How to Open Garage Door Manually From Outside

Here is a video you can watch, explaining how to effortlessly open your garage door from outside.

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How to Open Garage When Power is Out from Outside: A Comprehensive Guide

Losing power can be a frustrating and inconvenient experience, especially when you need to access your garage. In this article, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step process on how to open garage when power is out from outside. With these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to open your garage door safely and efficiently even when the power is out.

Understanding the Emergency Release Cord

Before we dive into the steps for opening your garage door manually, it’s essential to understand the emergency release cord. This cord is a crucial component of your garage door system that allows you to disconnect the door from the opener and operate it manually in case of power outages or other emergencies.

Step-by-Step Guide to Open Your Garage Door During a Power Outage

1. Ensure Safety First

Before attempting to open your garage door manually, make sure to disconnect any electrical devices, such as garage door openers, that might pose a hazard during the power outage. Additionally, inform everyone in your household about your plan to open the garage door to avoid accidents.

2. Locate the Emergency Release Cord

The emergency release cord is typically a red rope with a handle attached to the garage door trolley. The trolley connects the garage door to the opener, and the cord is usually hanging from the center rail of the garage door system.

3. Access the Garage Door from Outside

To open the garage door from outside, you’ll need to find a way to access the emergency release cord. One common method is to use a coat hanger or a similar object to reach the cord through the gap between the top of the garage door and the door frame. Carefully hook the hanger onto the handle and pull down to release the cord.

4. Disconnect the Garage Door from the Opener

Once you’ve pulled the emergency release cord, the garage door will be disconnected from the opener. You’ll now be able to operate the door manually.

5. Lift the Garage Door Manually

With the door disconnected from the opener, carefully lift the door until it’s fully open. Make sure to use proper lifting techniques to avoid strain or injury. You may need the assistance of another person, especially if the door is heavy or difficult to lift.

6. Secure the Door in the Open Position

When the garage door is fully open, ensure that it is securely held in place. You can use a vice grip or a similar tool to lock the door in the open position by clamping it onto the track just below the bottom roller.

Reconnecting the Garage Door After the Power is Restored

Once the power is back on, you’ll need to reconnect the garage door to the opener. To do this, simply pull the emergency release cord again to re-engage the trolley. Then, use the garage door opener to close the door. The opener will automatically reattach itself to the door.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I open my garage door if the power is out and I don’t have an emergency release cord?

Yes, you can still open your garage door manually if you don’t have an emergency release cord. You’ll need to disengage the door from the opener manually, which can be more difficult and may require the help of a professional.

How can I prevent being locked out of my garage during a power outage?

One way to avoid being locked out is to install a battery backup system for your garage door opener. This system will allow your opener to function even during power outages. Alternatively, you can install an external key release, which provides a way to manually open your garage door from the outside using a key.

How often should I test my garage door’s manual operation?

It’s a good idea to test your garage door’s manual operation at least once or twice a year. This will ensure that the emergency release cord and other components are functioning correctly and help you become familiar with the process in case of an actual power outage or emergency.

People Also Ask

How do I reset my garage door after a power outage?

After a power outage, you may need to reset your garage door opener to restore normal operation. To do this, simply press the “open” button on your garage door remote or wall control panel. The garage door should reconnect to the opener automatically. If this does not work, you may need to refer to your garage door opener’s user manual for specific reset instructions.

Can a power outage damage my garage door opener?

Power outages typically do not cause damage to garage door openers. However, power surges that can occur when power is restored might potentially harm your garage door opener’s electrical components. It’s advisable to use a surge protector to safeguard your garage door opener from possible damage.

Can I use my garage door opener during a power outage with a battery backup?

Yes, if your garage door opener has a battery backup system, you can continue using the opener during a power outage. The battery backup provides enough power for your garage door opener to operate for a limited number of cycles until the power is restored.

How long does a garage door opener battery backup last?

The lifespan of a garage door opener battery backup depends on the specific model and usage. On average, a battery backup can provide power for 24 to 48 hours or approximately 20 open/close cycles. It’s essential to regularly check and replace the battery as needed to ensure optimal performance during power outages.


Knowing how to open a garage when power is out from outside is essential for every homeowner. By understanding the emergency release cord’s function and following our step-by-step guide, you can safely and efficiently open your garage door during a power outage. Make sure to test your garage door’s manual operation periodically and consider installing a battery backup system or an external key release to prevent being locked out in case of emergencies. With these tips, you’ll be better prepared to handle any power outage situation that affects your garage door.

