Classic Hacks: Get Express Service In An Elevator

AKA, make everyone else in your building hate you. While we wouldn’t advise doing it too often, there are ways to get express service in some lifts and speed up your journey (at the detriment of other potential passengers). These techniques won’t work in every lift but hey, they’re worth a try, right?

Lift picture from Shutterstock

Our story back in 2013 spurred plenty of discussion, citing one of the most commonly known (potential) techniques for keeping your elevator from stopping on any floor but your own:

Hold close door button till door closes, keep holding.
Select floor and do not let go of number and close door button till elevator moves.

Method Shop claims this one tends to work on many older elevator models, though only if the ‘close door’ button hasn’t been disabled (they’re kept in there as a placebo for impatient riders, he explains). If this doesn’t work in your building, however, rest assured that there are other ways to potentially ‘hack’ your elevator. The most obvious is if you have a key to put the elevator into independent service, of course, but if you have a key then you probably shouldn’t be using it because you’re impatient (and you probably wouldn’t be here in the first place).

Some elevators can be manually stopped from opening at a certain floor if you jam your foot across the opening of the two doors and let the friction from the sole of your shoe keep the door from opening.

In some elevators, it’s even simpler — just push and hold your floor button until you reach it (or until the doors open at some other point).

You can also cancel button pushes in some elevators — though ideally only do this when you’ve accidentally pressed the wrong one, not to cancel someone else’s floor selection. In some elevators you can use a double press, while others will have you quickly pressing the button exactly five times. Others you will need to hold the Door Open button while double pressing the erroneous floor selection.

If you take the same elevator every day there’s plenty of time for experimentation — just try not to piss off the people on other floors too much. Do any of these work in your building? Let us know in the comments!

Lifehacker’s Classic Hacks is a regular segment where we dig up the most popular, useful and offbeat advice from our archives and update it for your modern lifestyle.

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