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How to Change the Lock Combination on a Briefcase

by
Published April 29, 2010 | Updated June 18, 2015

If you keep important documents in your briefcase, as many people do, you may want to buy a locking briefcase, which can help provide some extra security for those documents. And while just the presence of a lock can deter some thieves, a good combination goes a lot farther to secure the contents of your briefcase. Changing the combination on your combination lock briefcase is quick and easy.

Changing the Lock Combination:

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  1. Open the Briefcase Using the Existing Combination

    A new briefcase will probably have a default combination such as 1-1-1 or a random number. Check the paperwork that came with the briefcase to see what factory setting your briefcase has. Most three-number combination locks have 1,000 possible combinations. It should take around 90 minutes to try all 1,000 numbers.

  2. Locate the Reset Switch for the Combination Lock

    The inside of the combination lock briefcase commonly holds the reset mechanism, usually behind or beside the lock. Sometimes the reset button is located to the side of the lock, although that does not occur as often. You can tell which button is the right one due to its proximity to the lock. Use a flashlight to shine light directly inside the briefcase to locate a very small reset button or one that blends in with the colors of the briefcase.

  3. Decide What Combination to Use

    Choose something memorable to you, but not something that others could easily guess. Don't use something easy to guess, like your area code, birthday, or the year you got married. Avoid easy combinations such as 1-2-3 or 1-1-1. If you need a device for remembering the combination, try "telling a story." For example, the story could be "I dated my husband for 3 years, then we had got married, adopted 1 dog, and had 2 kids" and the combination would be 3-1-2.

  4. Reset the Lock

    Press and hold the reset button with your finger, ball point pen, or small screwdriver. Keep holding the button down as you reset the numbers. Rotate the combination numbers to the new combination that you want to use. Release the reset button.

  5. Test the Combination

    Scramble the numbers on the combination. Try to enter the new code that you just put into the briefcase. The lock should open. If it does not, you may not have held the button down throughout the entire reset process. Try the reset again, holding the button down the entire time.