How to Replace a Garage Door Opener Remote

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If your garage door opener remote is lost or no longer works, replace it with another remote designed to work with your system. A universal garage-door opener remote works well as a replacement for many models, but it is not necessarily compatible with every opener ever manufactured.

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Determining Which Replacement Remote to Purchase

If the company that made your garage door opener is still in business, they may still make and sell remotes compatible with your opener setup. Contact the company's customer service as a first step -- it may save you from the hassle of finding a remote compatible with an older garage door opener.

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Step 1: Check the remote for information.

Inspect the old remote, if you still have it, for a model number and brand name. In some cases, this information may be inside the battery housing or on the reverse side of the battery cover.

Step 2: Write down make and model information.

Check the garage door opener's motor housing -- the large box typically hung on the ceiling where the garage door rests when it is open -- for a label indicating the manufacturer and model number. Some brands may also list a manufacturing date. Write down any pertinent information you find on both the remote and the motor housing.

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Step 3: Contact the manufacturer or local retailer.

Call the manufacturer's customer service number to order a new remote or find out which type of replacement remote is best for your opener model. If you purchased the opener from a local garage door installation company, they most likely know which remotes work with your opener -- and they may be able to sell you a new remote.

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Universal Remotes

If your opener model is no longer manufactured, it may not be easy to find a new remote designed specifically for your opener. If the garage door opener is 20 years old or newer, a universal garage-door opener remote may work as a replacement remote. Some brands may work with even older door-opener units.

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Visit a retailer that carries replacement remotes, and read the packaging of several remote models to find a suitable match. If you're unsure which is best for you, visit the universal remote company's website or call its customer service number for more information. Read product reviews to ensure you purchase a quality product.

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Programming the New Remote

Step 1: Add batteries to the remote.

Place the appropriate batteries into the new remote, if necessary. Many remotes have the batteries pre-installed. You may have to pull out a protective tab to activate the batteries.

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Step 2: Ready the motor unit.

Climb a stable stepladder and press the button on the opener's motor housing that says "learn code" or a similar phrase. The motor unit should then show a flashing light or make a sound.

Step 3: Press the remote button.

Climb down from the ladder and move at least 5 feet from the motor housing unit. Press the "open" button on the remote unit within 30 seconds to program the motor housing unit. If you have a three-button remote, choose whichever button you prefer to open the door. Look for a light or listen for a sound to indicate that the motor housing recognizes the remote.

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Step 4: Test the remote.

Push the remote's "open" button to ensure the device is working properly. If nothing happens, repeat the programming process, beginning with pressing the button on the motor housing unit.

Tip

  • Some units require you to press and hold the button to program the motor housing, while others require pressing the remote opener button twice, then again a third time to test the device. For best results, read the manuals or instruction sheets for both the opener and the new remote to ensure the devices recognize one another.
  • If your opener is more than 20 years old, the programming button or switch may be inside the motor housing unit. Contact the manufacturer or a service representative for information about how to program the unit to be compatible with a new remote.

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