How to Reset a Garage Door Opener

The age of your garage door opener determines the method you need to use to reset it. Older garage door openers use dual in-line package switches that link remote controls with the motorized opener, where the remotes have to be set to the same switch positions found on the motorized unit: On or Off. Newer garage door openers have abandoned this method and have opted for wireless technology.

Resetting a newer model garage door opener is just a matter of pressing a few buttons. Sometimes you may need to unplug the motorized until and wait a minute before plugging it back in to reboot the unit. Before resetting the garage door opener, verify that the manual handle is not engaged. The unit won't work if the opener was locked by the manual pull.

Examine the Motorized Opener

To determine the type of garage door opener you have, climb a stepladder and have a flashlight handy to carefully examine it. On the side of the opener that faces the house, look carefully for one of two items: a Smart or Learn button or a series of small numbered switches -- the number of switches depends on the manufacturer of the garage door opener -- for example, Nos. 1 to 9, set in On and Off positions. A manufacturer of universal garage door remotes says that most garage door openers sold after 1997 have the Smart or Learn button feature instead of the DIP switches.

Garage Door Fails to Operate

A power outage or spike can play havoc with electric devices. If your garage door fails to operate, unplug the unit for at least 1 minute and up to 5 minutes, depending on the model you have, to allow it to complete a power reset. After the allotted time has passed, plug the opener back into the power outlet.

Newer Garage Door Openers

Erase the codes on the remotes and keypads first by holding the learn button until it stops blinking. Wait a minute or two, and then press the Smart or Learn button and release on the opener; the indicator light on the motorized opener should stay lit for up to 30 seconds. To reset the garage door openers, depress and hold the programming button on the hand-held remote, while the indicator light is on.

When the indicator light on the motorized opener begins to blink, release the button on the hand-held remote. If the opener does not have indicator lights, you should hear two distinct clicks that let you know the programming was completed.

Older Openers

Examine the DIP switch settings and make note of their positions. For example, if you have a unit with 6 DIP switches, with every second one toggled Off and the rest toggled On, repeat this pattern on the handheld remote so that it matches the opener. You generally cannot use newer universal remotes that lack DIP switch-setting capability with older garage door openers.