Did you remember to reprogram the garage door opener?

The longer I do this job the more I find myself mentioning to new homeowners. Sometimes I think I should just print out a pamphlet to give them instead; often they are anxiously shifting from foot to foot as they look over their shoulder at their zoom meeting nearby while I try to give them helpful information and add value to my costly visit. I let them know:

  1. about their key’s bitting,
  2. what they can do with it,
  3. how to change the batteries on their electronic lock,
  4. remind them to forward their email receipt to their insurance broker for proof they rekeyed their house to get lower rates on homeowner’s insurance
  5. If I see a garage with an electric garage opener I remind them to reset it to delete all codes and pushbutton openers that are programmed into it.

Proactive people call me out to rekey their house and often ask me to look for security vulnerabilities they might not be aware of. Even if people don’t ask I tell them to reset their garage door opener. It’s not my thing, I do it sometimes for people who are adamantly against interacting with electronics in any capacity more demanding than pushing one button but it’s so easy I like to let people know how to do it themselves for free by following instructions in the product manual found on the internet. Usually it involves one button on the garage door opener called the learn button. It is usually really obvious and labeled as such.

Disclaimer: Maple Leaf Locksmith and related entities take no responsibility for injury, wrongful death, fire, electrical shock, voodoo curses that may result from following the instructions below which are provided for entertainment value only and contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Now that that’s out of the way:

Typically the first step is to hold the learn button down for 30 seconds to a minute. This resets the garage door opener and wipes out any credentials that are paired to it. That means that “clickers” or built-in openers in modern cars will no longer work along with codes that were programmed into keypads outside the garage door. This is important because former residents and their friends might include axe murderers, junkies, lawyers….we don’t know what nefarious agents of wickedness might come back to open the garage with a credential we don’t know about.

The second step is to add credentials back in. Take a deep breath and follow the instructions in the manual for your garage door opener that you downloaded before. The instructions may seem complicated but in my experience usually can be completed in minutes. This is usually done by using the same learn button as you used to reset the opener. Most openers have you push the learn button once, then push the button on the “clicker” or remote whether stand-alone or built into your vehicle. This tells the opener to “listen” for this device.

Most vehicles built in the last twenty years include built-in remotes for garage doors. They are typically found near the sun visor on the driver’s side. These work exactly the same as a remote. They are programmed into the opener with the learn button and once programmed in the same single button is used to remotely open or close the garage door. If your vehicle doesn’t have one you can also look at your opener’s manufacturer and then go to a big box store and buy either an aftermarket or OEM remote. They are usually $15-20. They will often contain their own directions for programming to accommodate many different models.

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Bjørn Madsen

I am the Seattle locksmith you've been looking for. High Quality work at a reasonable price delivered in a timely fashion.