How to Open A Locked Garage Door From The Outside

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to open a locked garage door from the outside. We understand that facing a locked garage door can be frustrating and inconvenient, but fret not! In this article, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions, tips, and alternatives to help you gain access to your garage when you’re locked out. Whether you’ve misplaced your key, the remote is malfunctioning, or you’re simply looking for alternative methods, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

How To Open A Locked Garage Door From The Outside

Understanding the Mechanism of a Garage Door Lock

Before we explore various methods to open a locked garage door, it’s essential to understand the underlying mechanism. Garage doors typically have two primary locking mechanisms: a manual lock and an automatic lock. The manual lock is usually located on the interior side of the garage door, while the automatic lock engages when the door is closed, preventing unauthorized access.

Manual Locks

  1. Locating the Manual Lock: Start by examining the interior side of the garage door. Look for a handle or a lock cylinder, which is often found near the bottom or along the sides of the door.
  2. Unlocking the Manual Lock: Insert the key into the lock cylinder, turn it counterclockwise, and ensure it is fully unlocked. Once unlocked, the door should be operable from the outside.

Automatic Locks

  1. Disabling the Automatic Lock: In case your garage door is equipped with an automatic lock, the first step is to disable it. Find the manual release cord attached to the automatic lock mechanism and pull it to disengage the lock. This should allow you to open the door manually.
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Alternative Methods to Open a Locked Garage Door

If you don’t have access to the key or the manual lock mechanism, there are several alternative methods you can try to open a locked garage door. However, please note that these methods should only be used when you have the legal authority to access the garage.

Using a Credit Card

  1. Selecting the Right Card: Choose a flexible and sturdy credit card that fits into the gap between the door and the door frame.
  2. Sliding the Card: Insert the card between the door and the frame, starting at the latch side. Wiggle and slide the card downward while simultaneously applying slight pressure to retract the latch bolt.
  3. Pushing the Door: With the card still inserted, use your other hand to push or kick the door near the latch side. The combined force should disengage the lock and open the door.

Picking the Lock

  1. Gather the Necessary Tools: To pick a lock, you will need a tension wrench and a lock pick. These tools can be purchased online or at specialized locksmith stores.
  2. Inserting the Tension Wrench: Insert the tension wrench into the lower part of the keyhole, applying slight pressure in the direction that the key would turn.
  3. Manipulating the Lock Pins: Insert the lock pick above the tension wrench and carefully manipulate the lock pins, applying upward pressure until each pin sets into place. Continue this process until all pins have been set, and the lock turns.
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Seeking Professional Assistance

If you’re unable to unlock your garage door using the aforementioned methods or you’re uncomfortable attempting them yourself, it’s best to seek professional help. Contact a trusted locksmith or garage door technician who has the expertise and tools to safely open your locked garage door.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQ 1: Can I use a hairpin to pick the lock on my garage door?

Using a hairpin to pick a garage door lock is unlikely to be successful. Garage door locks are generally more complex than typical pin tumbler locks, requiring specialized tools and techniques for successful picking.

FAQ 2: Are there any risks associated with using alternative methods to open a locked garage door?

While alternative methods may be effective in certain situations, they can potentially damage the garage door or lock mechanism. It’s important to use caution and consider seeking professional assistance if you’re uncertain or uncomfortable attempting these methods yourself.

FAQ 3: Will using alternative methods void my garage door warranty?

Using alternative methods to open a locked garage door may void the warranty, as it can result in damage to the door or its components. It’s advisable to consult your garage door manufacturer or warranty documentation to understand the implications before proceeding.

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FAQ 4: Can I call the police to help me open a locked garage door?

The police are generally not equipped to handle non-emergency situations like opening a locked garage door. It’s recommended to contact a professional locksmith or garage door technician who specializes in such services.

FAQ 5: How can I prevent getting locked out of my garage in the future?

To avoid future lockouts, consider implementing preventive measures such as installing a keypad entry system, keeping spare keys in secure locations, or ensuring your remote and key are always accessible and in working condition.


We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with valuable insights and solutions on how to open a locked garage door from the outside. Remember to exercise caution and only attempt these methods when you have the legal right to access the garage. If you’re uncertain or uncomfortable, it’s best to seek professional assistance from a qualified locksmith or garage door technician. By following the instructions and tips outlined in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to regain access to your locked garage in no time.




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