How to Troubleshoot a Locked Whirlpool Washer Door -
Appliances Repair

Whirlpool Washer Door Is Locked: Here Are Some Typical Causes and Ideal Solutions!                                

by Viktor

Whirlpool Washer Door Is Locked: Here Are Some Typical Causes and Ideal Solutions!                                

Let’s be honest:

Even the most careful people could be guilty of forgetting to add a couple or more clothes to the current wash cycle.

It shouldn’t be difficult to swiftly pause the cycle and unlock your Whirlpool washer door to toss in the overlooked laundry.


Your Whirlpool washer is locked and won’t open, no matter how hard you struggle with it. Not too hard, of course, for fear of damage.

You see:

Most Whirlpool washers are equipped with an automatic door-locking function to prevent flooding and leakage.


Malfunctions can cause your washer to remain locked even when you try to pause the cycle or after it is complete.

To that end:

We have compiled and highlighted some of the causes of this problem to help you properly assess the situation.

Keep reading this article to discover useful troubleshooting tips to unlock your Whirlpool washer door.

Whirlpool Washer Door Is Locked

There are just as many solutions for the many reasons your Whirlpool washer may be jammed shut. You could try cooling your washer, disabling the control lock, resetting it, or replacing relevant faulty parts. In addition, repairing your drainage system or manually unlocking your Whirlpool washer door could be helpful.

1. Wait a Few Minutes Before Opening Your Washer


If your Whirlpool washer door is locked after a cycle, your first instinct shouldn’t be to try to force it open.

You need to give your machine a few minutes before attempting to open the door.

Here’s why:

Your Whirlpool washer requires some time to stop the motor speed completely, reaching zero revolutions per minute. After some minutes, the motor should send a signal to the control board to release the door lock.


During a wash cycle, the internal heating coil in your Whirlpool washer heats the water, depending on the cycle settings.


If the water temperature reaches unusual degrees, typically above 122 degrees, the door lock will be activated until it cools down.


Giving your Whirlpool washer about 10 minutes to cool down completely and stop spinning should do the trick.

2. Disable the Control Lock

Whirlpool cycle settings

Here’s the thing:

Most Whirlpool washers are kitted with a nifty control lock feature. This prevents users from changing cycle settings during a wash cycle.

Inspect your washer control panel carefully to find this function; it is a distinctly labeled button.

You see:

If your washer door is locked while a cycle is running,  it is probably due to the activated control lock.

As such:

You’ll need to disable it to access your Whirlpool washer control panel, pause your cycle and unlock the door.

To do this:

Push the Control Lock button on your Whirpool’s dashboard for three seconds.


Wait to hear a beep (or three). This indicates that your control lock has been deactivated.  Then, you can safely unlock your washer door.


You can add or remove laundry from a cycle in motion without difficulty.

3. Reset Your Whirlpool Washer

We all know:

It is normal for your Whirlpool washer door to remain locked during a cycle unless you use the cancel or pause button. The idea is to avoid flooding, burns, and other hazards.


If your Whirlpool washer won’t unlock after the wash cycle, then it is time to reset the system and, by implication, the control panel.

Do this:

Disconnect your Whirlpool washer from the power outlet for roughly 45 minutes; the system should be completely reset when you replug it.


You can simply reset the control panel by switching the circuit breaker off and back on.

Either way:

Your Whirlpool washer should be back to its default settings after following these instructions, and the door should open without any struggle.

4. Replace the Lid Switch or Door Lock Latch

Whirlpool Lid Switch


If your Whirlpool washer didn’t unlock at the end of a wash cycle, you would need to check for faults in the machine’s interior.


The most common technical reason for a jammed Whirlpool washer is a defective lid switch or door lock latch, depending on the washer.

Front-load Whirlpool washers operate with a door lock latch, while top-load washers use the lid switch.

You see:

These parts are essential to your Whirlpool washer because they enable precautionary restrictions on the washer while open. Most washers will not operate when the lid switch or door lock latch is disengaged.


They should unlatch after a cycle, but malfunctions could cause them to remain locked.

On that note:

You’ll need to test your lid switch or door lock latch with a multimeter to see if it is electrically compromised.

