Types of Window Locks | Functions, Limitations, and More

Keeping your home safe and secure should be a priority. Knowing your family is free from danger during the night will give you peace of mind. 

So, let us focus on the small details of your house, specifically the window locks. Understanding them and their function is the first step to having a home out of harm.

In this guide, we’ll go through the different types of window locks and what you should know about them.

Quick Navigation
The 6 Types of Window Locks
    1. Sliding Window Locks
    2. Keyed Locks
    3. Window Wedge
    4. Window Pin Lock
    5. Folding Lock
    6. Latch
Why Are Window Locks Important?
How to Make Sure Your Window Locks Are Installed Correctly
Lock Ratings
Smart Windows: Can They Provide Security to Your Home?
    What Is A Smart Window?
    An Added Protection: Window Intruder Detection System
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Window Locks for Your Home
World's Safest Window Lock

The 6 Types of Window Locks

Window locks come in different types, and it might not be clear to know which one fits your new or existing windows at home. To help you out, we created a list to assist you in understanding each. 

Here are the eight common types of window locks, along with their description. 

Sliding Window Locks

Sliding window locks are installed in the track of a sliding window to prevent it from opening. They are often used with a level or thumbscrew. A key might be included in this lock for increased security, although it is not required for operation.

Sliding window locks

Keyed Locks

You can only notice a keyhole with keyed locks, making it the most secure window lock on the list. The inner features of the lock are hidden from the view of those standing outside the window. Intruder’s lock picking skill will not work with this type of lock.

You should install keyed locks on the side of your windows while securing them to the window frame. The tricky part of having this lock is the key. Please make sure not to misplace it, or else you cannot open your windows too! Please do not put it near the window, especially when it is open.

Keyed locks

Window Wedge

Hinged window wedge locks are usually seen on window sash to make it easier to push the window’s lock inwards to open it; otherwise, it would remain closed and locked.

People commonly use this type of lock for double-hung windows. There are certain instances wherein you will see a window wedge mounted higher on the frame. This allows you to partially open your windows, not enough for the burglars to enter. You can open the window to any height by swinging it away.

windows edge

Window Pin Lock

Pin lock is the best answer for people who want to open their windows while wanting to feel safe. These are pins of huge sizes that can fit in your window frame while holding it close. To place this lock, you just need a drill and screws. 

The pin has a chain attached to it. You should mount or secure the end of the chain into the window frame and drill a hole beside it to insert the pin inside. These pins work well with single or double-hung windows and slider types. 

Pin locks can allow you to open your window a gap for airflow while still keeping it fastened if you drill holes at varying heights in the frames.

Window Pin Lock

Folding Lock

You can usually see folding locks in casement windows in one of the most secure window types. When you buy a casement window, it usually comes with folding locks as standard. Turning this lockdown will close the shades, and turning it up would do the opposite.

Folding Lock


Latches are the most common window lock. This regular window lock is also known as a sash lock. A lot of users choose this lock due to its elegant appearance. It creates a connection between the window frame and the window itself. Window latches are compatible with double-hung windows or casement windows. 

The downside of this lock is it is a bit old-fashioned and straightforward. With great force, burglars can surely break open and enter your house. Because of this, you need to reinforce window latches to fortify your windows. We recommend you pair it with a window alarm.

Homeowner Repair

Why Are Window Locks Important?

Windows provide ventilation in your home. Yes, it is nice to feel the cool breeze circulate. However, windows are also one of the openings burglars use to barge in

Make any of your windows, on any floor, a priority for security improvements, especially those facing the streets or your neighbors. Look around your home and determine which windows, especially the second-story windows, can be accessed through trees, balconies, or stairways. 

The window lock is one of the tools that can provide added security, especially if you are away. However, make sure that everyone knows how to operate this device.

How To Make Sure Your Window Locks Are Installed Correctly

sure windows are locked when leaving

There is a general rule in window lock or any lock integration: it will not serve its purpose if not installed right. Remember that no matter how expensive and sophisticated your window lock is, it will not guarantee safety if you do not know how to attach it properly.

Here are the steps to know that your window locks are correctly installed:

Know your window type

You must know what kind of window you have at home. There are a lot of window variations, and not all window locks fit in all types of windows. You can directly ask for assistance and tell what window type you will install the lock. As a result, you will save yourself from strolling in circles around the hardware store.

Although locks are helpful, their product descriptions might be confusing. Not everyone can identify the difference between a casement and a hopper window. What does it mean to be double-hung? Once you’ve decided on the type of locks you want to employ in your home, inspect your current windows to ensure they’ll work.

