How to open a garage door manually from the outside?

How to open a garage door manually from the outside?


Opening a garage door manually from the outside may become necessary in situations where the power is out or the automatic opener is malfunctioning. While it may seem like a daunting task, with the right knowledge and tools, manually opening a garage door can be a straightforward process. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to open a garage door manually from the outside.

Locating the Emergency Release Cord

To manually open a garage door, you need to locate the emergency release cord. This cord is usually red and hangs from the garage door opener rail. The emergency release cord disengages the trolley from the opener carriage, allowing you to operate the door manually.

Preparing the Garage Door

Before attempting to manually open the garage door, it is important to ensure that it is properly balanced. An unbalanced door can be heavy and difficult to lift manually. To check the balance, close the door and disconnect the opener from the power source. Lift the door manually to about waist height and let go. If the door stays in place, it is balanced. If it falls or rises, it may require professional adjustment.

Opening the Garage Door

Step 1: Stand outside the garage door and locate the emergency release cord.

Step 2: Firmly pull down on the emergency release cord to disengage the door from the opener carriage. You may need to use some force, as the cord is designed to be secure.

Step 3: Once the door is disengaged, you can lift it manually. Place your hands on the bottom of the door, near the sides, and lift with your legs, not your back. It is important to use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury.

Step 4: Lift the door until it is fully open. Be cautious as you lift, as some doors can be heavy and may require assistance.

Securing the Garage Door

After manually opening the garage door, it is essential to secure it to prevent it from closing unexpectedly. To secure the door, you can use a vice grip or a C-clamp to clamp the door track just above one of the rollers. This will prevent the door from sliding down and potentially causing damage or injury.


Opening a garage door manually from the outside is a simple process when you know the steps involved. By locating the emergency release cord, preparing the door, and lifting it using proper techniques, you can successfully open a garage door even without power or a functioning opener. Remember to secure the door after opening it to ensure safety.


– Chamberlain: How to Manually Open Your Garage Door When the Power is Out –
– The Family Handyman: How to Open Your Garage Door Manually –