What is the reset timer of the practice lock boxes in the thieves guild?

There are 5 lock boxes in the thieves guild with all the different difficulties for opening them. There is also a note in the middle of the chests that says:

"These chests are for practice use only. Please Refrain from using them for storage. The locks on these chests have been specially constructed to reset themselves after a short amount of time. If you have any issues, please speak to Niruin."

I talked with Niruin and he didn't have anything to say about reseting the chests.

I opened all of them then did about 10 different jobs for Delvin and Vex going from Riften to Markarth, Solitude, etc. I know I have been gone at least 10 game days and they are still not reset.

Any idea what the reset timer is?

  • 1
    It's honestly probably not even worth the effort waiting. You'd probably spend more time waiting for them to reset than you would coming across other chests in various dungeons and forts. The small skill points you get for picking master locks probably doesn't offset the effort you'd have to put into tracking when they reset. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 3:51
  • just waited 10 days outside of the cistern in Riften and had no luck, the 10 day waiting period seems to be a myth. I've also heard that the locks reset after 48 hours but that's also a lie. (360. latest updates, all DLC. 5/18/13)
    – user48708
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 5:58

7 Answers 7


I'm pretty sure they never reset. I opened mine very early on in the game and countless hours of gameplay later, they are still open. They seem to be glitched.

  • Mine reset once ... but never again.
    – ordag
    Commented Dec 18, 2011 at 16:10
  • Mine have reset twice now! I have no freaking clue what the interval was though. Also, since the last reset they seem to be flagged as owned, and when I try to open them, Sapphire and Vipir run over and yell at me. Commented Dec 18, 2011 at 16:15
  • hmm very buggy behavior...
    – l I
    Commented Dec 18, 2011 at 16:16
  • Mine have reset at least once. Haven't gone back to them lately to check again though.
    – Iszi
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 1:06
  • I have experienced them resetting, but don't have any specific info about when they reset
    – shanodin
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 7:59

I read that they reset after 10 days of not visiting the cistern.

I haven't tried it yet, but its worth a shot: it's also the same time frame that many ores reset.

  • Hi LockSmith, welcome to Arqade! Where did you read this?
    – user3389
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 3:51
  • That sounds somewhat plausible because 10 days is how long it takes for uncleared locations to reset (30 days for cleared), but I've never seen them actually reset, and I've spent a lot of time away from the Cistern and Riften.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 9:16

In my game, they seem to reset every few games, however each time the lock pick snaps, you exit the lock picking mini game, and the required position of the pick changes. Only way to avoid this is with an unbreakable pick.

Just pulled a daedric war axe out of the master chest, which is awesome since I went up the light armor side.

  • 2
    You can avoid the lockpick resetting by making sure you're in stealth mode and hidden. If anybody is watching you (the eye is open and says detected) then you only get one shot at a time. This applies anywhere - not just on these chests.
    – Iszi
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 1:07
  • You can also wait until 3 am to pick the locks, as the room is empty at that time. It's especially helpful to do this if you are leveling lockpicking by breaking picks.
    – user22658
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 13:08

You need to ensure yo do not visit the cistern for 10 days as well. It seems the respawn timer itself gets reset everytime you visit the Cistern.

  • 1
    This answer basically repeats another one in here, and just like that other one, cites no sources.
    – theUg
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 21:43

I have done multiple playthroughs and ive never seen them reset. Ive had new characters pick the chests then come back 40 plus (Realtime) hours later with no reset. This includes finishing TG, DB, Companions, War faction, and Main line. If they do reset it seems random.


It is easy to glitch out and I'm guessing most of you did, you have to leave the city then wait 30 days, if you wait an extended period of time next to the thieves guild chests or in the thieves guild it will glitch and not recet (does not glitch if you wait in the ragid flagon) you can also glitch other locks this way as well to be careful not to glitch the museam like I did, I hope this helps


They reset after you complete the mission in which the dark brotherhood santuary gets attacked.

  • Sounds like a coincidence to me.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 5:46
  • As @kotekzot said, there is no reason for a quest in the DB and a chest in the thieve guild to be related.
    – Jupotter
    Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 5:49

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