How To Turn Almost Any Lift Into A One-Stop Express Ride

How To Turn Almost Any Lift Into A One-Stop Express Ride

Having your lift constantly interrupted by additional stops can be incredibly frustrating — especially if you work on the top floor. This cheeky lift hack will send you straight to your destination without stopping.

Lift picture from Shutterstock

According to the guys over at Cool Products & Ideas, the following tip will work on any elevator (it’s apparently designed to speed up police and emergency operations).

Here’s how it’s done:

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

The lift will now go straight to the selected floor without stopping. Pretty neat hack, eh?

We tried this out on our work lift and it seemed to work fine, although it’s equally possible that nobody was trying to access the lift in-between the first and fourth floors during our tests.

Now, before you start complaining about the counter-productivity of this tip (i.e. — if everyone did it, we’d all be waiting for lifts longer) we freely acknowledge that it’s something that should only be pulled out on rare occasions. Examples include when you’re running really late for work and on misanthropic Mondays when everyone else can go to hell.

It’s also worth noting that most people who wait for the lift beyond the first floor are actually only travelling one or two stops — would it kill them to take the stairs instead of holding everyone else up? (Disabled people are an obvious exception, which is why we said to use the tip on rare occasions.)

Anyway, we’re keen to see how much luck you have with this intriguing lift hack: try it out in your own work/apartment building and report back in the comments section below!

[Via: Cool Products & Ideas]


  • I doubt this would work in our apartment building. Lifts are swipe for floor, and they’re the stupidest lifts ever. Press up, elevator going down opens door and cancels your press. Absolutely no flow control.

  • This trick doesn’t always work, I think it depends on the age because I tried it in our office building which is about 20 years ago and it never worked, even different combinations

  • Lifts are designed this way to cater for the entitled generation who don’t give a FLICK about anybody but themselves.

    • I’m not sure A) which generation you’re swiping at and B) what generation-segregated elevators you have come into contact with. I wasn’t aware we designed different kinds to “cater” to different groups.

        • Isn’t every generation considered entitled by the ones that came before them? I’m sure the baby boomers in the 60’s looked pretty entitled to their parents. Would that make what ever generation you are a part of the sanctimonious generation?
          Also, the article clearly defines why the lifts are designed this way, and I think making emergency services more efficient is the opposite to entitled… But what do I know, I’m just Gen Y.

          • my nan is still complaining about the bloody nogood hippies who use to run around doing stuff…..especially my dad??

          • Yeah elevators today are just lazy and self entitled. Remember when we were kids and the elevators would work hard as soon as you got in them to take everyone to their floors?

          • You think Elevators are bad… ESCALATORS are worse man. Those bastards. Elevators go up AND down! Escalators refuse to do anything but one way!!! Entitled bloody escalators!!!!

          • Pffft.. I remember when we had to fight our way up the castle towers just to get to the battlements.
            Kids these days have it easy.

    • And I’m sure your grandparents thought the same thing about your parents’ generation, your parents thought the same thing about your generation, and I’ll probably think the same thing about my kid’s generation. Everyone thinks subsequent generations have it easier and are entitled. In other words, your statement is pointless.

    • Actually, they were originally designed this way to allow emergency workers(mainly paramedics) to access floors quickly….. know your shit before pointing fingers.

  • Does not work at my office or Apartment.

    The office is brand new, though does have a key for emergency use.
    My apartment building uses a odd swipe system (no buttons, you swipe and it goes to your floor, or to ground if you leave from a occupied floor)

  • Isn’t this “hack” a common feature designed for emergency services to be able to get straight to a floor?

    • “the following tip will work on any elevator (it’s apparently designed to speed up police and emergency operations). “

    • Would have thought that is what the ‘Special Service’ key is for ?
      Pure speculation on my part though.

  • I was in Thailand last year and tried this in the lifts at MBK the super busy 7 story shopping centre. Went from the 7th floor straight to the 1st floor.

    Got a smile from the little Thai lady that was in the lift with us, and going to the same floor.

    • Got a smile from the little Thai land

      Dude seriously… that must’ve been one f***ing big elevator…

    • Ahhh MBK.
      Spent more time at Pantip Plaza (in between police raids), though it had no lifts, just two escalators.

    • Yep that fact means it won’t work in any elevator, because not all elevators have close door buttons.

      • I’ve done this in some elevators where you just need to keep holding the level, close door button isn’t needed.

  • I’m on the 16th floor of my building, highest in my lift well. This is going to be handy come lunch time when I stop about 7 times on my way down

  • Thank you for this time saving tip!

    Also, remember when you leave the elevator that it is your civic duty to ensure that anybody waiting at a floor that you ‘expressed’ gets their chance; so don’t forget to press the button of every floor as you exit the elevator.

    It’s only fair on the elevator motor that an express trip is followed up with a ‘stopping all stations’ trip.

      • Thank you so much for that. I know this thread is a year old, but I just found it and your comment gave me a great belly laugh. I am a senior and I just love you witty kids!

  • That really neat and all, but what if you happen to be in a building where the lift sends
    out an alarm to the building managers or security when you do that, and they see
    your smirkey face holding the button on the lift cctv instead of cops or ambulance drivers?