Here’s what to do:

  • Step 1: Unplug your machine from the electric outlet.
  • Step 2: Use a Phillips screwdriver to dismantle your machine’s front panel.
  • Step 3: Test the lid switch or door latch for continuity with a multimeter or voltmeter.
  • Step 4: If the part is faulty, detach it from the machine and replace it with a new part.
  • Step 5: Reassemble your Whirlpool washer and run a test cycle.

Remember to:

Ensure that the power is cut before tampering with the internal components of your Whirlpool washer.

You shouldn’t tamper with them at all if you’re not technically inclined, as you could harm your washer or, more importantly, yourself.

One more thing:

Contact  Whirlpool Customer Support if your device is still under warranty for free replacement parts and technical assistance!

5. Repair the Faulty Drainage System

Whirlpool drain pump


Don’t be alarmed if your Whirlpool washer displays the E1 F9 or F05 E03 error code. These error codes denote drainage issues that may cause the washer to take too long to drain.

The thing is:

If water is left in the wash drum at the end of the cycle, your Whirlpool washer door will not unlock.

Running a regular spin-and-drain cycle should completely expel all the water if your washer is not having drainage system malfunctions.


If your washer suffers from a kinked hose, clogged drain pump filter, or damaged drain pump, you’d need to do a bit more. 

Follow these steps to repair your Whirlpool washer’s drainage system:

  • Step 1: Unplug your machine from the wall socket.
  • Step 2: Check for kinks in your drain hose, measure the required length, cut off excess bits, then reattach the hose to your Whirlpool washer.
  • Step 3: Unscrew the front panel of your washer.
  • Step 4: Unclog the drain pump filter and hose thoroughly.
  • Step 5: Inspect the pump for debris and clear the clog.
  • Step 6: Test the pump’s connectors with a multimeter for continuity and functionality.

We recommend that you:

Reach out to a repair technician or Whirlpool Customer Support to assist with machine part replacements, as they typically involve complicated procedures.

6. Replace the Defective Shift Actuator Motor

whirlpool shift actuator motor


Your Whirlpool washer is possibly jammed shut after or during a cycle due to a faulty shift actuator motor.

The motor could break down because of loose wires or wear and tear, causing your washer door to get stuck closed.

At this point:

Your Whirlpool washer might display the E02 F06 error notice, drawing attention to the defective shift actuator motor.

Your machine could also stop working mid-cycle, coupled with a locked washer door, which can be exasperating.

As such:

You should run a wash cycle and listen for a grinding, jittery noise to confirm that the shift actuator motor is indeed defective.

You’ll need to replace the motor immediately if you hear such a loud noise.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Step 1: Disconnect your Whirlpool washer from the power source.
  • Step 2: Dismantle your washer and locate the shift actuator motor.
  • Step 3: Ensure all the wires are connected correctly and securely to the motor.
  • Step 4: Check for continuity with a multimeter.
  • Step 5: Replace the damaged shift actuator motor.

After this:

Run a test cycle to confirm that your Whirlpool washer is up and running perfectly and the door can open and close comfortably.


Please seek technical assistance when handling internal washer components to avoid damaging your machine.

7. Perform a Manual Unlock on Your Washer


If all attempts have failed to unlock your Whirlpool washer door, you should consider manually unlocking it.

Your washer may display the F5 E3 error code, similar to a dU error, drawing attention to a door unlock issue.


The procedure to manually unlock your Whirlpool washer is different for front-load washers and top-load washers. Pay attention to the steps that concern your washer to unlock the door in no time.

Here is how to manually unlock a front-load Whirlpool washer:

  • Step 1: Power off and unplug your washing machine.
  • Step 2: Unscrew the top panel and locate the lock assembly.
  • Step 3: Pull the plastic tab at the bottom of the washer to open the door.

For a top-load Whirlpool washer, do this:

  • Step 1: Unplug the washer from the wall socket.
  • Step 2: Cut the water supply to the washer.
  • Step 3: Detach the back of the machine and locate the drain pump.
  • Step 4: Use a Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the drain pump cover.
  • Step 5: Tug on the twirly cord inside the machine to unlock the door.

