What is a Garage Door Opener Remote?

Ken Black
Ken Black
A garage door opener remote can remotely operate a garage door, including opening and closing it.
A garage door opener remote can remotely operate a garage door, including opening and closing it.

A garage door opener remote is a device that can open garage doors from a location outside of the garage. These usually work by sending a radio signal to the garage door opener, which is usually specific to an automatic garage door opener. The garage door opener remote usually comes with any new opener, but replacement models can also be bought, some of those being universal in nature.

The garage door opener remote is a vital piece of equipment. Most of the time, a remote is simply a button, or multiple buttons on an electronic device. In some cases, it may be a keypad. While keypads operate somewhat differently, they still send the same radio signal to the garage door. It simply just requires the correct combination before a signal is sent.

Some garage door remote models will have more than one button. This is especially useful if the garage has more than one door and, consequently, more than one opener. In such cases, each button can be programmed to send a separate signal to each opener.

Due to the fact that a garage door opener remote is very simply designed, the buttons have this capability of controlling more than one door. Each button acts as a toggle switch. This switch controls both the upward motion and downward motion of an automatic garage door. Many remotes have three buttons. In larger garages, it is not unheard of to have three overhead garage doors. In other cases, two garage doors could be operated with the garage door opener remote, while an automatic gate is also controlled by one of the buttons.

One of the major criticisms of the garage door opener remote is the issue of security. It is possible to intercept a signal and use that to open a garage door. This is called code grabbing. Also, it is possible for people with a garage door opener remote to simply drive down the street and try to find another garage opener that has the same frequency.

To combat this problem, there are a couple of alternatives. Usually, most modern garage door openers will also send a code with the radio signal. Both must match in order for the door to be activated. Some also include a roaming code, so that code grabbing does not occur. This will usually provide a billion or more possible combinations. While this may be a more expensive piece of equipment, many may find the additional security it provides well worth the money.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


My Mom and Dad's neighbor found his garage door open several times. The first few times his first thought was that someone had broken in. When he saw this wasn't the case he thought maybe someone had forgotten to close the door.

He eventually figured out that his garage door opener was picking up the signal from some other remote signal and opening. This happened so often that he finally decided to disable the remote part of the door opener.


@Laotionne - I don't know how concerned you should be about someone else opening your garage door with another garage door opener remote control, but I have read about criminals capturing the signals and the codes. It does happen.


I can remember seeing a movie in the 80s, or maybe it was in the 90s, where this group of teenagers was riding down the street in a car, and they were using some type of signaling device to open all of the remote controlled garage doors they passed. I wish I could remember what they were using, but I can't right now.

Of course, this was a movie, so I don't know whether opening the doors would actually be so easy in real life. I hope not.


Maybe someone out there who has a garage door opener remote or someone who knows someone who uses one can answer a question for me. This article talks about the problems you might have with the remote openers.

I am wondering how often someone actually has a problem with the signals being stolen or with another remote having the same signal like mentioned in this article. Is this something I should be concerned about? Or can I buy one of the less expensive remotes and feel relatively secure?

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A garage door opener remote can remotely operate a garage door, including opening and closing it.
      A garage door opener remote can remotely operate a garage door, including opening and closing it.