01-21

the electronics?

boocat (author)2007-01-20

Wouldn't there be some way to press the RESET button by inserting a length of stiff wire through one of the bottom screw holes? Couldn't you get a lipstick-type cam inside to look around? I was very nervous thinking of you grinding that hole open while bracing the whole business between your feet! Bad form, Old Man. Ever read Robert Frost's poem, "Out,Out-"? Spooky stuff.

matt (author)boocat2007-01-20

i mentioned pushing the reset with some sort of flex shaft..... but when i was asked to open the safe, it was very much in a hurry, and i had never seen it before, so i didnt know about the reset... but for anyone else that bought a cheap safe (i saw them for $50 at giant tiger), try the button.

trebuchet03 (author)2007-01-20

That's awesome :P I've seen a few of these in garage sales and such -- same predicament, the owner didn't know/forgot the code :P Out of curiosity -- how thick was the back wall plate? I guess it really doesn't matter -- because if someone actually steals it (by magically unbolting it from the ground) -- they'll get in no matter how thick the walls are :P

About This Instructable




Bio: I liked designing and building things long before I became an engineer, now I get paid to do it!
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