Haslemere Office:

01428 748 277

Waterlooville Office:

023 9343 0058

How to Open a Locked Garage Door Without a Key

If you are locked out of your garage and need to know how to open the garage door manually from the outside, you’ve come to the right place! Garage doors provide convenience and security to our homes, safeguarding our vehicles and valuable items. However, situations may arise where you find yourself locked out of your garage without a key. Whether you’re locked out from the outside or inside, it’s important to have a few methods up your sleeve to regain access before contacting your local locksmith.

How to Open a Locked Garage Door:

Depending on your situation with your locked garage, follow the necessary steps below and we’ll guide you on how to open a garage door manually.

How to Open a Garage Door From the Outside:

Pick the Lock

Lockpicking might seem like something out of a spy movie, but it’s a legitimate skill that can be handy in certain situations, especially if you have lost your garage door key. If your locked garage door features an exterior handle and has a traditional lock with a keyway, you can use a diamond pick and an L-key to open it. 

To open your locked garage door without a key, place the L-key at the bottom of the lock hold, and then insert the diamond pick at the top. Move it to lift the tumblers. The lock should rotate so you can open it.

Use a Makeshift Key

When trying to open a garage door from the outside without a key, consider crafting a makeshift key from a rigid material such as a plastic card or thin metal strip. Search for an object that matches the size of the key, and carefully insert it into the lock until it catches. Then begin to apply pressure to the latch whilst pushing or jiggling the door. 

The latch on your garage door should then release, allowing you access to the garage. This technique, although not guaranteed to work on all locks, can serve as an emergency solution to open your locked garage door from the outside. 

How to Open a Garage Door From the Inside:

locked out garage tools

Break the Lock

If you are attempting to open a locked garage door from the inside without a key, attempt to bypass the lock. To do this, take a sturdy tool, such as a flathead screwdriver or a crowbar, and carefully insert it between the door frame and the locking mechanism. Applying gradual pressure and leverage, work to generate enough force that will disengage the lock.

It’s crucial to bear in mind that this technique should be regarded as a last resort due to its potential to cause damage to both the door and the lock itself. A safer and more effective solution for keeping your garage safe is to seek professional assistance from a reliable locksmith.

Pull the Emergency Release Cord

First of all, locate the cord. The emergency release cord is usually red and hangs from the garage door opener mechanism. Then begin to gently pull down on the cord to disengage the door from the automatic opener track, this allows you to manually lift the door open.

Remember, while this method offers a quick escape, it’s vital to do so with caution and support the weight of the door as you lift it. Keep in mind that activating the emergency release cord may leave your garage vulnerable, so prioritise re-engaging the opener once you’re out.

Contact your Local Locksmith

Contacting your local locksmith is the most practical and recommended method when trying to open a locked garage door without a key. Professional locksmiths such as ourselves at Veteran Locksmiths possess the expertise to address a range of lock-related issues without causing further damage. Our team can accurately assess the situation and determine the best approach efficiently without compromising your garage’s integrity. 

DIY methods, while tempting, can lead to irreversible harm to the lock or the door itself, potentially resulting in additional expenses for repairs.

Contact Your Local Locksmith

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Force a Garage Door Open From the Outside?

You can force a garage door open from the outside if your garage door is manual and doesn’t operate by a motorised opener. A motorised mechanism means that manipulating the door’s manual component allows for external opening. 

However, it’s crucial to take caution and use appropriate techniques or contact your local locksmith to avoid damaging the door or its locking mechanism.

Is There a Way to Manually Open a Garage Door?

Yes, it is possible to manually open a garage door, especially if it’s equipped with a manual release mechanism. This is by releasing the emergency cord or lever that disengages the door from the automatic opener, allowing you to lift manually. This can be particularly useful in situations where the power is out or the opener is malfunctioning

Can Someone Open My Garage Door Without My Opener?

Someone can open your garage door without your opener by hacking into the garage door’s wireless signal, using a universal remote that can mimic garage door frequencies or physically forcing the door open. To enhance your garage security upgrade to high-security locks, keyless entry systems, security cameras or motion sensors.

Contact Your Local Locksmith

warning-filled Need Help?

If you are currently locked out of your house, or experiencing another locksmith emergency, get in touch straight away - we could be with you in under an hour.

Murray - Veteran Locksmiths


Murray is a seasoned locksmith with a wealth of expertise in the field. As the founder of Veteran Locksmiths, he combines his extensive knowledge of locks and security, with years of experience servicing the South Coast delivering excellent locksmithing solutions. Murray's dedication and commitment to exceptional service has earned him a reputation as a trusted and reliable expert in the industry.

Trusted By You

Veteran Locksmiths

Local mobile locksmith offering emergency, commercial and domestic locksmith services. Covering the whole of Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey.


01428 748277

Our Locations

Haslemere Office

20 West Street,
GU27 2AQ *

*This is a virtual office address for receiving post.

Waterlooville Shop

153 Milton Road,