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How To Bypass A Garage Door Sensor

When garage door sensors are malfunctioning or damaged, they may prevent the garage door from closing. Bypassing faulty garage door sensors is the best solution until they are repaired. Here’s how!

5 Ways To Bypass A Garage Door Sensor 

If you want to bypass your garage door sensors, you can use one of the following methods! 

Press And Hold Garage Door Button 

The easiest way to bypass your garage door’s sensors is by using the main wall-mounted control. Your garage door control placement may differ according to manufacturer and model. However, this trick works across brands, meaning it can be used to bypass any garage door sensors! 

Before using this method, you should ensure there are no obstructions in your garage’s doorway. Not only can obstructions prevent the sensors from working properly, but they can also potentially damage your garage door. Once you’ve ensured the garage doorway is clear, you can press and hold the wall button. Doing this will override the sensors and force the door to close.

It’s important to note that releasing the button before the garage door fully closes will result in the door opening again. You should press and hold the button until the door is fully closed. Unfortunately, this method can only be used from inside the garage. 

Set Garage Door To Manual Mode 

While the previous method can override your garage door sensors, using the manual mode on your garage door is the only way to permanently bypass the faulty sensors. Like the above method, these steps will work with all automatic garage doors, regardless of manufacturer or model. You should consult your user’s manual for instructions specific to your garage door. 

Step One: Prepare Garage Door 

If you can close your garage door, it will be easier to put the door into manual mode. Should the door be open, you risk the door crashing closed and getting damaged in the process. However, if you cannot close the garage door open, you should place something under the garage door to prevent it from crashing. 

Step Two: Pull Garage Door Manual Release Cord 

If you look at your garage door’s motor, you’ll see a manual release cord hanging down. This cord is typically red. By pulling down on this cord, you’ll effectively disconnect the trolley from the door’s automatic opening system. You should pull the cord until the attached lever locks into the downward position. You may need to use a ladder to access the manual release cord. 

Step Three: Manually Operate Garage Door 

You’ll now be able to manually operate your garage door! If your garage door is closed, you’ll be able to open it manually. If the garage door doesn’t budge, you may need to pull on the release cord again. Once you’ve opened the garage door, you’ll need to prop it open with someone or ask someone to hold it open. 

If your garage door is already propped open, you can remove the obstacle and close the garage door behind you. Until you fix the faulty sensors, you’ll need to keep using an obstacle to keep the door open when it’s being used in manual mode. 

Step Four: Set Garage Door Back To Automatic Mode 

Once you’ve disconnected and replaced the faulty sensors, you’ll need to set the garage door back to automatic mode. To do this, the red manual release cord needs to be pulled towards the garage door opening. Doing this will reconnect the trolley to the automatic opening system.

Troubleshoot Faulty Garage Door Sensors

To ensure your garage door sensors are faulty, you should attempt troubleshooting the issue before disconnecting the sensors. However, if you’ve already determined your sensors are the issue, you can skip ahead to the following method of disconnecting and replacing the faulty sensors. 

Since bypassing a garage door sensor does not qualify as a repair, it is only a temporary fix to your problem. However, by troubleshooting the sensors, you may be able to fix the underlying issue. Generally, this comes down to issues with obstructions, alignment, and wiring. By following these steps, you may not need to bypass your sensors. 

Step One: Clear Any Obstructions 

When troubleshooting your garage door sensors, you should start by clearing the garage doorway of any obstructions. Any obstructions will set off the sensors and prevent your garage door from closing. You may find your garage door works properly after completing this step! 

Step Two: Clean Garage Door Sensors

Once you’ve moved any possible obstructions, you should proceed to clean the two garage door sensors. Dirt and debris have likely gathered on the sensor, preventing it from operating normally. To clean the sensors, you can use a microfiber cloth – this will prevent you from potentially scratching the garage door sensors. 

Step Three: Check Your Wiring 

When you’ve cleaned your sensors, you should inspect them for any damaged wiring. If your garage door sensors have damaged or frayed wiring, it could prevent them from working properly. If you find any frayed wiring, you’ve found the reason your garage door isn’t working properly. A professional will need to replace the wiring. 

Step Four: Ensure Sensors Are Correctly Aligned 

After you’ve checked the wiring, you should ensure the sensors are correctly aligned and facing each other. When sensors are misaligned, it prevents them from working properly. To ensure they’re aligned, you should tighten the wing nuts on each sensor. Doing this will ensure the sensors are properly secure in their brackets. 

Step Five: Test Garage Door 

Once you’ve completed these troubleshooting steps, you can try testing the garage door to see if the issue has gone away. Your garage door will need to have automatic mode engaged to test whether the problem has been solved. If your garage door is still not closing properly, you’ll need to disconnect the sensors and replace them. 

Disconnect Garage Door Sensors 

As we explained earlier, the only permanent way to bypass garage door sensors is by engaging the garage door’s automatic mode. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very convenient long-term solution. Eventually, you’ll need to disconnect your garage door sensors and replace them. When disconnecting the sensors, you’ll only be able to operate the door in manual mode until the sensors are replaced. 

Step One: Disconnect Garage Door Power Supply 

When disconnecting your garage door sensors, you’ll first need to turn off the power supply to your automatic garage door. If you can access the garage door plug, you can unplug it at the outlet. Alternatively, it’s possible to flip the circuit board switch that controls your garage’s power supply. 

Step Two: Locate Your Garage Door Sensors 

Once you’ve turned off the power supply to your garage door, you’ll need to locate the garage door sensors. With most garage doors, these sensors are located on either side of the garage door, generally near the floor. These sensors are typically made from plastic and feature LED lights. 

Step Three: Remove Sensors From Brackets 

To disconnect your garage door sensors, you’ll need to loosen the wing nuts holding the sensors in their brackets. Turn the wing nut counterclockwise to loosen it. Once you’ve loosened these nuts, you’ll be able to remove the sensors from the brackets – but they’ll still be attached with wires. 

Step Four: Cut The Wires Connecting To The Sensors 

For this step, you’ll need a pair of wire cutters. After you’ve freed the sensors from the brackets, you’ll need to cut the wires attached to the sensor. There should be two color-coded wires, which are typically white and black. As a golden rule of thumb, you’ll want to cut the wires about 1-inch away from the safety sensor. 

Step Five: Repair/Replace Garage Door Sensors

If you’re able to get your sensors repaired by a professional, you’ll be able to reattach them. However, if you’re unable to repair them, you’ll need to replace the sensors. To reattach your sensors or install new ones, the cut wires can be reattached to the sensors. Until the sensors are replaced, the only way to open the garage door will be using the manual operation mode. 

Call A Technician To Repair Garage Door Sensors 

In the previous section, we outlined the process of disconnecting and replacing faulty garage door sensors. Of course, it’s also possible to call a technician to inspect your sensors. Not only will a professional be able to replace faulty sensors, but they might be able to repair them and save you some money! 


In this article, we outlined different methods of troubleshooting or bypassing damaged or malfunctioning garage door sensors. Besides using the garage door in manual mode, there is no way to permanently bypass these sensors. Ultimately, faulty sensors will need to be replaced. However, the methods we discussed can be used to bypass your sensors until they are repaired or replaced.