Traditional door locks work just fine, but if you want to add some smarts to the security of your home, a smart lock is a good way to go. Here’s how to install and set up the Kwikset Kevo smart lock.

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Before you get started, make sure that replacing a deadbolt is something that you’re comfortable doing. It’s pretty easy for the most part, but it does involve removing the entire deadbolt mechanism and replacing it with an all-new one. So if you’re not quite sure how comfortable you’d be doing something like that, it may be wise to call in reinforcements and have a knowledgeable friend (or a professional locksmith) help.

This guide also assumes that you already have a deadbolt installed on your door. If you don’t, then you’ll need to drill a completely new hole in your door to install the Kevo (or any deadbolt for that matter) using one of these.

Luckily, the Kwikset Kevo kit comes with all of the materials that you’ll need, but you’ll need a couple of tools to put it all together: a screwdriver or power drill, and maybe a hammer.

Step One: Remove Your Existing Deadbolt

Start by removing the current deadbolt that’s installed on the door, which usually involves removing a couple of screws from the inside.

After those screws are removed, carefully take off the cover. You may have to slightly tap on it with a hammer to loosen it up if it doesn’t come off easily.

There will two more screws on the inside that you’ll need to remove. These connect the inside portion of the lock to the outside portion.

Once those screws are removed, you can carefully pull apart the entire lock and remove it, starting with the interior section.

From there, remove the outside portion.

Next, remove the two screws on the latch.

Pull the latch out of the door.

You now have a clean slate to install the Kevo smart lock.

Step Two: Install the Kwikset Kevo

First off, Kwikset says that you can follow installation instructions within the Kevo app on your phone. However, to prevent your phone from getting dirty or damaged during the installation process, we recommend printing out the instructions instead and keeping your phone safe throughout this stage. Or better yet, follow our instructions below.

The first step is to install the new door latch. There are two that come included with the kit; one with a plate and one without, depending on your door. Take a look at your previous door latch and match it with the new one to see which one you need to use.

Insert the door latch into the door. Make sure that the middle hole in the door latch is centered within the door’s hole. If not, remove the latch, hold onto the deadbolt latch and rotate the mechanism 180 degrees to change the position of the middle hole. Re-insert the latch, making sure the “UP” marking on the latch is facing up.

Secure the latch to the door using the two screws in the pouch marked “03809”.

Next, measure the diameter of the door hole. If it’s the standard 2-1/8″ measurement, you’ll need the adapter ring.

Slide it onto the inside of the Kevo lock with the tabs facing out.

After that, measure the thickness of the door. If it’s 1-3/8″ thick, use the shorter screws in the pouch marked “19571”. If it’s 1-3/4″ thick, use the longer screws. You’ll need them handy a couple of steps later.

Place the Kevo lock onto the door, feeding the cable underneath the latch and inserting the rod through the middle latch hole, making sure to line up the shape in order to get it in.

On the other side, place the mounting plate over the hole and feed the cable through it.

Take the two screws (either the short or long ones) and insert them through the mounting plate and into the Kevo lock on the other side. Use your screwdriver or power drill to tighten them. This will securely affix the Kevo lock to your door.

Next, take the key included in the kit and insert it into the lock, making sure that the deadbolt extends and retracts freely.

Moving on, separate the interior cover from the interior mechanism and remove the battery pack.

Connect the cable from the Kevo lock to the interior mechanism.

Tuck the cable into the interior mechanism the best you can and slide the whole thing onto the lock’s rod from the other side and mount everything in place.

Secure the interior mechanism to the door using the small screws in the pouch marked “49191” and using the lower screw terminals on the sides.

Next, insert four AA batteries into the battery pack. The kit will come with these batteries.

This next part is a bit tricky: Press and hold down on the program button in the center of the interior mechanism as you slide the battery pack in. Once the battery pack is fully in place, let go of the program button.

The lock will beep and the status light will light up. After a few seconds, press and release the program again and the lock with retract and extend. If this didn’t happen, repeat the above steps.

Step Three: Install the Kevo App

Download and install the Kevo app to your phone, which is available for iPhone and Android.

Open it up and tap on “Get Started”.

If you don’t already have a Kevo account, tap on “Create Account” and go through the creation process. Otherwise, enter in your credentials and hit “Sign In”.

Once you’re in for the first time, Kevo will ask you permission for various features, like location and Bluetooth. Bluetooth is required for the lock to work with your phone, whereas location will at least improve the technology used, according to Kwikset.

When you arrive at the main screen, tap on the plus button in the top-right corner of the screen.

Select “Set Up a Device”.

Tap on “Pair a Device” at the bottom.

Tap on your smart lock’s manufacturer, which in this case is “Kwikset”.

Select the smart lock model you installed, which in this case is “Kevo 2nd Gen”.

Next, press and release the program button on the interior of the lock and make sure your phone is close by (you don’t actually need to tap your phone on the lock like the app says).

The app will then discover the lock and will prompt you to enter in a name for it. Tap “Continue” when you’re done with that.

There might be a software update available for the lock. If so, tap on “Update Lock” at the bottom and leave your phone open and close to the lock during the update process.

Once complete, hit “Done” at the bottom.

Tap on “Complete Setup” at the bottom of the screen within the app.

Next, tap on your lock in the app.

You’ll be given a very quick tutorial on how to use the lock. Swipe to the left.

Tap on “I’m Ready” at the bottom.

From there, you can either use the app to lock and unlock the Kevo, or simply just touch the Kevo lock itself. In order for touch to work, though, your phone must be in Bluetooth range and the app running in the background (you don’t need the app open on your screen—just make sure you don’t swipe it away from your recent apps list).

After everything is good to go, install the interior cover to finalize the installation using the three small screws in the pouch marked “64109”.

One thing to note is that you can provide easy access to the lock’s program button by “unlocking” the black window. This is done by removing the screw on the back of the cover and then installing the cover after that.

What this does is allow you to remove the small black window easily without having to remove the entire cover, which would require you to remove all three screws.

Isn’t Bluetooth Range Too Big for This to Be Secure?

One huge concern that I had about the Kevo was that as long as your phone is within Bluetooth range of the lock, anyone can unlock it and open your door freely. So technically, even if you’re at home and keep your door locked, someone could still unlock it. However, Kwikset says that the Kevo “has a unique and patent-pending feature” that takes care of this.

From my own testing, it actually works really well. I was able to stand on the other side of the door with my phone in my pocket, while I had someone else try to unlock the door—no dice. It wasn’t until I actually stood in front of the door that it was able to unlock.

If you’re still really paranoid about this, you can simply close the Kevo app completely (instead of leaving it running in the background), which will disable the touch-to-open feature. But this also means that when you do need to unlock the door, you have to pull your phone out and open the app, which negates most of the convenience of having the lock in the first place.

As for losing your phone or getting it stolen, you can log into Kevo’s web interface and disable your phone from working with the lock at any time. Until you do so, a thief could theoretically go to your house and unlock your door. However, it’s highly unlikely a thief or anyone who finds your phone would know where you lived in the first place unless they were able to unlock your phone and peek around for info. (You do have a passcode lock, right?!)

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Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile.
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