Garage Door Lock Mechanism: A Comprehensive Guide is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to . The website is also an affiliate of a few other brands.

The garage door can be a weak link in your home security system, especially in an attached garage which has a small door leading into the house. Naturally you want to know how a Garage Door Lock Mechanism works.

Key Takeaways of Garage Door Lock Mechanism

  • There are three main types of garage door lock mechanisms: keyed locks, electronic locks, and automatic locks.
  • You can lock the garage door from the inside by using a zip tie on the manual release latch, putting a padlock through the track, or installing a slide lock.
  • To secure the garage door from the outside, you can install a T-handle lock, a garage door deadbolt, or a Bulldog garage door lock.
  • The LOCK button on your garage door opener disables the remote control, but the wireless keypad will still work.
  • A MyQ compatible garage door opener lets you use the MyQ app to control your garage door from anywhere.
  • When choosing a garage door lock mechanism, consider the security level you need, the type of garage door you have, the ease of use you want, your budget, and the installation requirements.
Garage Door Lock Mechanism

What Type of Locks Are on Garage Doors?

There are three main types of garage door lock mechanisms that are commonly used. These are:

  1. Keyed locks
  2. Electronic locks
  3. Automatic locks

Keyed Locks:

Keyed locks are the most traditional type of garage door lock mechanism available on the market. The three main varieties are:

  • Handle locks: Handle locks are the most convenient of the three, but they are not as secure as a padlock or deadbolt.
  • Padlocks: Padlocks are more secure than hHndle locks but not as secure as Deadbolts of the three
  • Deadbolts: Deadbolts are more secure than padlocks and are available in a range of styles, such as keyed and combination locks.


Keyed locks are easy to install and are available in a range of styles and sizes. They are also relatively inexpensive.


Keyed locks can be picked by burglars, and keys can be lost or stolen.

Electronic Locks:

Electronic locks are a more sophisticated type of garage door lock mechanism. It uses electronics to lock and unlock the garage door. There are three main types of electronic locks:

  • Keypad locks: Keypad locks are electronic locks that use a keypad to open (unlock) the door with a preset code.
  • Smart locks: Smart locks are operated electronically and can be controlled remotely using a smartphone app.
  • Key fob locks: Key fob locks are operated using a key fob.


Electronic locks are more secure than keyed locks, and they are also more convenient to use. They can be controlled remotely, and programmed to allow access to specific people.


Electronic locks are more expensive than keyed locks. Moreover you must ensure that the batteries or power connection is live, else it will not operate.

Automatic Locks:

Automatic locks are a convenient and user-friendly type of garage door lock mechanism designed to automatically locks and unlocks the door. There are three main categories of automatic locks:

  • Automatic deadbolts: Automatic deadbolt locks automatically secure the door when it closes and unlock it when it opens.
  • Automatic lock cylinders: Automatic lock cylinders function by turning a key or cylinder to lock or unlock the garage door. When the correct key is used, the mechanism engages, providing an added layer of security.
  • Automatic handle locks: Designed specifically for garage doors, automatic handle locks automatically secure the door when the handle is engaged.


Automatic locks are easy to use and provide an added layer of security.


Automatic locks require a power supply to operate, and they can be more expensive than other lock types.

Can I Add a Lock to my Garage Door?

The electric garage door opener lets you open and close your garage door by using a remote, a keypad, a door control switch or even a WIFI enabled device such as your smartphone. 

The garage door opener is the lock. The device (such as the remote or the keypad) and the code are the key to the lock.

The purpose of a lock is to ensure that an intruder or a burglar is not able to get into your garage. You want it to be as secure and as burglar proof, as possible. You want peace of mind when you go to bed at night or go on a vacation.

This is the reason you want to install an additional manual garage door locking mechanism. Totally understandable!

There are several ways this can be done. Some are simple enough and you can do it yourself with a few tools. Some may require a professional.

How to Lock Garage Door from Inside?

Burglars often pry open the top section of the garage door and use a coat hanger to pull open the emergency release lever and manually open the door.

Some people suggest putting a zip tie on the manual release latch. This prevents the door from being pulled and opened. However, I do not recommend doing this.

The emergency release lever is a safety device. It should not be disabled.

Instead install Garage Shield – Garage Door Protection Home Security

Garage Shield
Garage Door Security Home Protection

  • Enhanced Garage Security
  • Proven to Stop Intruders
  • Garage Shield Is Universal
  • Easy & Fast Protection
  • Made from Recycled Abs Plastic

Use a Padlock to Lock the Track

This is a very simple hack to install a locking mechanism on the garage door. All you need to do is drill a hole in the vertical track just above the first roller. Then you can slip a padlock through this hole and lock it.

With the padlock in place the garage door can not move. The roller can not get past the padlock.

Install a Slide Lock

Many different models are available at home improvement stores or on Amazon. 

Asec Garage Door Lock Mechanism

Asec Garage Door Lock comes in a pair and can be fitted vertically or horizontally. It is best to install them horizontally, one on each side of the door at the same level for maximum security. The bolts shoot 2 ¾” (70mm) into the frame or ground sleeve.

IMPORTANT: Operating the Garage Door Opener with a manual garage door lock in place can cause serious damage to the door or the opener. Unplug the garage door opener immediately after engaging the manual locks to ensure the opener is not activated accidently.

Automatic Garage Door Lock

Some reputed garage door manufacturers, such as Chamberlain, now have automatic garage door locks. This can come as an independent add-on accessory or as part of the garage door unit.

