How to Open a Garage Door Manually

by Team eLocal
A pair of human hands open a white garage door manually from the inside

You expect your garage door to open automatically with the push of a button, but a power outage can send you back to the days before automatic garage doors were common.

Opening a garage door manually is a must if you need to get your car in and out during power outages.

How to Open a Garage Door Without Power?

The most important thing to remember is to only disengage the garage door opener when the door is closed. Pulling the release cord while the garage door is open will cause it to slam shut, which can cause serious injury if anyone is in the way. It can also damage the garage door.

With the garage door closed, follow these steps:

Garage door PVC

1. Unlock your garage door if you have any locks engaged.

2. Pull the cord on the garage-door opener to disconnect the power.

3. Locate the emergency release cord, which should be a red rope. You'll find it along the center rail.

4. Pull on this cord to disconnect your garage door from the trolley.

5. Lift the door to open it manually. Garage doors are heavy and take some effort to open. Open it from the middle.

6. Use the sliding lock to secure the door closed while the power is out. Anyone can open the garage door when it's disconnected from the trolley.

As soon as you let go of the door, it can close and can slam down on you. Handle the garage door with caution when you're operating it manually.

How Do You Manually Close a Garage Door?

The door will likely roll down to a closed position on its own if you let go of it. If it doesn't you can simply pull it down, rolling it along the track manually. Use caution when closing the door since you don't have the normal safeguards that make the door stop or reverse direction if something is in its path.

How to Open a Garage Door Manually From Outside

If you don't have another door with a key that allows you to get into your home and inside the garage, you might be in a tricky spot if there’s a power outage. To avoid such a situation, make sure you have an emergency door kit installed on your garage door. You insert the key, turn it and pull out the lock tumbler, which releases the door for you and allows you to open it manually. Then, just lift the garage door from the outside.

What to Do When the Power Comes Back On

When your power is restored and you no longer need to open the garage door manually, you need to reconnect the door to the trolley.

Follow these steps:

1. Plug the garage-door opener back in to restore power to the unit.

2. Unlock the garage door if you have the sliding lock engaged.

3. Ensure the garage door is in the closed position.

4. Pull the emergency cord down and toward your garage-door opener. On some models, you need to pull the cord toward the garage door. It should click into place once it's reattached.

5. Open and close the garage door with the opener to make sure everything is working smoothly.