    • Glad that my lift doesnt have a cctv, because its a perfect place (when I am alone) to pull a wedgie. And if I happen to be caught “hacking” my excuse would be “It was an emergency, I have/had to pee” and pray that it work 😛

    • Pretty sure I would care, “sorry sir, I thought I was allowed to press those buttons, who are you the button police” or words to those effect.

  • This is basically an urban myth – I’ve personally read the control circuit diagrams for many elevator controls systems and there’s no such override sequence. It’ll be pure fluke that it seems to work.

    Actually I’ve often seen the close-door button is deliberately disconnected after installation. (At the owner’s request)

    As for emergency services, they have a key which provides the override. The Fire Dept key also changes the way the doors behave to be safer in case there’s a fire on the floor.

    Now it is _possible_ this sort of system _may_ have hacked into some buildings at the specific request of the owner – or the unintended consequence of they way the relay-latching circuit is built on some older controllers – but they’ll be far and few between, and it’s certainly not part of standard elevator control system I’ve looked at.

    • I try telling people this every time the myth comes up, but everyone seems to want to insist it’s real.

  • Depends on the lift. If you see a ‘fire control’ key or similar, it won’t work. Fire-fighters/emergency services have a generic key that fits this. It gives complete control of the lift. If it has the key, the close-door/level button trick won’t work.
    (Ex-tech who worked on *some* lifts. Not all makes/models)

      • That’s the name. Thanks for reminding me. You are correct. They are not restricted. They are held by lift techs, security, building property owners, emergency services etc.

        I’ve been out of the game for about 12 years now. (Counts fingers. Yup. 12 years).
        At the end of the day, I find it often faster to take the stairs anyways. I quite happily climb 7 flights of stairs. Often beat the people that wait for a lift.

        • Don’t forget everybody in the fire industry 😉 which includes portables,hydrants,passive,detection,E lights and the list goes on lol

          its amazing what a 003 will unlock if you know where to look.

  • i’ve done this probably 50 odd times in my building.

    its worked all bar 3 or so. pretty good odds. Lifts usually have traffic too. it tends to not work if someone gets on a floor or 2 after you because (im guessing) its already registered its going to stop there.

  • I’ve worked in and experimented at five fairly large office buildings since I heard about this “life hack” via 4chan in 2006. Doesn’t work consistently at any of them so I have to assume the “success” instances were just coincidental and there just didn’t happen to be any other people calling the lift in those instances.

  • So going to try this tomorrow; this better work Chris!

    “misanthropic Mondays when everyone else can go to hell.” Dude, this is every day for me from 7am until whenever i get my damned coffee.

  • Having worked on these high rise lifts and low rise lifts for well over 30 years in Aus and Asia, I can tell you it is a myth. Some lift companies may do it in software nowadays as specials but it would be rare. Fire service will do it but you need a key and doors don’t open as you may get fried.

  • No….. no, no, no…..

    This chestnut has been circulated around since the 90’s, at least.

    There are no konami codes to put an elevator into express mode. Notice the keyhole next to the buttons? Look closely and you will see one position marked FIRE, and another marked SERVICE [or something similar].
    Fire services have a key which they use to put the elevator into fire mode, at which point they have direct control of it’s every movement. [They can control the speed and stop in between floors if they want, as well as direct control over doors]
    Building management can put the elevator into Service mode. The elevator still operates as normal, except they can hold it any any floor, and put it into express mode. It is usually used when tenants are moving in/out of a floor and need constant access to the elevator [during non-peak times].

    There is a reason why they require a key to put the elevator into different modes….. you simply have to read the comments here [or, shit, even the article itself] to see why. Quite simply, it would be chaos. Imagine if everyone had control over traffic lights whenever they were coming through? It creates horrible inefficiencies and makes the elevator system completely useless.

    In summary, this is false. Plain, downright false.

    Source: Much time spent with industry professionals as well as conference talks on building infrastructure and systems [in particular, the different modes of elevators]. Additionally, I live towards the top floor of a very large [tall] residential building with two elevators. When one of them is in service mode [usually on weekends when a tenant is moving], it takes me 10 minutes to leave the building from the extra delay of one elevator in express mode. There is no way an elevator supplier would put this feature into the hands of everyone and be able to sell it as a usable product.

    • This.

      Also, and article from a 2005 edition of the New Yorker busted this myth:

      “The experts, however, say that the idea is nonsense, that elevators are not designed to do this, that people are talking crazy. “It’s just not so,” Charles Buckman, an elevator and escalator consultant in North Carolina, said the other day. “If it happens, it’s just happenstance.” He went on, “There’s no linkage in the control system between the door-control system and the floor-call system.”

    • The comments by edenist are mostly correct except that fire service does not control the speed of the lift or allows it to stop between floors.
      The service control he mentions to allow building management to move materials around is called maintenance mode in the lift industry and that is different from lift top or hand control.
      If you require more information on how lifts operate then you can contact the 3 major world companies in the Elevator business, Otis, Schindler and Kone and ask to speak to one of their Control Engineers.
      The comment by Franz asking for a key could be arranged but it needs to be kept in mind that placing a lift on fire service can be tracked and recorded. I have them (keys) but don’t use them unless required for emergency or testing purposes.

  • If you get a floor number option: 9 3/4, don’t select it. You end up at the bloody Hogwarts floor.

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