Liftmaster Automatic Garage Door Lock
Liftmaster Automatic Garage Door Lock

Liftmaster 841LM Automatic Garage Door Lock available at Amazon

  • Powerful add-on accessory works automatically with the opener.
  • Deadbolt lock reinforces the garage door automatically when the garage door is closed.
  • Performs in tandem with the opener, so it always locks and unlocks.
  • The sound of the lock engaging provides homeowners with the assurance the garage door has been secured.

How to Secure a Garage Door from the Outside?

Using a manual garage door lock on the inside is fine if your concern is securing the garage door at night when you go to bed. But what about the times you go on vacation with family? There will be no one at home. So how do you secure a garage door from the outside?

T-Handle Locks

T-Handle Locks are quite commonly used on garage doors made of metal. They can be installed on the outside. (If you want they can be installed inside as well). They are OK as a deterrent but do not stand much of a chance against a seasoned and determined burglar.

Garage Door Deadbolts

For further security you can install Garage Door Deadbolts.  The single cylinder type garage door deadbolt operates with a key on the outside and a knob on the inside.

Bulldog Garage Door Lock

Even better, you can install a couple of separate locking mechanisms that have a bolt which secures the garage door to the concrete floor. Bulldog Garage Door Lock is really good and can be installed either outside or inside!

● Bolt on ‘L’ shaped bracket to fit to either outside or inside of garage door.
● Reinforcing plate supplied in kit to strengthen door.
● Uses Bulldog Super Lock Bolt, no padlocks.
● Lock tube fits flush with ground, no protruding parts.
● When locked, the garage door is physically held to the ground making prizing near impossible.
● Dust caps provided to prevent dirt and dust ingress into lock and lock tube.
● Finished in a highly visible yellow powder coating.

What is the LOCK Button on the Garage Door Opener?

Most Garage Door Openers come with at least three devices that can be used to open & close the garage door. These are:

Door Control

This unit is installed inside the garage on the wall near the door leading into the house. This can be used to open the garage door as you enter the garage as you enter it from within the house. It can also be used to close the garage door, after parking, as you enter the house.

Wireless Keypad

This unit is installed outside the garage on the wall next to the garage door. This can be used to open & close the door after entering a 4-digit code.

Remote Control 

This is the unit that you either keep in the car (visor model) or on a keychain (key fob model). The remote control uses radio frequency transmission to send a coded signal to the garage door opener directing it to open & close the door. 

The remote control typically has three buttons and can control up to three garage door openers. It can just have one button as well for a single door garage.

LOCK Button

The LOCK button is located on the door control of the garage door opener and is usually under the PUSH BAR.

LiftMaster 889LM Door Control Panel Schematic
LiftMaster 889LM Door Control Panel Schematic

Activating the LOCK button disables the remote control. However the wireless keypad will still work. The LOCK button can be activated by pressing it for 2 seconds. The command LED will start flashing.

To deactivate the LOCK button, press it once again for 2 seconds. The command LED will stop flashing and you will be able to use the remote controls once again.

The LOCK button is a great safety feature that you can use, either when you retire for the night or go on a vacation.

Can you Lock the Garage Door with MyQ?

MyQ is a free app from the Chamberlain group. You can download it to an iPhone or an Android Phone. The MyQ app gives you control on the functions of your garage door provided it is MyQ compatible.

Most garage door opener brands manufactured after 1993 are MyQ compatible. Easily check your garage door’s compatibility with MyQ at

Newer Chamberlain and LiftMaster smart garage door opener models feature built-in MyQ connectivity. With the MyQ app you can control the garage door opener from anywhere in the world, through your smartphone.

So if you are looking to make your garage door really secure as well as have real time information on it, then MyQ app along with an Automatic Lock Capable Garage Door Opener is perfect for you.

This is what a MyQ app will let you do:

  1. Open & Close your garage door from anywhere in the world.
  2. Schedule the opening & closing of the garage door in advance.
  3. Get Real Time information on the status of your garage door.
  4. Track the opening & closing times of the garage door.
  5. Allow access to trusted family members & friends.
  6. Turn on and off home lighting from anywhere.
  7. Eligible Prime members in select cities and surrounding areas now have access to Key by Amazon in-garage delivery.
  8. Add a LiftMaster Smart Garage Camera MYQ-SGC1WLM with motion sensor video recording.
LiftMaster Smart Garage Camera MYQ-SGC1WLM

What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Door Lock Mechanism?

When choosing a garage door lock, consider the following factors:

  1. Security Level: Assess the security level you need depending on incidence of burglary and break-ins in your locality. For enhanced security, opt for high-quality deadbolt locks or smart locks with advanced security features.
  2. Door Type: Choose a lock that is compatible with the type of garage door you have (manual or automatic). Some locks are specifically designed for automatic doors and integrate seamlessly with the existing mechanisms.
  3. Ease of Use: Convenience matters. Automatic locks or smart locks provide the ease of use by automatically engaging and disengaging without manual intervention.
  4. Budget: While high-end smart locks offer advanced safety & convenience features, there are also budget-friendly options that provide decent security.
  5. Installation: Some locks may require professional installation, while others can be easily installed as a DIY project.

Some Other Useful Garage Door Safety Tips

  • A garage door that is flush with the wall effectively camouflages it.
  • Keeping the garage door lights on at night can be a deterrent to burglars
  • In case you still have a manually operated garage door, upgrade it to an automatic one
  • Keep good relations with your neighbors. A friendly neighbor will watch your back and your garage door when you go on a long vacation

Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.

Follow me on

Similar Posts