After giving the key back to Nocturnal (I have yet to do this, in case you can't get it back afterwards) can you retrieve the key via stealing or any other means? It seems pointless completing the rest of the thieves guild quests if you can't get the key back.

  • have you tried using the console to put one in your inventory?
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 11:49
  • 3
    @Steve if i wanted to cheat i would. i am more hoping to find away other then the console. Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 0:44
  • skeleton key sucks anyways... lockpicking increases slower with it than with-out. just get your lockpicking to 100 and get the perk to make lockpicks unbreakable.
    – user15544
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 12:58
  • Remember, that skeleton key can open doors that no lockpick can ever open. It can open doors that have magic lock within them. So I would suggest firts go open the magic doors that can be found in the game, and return the skeleton key after that.
    – user16580
    Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 23:17
  • 4
    There are no such doors. Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 23:26

3 Answers 3


Unless you use the console there is no way to get the Skeleton Key back.

However, if you've got high enough lockpicking and have invested some perks that way, you could always grab the "Unbreakable" perk, which makes regular lockpicks work the same way as the skeleton key.'

When you use the console command to get the skeleton key the skeleton key breaks. The cheated skeleton key will respawn when broken but it's still not quite as good as the original skeleton key which can't be broken. When the cheated skeleton key breaks you have to find the place where the lock unlocks it. This can become annoying, but it does provide infinite lock picks.

I suggest not finishing the quest to return the skeleton key then you get the keep the original skeleton key. :)

  • Thanks for the answer i really don't want to waste my precious perks on lock picking(im level 50 its really hard to get up level and when i do i don't want to waste it on useless perks). thanks for the answer =) Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 0:46
  • 2
    Intentionally breaking your lockpicks is a way to level lockpicking ;) Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 19:53

No, but you do get a cool power to use instead, one of 3, I usually use shadowcloak of the nocturnal to get some cool kills. You find lock picking hard enough to need the skeleton key?

  • No i don't find it very hard its just helpful to have an unbreakable lock-pick. Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 0:48
  • The powers you get for returning the key are far better than the key itself, imho.
    – Ryre
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 19:52
  • Mine two, I love shadow cloak (even if it's a little glitchy to activate sometimes), it's not like I don't have plenty of lockpicks.
    – ewanm89
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 11:48

No, you can't.

The skeleton key isn't that important and lockpicking isn't that important or hard for that matter. The powers you get from completing the quest are pretty cool and make up for it. Lockpicks don't weigh anything either, so for me, I always carry several hundred lockpicks on me. The skeleton key is pretty much obsolete in this game, especially with the "Unbreakable" perk that you can get.

  • 2
    This isn't an answer at all.
    – victoriah
    Commented Dec 9, 2011 at 21:32
  • Tgis is not an answer
    – GusDeCooL
    Commented Mar 3, 2013 at 8:48

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