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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Programming the New 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.
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.
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.
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.