It is worth stating that:

You should only attempt this troubleshooting method if mechanical fixes are your deal. You don’t want to damage your Whirlpool washer further and incur more expenses.

Models Most Affected


Wear and tear, poor maintenance, and user errors could cause any Whirlpool washer to malfunction.


These Whirlpool washer models feature manufacturer errors that lead to frequently jammed doors.

The models outlined below have the highest degree of consumer complaints regarding this issue. 

1. Whirlpool Duet

Whirlpool Duet


The Whirlpool Duet is an efficient and convenient large-capacity front-load washer with powerful and adaptable cleaning technology.

It provides the best care to fabrics with the toughest stains while conserving energy with the EcoBoost option.


This Whirlpool model, including the Whirlpool Duet Steam High-Efficiency washer, is the most susceptible to locked doors.


You can easily troubleshoot this problem with the guidelines in this article.

2. Whirlpool Direct Drive

Whirlpool Duet Direct Drive

Get this:

The Whirlpool Direct Drive is a front-load washer featuring a 77-liter stainless-steel wash drum with improved drum technology to protect your clothes.

It also includes 6th sense technology that adjusts the settings for a customized wash experience. 


Users of this Whirlpool washer model have claimed that the door locks and won’t open for the various reasons outlined in this article. 

3. Whirlpool Top Load Washer

Whirlpool Top Load Washer


Whirlpool top load washers are designed with spacious wash drums to give bulky clothing items effective care.

Some top load washers have a removable agitator and an in-built faucet to eliminate loose fabric soils.

The catch is:

This model series tends to get jammed shut during or after a cycle. But you can troubleshoot it without too much difficulty. 



It’s never the best day when your Whirlpool washer develops any malfunction. It can be understandably frustrating to troubleshoot your washer and still deal with your laundry.

As such:

We are here to help you the only way we know how and we have curated this thorough guide to ease your process.

Follow these guidelines to unlock your Whirlpool washer in little to no time:

  • Wait a few minutes before opening your Whirlpool washer
  • Disable the control lock
  • Reset your Whirlpool washer
  • Replace the malfunctioning lid switch or door lock latch
  • Unclog or repair the faulty drainage system
  • Replace the defective shift actuator motor
  • Manually unlock your Whirlpool washer door


You should be able to open your Whirlpool washer door after trying our recommendations.

It bears mentioning that:

We suggest calling a skilled technician for more complicated troubleshooting solutions if you’re not technically inclined.

You don’t want to harm yourself or your Whirlpool washer in a brave attempt to conduct mechanical or electrical fixes.


Whirlpool Customer Support is just one call (or email) away!

Remember to share your thoughts, additions, and questions in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Unlock My Whirlpool Washer Door?

During the spin cycle, a single click on the Start/Stop button should unlock your Whirlpool washer door.
This method is not applicable if your washer door is faulty, in which case you’d have to troubleshoot with the tips in this article.

Why Is My Whirlpool Washer Stuck on Lock?

Your Whirlpool washer door may be locked and won’t open for multiple reasons listed in this article. However, a faulty lid switch or door lock latch is the most common.

How Do You Force a Washing Machine Door to Unlock?

Sometimes, the thermal lock will stay put even after you’ve turned off your washing machine. You should try leaving it unplugged for a few minutes to allow the lock to cool and eventually open.

How Do I Reset My Whirlpool Washer Lock?

If your Whirlpool washer door is stuck at the end of a cycle, reset the lock by unplugging the washer. After two minutes, plug it back then click on any control panel key to clear the error code to reset your lock fully. 

Why Is My Whirlpool Washer Door Lock Flashing?

The door lock or lid switch light will blink for a few reasons to signal a defect or the need for an adjustment.
These include a misalignment, an interference with the closing motion, or a power fault.

How Do I Turn Off the Lock on My Washing Machine?

To turn off the lock on your washer, allow it to cool down after disconnecting it from the power outlet.
The thermal lock in washer doors is designed to jam the door when it reaches certain heat levels.

Where Is the Control Lock Button on a Whirlpool Washer?

The Control Lock button on your Whirlpool Front Load or Top Load washer prevents changes to wash settings when activated.
It can be found on the control panel, right above the Power button.

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