How To Program Old Craftsman Garage Door Opener

Patricia Oelze
by Patricia Oelze

Having an automatic garage door does not mean much if the opener will not work. For some reason, the Sears Craftsman garage door opener remotes just stop working after a while. This means you have to buy a new remote. Or does it?

You can program the remote yourself with just a few steps and it will not cost you a penny. With this article, you can learn to program your remote so you can use it again without having to buy another one.

This is a pretty easy task so you should have no trouble doing it. If you can read this, you should be able to reprogram your Craftsman garage door opener with no problem in just a few minutes.

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Get the Tools You Need

The only thing you should need for this is a stepladder and your old remote control. If you do not have the old one or are trying to hook up a universal remote or Genie, you will need that too.

For the Original Remote Control

If you are trying to use the old remote control, make sure it has fresh batteries before you begin. There is nothing more aggravating than spending 15 minutes trying to program a remote with dead batteries.

Find the Garage Door Control Box

If you do not have a wall control box on the outside or inside of the garage door, you will need that stepladder to reach the garage door control box. The large box on the ceiling inside your garage door is the garage door control box.

Find the Smart Button

Sometimes called a Learn Button or the Program Button, this is the main button on your garage door control box. It can usually be found by looking at the back of the motor or the wall control box. Once you find the button, take the following steps:

  • Press and release the smart button
  • The light on the motor will come on for 30 seconds
  • After the light goes out, press and hold the button on the remote until the light on the motor blinks twice
  • Release the button and it should be programmed
  • Repeat these steps with any other remote controls you use

If your remote has more than one button, you should be able to program it by pressing any of them. However, it is typically the button that you press to open the garage.

If That Does Not Work

Sometimes you may have to try a different tactic. It really depends on the model, style, and age of the garage door opener. If the steps above do not work, try these:

  • Press and release the smart button
  • Wait for the light on the motor to go off
  • While holding down the button on your remote, hold down the button on your garage door control box that says SRT
  • Keep holding both buttons until the light on the motor flashes
  • Repeat with any other remote controls you use

For the Universal Remote Control

If you have a Genie or universal remote you want to use on your garage door, you can program it too. For the Genie, it is just a matter of getting the transmitter codes to match up by taking these steps:

  • Press and release the smart button
  • Wait for the light to go off
  • Press the button on the remote three times
  • Wait a few seconds and test the remote
  • If that does not work, try it again

If That Does Not Work

Once again, there are different types of remotes that sometimes have to be programmed differently. If the above steps do not work for your remote, you may have an internal code system that needs to be matched.

Look for two small switches on your garage door control box. One of the switches will have a choice of 9 or 12 and the other switch (programming switch) will say S (for set) and R (for run). Take the following steps to set the codes correctly:

  • Check to see which number your garage door control box is set on
  • Match the code settings up with your remote
  • Move the programming switch to S and press the transmitter button on your remote
  • Put the programming switch back to R and test the remote

Other Reasons to Reprogram Your Remote Control

If you have ever given your passcode to a service technician or someone else you do not know, it is time to set a new code. Also, if you have just moved into a new place you should change the code and any other keyless entries you have.

How to Reprogram a Keyless Entry

The keyless entry keypad near your garage door should always be reprogrammed if you believe someone has the code. Even if you do not suspect it has been compromised, it is a good idea to change the code every few months anyway. These simple steps will help you reprogram your keyless entry:

  • Press and hold the program key, 6 key, and the up/down key in that order
  • Release all three buttons when the LED lights go out
  • Press and release the 3, 5, 7, and program keys in that order
  • When the light flashes, it is ready for a new code
  • Enter a PIN that you can remember with three to eight numbers
  • Press the program button
  • After the LED lights flash, press and hold the program button until the lights go on again and stay on
  • Release the button and only one light should be on
  • Press and release the program button again and the light will start flashing
  • On your remote, press the button that opens the door until the light flashes
  • Enter your PIN into the keypad and press the up/down button
  • After the lights go on and stay on, press the up/down button again to set the PIN
  • Test the door to make sure it works with both the remote and the keypad

Other Problems with the Garage Door

If your garage door is not working, there are many issues that this could be. The first thing to check is the batteries. However, other things can cause this problem such as:

  • Disconnected switches or wiring
  • Tension cables are broken
  • Torsion springs are broken
  • The track is not aligned
  • Photo-eye is not aligned

If you suspect any of these problems, it is best to call an expert. Even if you have the confidence that you can do it yourself, it may void the warranty if you do not use a professional for these kinds of issues.

