How to Handle a Lost Garage Door Opener Remote Situation

There are a few items that are particularly frustrating or worrisome if they’re lost, and some people will definitely include their garage door opener remote on this list. At the same time, losing your remote is no reason to panic – if you know the right basic steps to take, it’s a simple enough situation to remedy.

At Accent Garage Doors, we’re here to help with all garage door needs, from simple issues like a lost garage door opener remote to garage door repair, new garage door installation and more. Here’s a basic primer on how to handle a situation where you’ve lost your garage door opener remote, plus some basic tips at the end on how to avoid any such situations in the future.

lost garage door opener remote

Don’t Panic

First and foremost, while it may be frustrating to have lost the remote, don’t panic. It’s likely that you’ll be able to easily remedy the situation with a few simple steps.

For starters, know that simply losing your garage door opener remote does not mean that you’ll be permanently locked out of your garage. Most garage doors have an emergency release mechanism that allows you to open the door manually from the outside, usually in the form of a string or cord located near the bottom of the garage door. This will allow you access to your car and other items stored in your garage, such as tools and equipment, until you sort out the issue.

In addition, while it’s natural to have some concerns about security, you don’t need to worry about any unauthorized people using the lost remote and accessing your home, as most garage door opener remotes have a rolling code that changes every time the remote is used.

Make Sure the Remote is Really Missing

Before you go down the path of replacing the remote, make sure it’s really gone. Check your car, other bags and pockets that you may have absentmindedly placed the remote in, or around the house to see if you can find it.

If this doesn’t do the trick, be sure to check with your spouse and any other people who may have access to your garage, such ‐ children, family members and housemates. Just ask them if they might have seen the remote or borrowed it at any point.

Disabling the Opener

If you do determine that your garage door opener is indeed lost, and particularly if you’re worried it was stolen or that you lost it in a public place, the first step is to disable the opener. This is a simple process – just press and hold the button on the garage door opener until it turns off completely, which will effectively deactivate your remote.

This is just a temporary step, of course. Disabling the remote allows you to buy time to purchase a replacement, as well as ensuring that no one is able to use the lost remote and gain access to your garage or home.

Spare Remote

In many cases, your home’s garage door setup will have come with a spare remote. These are usually kept inside your home, near the garage door opener itself. If you have such a spare remote and can locate it, you’re in luck!

In this case, you won’t even have to head to the store to get a replacement. All you’ll have to do is follow the instructions on the garage door opener unit to program the new remote, and you should be all good to go.

Purchase a Replacement

If your home doesn’t have a spare remote or you can’t locate it, the next step is to purchase a replacement. This is rather simple – just look up your garage door brand online and find their website, and you should be able to purchase an exact replacement model of the remote.

Before going this route, make sure to verify that your brand of garage door is compatible with universal remotes, as some are not. If it is compatible, then you can buy a universal remote (which will usually be slightly cheaper than purchasing an exact replacement) and program it to your garage door opener.

Avoiding Lost Garage Door Remote Issues

From a proactivity standpoint, here are some basic tips on how to avoid losing your garage door opener remote in the first place:

  • Store it in the same place: Putting your garage door remote in the same place every time will ensure you always know where it is. This could be in the glove box of your car, a kitchen drawer, entryway table, or any other easily-remembered spot.
  • Keep multiple remotes: Keeping several copies of the same remote (or even investing in a multi-button remote) will help you avoid this issue entirely. This way, if one goes missing you’ll have backups to fall back on.
  • Label it: Putting a label on your remote with contact information (or even just your name and address) can help ensure its safe return in the event it does get lost.
  • Secure your vehicle: Many people store their remote in their vehicle, so it’s important to make sure your car is always securely locked up when not in use. This way, you won’t have to worry about someone taking the remote from inside.

For more on how to respond to a lost garage door opener remote situation, or to learn about any of our garage door openers or garage door products, speak to our team at Accent Garage Doors today.