Guide to Automatic Garage Door Locks

Garage door security is always top of mind for most homeowners. The fear of someone opening their garage door from the outside is on the rise, which could be from the 24/7 access we have to the internet. Many companies online use fear to sell garage door security products. In this article, we will break down some of the most common questions and issues we see with garage door automatic locks.

What is an Automatic Garage Door Lock?

Automatic deadbolt garage door locks were first introduced with wall mount jackshaft garage door openers. A wall mount opener does not secure a garage door in the down position like a standard garage door opener with a trolley arm. Because of this, an automatic lock with a deadbolt needs to be installed above one of the rollers.

Installing this lock above the roller prevents anyone from dead lifting your garage door from the outside to gain entry inside your garage. Because a wall mount opener is installed on the torsion spring shaft, the spring will stay locked in position if someone attempts to open your door manually. Yes, it will be extremely heavy lifting the dead weight of the door, but it can be done.

Is an Automatic Garage Door Lock a Deadbolt?

Deadbolt actuator on automatic garage door lock that activates above the roller.
Deadbolt actuator on automatic garage door lock that activates above the roller.

Yes, automatic garage door locks included with openers feature a heavy duty dead bolt that pushes outward once a garage door is closed. This dead bolt sits about two inches above the garage door roller, preventing anyone from opening your garage door. Once you press the wall button to open your door, the dead bolt retracts, allowing the door to open.

Are Automatic Locks Secure?

Yes, one automatic lock does an outstanding job at securing your garage door by blocking one of the rollers. Having two automatic locks is even more secure and helps keep your garage door closed in high winds.

Which Garage Door Openers Come Standard with Automatic Locks?

LiftMaster Openers

LiftMaster 841LM automatic garage door lock.
LiftMaster 841LM automatic garage door lock.

The only LiftMaster garage door openers that include the 841LM automatic lock in the box are the wall mount openers. These models are the LiftMaster 8500, 8500W, 8500C, and the new 98022 wall mount opener with no cable tension monitor.

The standard trolley arm LiftMaster garage door openers that are compatible with the LiftMaster 841LM automatic lock are the 8587W, 8580WLB, 85870, and the 87802. The lock is not included with these units. All LiftMaster units will allow you to install two automatic locks on their openers.

Chamberlain Openers

Chamberlain 041A6102 automatic garage door lock.
Chamberlain 041A6102 automatic garage door lock.

The Chamberlain 041A6102 power door lock kit comes standard on the Chamberlain RJO20 and RJO70 wall mount openers. The unit is the same model as the LiftMaster 841LM auto-lock. Both models are cross compatible between the brands. The Chamberlain wall mount opener allows you to install two automatic locks as well.

Genie Openers

Genie 41149R automatic garage door lock.
Genie 41149R automatic garage door lock.

The only Genie garage door opener that currently uses an automatic lock is their 6070 and 6170 models, which are the new wall mount openers they recently introduced. The Genie 41149R automatic lock is mounted on the track the same as the LiftMaster model, and it utilizes a similar style deadbolt above the roller to lock down the garage door.

Can You Add a Genie Automatic Lock to a Standard Genie Opener?

No. The Genie 41149R automatic door lock is only compatible with the Genie 6070H and 6170H-B wall mount openers. At the time of writing this, Genie does not offer any standard trolley openers that are compatible with their automatic deadbolt lock.

Guardian Opener

Guardian manufacturers the model 928 wall mount opener that comes with one automatic garage door lock. Their lock is similar to LiftMaster and Genie, featuring a deadbolt actuator along with a manual release lever.

Can I Install Two Automatic Garage Door Locks?

Two connections ports for automatic locks on LiftMaster wall mount opener.
Two connections ports for automatic locks on LiftMaster wall mount opener.

All LiftMaster garage door openers that are compatible with the 841LM automatic lock will accept two locks. This provides the ultimate defense against break-ins and high winds. Chamberlain wall mount openers will allow you to install two automatic garage door locks as well.

