As homeowners, we often wonder if thieves can open our garage door. The answer is, that it depends. Chances are slim if you use security measures such as garage door locks and cameras. However, if you do not take any security precautions, there is a high risk of garage door break-ins. I’ll discuss how thieves can break into your garage door and how you can prevent it.

How Can Thieves Open Your Garage Door

There are several ways that thieves can potentially open your garage doors. Here’re the most common ones.

  • Using a Universal Remote
  • Hacking the Garage Opener’s Code
  • Stealing your Garage Door Opener
  • By using a Coat Hanger or Wire Picking The Lock

1. Using a Universal Remote

Some garage door openers can be operated using a universal remote purchased online or at a hardware store. A thief may be able to open your garage door if they obtain a universal remote compatible with your garage door opener.

2. By Hacking the Garage Opener’s Code

Some older garage door openers employ a set code that is easily hacked by someone with the necessary tools and experience. A criminal may be able to open your garage door if your garage door opener has a predetermined code.

3. Stealing your Garage Door Opener

If a thief is able to steal your garage door opener or find it inside your car, they can use it to open your garage door.

4. Using a Coat Hanger or Wire

Thieves can use a coat hanger or wire to latch onto the emergency release lever inside the garage and pull to disengage the opener in some circumstances. This enables them to open the garage door manually from the outside.

5. Picking the Lock

If your garage door has a manual lock, a thief may be able to pick it up to gain access to your garage.

To learn additional information about how burglars can access your garage door, you can read our article on common methods of breaking into garage doors.

How to Secure Your Garage Door

Consider updating to a modern garage door opener that uses rolling codes, which produce a new code each time the door is opened, to avoid such break-ins. Additionally, don’t leave your garage door opener inside your car or in a visible area. Finally, ensure that your emergency release lever is inaccessible from the outside.

Even if burglars have access to a remote or know how to circumvent the opener, a garage door lock can prevent them from opening the door. The lock operates from the inside and comes in a variety of types, including T-handle locks, slide locks, and deadbolts. A garage door lock, on the other hand, is not a replacement for a modern opener with rolling codes, and the combination of the two can give better security.

Check out our detailed blog on how to secure your garage for information.


Can Thieves open a Garage Door with a Keypad?

Yes, thieves can gain access to your garage by hacking into the keypad or guessing the access code. It’s essential to use a secure and unique access code and change it regularly.

Can Thieves open a Garage Door with a Manual Lock?

If your garage door has a manual lock, it can be vulnerable to picking or drilling. A thief could also simply break the lock to gain entry. It’s best to use a modern garage door opener with a rolling code system and no manual lock.


Can thieves get into your garage? Surely, there are various measures you can do to safeguard your garage and protect your property. Some of the greatest ways to improve garage door security are to upgrade to a modern garage door opener, use a smart opener with a compatible garage door lock, and reinforce the door. Don’t take your garage door security for granted; act now to protect your house and family.