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13 Different Types of Window Locks

A collage of window locks.

If you feel like your windows are a vulnerable part of your house and provide easy access to outsiders, you are right. But, unfortunately, it is fairly easy for people to get into your home via the windows. 

For this reason, you should have secure locks on your windows to prevent others from getting in. There are many different kinds of window locks.

Some are for a specific type of window, while others can be used on any window. Continue reading to find out all the details you need about window locks. 

Related: Types of Bathroom Door Locks Types of Keys for Locks Types of Locks for Storage Units Smart Home Door Locks Types of Locks for Sliding Doors Types of Door Knobs

What are Window Locks?

Window locks are intended to help keep you and your belongings secure in your home. They also keep your home safe from intruders. Intruders commonly look for windows that are not secure as an entry points. 

They do not want to break the window as this takes time and makes noise. They also look for an entry point that is hidden, which windows often are. 

Types of Window Locks

1. Child Safety Latches

A child holding on to the window with curtain.

A child safety latch secures your window while allowing it to open a certain amount. Typically these latches allow the window to open to a certain degree. These are often found on sliding windows and double hung windows.

Child safety latches are found in two sets. One set is at three inches, and the other is at five inches. This allows you to open the window slightly to let in air for circulation. At this same time, you are preventing people from getting into your home. 

In addition, these latches can keep your children safe. For example, there is always a danger of a child falling out of an open window. These latches prevent that from happening. 

2. Folding Lock

Rustic window folding lock.

A folding lock is one that is embedded inside the frame of a casement window. When the folding lock is turned down, it keeps the sash locked. When it is turned up, the lock is released. 

This is the standard lock you find on casement windows. These locks are effective in keeping out intruders and securing your windows in place. 

3. Handle Lock

Modern type of handle lock for window.

Hopper windows and awning windows commonly use a handle lock. This is a simple latch that when the handle is horizontal, the window is locked. When the handle is vertical, the window is unlocked. 

There are a wide variety of handle locks available for windows. For the most part, these handles have a different appearance. Some handle locks have a low profile, so they do not stick out through blinds. These particular types of locks fit nicely behind the blinds. 

4. Hinged Wedge Lock

A hinged wedge lock gives you complete control over how much, if, at all, your window is open. This can be most beneficial for those with children or small animals that are likely to fall out of a window if they play near the window. 

You can push a hinged wedge lock inward to slide the window open completely. When you pull the lock away from the window, it will open less. This gives you the ultimate control over the circulation of air in your house. You can also control how safe your windows are. 

5. Keyed Locks

A woman holding on the window lock and a child.

A keyed lock is one that needs a key to close and open. These locks are a more robust way to provide security over other types of locks, such as latch locks. Keyed locks are typically paired with another type of lock to provide the ultimate security. 

A keyed lock is primarily found on the side of a single hung and double hung window. A keyed lock also works well with a sliding window. They are secured to the frame of the window. It is essential that you do not lose your key, or you will never be able to open your window. 

6. Lag Screw Locks

A lag screw lock is one of the most affordable locks you can add to your windows. It is a great option because of the low cost and security it provides. In addition, you can easily install them yourself. 

All you need to do is drill some holes in the window frame and insert the lag screws. You also use washers that you tighten on each side. When they are tightened, the window will not open. 

Even though this is an added layer of protection, it should not be your only security measure. You want to ensure that you have another type of lock or some other form of security to which you can add the lag screw. 

7. Latch

Latch lock on the glass window.

A window latch is a standard and most common lock you will find on single hung or double hung windows. The window latch has a simple construction. It connects two sashes of the window and locks them into place, so neither of them can move. 

These latches are found at the top of the window sash. While this locks the sashes in place, it should not be your only means of security. You want to combine window patches with other security methods. 

When these latches are unlocked, if you have double hung windows, you are able to move both the top and bottom window sashes. 

8. Sliding Window Locks

Sliding window locks for glass window.

A sliding window lock has a pin that can screw into the sliding window track. This prevents the window from opening more than you want it to. These are affordable locks that you can install yourself. In addition, they are simple to use. 

You can find them at your local hardware store and move them from window to window as you need. However, they are only meant for use with sliding windows and sliding doors. 