The spec sheet for the Guardian 928 opener says it has “two automatic lock terminals” which means it might be able to operate with two locks. We do not know for sure since we have not reviewed this unit.

The Genie wall mount units appear to have only one terminal connection for their automatic deadbolt lock.

LiftMaster 841LM Automatic Lock Issues

The LiftMaster 841LM automatic garage door lock was first introduced with the LiftMaster 8500 wall mount opener. Wall mount or “jackshaft” garage door openers require a deadbolt lock above one of the rollers since they don’t utilize a standard trolley arm to keep the door secure.

LiftMaster has been making wall mount openers with automatic locks far longer than any other manufacturer on the market. With that being said, some of their automatic locks have had issues with the actuator motor going out and making a grinding noise. The issue seems more prevalent in the past few years.

Old automatic lock vs New automatic lock.
Old automatic lock vs New automatic lock.

The LiftMaster automatic door locks pictured above are from a recent swap we had to do because the lock failed in under one year. The unit at the top is the old unit with a longer dead bolt, and the unit at the bottom is the more recent lock with a shorter dead bolt. For some reason, LiftMaster shortened the deadbolt on the updated model.

We don’t have extensive experience with the Genie or Guardian wall mount openers, so I can’t speak to the long-term reliability of their automatic locks. Their wall mount openers are fairly new on the market.

Bypassing the Automatic Lock on Your Opener

Manual slide release lever on LiftMaster 841LM automatic lock.
Manual slide release lever on LiftMaster 841LM automatic lock.

All automatic locks for garage door openers feature a manual release lever on the side. If the power goes out in your home and the automatic lock is engaged, you can manually slide this lever over, which will remove the dead bolt from the vertical track, so you can open your door.

If you want to bypass your automatic garage door lock altogether, you can simply unplug it. I know for a fact the LiftMaster and Chamberlain wall mount openers will continue to function as normal without an automatic lock plugged in. One of our locks started making a grinding noise, so instead of replacing it, we just unplugged it.

Keep in mind, if you unplug the automatic lock on your wall mount opener, technically there is nothing securing your garage door apart from its weight. A wall mount opener will lock the torsion shaft in place when closed. The automatic lock with the dead bolt is what keeps someone from dead lifting your garage door to enter.

Yes, it would be hard for someone to do this, but it can be done with an automatic lock disengaged. We recommend always keeping a properly running automatic lock on your garage door vertical track at all times for safety and security.

What is Required to Install an Automatic Lock?

To install an automatic garage door lock on your compatible opener, you will need the following:

  • stepladder
  • 5/16” and 3/4” drill bits
  • screwdriver
  • tape measure
  • staple gun

You always want to unplug your opener and disconnect the backup battery before installing an automatic lock. Also remove or disable any manual locks on the garage door. The automatic lock is most commonly installed above the second roller, but the third roller will work just fine if that option is better for your situation.

How Much are Replacement Automatic Locks for Openers?

Replacement automatic garage door locks from LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Genie, and Guardian are going to cost anywhere from $100-$150 for the part depending entirely on where you purchase from. If you have a garage door company come out to replace it, you can expect to pay an additional $60-$100 for a service call, which should include labor.

How Often are Garage Doors Broken Into?

Not very often. Our garage door business has been around for over 35 years, and we can probably count on one hand how many times a homeowner has said someone tried to break into their garage door. And when the thief attempted to break in, many times they could not gain entry. Usually, they ended up damaging the outside key lock.

While I believe it’s important to learn how to secure your garage door, there is no need to fall for the “fear hype” on the internet that is telling everyone their garage door can be penetrated in 6 seconds. That type of hype is typically coming from a company that is trying to sell a product.


The automatic locks covered in this article are the most popular options on the market today. These locks work with specific wall mount openers to provide the ultimate security once your garage door is closed. There are other locks on the market that offer a similar type of security, but our experience has mostly been limited to the LiftMaster wall mount openers due to their popularity. Only time will tell how well the Genie and Guardian automatic locks hold up.

Similar Posts