How to Open a Garage Door Manually

Like anything with moving parts, an automatic garage-door opener can malfunction. Most of these doors now have mechanical openers that make opening and closing them as easy as pushing a button. When a malfunction occurs, you will need to open your garage door manually until a replacement can be found.

Garage doors are designed to be opened manually.
  1. Open any locks and latches that are keeping the door locked from the outside. If the garage is locked, usually one side of the clasp will be attached to the house, with the locking mechanism on the garage. Remove the lock and open the catch.

  2. Unlock any interior locks that may be holding the garage in place. Some garage doors have sliding locks on the bottom or on the sides that slide from the door into the track, keeping the door in place. Make sure these are in their open position.

  3. Pull down on the string attached to the slider if you have a mechanical garage door opener. This will unhook the slider from the screw that makes the door automatically open and close. You can then move the door back and forth on the track because it is not connected to the motor.

  4. Inspect the door to determine how the door opens. Some garage doors roll up via tracks into the garage. These doors are usually built in sections that move up one by one. Other doors are all one piece and need to be pushed out from the bottom and will swing upwards. Once you have decided on what type of door you have, pull the door up or push it out to open.


  • Garage doors are heavy and can cause damage if they fall on you. Make sure the garage door is in the full up position before letting go. Also, keep kids away from the door while performing this operation.
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