Related article: How Much Are Bulletproof Windows? Your Complete Pricing Guide

Gather the proper tools

Eugen Str

After buying your window lock, you will need the right tools to install it. The essential tool is the drill and drill bits that fit your screws. These tools are the basis and foundation for mounting your locks into the window frame. Do not forget the tape measure and pencil too. Use them to draw dots and lines to avoid misalignment during the installation process.

Read the guide or instruction that comes with the package first

Before starting all the mounting and installation work, read the manual that comes in the package first. Even though instructions are very underrated these days, it is safe to learn and understand them first as you are dealing with a safety device for your home. You cannot compromise your security. If there is no guide available, watch a YouTube tutorial.

Better hire an expert

experts installing a window
Guilherme Cunha

If you are not confident enough to do it independently, do not hesitate to call an expert. They are the most knowledgeable about this work and can ensure you a correctly done output. However, make sure you know them already, or they are from a trusted and well-known company to avoid being scammed. Since they are the ones who installed your locks, as we have mentioned, they are the most knowledgeable of the device’s mechanisms.

Do a run test

The last step to do to know whether your window lock is effective or not is by conducting a run test on the device. Try to open your window from the outside after the lock has been installed. Use some force (be careful not to break your own window!) to know if it is already secure or not.

Lock Ratings

What are lock grades or ratings? The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) establishes lock grades for you to know how safe and secured you can get with each lock in the market.

Thus, before checking out the product at the counter, make sure to find the lock grade in the packaging first. This will also help you get an idea of the standard and quality of the lock.

Grade 1

Grade 1 locks or residential locks receive the highest rating. One of the best examples is heavy-duty commercial ones. It’s pretty tough to break into, and it’s the safest option for your family. Because of its quality, it is the most costly option.

Grade 2

Grade 2 is an intermediate lock, which is where the majority of locks fall. We do not recommend this one for commercial use. It will keep your home secure, although it isn’t as good as a grade 1 lock.

Grade 3

Grade 3 locks are known for their simple design. Excellent for use with other locks in grades 1 and 2. It is not safe to use without any complementary security tools. Since it is not as durable as the previous grades, it appears to be the cheapest of the three options. 

Smart Windows: Can They Provide Security to Your Home?

As technology integration becomes more prevalent, home automation is not an exception. Aside from the convenience that a smart home offers, allowing you to manage home fixtures and devices in a dashboard, it also provides maximized security.

What Is A Smart Window?

A smart window has different components. One of these parts is the smart lock. You can control and monitor smart locks using your smartphone with the help of a wireless connection that links both devices. 

The best thing about having this type of window lock is that you can still check whether your windows are left open even after you leave the house. If in some cases, you forgot to close them, you can just grab your phone and hit the lock button. And, voila! Your house is burglar-proof!

smart window
Sebastian Scholz (Nuki)

An Added Protection: Window Intruder Detection System

Another added automation, aside from automatic window locks, is the intruder detection technology. This system can detect vibrations or strong movements in your window. 

You can either choose between a loud siren to serve as your alarm and a phone notification giving you the option to ask for police assistance. 

Should the detection system be visible or hidden from sight?

The question is: how will you place your detection system? Each option, visible or hidden, has its own advantages and disadvantages. Attaching your window alarm in a way that is noticeable from outside looking in warns burglars of the risk of entering. They might think a couple of times before breaking in if the alarm is apparent.

On the other hand, some people hide their alarms to save the device from intruders skilled in incapacitating these types of security systems. Also, concealing them keeps your home facade neat.

Are window smart locks expensive?

Smart locks and intruder alarms come in a number of price ranges. It is entirely dependent on your priorities. Some people prefer to take chances, while others are willing to invest significantly to protect their families.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Window Locks for Your Home


  • Intruders and burglars are unable to enter.
  • Assists in the protection of your possessions and the well-being of your family.
  • It keeps children from opening and falling out of windows.


  • Window locks of high quality might be pricey.
  • Keys can get lost or end up in the wrong hands.
  • Hard to escape in case of fire

World’s Safest Window Lock

different kind of window colors
Maxim Hopman

Does the world’s safest lock exist? 

The answer is there is none. No matter how expensive your window lock is, it will be useless if there is a mismatch with the type of window you have at home. 

Plus, you must ensure that they are correctly installed and that they are sturdy enough to withstand any strong force from the outside. 

Here are some key takeaways to remember:

  • Do consumer research before buying a window lock for your home
  • Consider the ANSI lock ratings; Grade 1 is the safest among the three
  • Better talk to a reputable window installer or contractor in your area

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