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I'd like to raise my lockpicking skill so that when I come across higher level locks I'm able to pick them, but sometimes I come across locked doors that I already have a key to.

Is there a way for me to pick the lock on the door without using the key?

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Keep in mind that you only get experience for picking a single lock once, picking it after it's been relocked doesn't train lockpicking. –  kotekzot Feb 14 '12 at 18:46
    
You come around plenty of locked chests and doors to train lock picking. You can always repeat the dungeons you have done or pick the locks in any city, wait/sleep a day and do it again. Besides that, imo it's not necessary to train lock picking at all i open any lock with base lock picking skill. Master locks might take 10 to 20 picks though. –  Menno Gouw Nov 7 '13 at 23:41
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3 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Drop the key into a nearby container or corpse, pick the lock, get the key back.

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I can't believe I didn't think of this myself... But is there any other way to do it, because sometimes I don't realise I have the key until after I've unlocked the door. –  Mr Smooth Nov 12 '11 at 13:14
    
Leave the key inside ;) –  alexanderpas Nov 14 '11 at 2:45
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I just threw all my keys in my characters house in a barrel. Makes it a lot easier to not run into a locked house and also easier to train lockpicking.

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Since you can't drop keys in Skyrim, my advice would be to go to the Thieves' Guild in Riften. They have some training chests you can practice on.

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