Let’s say you’ve made it – you’re where you always wanted to be, with the nicest looking garage door around. Things almost could not be better. You’ve come home after a great day out with the family, and the headlights fall over the familiar sight of your garage door. You press the button on the remote, and nothing happens. The batteries are fresh – you just replaced them. Well, shoot! Now how are you gonna get your garage door open? Maybe it’s the opposite, and you’ve got your car stuck in the garage. Or maybe you just forgot how to do it? Luckily, it’s a pretty simple process to fix a pretty standard problem. This week, we are reviewing the process on how to manually open your garage door step-by-step.


Do not try to disengage the opener if your garage door is already open. If there’s something wrong with your spring, you could seriously injure yourself and cause a lot of damage to your garage door when the whole thing slams down to the ground. Instead, call us if your door is stuck open, and we’ll get it down safely.


Unlocking Everything

First of all, make sure any locks are unlocked. It won’t do you any good if the door is locked by the time you manage to open it. Similarly, unplug the opener. Since it might be having issues, you’ll want to disconnect power to your opener unit. Every garage door opening system has an emergency release cord. This will be a red cord on the rail between the motor and the garage door. This is called the trolley or carriage. It is usually connected through a bar, chain, or cable that will run alongside the top of your garage. When you find the red cord, give it a pull with a controlled motion until the garage door disengages from the trolley.

Check Everything

Once disengaged, take a quick look at the tension spring and make sure it doesn’t appear damaged in any way, and then check the rails for any damage or blockage. Sometimes a fallen box or slipped track can keep the door from opening. If it all looks good, you should be able to open your garage manually by lifting from below. Be sure to run the garage door along its full range so you can detect any other problems there might be. Make sure the door stays open long enough for you to get your car inside or outside, and then close and lock the garage door again.

If you happen to be outside and can’t enter the garage from any other entrance, your garage door should have a small lock near the top center. You’ll need the key to this lock, but opening it will reveal a separate emergency release cable. Pull it just like you would from the inside to disengage the garage door from your opener unit, and then check it in all the same ways once you’re inside.

Have You Tired Unplugging it & Plugging it Back in?

When you’re done, be sure to check for anything that might be faulty. Then, shut the door, and try plugging in your garage door opening unit again. If you have an automatic trolley, you should just be able to tap a button on your remote and watch the trolley reconnect to your garage door. If not, you’ll have to guide the arm back to the trolley yourself. Raising the door a foot or two should be enough for you to hear it reconnect.

If You Need Help

However, if you have to manually open your door repeatedly, there’s no shame in calling a professional! There could be a larger issue at play. These are heavy-duty machines, and we’re here to help. If your opening unit seems fried or you’ve got a damaged spring, or a slipped rail, don’t hesitate to call the friendly, qualified professionals at Straight Up Garage Doors!

Published On: July 13th, 2021 / Categories: Articles /