Understanding Different Types of Window Locks

Are you looking for the best ways to keep your windows secure and safe from burglars? It’s important to remember that not all window locks are created equal. That’s why in this blog post, we will be diving deeper into different types of window locks so you can make an informed decision when it comes to protecting your home and valuables. Keep reading to learn more

Traditional Window Locks

Traditional window locks latch mechanically so that the window cannot be opened. Some affix to the window sash (movable pane/frame) to the fixed window frame/sill, while others lock the two sashes together. Some hooks, some clamps, and some use posts and holes.

Folding or Swivel

The most common type of window lock for modern vinyl windows, the fold or swivel lock, is a simple thumb-operated mechanism in the middle of a window that affixes the moving sash to the frame of the unmoving sash.


  • Handle locks are what they sound like, a latch or clamping window lock operated by a more oversized handle.


  • Latch window locks include a small hook that latches into a catch in the window frame.

Window Pins

  • Pin locks involve a small post that fits into a sequence of holes that go through the sash and window frame.

Window Bars

  • A bar or dowel window lock is for horizontal sliding windows, where a bar is laid in the track to prevent the window from sliding open.


  • Sliding window locks are a small mechanism fixed into the window track that can be affixed so the window can’t open past a certain point.


  • Traditional window locks involve a manual key to lock or unlock the window. Only a keyholder can open the window, even from the inside. Keyed window locks are helpful if you are worried about your windows being opened by young children or guests without your knowledge. A key mechanism is usually built into either latch window locks or sliding window locks.


Smart Locks

Smart window locks use an electric signal to operate the locking mechanism. They might have a manual lever or key, but many do not have locking controls outside the digital signal. This provides advanced security and superior control over your window locks without manually opening and closing each one.

Smart window locks are also often equipped with sensors that tell you if a window is open or closed and whether someone is trying to get into the window or bypass the lock. In addition to mechanical latches, smart window locks may also use powerful magnets.


Keypad Locks (commercial)

Keypad window locks are released when a specific code enters a nearby keypad. In-home security systems, the keypad may be located near the entry door, while in commercial properties, you may see the keypad near a frequently opened window. When the correct code is given, the electronic mechanism releases the window.


Sensor and Home Security Locks

Many smart windows have sensors to detect whether the home is secure or if a home intrusion is going on. However, what your sensors do depends on your home security system. Some windows will sound an alarm if they detect tampering from outside. Some will automatically call the police. Some are even capable of contacting your mobile device.


Wi-Fi Smart Home Locks

Innovative home technology has brought a new era to window locks. Integrating smart home window locks can allow you to control your windows from your phone or tablet using a secure app. You can also get alerts when a door or window is opened, primarily if the house detects some attempt at forced entry. You can even lock or unlock your windows remotely should the need arise.


The Different Grades of Window Locks

Window locks come in three grades depending on the strength of the latch you require.

Grade 3

  • Most lightweight residential second-story locks are grade three. This grade of window lock must resist 30 lbs of force, which is enough to prevent most children from opening the window but is not particularly secure against break-in attempts.

Grade 2

  • Grade 2 locks must be able to hold a minimum of 60 lbs horizontally or vertically and are considered more secure.

Grade 1

  • Grade 1 locks are the highest security rating. The bars must hold a minimum of 100 lbs and are ideal for first-story windows with the most significant risk of a break-in.


Which Type is Best

The best type of lock for your home windows depends on the window design. If you must ensure no one but a keyholder can get in, keyed traditional window locks are ideal. If you have or want to install a home security system, smart locks are the way to go.

Please ensure that the type of window lock you select is compatible with how your windows open and close. Consulting with a window expert is the best way to do this.


Where to Buy

You can buy window locks from various sources, including hardware and home improvement store. However, the best place to buy a window lock is from your window provider. They will be able to tell you exactly which types of locks will fit your window and how to achieve the greatest security.

If you want a keyed traditional lock, smart window lock, or smart home windows, your window experts will be able to connect you with the best locks for each window design.


Still have questions?

If you are a North Texas homeowner planning to install new windows with the best window locks available, Window Depot Dallas is here to help. Please contact us today to speak with one of our replacement window experts. Call us at 214-399-9592 to talk. Replacement window prices start at $699 per window.