How to Trick or Bypass your Garage Door Sensors

Every garage with an automated door has probably experienced the issue of a door sensor failing to work. If your garage door reverses before closing completely, your garage door sensors are most likely to blame. It can be extremely inconvenient for a car owner if a sensor is not working.

Quick Summary of Methods:

Hold Down the Wall Button1. Press and hold down the wall button without releasing it. 2. Wait for the garage door to close fully, then release the button.
Remove the Sensors from the Mounting Brackets1. Remove the wingnuts that hold the sensors in place. 2. Using wire cutters, locate and cut the black and white wires that connect the sensors. 3. Remove the sensors.
Prop the Door Open1. Measure the distance between the door and the ground. 2. Cut two pieces of 24-inch lumber to that length. 3. Place one piece on either side of the door.
Close or Open the Garage Door Manually1. Pull down the red cord to release the trolley. 2. Lift the garage door.
Set Your Garage Door on Manual Mode1. Close your garage door fully. 2. Pull the release cord.
Cut the Wires to Permanently Bypass the Sensors1. Unplug your garage door opener from the power supply. 2. Cut the wires.
Tape the Sensors Together to Trick the Opener1. Tape the sensors using electrical tape, so the eyes face in the same direction.

I will go into more detail about each method below.

What Do Garage Door Sensors Do?

garage sensor

The objective of a garage door sensor is to keep your garage door from closing. Sensors are available in sets of two, one for each side of the garage. They each have one sensor, and those sensors are facing each other.

To signal the door to close, each sensor must be able to “see” the other. If they cannot send that signal, your garage door will stop shutting and reverse its action to open again. Two components are required for garage door sensors:

Photo-eye: Garage door sensors use a photo-eye method to operate. These infrared sensors are installed on either side of your garage door, approximately two to six inches above the ground. Pushing the remote control to open your garage door sends a signal to the sensors, causing the door to open.

However, the primary function of the eyes is to keep the door from shutting on someone or something.

The line of sight: When the door is open, and nothing is blocking it, the photo eyes on either side of the door emit an infrared beam to each other. The door will only close if the beam is not broken. (1)

How To Disable Your Garage Door Sensors

disabling garage door sensor

Some garage door openers feature diagnostic systems that might help you determine what’s wrong if it stops working. It’s a good idea to look for any warning signs that can assist you in solving the situation. Always double-check this before attempting to bypass your sensors.

To begin with, you will only be able to bypass your sensors through the wall button. So all you have to do is hold down the wall button (do not press and release). Hold the wall button until the garage door hits the floor, then let go.

If you release the button before the door touches the ground, the sensors reactivate, and the door reverses. This allows you to close the door and lock it in the down position with the opener.

Remove the wingnuts next. You should now be able to remove the sensors from their mounting brackets. Using wire cutters, look for a black and white wire that runs to each sensor. Remove roughly an inch of the brackets. Your sensors have now been deactivated.

Prop the Door Open

If the door is stuck open, use 2x4s for at least as long as the garage door opens. If you don’t have any 2x4s that fit the opening, you can make do with a strong item like a shelf. Tap the planks in between the door and the floor on each side of the garage door opening with a hammer. Even if the garage door spring is damaged, using something solid to support the door will keep it from crashing shut.

Measure the distance between your door and the ground if stuck open. Now cut two pieces of 24-inch lumber to that length. Place one piece of wood on either side of the door. You want one end to be on the ground and the other to hold up the door. (2)

This step is only necessary if the garage door is stuck and won’t fully close. To protect the safety of your garage door, another person will be required to prop it up.

Before releasing the weight of the garage, be sure everything is stable. If your garage spring is damaged, this will prohibit your garage door from slamming shut.

Close or Open the Garage Door Manually

manually opening the garage door

To close or open the garage door manually, pull down on the red cord one more, and the door will open. Pull the cable toward the motor to avoid catching it in the mechanism. Depending on the weight of the door, you may require assistance. All the more motivation to get those sensors repaired as soon as possible!

Remove anything that was holding the garage door open. Inform your friend that they must be prepared to hold the garage door open while you remove the objects holding it up. Lift the bottom of your garage door. It should be able to move without difficulty. If you find that it is difficult to move, this indicates that the springs have been destroyed.

To return to automatic mode, open the door while drawing the cable towards the door. Pull the cable towards the garage door entrance while opening the garage door. This will reconnect your garage door to the automatic track and reactivate the automatic mode. You should now be able to use your open button.

Set Your Garage Door on Manual Mode

garage door in manual mode

Before switching to manual mode, close your garage door completely. If your garage door spring becomes faulty, it can collapse.

Most automatic garage doors have a manual release to control your door. This is normally a long red rope that hangs from your door’s track. Pulling on this red rope will free the trolley from the garage door track, allowing you to open the door manually.

If your garage door does not appear to have a release cord, consult the manual for information on disabling the automatic features.

How to Permanently Bypass Garage Door Sensors

You are not recommended to disable your sensors if you have pets or children in danger.

Make sure that your garage door opener is unplugged from the power supply. Also, be certain that the door is closed. The actions that follow will only work if your sensors are still operational.

If you’re not comfortable with wiring, don’t go any further.

Cut the Wires


Tape the Sensors Together

Tape your sensors with electrical tape, so the eyes are pointed in the same direction. This will fool your garage door opener into thinking the sensors are operating well.

(1) infrared –
(2) lumber –

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