How to Release and Reset the Emergency Pull Cord on a Garage Door

Without a doubt, you will need to manually open or close your garage door eventually. The reasons are there might be damage to some parts, there was a power outage, or the garage door is not closing. 

Probably, a garage door remote not working might prompt you for manual operation. Nonetheless, there is a need to manually operate your garage door by accessing the garage door pull cord. 

Now, do you know how to manually open garage doors? If not, follow the steps below to release and reset the emergency pull cord on a garage door.

emergency pull cord

What is a garage door pull cord?

Every overhead door has a garage door emergency release kit. This kit includes a pull cord and a garage door emergency release lock.

A garage door pull cord is a rope hanging from the trolley near the overhead garage door opener. It is usually in red and comes with a handle for easy pulling. Most often, homeowners can easily reach it within an arm’s length. If quite unlucky, using a stool will do the trick.

When the cord is released from the trolley, the garage door begins to slide along the railing. Essentially, this is the only way to open a garage door manually.

How to Release the Emergency Pull Cord

Releasing an emergency pull cord does not take too much time to perform. For this reason, follow these simple steps to open your garage door through this method.

Step 1. The Garage Door Should be in Close Position
Before pulling the emergency cord near the opener, ensure that the garage door is closed. If the garage door has problems closing, avoid pulling the emergency cord.

If the garage door is stuck open, there could be damage to the garage door springs. The garage door will crash down when you pull the cord while it is in the open position. As a result, the garage door might be damaged, or you get injured in the process.

Step 2. Pull the emergency pull cord
It’s essential to know how an emergency release cord works in a garage door. As mentioned, the pull cord hangs from the trolley connected to the garage door. The trolley then allows the garage door movement whether to stay open or close.

It is also connected to the garage door opener carriage via an attachment point. The trolley disconnects from the opener carriage upon releasing the emergency pull cord. This will prompt the garage door to slide along the rails seamlessly. Thus, you can easily open and close it.

Step 3: Test the Operation
After pulling the emergency cord, test the operation itself. Try opening and closing it manually to know if everything works. You can try doing this a few times to ensure that the manual operation is successful.

Step 4: Release the Pull Cord

There are two positions in a trolley, one connected and the other disconnected. In this case, secure a position before you reset the garage door. For this reason, pull the emergency release cord downwards and away from the garage door opener motor.

How to Reset the Emergency Pull Cord

Similar to releasing the emergency cord, resetting takes a few steps. Resetting occurs after you’re done manually opening or closing your garage door. 

To start, unplug the garage door opener from the power supply. Then, plug the power source back in to check if there are still problems with the garage door’s operation. 

Now, if you see there are still garage door operation problems, you might need to check the issue with a professional. On the other hand, ignore this step if you only need to manually operate the garage door due to a power outage. 

Reconnect the Trolley

Releasing the cord disconnects the trolley from the opener carriage mechanism. When reconnecting the trolley, place the spring lever of the pull cord in the connected position. Then, slide the garage door until you notice re-engagement of the attachment point of the opener carriage. 

Another way to reconnect the trolley is to use the remote. However, this is not possible if it is not working. Press the remote to power the motor so that the opener carriage will reconnect to the trolley via the attachment point. As soon as the attachment point is reconnected, you will hear a loud click. This sound is generated when reconnecting the trolley. 

Resetting the garage door cord through reconnecting the trolley should return the cord to its original position. 


Releasing and resetting the emergency cord takes a few steps. At the same time, you only need to manually operate the garage door when it has operational problems or a power outage. 

Switching them into manual mode is only a temporary solution for garage doors with problems. Make sure to contact a reliable garage door expert to inspect the movement problems of your garage door.

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