How to Open The Garage Door From The Inside Manually

  • Unlock the door: you need to open the locks or latches if you have any outside your garage door and make sure they won’t interfere when manually opening the door.
  • Unplug the opener: even if there’s a power outage, you still need to disconnect the cord to the automatic door opener.
  • Find the emergency release cord: You can find this hanging from the center rail of the garage door track and has a red handle. This red cord is attached to the trolley and serves as a connection for the arm of your garage door to the center track
  • Note: Only use the emergency release handle if the garage door is closed
  • Pull the cord: this cord will allow you to move the garage door manually by disconnecting the garage door from the trolley.
  • Lift the garage door: slowly pull the door upward until it stops moving. Make sure someone or something holds it in place before letting go so that your car may go out of the garage.
  • Close the door: After you’ve made it outside, pull it down and close it again.

Here is a video on how to manually open your door from the inside.

How to manually open the garage door from the outside

  • Locate the emergency release kit: You need to find a small lock near the center top of your garage door. This lock keeps an emergency release cable.
  • Unlock the emergency release cord: to reveal the cable, you need to turn the key and pull out the lock tumbler. Unlocking this cord will result in its releasing, which then turns into manual state.
  • Unlock the garage door: there is another lock found on the lower portion of the emergency release kit. This lock keeps the door itself closed. You then unlock the door with the key and turn the handle to be vertical.
  • Lift the door: pull the garage door upward and make sure something or someone is holding it to stay open until your car gets inside the garage.
  • Close the door: after entering, pull the garage door downwards and close it entirely.

Safety Tips for Manually Opening Your Garage Door

Safety must be your priority when opening the garage door manually.

These are one of the many things you need to look out for:

  • Unplug the automatic door opener: It is important to unplug any cords connected to electricity, including your garage door opener. The sudden return of power may lead to accidents as it will try to open the door while disengaged, resulting in harder reconnection.
  • Know when to contact experts: When disengaging the trolley and you see that the garage door is difficult to move, then the spring might be causing the trouble. You need to contact your nearest garage door experts to fix and replace the springs.
  • Don’t pull the emergency release when the door is open: It is best to leave it if your garage door is open and you don’t know how to close it during a power outage. Never use the emergency release, because this will result in the door crashing down with all its weight. Just wait until the power comes back before closing the door.
  • Don’t leave the open door unattended: If power is out and your overhead door is still open, then you better steer clear from it, especially the children. If you left it disengaged from the automatic opener, then even a strong wind can forcefully shut it down.

How to Minimize Opening the Garage Door Manually

A power outage is an unknown variable; you never know when it will strike.

Thus knowing how to open your garage door manually is necessary.

But you can prevent this by installing an automatic garage door opener, with a backup battery feature of course.

Your garage door will still open with a backup battery feature even if there’s a power outage.

Not only this but also your keypad and safety sensors will still operate.

But if you can’t open your garage door after trying all the steps above, then it might be damaged.

That’s when you need to call for professional help.

Call for Professional Help

We at Overhead Door Repair Pros in Edmonton are the right experts for your common garage door repair problems.

We have an in-house team of garage door repair technicians who will fix your garage door assembly.

We’ll make it our goal to give you a smooth, safe, and reliable garage door. Call us at (587) 804-2072.

Manually opening your garage door FAQ

Can you open a garage door manually?

Most modern garages should come with an emergency release kit, a system installed into your garage that allows you to manually open the door from the inside or outside.

Why can't I open my garage door manually?

This is mostly due to misalignment, damage or clogging of the garage door track - it can be a serious problem when attempting to open your garage door smoothly. Telltale signs of track issues are gaps between rollers and the rail, misshapen elements, a rubbing noise, or a stiff feel when opening. For more information feel free to contact us.

Are garage doors easy to break into?

If your garage door is not properly secured, it should be relatively easy for thieves to break into your home. Need help? contact us.

Can you manually open a garage door with a broken spring?

If your garage door has a broken spring and you must access the garage or open it for any reason, the best and safest thing to do (although not recommended) is to open it manually. Use Extreme Caution! Disengage the door from the opener, and carefully lift the door up. For more information watch the above videos or give us a call.

Notice: The advice in this article is purely for educational purposes directed at garage owners in need of assistance breaking into their own garage.

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John Taylor

John Taylor

Working in the garage door services industry has it's rewards. I get to do what I love and learn more and more as time goes by. In this blog I share with my followers and readers all that I know so they can make a calculated decision before calling for a service on their door. Hope you enjoy.

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