These long and solid locks are put inside the window track. This prevents the window from being moved or opened. When you want to open the window, you take the lock out of the track. It is incredibly easy to use. 

There is no installation needed, and it takes seconds to put in place. In addition, there are more advanced versions of these locks available that require a key to open them. 

9. Smart Window Locks

A woman arming her window lock using a smart phone.

As all things have become more technologically advanced, so have window locks. As a result, there are smart window locks available. They are electronic locks that do not require a key to operate them. 

You are able to use an app on your smartphone to control the locks electronically. However, you have to use an entry code or some type of authorization code on your phone to operate the locks. 

You can also share the code with anyone else that you want to allow access to your home and windows. You are also able to monitor your windows with your phone. You can tell if the window is opened or closed. You can also see who opened or closed it. 

10. Swivel Action Locks

Swivel action locks are a different and unique type of lock for your windows. These types of locks are self-locking because they are equipped with a snib. A snib is the same thing as a catch. The snib stops the window from opening once you close it. 

You do not need to use a key to lock or unlock a swivel action lock. Instead, you may make a simple turn of the snib from left to right, which will release the lock and unlock the window. 

11. Vent Locks

A vent lock is also known as a ventilation lock. This type of lock provides security and allows air to flow into the house. These types of locks are used by those that have children and want to prevent falls and deter intruders. 

Vent locks are often used in residential homes and hotels. A ventilation lock is installed above the window frame sash.

This type of lock has a pin that is moveable but can be placed above the window to that it prevents the window from opening all the way. Once the pin is removed and pushed to the side, the window is able to open fully. 

12. Window Pin Lock

A bolt lock attached on the window frame.

A window pin lock is similar to the chain lock that you find on a door. One part of the lock is attached to the sash, and the other part is attached to the frame. The two parts are connected by a chain or cable to prevent the window from opening too widely. 

The cable or chain slides into the part of the lock that is attached to the window. A window pin lock will make it almost impossible to open your window.

A window pin lock is easy for you to install yourself. You will need to use a drill to attach the two ends. This lock can be used on casement windows which is not true of many lock types. 

13. Window Wedge Lock

A window wedge lock comes in many different types of locks. There are some window wedges that move up and down. Other window wedges are affixed to the window with Velcro, which means they can be adjusted how you need them to be. 

A window wedge is an input in a place where it stops the window from opening more than you want it to. It can be easily adjusted by the homeowner if you want to open the window even more. 

This is a different and unique lock that is used for emergencies. You can easily install this type of lock yourself. This type of lock works on a single hung window, double hung window, or a horizontal sliding window. 

The window wedge has an eight inch strong loop that stops the window from opening. These locks help keep children and small animals safe. 


How Are Locks Rated?

The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) has created a lock grading system.

Grade 1 is the highest rank for residential locks. These locks are incredibly difficult to break into. This makes them the safest locks for you and your family. Unfortunately, this is also the most expensive lock choice.  

Grade 2 is a medium ranked lock. This is where most locks fall. This type of lock helps to keep your home safe, but it is not as high a quality as Grade 1.

A Grade 3 lock is the most basic lock you can find. This is the most affordable of all the lock options. This type of lock is best used to complement Grade 1 and Grade 2 locks. 

Can I Change a Lock After I Purchase a Window?

Yes, you can easily change your window lock after they are installed. There are different types of locks that you can install. A lock that you install can improve the security of the windows and keep you and your belongings safe. 

Why is it Important To Install Window Locks Properly?

If the window locks are not installed properly, they will not protect you or your home. If you have a poorly installed lock, someone can easily gain access to your home. Some locks provide so little protection it is as if you did not have a lock at all.

All locks have specific instructions, and those instructions come with the lock. If you plan to install the lock yourself, it is critical that you follow the instructions. If you do not think you can do it properly, you should hire a professional to install the window locks. 

Do All Windows Require Window Locks?

You do not need to have locks on all of your windows if you do not want them. There are some areas of your house that are more difficult to break into, such as second floor bedrooms. Since these rooms are harder to get to, you may not need a lock.

There are windows, such as your basement and any first floor window, that must have locks if you want to have the maximum amount of protection for your home.