The Benefits of Having a Craftsman Garage Door

Garage door openers have been around since 1926 although they were not common in the average home until much later. The Craftsman name has been a reliable brand since it opened in 1927 and they have been making award-winning garage door openers since then.

Remote controls came along in 1931 and were popular with many homeowners by the 1950s. Not only are remote controlled garage doors convenient, but they are also good for security.

1. Convenience

If you’ve just returned home from the grocery store, there’s nothing more convenient than having the ability to operate your garage door from the comfort of your vehicle. With the help of a remote control, you can travel and in and out of your garage without ever having to leave your car to manually open the garage door.

This is precisely how owning a Craftsman garage door opener adds convenience to your daily life.

2. Safety and Security

The old-fashioned garage door is typically not very hard to get into if you want to and it is this problem that made garage door openers so popular. Being able to open your garage by remote can keep you from coming back to a ransacked home. Also, there is nothing like the relief you feel when it is pouring down rain and you can open your garage door from the car to get into your warm and dry garage.

Studies have found that garage doors pose a serious risk of injury or even death to children. Even if you don’t have children at home, a manually operated door could crash down on someone or something. This is precisely why automatic garage door openers, like the Craftsman brand, are crucial to ensure the safety of you and your family.

3. Built-In Lighting

One of the greatest features of new Craftsman garage door openers is the fact that they are outfitted with built-in lighting. Small LEDs line the entire upper section of the opener, making visibility much easier.

This feature can be incredibly beneficial to have, especially if you don’t have any street lighting in front of your house. Also, built-in lighting comes in handy during those long winter nights or inclement weather situations.

4. Low Energy Consumption

If you own a more modern garage door opener, you get to enjoy the benefit of it running on very little energy. In fact, the majority of the Craftsman garage door openers of today, if not all, do not require much power to operate.

Unlike many other household devices, you won’t see your garage door opener weighing heavily on your utility bills.

5. Features Upon Features

Provided that you can afford to spend a considerable amount of money on a garage door opener that comes with all the bells and whistles, you may be able to enjoy one that connects with your phone. Many of these types of devices have apps that you can download and use to install and operate your garage door opener.

Aside from giving you the option of opening and closing the garage door from your smartphone, they will also sound an alarm when the door is opening. This offers an additional layer of security and peace of mind.

Or, if you ever feel that you may have accidentally forgot to shut the garage door when you left the house, you can close it from your phone.
These are just a couple of benefits of having a remote-controlled garage door.

Why Is My Craftsman Garage Door Not Closing Completely?

If your garage door won’t close all the way, this could be a response to one of the following issues:

  • The safety sensors need to be realigned.
  • The rollers are rusted or damaged, due to age or general wear and tear.
  • The close-limit switch needs a readjustment.

Why Isn’t My Craftsman Garage Door Working?

If your Craftsman garage door isn’t operating as expected, here are some of the possible reasons:

  • One or both of the photo-eyes are misaligned. Garage doors operate by two photo eyes on either side of the door. One sends the signal, while the other receives it. If one or both of them are out of alignment, your garage door will not function.
  • Dead batteries. The transmitters in your Craftsman garage door require batteries to send signals. If the batteries are dead, the transmitter will not operate, causing your entire door opening to also not be operational.
  • Disconnect switch is enabled. In the event of a power failure, the disconnect switch allows you to manually operate your garage door, regardless of the manufacturer. If you’ve previously used the switch, it must be reattached to the motor manually. Otherwise, if the switch is left freed, your door opener simply won’t work.
  • Door track isn’t properly aligned. The track that the door moves up and down on must be aligned correctly. If not, the door cannot move or operate as it is meant to. The presences of gaps in between the roller and rail, along with bends in the rails, are all signs that something is wrong with the door track.
  • Tension springs or cables are broken. Pay attention to the way your garage door closes. If it does so with a loud bang, chances are the either the tension springs or cables are broken. These are responsible for the door lowering safely and slowly and must be switched out when damaged.

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Final Thoughts

As indicated above, programming your old Craftsman garage door opener requires more brains than brawn. This task simply does not necessitate much physical effort on your behalf to ensure that your opener works effortlessly with the new remote as it did with your old one.

So long as you follow the aforementioned steps to the letter, you can have your old Craftsman garage door opener functioning like new and be compatible with virtually any remote.

Patricia Oelze
Patricia Oelze

I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.

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