How to Align Safety Sensors on Garage Doors

align sensors on garage doors
October 20, 2023

Thanks to the safety sensors on our garage doors, we can confidently walk past the door without having to worry about the door closing on us. This astounding safety feature of modern garage doors is what keeps us protected from potential accidental hazards. The safety sensors work by stopping or reversing the garage door if any obstacles are detected beneath the door.

But what happens if the sensors stop working? A defective sensor compromises safety, and it needs to be dealt with immediately. If you are facing a problem because of sensor misalignment, then this is the right place for you. Here, we have encapsulated all essential details on how to align safety sensors on a garage door aimed to help you fix the issue effectively.

Do Garage Door Sensors Need to be Aligned?

Yes. For garage door sensors to function properly, they must be well-aligned to the garage door system. The sensors are connected to the garage door on either side, placed 5 to 6 inches above the garage floor. So, how do garage door safety sensors work? There are two sets of sensors, i.e., sender and receiver. The sender sensor emits the infrared signal, which is then received by the receiver sensor on the opposite side of the door. As a result, the sensors detect any objects in the doorway by utilizing infrared emission.

In case of misalignment, the sensors will lose their detection ability, and the door won’t stop closing even when there is an obstacle beneath the door. Therefore, to prevent any kind of safety risks, aligning the garage door sensors is a must.  

How to Align Garage Door Safety Sensors: Step-By-Step

Accidental bumps are the main cause of the misalignment of the safety sensors, which results in their dysfunction. The sensors on your garage door can be readily aligned, though, if you follow some easy guidelines. You will be able to position safety sensors on a garage door quickly if you follow the instructions listed below.

1. Cut the Power Off to the Safety Sensors

Cutting off the sensors’ power supply is the first step. To discontinue the power to the garage door system, you can disconnect the electricity from the whole garage unit. Here are some simple steps to do so:

  • Locate the breaker box in your home, which is usually in the garage, basement, or utility closet. 
  • Put on insulating gloves for safety.
  • Flip off the garage fuse switch.   

2. Loosen the Screws on the Safety Sensors

After disconnecting the sensors from power, you are now safe to carry out further steps. You will see screws fastened on the sensors’ mounting brackets. Now, grab your screwdriver and adjust its head on the screw and rotate it in an anticlockwise motion. Remember not to pull out the screw; simply loosen it so that you can move the sensor up and down.

3. Move the Sensors Closer to the Ground

The loosened grip of the sensors will now allow you to change the position of the sensors. Hold the sensors by your hand and slide both of them down close to the ground. It’s important to note that the sensors should not be removed from the mounting brackets during the whole process.

4. Tie a String on a Sensor

Grab the end of a string and tie it to the side of a sensor. Tying the string will later help you align the position of the sensors on either side of the garage door. Therefore, the knot of the string should be secured properly. If you tie the other end of the string across the garage door, make sure it continues down the center of the sensor.

5. Connect a different sensor to the string

Next, take the other end of the rope and fasten it to the opposite garage door sensor. Make sure to tie it so that the string runs along the middle of the sensor. The alignment will be simpler and more accurate if the string is placed in the center.

6. Check the String’s Level

It’s crucial to examine the string’s level even when it seems to be in the middle. You should pace a level beneath the string in a straight line. Check the position of the bubble inside the scale. If the bubble is not in the middle, the string needs to be adjusted since it is not at the proper level. Try slightly moving one or both sensors up and down for the adjustment until you can see the level bubble in the center.

7. Screw the Sensors in the New Position

The level string suggests that the sensors are aligned in the right position. Now, you can tighten the screws on both sensors, fixing them in their new position. Place the screwdriver on the screw and rotate it in the clockwise direction to tighten.

8. Recheck the String Level

The sensors could occasionally become out of alignment as you tighten the screw. So, make sure to double-check the string’s level for confirmation. Loosen the screw and reposition the sensors until they are positioned correctly if the level looks to be out of alignment.

9. Remove the String and Turn on the Power

You can now cut off the string holding the sensors in place. Remove the string, then reconnect the power. After wearing the insulating gloves, turn on the garage fuse box. Your garage safety sensors should be powered when you turn the fuse back on.

How to Check Garage Door Safety Sensors?

After you have finished readjusting the safety sensors, you must check if they’re working properly. Checking the components will ensure your garage door system is safe to use. Here are some easy steps on how to check garage door safety sensors:

  • Get any block of wood or any similar object to use as an obstacle beneath your garage door.
  • Place the object on the ground along the sliding path of the garage door.
  • Close the garage door using the remote control.
  • If the object is taller than about 5 inches, the garage door will stay open and not come down at all.
  • But, if the object below the door is smaller than 5 inches, the door will slide down and reverse open right after it touches the object.

