How to Install a File Cabinet Lock

by Anthony Smith; Updated September 26, 2017

A file cabinet can hold a tremendous amount of personal and confidential information. If you keep employee files with any of this type of information in them in your filing cabinet, it is your responsibility to secure them. It is a good idea to install a lock on your file cabinet, whether to protect your files or those of your employees.

Items you will need

  • Hammer
  • Punch
Step 1

Remove the top drawer of the file cabinet. Find the knockout for the lock assembly. The knockout is usually at the top right of the file cabinet, and is identified by an oval shaped punch in the metal. This punch was made so that anyone wanting to install a lock can easily punch out this piece of metal.

Step 2

Align a punch at the center of the knockout, and tap the punch with a hammer to knock out the oval piece of metal.

Step 3

Insert the key in to the lock and turn it so that the bolt at the opposite end of the locking mechanism is facing up. Place the lock mechanism into the knockout hole, with the key still in it and the bolt still facing up. Turn the key clockwise 1/4 of a turn.

Step 4

Find the retaining clip that came with your lock assembly, and locate the grooves on the lock cylinder over which you will slide it. Slide the clip down over the lock cylinder, flush against the inside of the cabinet.

Step 5

Insert the linkage piece of the lock assembly into the hole in the lock bolt. Turn the linkage piece so that it is now facing down.

Step 6

Put the square end of the linkage into the square hole in the lock assembly. Put the top drawer back in place to complete the job.


About the Author

Anthony Smith began writing for Demand Studios in May of 2009 and has since written over 1400 articles for them. He also writes for "The College Baseball Newsletter." He attended the University of New Mexico, and has more than 25 years of experience in the business world.