How To Pick A Garage Door Lock – Save Time & Money

Forgetting your garage keys happens to every person more often than you would think. I have been stuck like that on multiple occasions, waiting for the locksmith to open the garage door lock for me. But that was all before I learned how to do it myself.

garage gate

And so will you after you finish reading our article today. I will show you some easy ways to open your garage door lock when you can’t find your keys. In this how-to post, you will learn how to get into a garage with ease.

Persist, have patience with yourself, and keep practicing. You’ll get there eventually. But, for now, let’s first learn about the theory behind picking garage door locks, and after that, you can get cracking.

Getting Started

picking set

The methods I will talk about in this guide don’t require any special lock-picking tools or equipment, aside from a tension lever (or something that can be used), but will require a couple of regular household items. Things most of you probably already own or could easily purchase at your nearby market. I will teach you how to open garage door locks using a paperclip, a bobby pin, a coat hanger, or simply manually opening it from the inside.

How to Pick a Garage Door Lock with a Regular Paper Clip

To start us off, the paperclip method. This process will require using a paper clip, and you will need to bend it into the right position. You could also use a lock-picking kit and tools if you have them. That would make this feat a whole lot easier to accomplish.


Step 1 – To start you off, you will need to straighten the paperclip out, not all the way. And at its end, make a little tip faced upwards. This will help you feel and push the lock’s pins to get it to open.

Video | Affinity

Step 2 – After getting your tools ready to go, you can start. First, you will place your tension lever to keep tension on the lock. This is done by sliding it inside, slightly rotating it counterclockwise to maintain tension, and keeping it steady on the bottom edge. Next, you will insert the paper clip to the end with its tip facing upwards, away from the other paper clip. That way, you can feel all the pins inside the lock. 

put the straighten paperclip on the lever
Video | Affinity

Step 3 – After feeling for the pins, you must apply pressure. This is done by pushing down on the handle of your pick, the paper clip in this case, and pushing the pins up. This step will need to be repeated until every single one of the tumblers in the lock has been lifted.

applying pressure on the paperclip
Video | Affinity

Step 4 – After that, you should be able to easily rotate the paperclip inside the lock and get it to open. Easier said than done, though.

rotating the paperclip with pressure
Video | Affinity

How to Pick Garage Door Locks with a Bobby Pin

Next comes the same method; only this time, we will use a bobby pin. The steps are the same; only getting your “tools” ready will be different.

Step 1 – Like the paper clips, you need to open up the bobby pin and bend it at a 90-degree angle. (1)

bend bobby pin into 90 degree angle
Video | Nite 0wl

Step 2 – After that, take a knife or razor blade and cut off the rounded rubber tip on the straight side of the bobby pin, not the wavy one. This is the side that you will place inside the lock. The rest is the same as with the paper clip.

tip of a bobby pin
Video | Nite 0wl

Step 3 – The only difference is that if you don’t have a tension lever, you can make one from a second bobby pin. That is done by bending the top third of the pin so that it forms a hook. Unlike the first pin, you shouldn’t spread both sides apart on this one. Instead, bend them both together in the same direction. You’ll use this one to turn the lock after you have picked it.

put the bobby pin on the lock
Video | Nite 0wl

Open your Garage Door using a Coat Hanger.

And the last unconventional method we prepared for you today is this one. We are pulling the emergency latch using a regular coat hanger.

This method will require that you haven’t taken precautions against it. And it is quite simple. You need to thread the coat hanger through the top of your garage door until you reach the emergency latch. After doing so, hook the cord around it and slowly pull on it to disengage the safety release. Now, simply roll the door up by hand. Easy-peasy.

If you don’t have access to a coat hanger at the moment, use some kind of a hooked wire. Make sure it’s stiff enough to pull the latch and finish it.

Your Garage Door Might be your Biggest Liability

garage door

Before ending this article, we should mention that your garage door is one of the weakest links in your home security system. They are structurally weak and can be easily kicked open from the outside. Plus, no one thinks of securing the interior door of their garage, thinking that just the outer one is enough to deter any burglar from breaking in.

And after breaking into your garage, any thief would have a plethora of tools at their disposal which further helps them with the burglary. So, your entire house will be at risk because of a flimsy garage door. (2)

With the methods listed here, you should also have learned something about how your garage door can be forced open by intruders from the outside. So, hopefully, you also have an idea of how to protect yourself from that. Think about it and maybe take some extra steps to guarantee your safety.

Hopefully, we were of great help to everyone in learning how to pick a garage door lock. And next time something like this happens to you, you won’t just be standing still in front of your garage door waiting for help to arrive. You will probably be able to fix the problem yourself. That way, even in a hurry, you can finish the job as soon as possible. But remember, practice makes perfect. No one is usually successful on their first try. 

Thank you for your attention, and if you have any notes or additional ways of getting in, please leave them in the comments!

(1) 90-degree angle –
(2) liability –

Video References


Nite 0wl

Brummie Lock Picker

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