How to Open a Garage Door Manually from Outside

Opening a garage door manually from the outside can be crucial during power outages or if the remote control fails. This guide will help you understand the process, ensuring you can access your garage in any situation.

Understanding Manual Garage Door Release

The first step in opening your garage door manually is to locate the manual garage door release. This is usually a red cord hanging from the trolley that moves along the rail. The cord disconnects the door from the opener, allowing you to lift it manually. However, accessing this release from outside requires specific steps and tools.

Steps to Open Garage Door Without Power

  1. Locate the Emergency Release Kit: Many garage doors come with an emergency release kit. This kit is installed on the outside of the door and consists of a lock and a key. The key, often referred to as the garage door emergency key, allows you to unlock the release mechanism.
  2. Unlock the Emergency Release: Insert the key into the lock cylinder located at the center top of your garage door. Turn the key and pull out the lock tumbler to expose a cable. This is the manual release cable.
  3. Activate the Manual Release: Pull the release cable to disengage the door from the opener. This will allow you to lift the door manually. Be cautious as the door might be heavy.
  4. Lift the Garage Door: With the door disengaged from the opener, lift it from the bottom. Ensure you have a firm grip and lift it smoothly to avoid any injury.

Emergency Garage Door Opening

If you don’t have an emergency release kit installed, there are still ways to perform an emergency garage door opening. For instance, you can use a coat hanger to fish the release cord through the top of the door if there’s a gap. However, this method can be tricky and might require professional assistance.

Access Garage Door Without Remote

In situations where you need to access your garage door without a remote, having a backup plan is essential. Ensure you have an emergency release kit installed. Regularly check and maintain the kit to ensure it works correctly when needed.

Professional Help from Integrity Garage Door Repairs in Richmond

If you encounter issues or need assistance with your garage door, consider contacting professionals like Integrity Garage Door Repairs in Richmond. They offer expert services, including installing emergency release kits, repairing manual release mechanisms, and ensuring your garage door operates smoothly even during emergencies.


Knowing how to open a garage door manually from outside is crucial for emergency situations. By understanding the manual garage door release process, keeping a garage door emergency key handy, and maintaining your emergency release kit, you can ensure seamless access to your garage anytime. For any garage door repairs or installations, relying on professional services like Integrity Garage Door Repairs in Richmond is a smart choice to keep your garage door in optimal condition.