How to Unlock a Combination Safe

by Anne Baley; Updated September 26, 2017

A combination safe is an essential piece of equipment for any small business that deals with cash on a daily basis. An owner or manager must remove cash from register drawers and add small change dozens of times a day, and a safe is the only secure place in which to keep all that cash. People unfamiliar with combination safes may find a professional version complicated to use, but following a few simple rules will make the process quick and confusion-free.

Step 1

Turn the dial to the right three or four turns and stop on 0. Find the first number in your combination. Turn the dial to the left, passing this first number two times and then ending on it the third time around.

Step 2

Find the second number in your combination. Turn the dial to the right, passing the second number once. Stop when you hit the second combination number the second time.

Step 3

Turn the combination dial to the left and stop on the third number in the combination, without passing it at all. Slow down turning the dial when you near the third number. If you accidentally pass the third number you foul the combination, and will have to start all over.

Step 4

Turn the handle after the third combination number has been reached, then pull on the door to open it.


  • Keep the handle turned or pulled down while the safe door is open. If you allow the handle to resume its original position, you will have to do the combination once more to pull the handle before shutting the door.

    If your safe has a four-number combination, simply begin the instructions with passing the first number three times and landing on the fourth. Continue from this point in the same manner.


  • Professional safe doors are surprisingly heavy. Keep your knees out of the way when you are opening the door to prevent injury.

About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.

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