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How to Lock a Garage Door from the Outside in Only 3 Steps

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to lock garage door from outside

Do you want to know how to lock garage door from outside? Install the outside keyed handle and the inside release handle by drilling holes. Place the spring latches and release handle and connect them using a cable. Align the striker with the spring latch and secure the former with bolts and nuts.

You can secure a garage door from the outside using an outside-keyed T-handle without the need for professional help. You can finish the tutorial in a short time as long as you have the tools and follow the steps correctly.

What You Need


There are specific items that you need so that you can perform the tutorial properly. You may need to purchase some of the items. You can find the other tools in your toolbox or you can borrow from your neighbors.

Outside lock keyed T-handle and inside release handle

A T-handle lock will be installed outside of the door. Once the lock’s installed, you’ll need a key to turn the handle and open the garage. If possible, look for a T-handle that is made of steel.

When you buy an outside lock-keyed T-handle, the keys are already included in the package. Choose a T-handle that can last for a long time.

Usually, the inside release handle is already included in a lockset package since it must be compatible with the T-handle. Before purchasing, make sure it has at least a grade 2 security rating and a mechanical warranty.

Spring latches and door lock strikers

There are two types of spring latches that you will encounter: one that is for the inside and one for the outside. The latch that you will need for this tutorial has three important components, namely, sliding bolt, release lever, and operating lever.

The sliding bolt is the component that locks the door while the release lever is responsible for throwing open the bolt once it is released. An operating lever, on the other hand, is responsible for extending the bolt, either manually or using an external handle. Make sure that the latches you will purchase have these components.

Door lock strikers can be purchased separately or they are already included in the package. These strikers are important since they engage the latch and hold it in place once it is locked.

Driller and drill bit


You will need an impact drill since you will be dealing with a material that is made of metal. Before you start drilling, set your RPM at a low speed. If you are about to drill stainless steel, don’t adjust the RPM beyond 600 RPM. You can increase the speed once the drilling is turning smoothly.

In choosing a drill bit, you can settle with high-speed steel (HHS) because it can be used for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. In terms of the size, you need a 3/16″ drill bit. You can also purchase HSS drill bits that have a split point so you won’t need to use a center punch.



If the lockset does not include a cable, you can purchase it separately. The length of the cable will depend on the size and type of your garage door. A vertical-lift and high-lift garage doors need longer cables compared to standard-lift doors.

For standard-lift doors, you can get the right measurement you need for the cable by adding 18 inches to the door height.

There are different types of cables you can choose from such as the open-loop, thimble, and spool. The purpose of the cable stop is to make sure that the cable will sit evenly with the cable drum.

Track bolts and flange nuts


A track bolt is machinery that is typically used for railway construction to fasten and tighten the track and to connect it with another rail. It also comes with two parts of fastener, namely, threaded bolt and nut. Sometimes a lock washer is added to prevent the track bolt from changing position caused by vibrations.

The size of the track bolts must be ¼” by ⅝”. It must have a slotted rib neck so that the bolt can spin. For the nuts, you need a ¼ serrated flange so that it will prevent loosening.



You will need a lubricant so that the garage door lock can perform smoothly. It also helps in preventing the garage door from making any noise.

You can choose silicone spray as an option since it is an ideal lubricant for the small moving parts of the door. Usually, it comes with a thin straw attachment. Compared to standard degreasers and engine oil, it does not have any buildup of dust and dirt.

If you don’t have a silicone spray, you can also use white lithium grease. It is applied using a hand so it is easier to spread on a garage door lock. Moreover, it is made of soap and oil that are adhesive to the metal.

How to Lock Garage Door from Outside Intructions


Step 1: Install the outside keyed handle and inside release handle on the garage door

Look for the holes located at the center of the stiles that are designed for the lock. Drill 3/16″ holes from the inside and drill three larger holes in the outside skin only. Install the outside lock T-handle and insert the inside release handle. Place the long screws that connect the two handles.

Step 2: Place the spring latches to the ends of the lock section and connect them to the release handle

Place the spring latches to the ends of the section by screwing them. Once you are done installing them, you can now connect them to the release handle located at the center of the garage door using cables. Make sure that they are tight by pulling them.

If the cables are loose, the lock will not work. To test if they are tight enough, check if the latches are pulled once you turn the outside handle. If not, try removing the inside handle and place the outside handle in a 90-degree position.

Step 3: Install the garage door lock strikers & apply lubrication

To install the garage door lock strikers, you need to close the door. Make sure that the striker is aligned to the latch, then fasten two track bolts and flange nuts to the striker to secure it. After that, test if the lock is working. Don’t forget to apply lubrication to the latch and the inside release handle.

Also read: 5 steps to install garage door lock.


Do you enjoy our tutorial on how to lock garage door from outside? The steps will help you in locking garage doors. However, this method only works manually. You may need to find another tutorial if you want an automatic garage door lock. Also, in case you lose your key, check out this guide for more details on how to unlock the garage with paperclips.

If you find this post useful, you can share it with your friends and loved ones so they will also have an idea of how to lock their garage doors from the outside. You are also free to share your experiences while following each step. Just leave a comment below.

Read next: Detailed guide to lock garage door from inside.

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