How To Manually Operate Your Garage Door

As you pull up to your house, your headlights reflect off your garage door. It’s been a long day at work, and all you want to do is make dinner and enjoy a relaxing evening. You reach up and push a button on your garage remote, but nothing happens. Your garage door won’t open.

Electric garage doors save us money, time and energy — we can quickly and easily open, close or adjust the height of our doors with the push of a button. Nevertheless, there will be times when you click your garage door opener remote, and the door remains closed. Whether it's due to a power outage or an internal issue such as broken springs, a garage door that refuses to open is daunting. How will you access your garage if you can’t open the door?


When your garage door doesn’t open, you’re either locked in or out of your garage. If your garage connects to your home through an interior door, you’re in luck — manually opening a garage door from the inside is easier than opening it from the outside. If you can access the interior of your garage, follow these steps for how to manually open your garage door from the inside:


You won't alway find yourself locked out — sometimes the garage door could malfunction while you and your vehicles are still inside the garage.

If you can’t open your garage door from the outside, but you still have access to your garage through your home, don’t panic — it's typically much easier to open a garage door from the inside than from the outside. Many electronic garage doors come with a bypass switch, allowing you to override the system and manually lift it open when needed.

To locate the bypass switch, look for a red rope hanging down from your garage mechanisms. This emergency release cord will be attached to the trolley in the center of the garage door. When the cord is pulled, the automated opener carriage that normally opens and closes the door is released from the trolley. This allows the door to slide freely on the trolley without the help of the electric mechanism.

Before pulling the release rope, make sure the garage door is fully closed. If your garage door is stuck partially open and the spring inside the door is broken, the garage door will fall when the cord is released. This could cause damage to the garage door and anything that may be underneath the door when it falls. If your garage door is stuck open, contact a repair service to address the door safely.

To disconnect the opener, pull the rope down and towards the door. Many garage door release cords come prepared with a handle for easy gripping. Depending on the length of the cord and the height of your garage, you may need a ladder to safely reach the rope.

When you’ve successfully disengaged the mechanism, you will hear a “pop” which means the motor is no longer connected to the door. You should then be able to easily lift the garage door. Using both hands, grip and raise the door from the bottom. If you feel any resistance when trying to lift your garage door, stop and contact a professional. If your garage door does not open smoothly after pulling the release cord, this could mean the door is off of its track, or the springs are broken. In either case, attempting to force the door open will only cause more damage.

Keep lifting the garage door until it is fully overhead. Without the automated lifting mechanism, the door can slide back down if it is not open entirely. When closing the garage door, lower it slowly and manually lock it by sliding the lock bar.


When you manually open your garage door, it will remain in manual mode until you re-engage the door opener. As soon as you can fix the underlying issue or your home’s power comes back on, you will have to reset the door back to its automatic mode.

If you need assistance re-setting your garage door opener, be sure to contact a professional garage door repair service to examine your door.

They will be able to make sure it is reset properly to prevent damage and avoid any future problems with your garage door.


We rely on electricity to power almost every facet of our lives. Power failures lead to a long list of issues, ranging from minor inconveniences to more severe problems.

When the power goes out, the garage door shuts down — if your property experiences an unexpected power outage, you will probably end up with an unresponsive garage door on your hands.

Almost everyone experiences the occasional power outage — taking the time to make sure you and your family know how to manually open your garage door without power reduces the disruption of electricity failures.


If you’re not in the middle of a power outage and your door stops working, you might be dealing with a broken garage door spring. The springs hold the weight of the door and when the break the door becomes extremely heavy.

Trying to manually open your garage door is one of the best ways to troubleshoot your problem. Attempt to open your closed garage door — make sure to disconnect the automatic opener, then try to lift the door using the method we discussed earlier.

If your springs are in good condition, the door should lift easily with little resistance, and the door should stay up when you’ve raised it all the way. However, if your door is impossible or difficult to lift, or if it slides down once you’ve lifted it overhead, you are probably dealing with a broken garage door spring.

Garage door springs can be extraordinarily dangerous, if you suspect this is the culprit, call a professional.

Remember, for all of your garage door needs, always call a name you can trust, no job too big and no job too small.

Lake Woodlands Garage Door 832-833-2442

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