How To Open Your Garage Door During A Power Outage

An automatic garage door provides incredible convenience. In bad weather, it’s great to be able to click a button, drive inside and stay dry. Unfortunately, garage doors are usually powered by your home electrical system. During power outages, doors won’t open to let you in, and if the power outage happens when your car is inside the garage, you won’t be able to leave the house. When this happens, it is important to know how to open your garage door manually, following the tips below:

Winter & Your Garage Door

Triggering the Manual Bypass

All garage door openers are equipped with a bypass switch that enables you to open your garage door manually when you lose power to your door or the remote. Usually, there is a rope with a red handle. First and foremost, you want to make sure the door is in the down position. (*It is extremely dangerous to disengage the door while it is in the up position, as it could come crashing down. If the door is stuck in the open position, contact Mile High Garage so that we can get the door down safely for you.) With the door in the closed position, you would just pull on the cord to release the spring attachment in the trolley and disengage it, so that you can open the door manually. If the power is going to be out for a while, or the opener motor is not working, and you will be opening the door manually for an extended period of time, the best practice is to pull the rope toward the motor or the back of the garage to prevent it becoming entangled in the tracks.

Reattaching the Garage Door Opener

Once power is restored, and you’re ready to reattach the opener, with the door closed, just pull the cord in the opposite direction toward the open side of the door. Then, pull the door up until it clicks into place. Those who have trouble figuring out the process can hit the buttons on their garage door opener remotes, and the track should force the spring assembly back into position.


There are several concerns for managing the door seamlessly. The door should be in a down position. If the power goes out when the door is open, and you pull on the red handle, the door may come crashing down. If this happens, here are a few things to keep in mind: • If the door is open, prop it up with 2x4s before switching to manual mode. • Clear the area of people and obstructions before releasing in the door-up position. • It may take some force to disengage the lever, but never hang from the cord or you might do damage to the lever. • If all else fails, call a professional, like Mile High Garage. If there is any damage to the cable, rope or lever, or the door opens crooked, contact our team at Mile High Garage. Our professionals have all the necessary tools to repair your system and get everything back in great working order.

Opening Your Garage Door From the Outside

If you have a detached garage, with no side doors or other way of gaining access, you can try and release the lever from the outside. To do this, at the top of your garage door, place a shim in the weather stripping, to allow enough room for a metal coat hanger. Bend the coat hanger to form a hook on one end, and try to disengage the lever from outside.

Additionally, you can install what’s called a Garage Door Quick Release Lock, which allows for exterior manual operation of the garage door in case of a power failure. For more information, click the link below: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Chamberlain-Garage-Door-Rail-Extension-Kit/3658606

Proactive Planning for Emergencies

One of the best proactive decisions is to install an opener with a battery backup feature. If you do, you won’t have to worry about a power outage, as long as you keep the battery charged. Contact Mile High Garage at (303) 908-1290, for more information!