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How To Program A Garage Door Opener

How To Program A Garage Door Opener

Most garage doors are equipped with a garage door opener, which eliminates the need to open and close the door manually. Garage door openers are programmed to respond to a wireless signal from one or more remotes.

Whether you just purchased a new garage door opener or a new remote, you will need to know how to program your opener so you can operate your garage door effortless.

We hear from a lot of homeowners who need help programming their opener, so we thought we might be able to provide some helpful instruction.

Here’s how to program a garage door opener …

How Your Garage Door Opener Works

The way your garage door opener works will depend on how old it is. Older models use code switches. These switches in your remote will be set to ‘on’ or ‘off’, in a unique pattern. The same set of switches will be found in the garage door opener, meaning the two will recognize each other and the door will open when you bring them into contact.

Newer models use something called ‘rolling codes‘. This is a digital system, where the code to open the door changes every time you use it. This is a security measure, ensuring that no one can use a similar remote to open your door, as they still won’t have the right code.

Garage door openers use radio frequencies to communicate. Most commonly, these are around 300 MHz – 390 MHz. If you want to know what frequency your opener uses, you’ll find it’s printed somewhere on the device.

How To Program A Garage Door Opener

If you’re wondering how to program a garage door opener, it’s often much more simple than you’d think. Here’s how you’ll program your opener to match with your remote and open your garage door when you get home at the end of the day.

Step one: You’ll need to locate a new remote that will work with your garage door opener. If you already have the remote that came with the system, then you can just use that. If you don’t, then it’s best to buy a remote that’s from the same manufacturer as your opener.

Step two: You’ll need to clear any old garage door codes that are on your remote. How you do this will depend on the model of remote you have, so consult the instructions to see how to do it.

Step three: Now, you need to find the ‘learn’ button on your remote. This could be under a panel in your remote, so read your instructions if you’re not able to find it.  Outside your garage, hold it down until the LED light on your remote blinks. Once this is happening, press the open button once, to see if the garage door opens. This should be enough to program your garage door opener into your new remote.

As you can see, it really is very simple to program that garage door opener. If you have an older model, you’ll need to set the switches so they match in both opener and remote. If this is the case though, you may be better off getting a newer garage door opener. They’re a lot more secure and will stop anyone not authorized from getting into your garage.


Are you finding that you can’t get your garage door opener to recognize your remote? Don’t worry, here are some tips to help you get it working again.

  • Unplug your garage door opener for a moment, then plug it back in and try again. This works in very much the same way as rebooting your PC or phone. This should clear the system and allow it to be reprogrammed.
  • Ensure that you’re close enough to the garage door opener that it can receive the signal from the remote. If you’re too far away, it can’t read it and so the door will not open.
  • Replace the battery in the remote. It sounds simple, but it’s so simple that people forget that this could be a problem. Take the old batteries out, polish the contacts if needed, and place in fresh batteries to see if this works.
  • Check the neighbor’s garage door frequency. If you find you’re pressing the button and nothing is happening, it could be that your remote is actually opening your neighbor’s door instead. This happens when you and your neighbors have garage door openers that are on the same frequency. Talk to your neighbors and ask them if their garage door is going haywire. If this is happening, you can reprogram your door to work on a different frequency. Check your manual to see how to do it.
  • Check your garage door springs. If the remote won’t open the door, it may not be the fault of your garage door opener at all. Your garage door springs are what do the heavy lifting when you open the door. When they break, your door won’t be able to open. You’ll see right away if they’re broken, so get them replaced and you should have your functionality back.

A Word On Security

When programming your garage door opener, remember that the opener is one of your first lines of defense for your home. You want to ensure that only the right people are able to access your garage. Think about it like handing out your house keys. You wouldn’t give a set to just anyone, would you? It’s the same with your garage door remotes. Only give a programmed remote to those who you want to have access to your home.

If you have an older system, now’s the time to look at a replacement, too. There’s a good reason why the industry has switched over to rolling codes. With an old system, anyone could replicate the code the opener accepts, gaining access to your home. Upgrade to a new opener and make your home more secure.


Now that you know how to program a garage door opener, you can rest assured your garage door will respond to the remote in your garage as well as the remote in your vehicles.

If, however, you run into trouble when programming your garage door opener, you can always give your local garage door service provider a call for help.

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