Why Won’t My Garage Door Sensors Align?

The steps mentioned above should be sufficient to fix the alignment problem in your garage door safety sensors. However, if the sensors don’t align even after you go through the process as instructed, it may be because of the following reasons:

  • The leveling of the string is not done properly. 
  • The strings are loosely tied to the sensors, making it difficult to level it accurately.
  • The screw on the sensors’ bracket is not tight enough to hold the components in place.
  • The signals from the sensors may be blocked because of dirt or dust. 
  • The sensors have gone bad and might need replacement. 

How to Know If Your Garage Door Sensors Are Misaligned?

You can easily detect the signs in your garage door system that tell if your garage door sensors are misaligned. Paying attention to these signs can help you identify the problem with the sensors and fix it as soon as possible. So, here are some of the signs you will notice if the safety sensors are not aligned: 

  • The LED of the receiving sensor is off, dim, or flickering.
  • The garage door won’t close, and the opener at the center of the garage flashes continuously. 
  • The garage door won’t stop closing even when there is an obstacle beneath the door.
  • Some garage door openers have in-built indicators that self-diagnose the misalignment of the sensors by flashing the LED located behind the opener.

How to Adjust or Disable Garage Door Safety Sensors?

Safety sensors are essential safety features in your garage door and are always enabled in your garage door system. But, if you wish to turn off the sensors temporarily for some reason, there are a few methods to do so. The methods mentioned here will guide you on how to disable garage door safety sensors in a few quick steps.

1. Adjusting the Garage to Manual Mode

One of the methods to bypass the safety sensors is by disabling the automatic system of your garage door. When you enable the manual mode of the garage door system, the sensors are out of function, allowing you to get in and out of the garage without sensor detection. Here are some steps to set your garage door in manual mode:

  • If the garage door is stuck half open, place a plank of suitable height to hold the door in its place and prevent it from coming down rapidly.
  • Close the garage door by pulling the red emergency release cord hanging from the ceiling.
  • Get the plank away from the door.
  • Open the door fully by sliding it up. 
  • To prevent the emergency cord from tangling while opening the door, pull the cord down and away from the door.
  • Now, to re-engage the automatic mode, pull down the release cord until you hear a clicking sound. 

2. Cutting off Power to the Sensors

Another way to bypass your garage door safety sensor is by cutting off the power to the components. The sensors won’t be able to detect the obstacles on the driveway without a power supply. So, here are some steps to disconnect the garage door sensors from the power source: 

  • Locate the breaker box in your home placed in the garage, basement, or utility closet.
  • Put on insulating gloves and flip the garage fuse switch off.
  • Locate the safety sensors on either side of the garage door.
  • Remove the screws on the brackets of the sensors using a screwdriver.
  • Remove the sensor from its place and keep it aside.
  • Use pliers to cut the wire attached to the sensor just an inch away from it.
  • Now, you can set up a new sensor by reattaching the new wire by twisting the wire ends together.

Aligning Garage Door Sensors on Commercial Garage Doors

The safety sensors’ alignment in both the commercial and residential garage doors is pretty much the same. The commercial and residential garage doors mainly differ in their size. Commercial garage doors found in factories, industries, and large-scale commercial buildings are much heavier than residential garage doors. But, besides the size difference and a few other differences in system functionalities, the safety sensors placement and their working mechanism are the same in both types of garage doors. Therefore, the steps on how to align safety sensors on a garage door, as mentioned in the above section, work accurately for the sensor alignment for commercial garage doors.

Contact Express Garage Door to Align Your Garage Door Sensors

If the steps mentioned above on how to align safety sensors on a garage door have not worked for you, contact Express Garage Door at 214-543-2891 or email at Our professional technicians with years of experience fixing various garage door problems can help you with your garage door issues, too. As the #1 garage door service provider in Fort Worth, we assure you of reliable service. So, grab your phone now and reach out to us for your garage door problems!  


All in all, the purpose of this blog is to showcase to you some quick steps on how to align safety sensors on a garage door. Your safety, especially the safety of your children and pets, may be in danger due to the misaligned sensors on the unsecured garage door. It is, therefore, essential for your safety to periodically check the sensors to see if they are active.  The alignment procedure is pretty straightforward. However, it’s preferable to seek out expert assistance if you’re having trouble. At Express Garage Door, our specialists are experts in garage door repair and maintenance. They can help you troubleshoot the problem with the sensors and fix the issue quickly. Make sure to call us right away!