How to Manually Open a Garage Door

Whether it’s due to a power outage, broken remote, or another malfunction, it's almost inevitable that one day you’ll find yourself on one side or the other of a garage door that won’t open. No one wants to have their car stuck inside a door that won’t open, or return from an outing just to realize you can’t enter your home through your garage. To make sure you don’t get stranded either in or outside of your garage, here is how to manually open and close your garage door.

Person manually lifting a brown garage door from the bottom in Lakeside, CA.

Manually Opening Your Garage Door From the Inside

If you find yourself needing to manually open your garage door from the inside, here are the steps that you should take. Person's hand wearing a white glove, turning a manual lock on a white garage door. The person is wearing an orange shirt and black overalls, suggesting they are a professional garage door technician or a worker engaged in maintenance or installation. Step 1: Unplug your garage door opener. Typically your opener will be plugged into the ceiling close to the motor head. Locate a sturdy ladder, climb up, and disconnect the power.

Step 2: Make sure that the door is not locked before attempting to manually open it. Locate any latches securing the door and unlatch or unlock them in order to prevent damage to the door when trying to open it manually.

Step 3: Locate the emergency release cord. This cord will have a red handle and hangs from the center of the track. Pull the cord and then lift the garage door manually from the center. Lift straight up until the door no longer moves. Once the door is open and not going to close on its own, move your vehicle out of your garage.

Step 5: Once you have removed or replaced what you needed from the garage, manually pull down the door to close it and lock any latches or locks that you opened in step two.

Manually Opening Your Garage Door From the Outside

If you have a man door (otherwise known as a pedestrian door or service door) in your garage, your quickest option will be to enter the inside of your garage through either of those and follow the instructions above. If you don’t have another option for gaining entry to the inside of your garage, in order to gain entry, your garage door will need to be equipped with an emergency release kit.

Related: Increase The Resale Value Of Your Home With A New Garage Door

Two-car garage with a white paneled garage door and a single white service door to the right. There are two black sconce-style light fixtures above the garage door, and the building is painted in a light grey hue. The garage is set against a backdrop of greenery with a well-maintained asphalt driveway leading up to it. Step 1: Get the appropriate key from your emergency release kit and find the lock it fits into. In most cases, the keyhole is at the very top of the front of the door and in the center. Unlock the emergency lock on the door and inside you will find a cable. You may need a ladder to access the lock so use caution with this step.

Step 2: Pull the cable firmly. This will switch the door lifting mechanism into manual mode.

Step 3: Make sure that any additional locks or latches that are securing the door in its closed position are unlocked.

Step 4: Lift the garage door manually from the center. Lift straight up until the door no longer moves.

Step 5: Once you have removed or replaced what you needed from the garage, manually pull down the door to close it and secure it by locking any latches or locks that you unlocked in step three.

Safety Tips for Manually Operating Your Garage Door

person's hands using tools to adjust or repair a garage door in San Diego. One hand is holding a red-handled pull cord (often an emergency release for garage doors), and the other hand is working on the track or spring system that assists in the door's operation. When manually opening or closing your garage door, there are some things to keep in mind in regard to safety. Never pull the emergency release when the door is open. The release is designed to be pulled only when the door is closed. Also, when the door is released, be sure that someone is supervising the open door at all times. With the emergency pull activated, the door could suddenly close at any time causing severe injury. If you find yourself straining to lift the door, your door acts or sounds strange, or if you just aren’t confident in manually operating it, it is best to call a professional. Garage doors are extremely heavy and could cause significant harm or even death if the proper procedures aren’t followed. As with anything, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you need assistance gaining access to your garage or installing a new door with an emergency release kit feature, our expert technicians are dedicated to high-quality work and quick repairs. We pride ourselves on our skilled technicians and satisfied customers. Call us today and let us know your gate or garage door needs.