how to change the frequency on a garage door opener
Tips & Tricks

How to Change Garage Door Opener Frequency

Automatic electric garage doors were invented in 1926 by C.G. Johnson, founder of Overhead Doors. These garage doors have remote controls that use a radio frequency signal to open and close the automatic door.

They use a frequency code that changes every time you use the remote control. Nonetheless, you may have to change the frequency code if your remote control is missing or hacked by someone to ensure your home is safe.  

Newer garage door opener models have a learn button that will allow you to change the frequency code.

Older units use DIP switches to modify the garage door opener frequency. Below is a more detailed guide on everything you need to know about changing the frequency code on your garage door opener.

Can I change the frequency of my garage door opener?

You can’t change the actual frequency; you change the code inside the frequency your garage door opener uses to operate. Newer openers use rolling codes that the remote controls send to the receiver.  You can modify this code on the motor and all the remote controls.

Most garage doors use a frequency clustered around the 2.4-GHz band, also known as ISM (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical) band. However, this band of frequency that garage door openers use is free and doesn’t require a license to operate.

Therefore, changing your garage door opener frequency is almost impossible and illegal.

How to change your garage door opener frequency

Before changing the frequency code, you need to make sure the remote control batteries are working. If not, replace them first.  Then, follow the instructions below on how to change your garage door opener frequency.

Things you’ll need

  1. Step ladder
  2. Flat-head screwdriver
  3. Phillips head screwdriver

Directions

Garage door openers with dip switches

You must align a series of 8 or 9 switches on your remote to match the code on the opener. You can move the switches up, down, and middle positions. Also, in case your remote has nine switches and your opener has eight switches, put the 9th switch in the middle position.

  • Use the stepladder to access the motorhead close to the top of the garage door.
  • Locate the DIP switches at the back or the side of the motor.
  • Locate the DIP switches on the remote controls, usually under the battery compartment cover.
  • Compare the position of the DIP switches on the opener and remote control.
  • Reset the DIP switches on the opener up or down with the flat-head screwdriver or your fingertip.
  • Flip the DIP switches on the remote control up or down to match the ones on the motor.
  • Replace the battery cover on the garage door remote control.
  • Press the ‘Open’ button on the remote to test if the code has changed successfully.

Garage door openers with learn button

  • Locate the learn button at the back of the motor. It is usually a yellow, purple, red, or black and square button and labeled ‘Smart’ or ‘Learn’ depending on the brand and model of the garage door opener.
  • Press the learn button for about six seconds or until the learn LED light stops blinking.
  • Within 30 seconds, press and hold the ‘Open’ button on your remote control and then release it.
  • The opener light will blink, or the motor unit will click twice to indicate a successful change in the frequency code.
  • Press the remote control button to test if the garage door opens with the new code.

What frequency does a garage door opener use?

Garage door openers run garage doors by sending radio signals from the radio transmitter on the remote through a specific frequency to the receiver in the motor unit.

The most common garage door opener frequencies range between 300 MHz and 390 MHz, with the most popular frequencies being; 300 MHz, 310 MHz, 315 MHz, and 390 MHz.

You can identify your garage door frequency on a white label under the plastic light cover. The remote frequency is usually found on or near the battery cover.

Some garage door openers work on more than one frequency to help reduce the risk of radio frequency interference.

Although rare, radio frequency interference occurs when another electronic device in your garage, home, or near your property s emitting radio signals at the same frequency as your garage door opener.

On some occasions, interference can come from miles away. For example, electronic equipment from military bases, airports, and transformers can generate radio signals across a large radius.

Can someone steal my garage door frequency?

The simple answer is no unless you have an opener system from 1991 or later. Older garage door models were more vulnerable to hacking since they used a single fixed digital code. The newer systems use a rolling code that changes every time you use the remote control.

If a thief wanted to steal your code, they would use sophisticated equipment to eavesdrop on your transmission and take the code.

But because rolling codes change after each transmission, someone else can no longer use the previous code to open the garage door.

Also, there are special machines that can generate a series of possible codes that you can enter and open the garage door. However, the rolling code technology has more than 100 billion possible code options.

Furthermore, rolling codes are entirely random and encrypted for extra security. A hacker would have to work away at the codes for a long time before they can break-in.

Therefore the only way someone can access your garage door is by stealing one of your already programmed remote controls, or they know the keyless entry PIN.

Does my garage door opener have a rolling code?

To find out if your garage door opener has a rolling code, you need to first locate the fabrication date on your garage door opener. This information is usually on the motorhead, along with the model number and the serial number of your garage door opener.

Then confirm on your remote control by looking for the words ‘SECURITY+’ or ‘Security 2.0’, usually at the back or inside the battery compartment.  For Genie and Overhead brands, it says ‘Intellicode’ to indicate the rolling code system.

Liftmaster and Chamberlain companies have been using the rolling code system since 1993. Therefore any garage door opener they manufactured before then doesn’t have this technology.

If you still can’t tell what system your garage door opener uses, contact your opener’s manufacturer with the model and serial number to confirm.

What to do if someone steals my garage door opener?

If you’re using an older garage door system, you need to upgrade the garage door opener to one with a rolling code system. Since thieves can’t hack the frequency code of modern garage door openers, most resort to stealing the garage door opener.

If you notice one of your remotes missing, there are a few steps you need to do to prevent a future break-in.

Disable all programmed remote controls

Depending on your garage door opener model and brand, you will need to press and hold the ‘Learn’ button to clear the system’s memory.

Switch off the automatic system

Turn off the garage door opener until you replace the remote controls. Then, pull the emergency release lever to operate the garage door manually.

Replace the stolen remote control

Reconnect the opener, purchase new remote controls and reprogram them to the garage door opener. Make sure the new remote controls are compatible with your system.

Future preventive measures

To prevent losing or misplacing the remotes in the future:

  • Monitor your garage door wirelessly if your garage door opener connects to Wi-Fi.
  • Install cameras and alarms around the garage to help your monitor your garage in real-time.
  • Install motion detection lights to ward off thieves.
  • Reduce using the keyless entry PIN code because they are more vulnerable than remote controls.

Check this too: What is the Most Popular Garage Door Size?

Conclusion

We have learned that you cannot change the garage door opener frequency because it is definite. However, you can change your garage door opener frequency code to avoid security issues.

First, you need to clear the opener’s memory and then reprogram the new remote controls. In the future, change the code regularly and avoid leaving your remote control in plain sight to ensure your home remains safe.

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