LiftMaster Garage Door Opener Opens But Won’t Close

By Todd Fratzel on Garages

LiftMaster Garage Door Opener Won’t Close Door

I’ve been a huge fan of LiftMaster Garage Door Openers for years. I like them so much because they work very well and last a long time. So this winter when I started having trouble with my door opener I was a bit puzzled and frustrated. However, as you’ll learn below the solution to this problem was extremely easy to fix and something you should know for the future.

The Problem: The door would always open fine but then would have trouble closing. Sometimes it would close part way before stopping and reversing and other times it wouldn’t open at all. Another clue to the mystery was if you held the wall switch the door would completely close. However, the remote would not be able to close the door even if you held the button.

The Solution: Adjusting the Protector System® sensors fixed my problem and the door now operates correctly.

The Protector System® Safety Reversing Sensors

Years ago garage door openers were required to utilize safety sensors to prevent doors from closing on small children. LiftMaster uses the Protector System® which projects an invisible light beam across the door opening and automatically opens the door if something/someone crosses it’s path.

So at first I didn’t think the Protector System® was to blame. Each time the door was having trouble I’d get out of my truck and check to be sure the path between the sensors was all clear. Each time I’d discover nothing in the way so I figured the sensors were fine.

Adjusting Reversing Sensors

In order for the safety reversing sensors to work properly they must be aligned correctly. One of the sensors is a sending unit (shoots the light out) and the other is a receiver which ‘catches’ the light beam. The following comes from the User’s manual:


  • Plug in the opener. The indicator lights in both the sending and receiving eyes will glow steadily if wiring connections and alignment are correct.

The sending eye amber indicator light will glow regardless of alignment or obstruction. If the green indicator light in the receiving eye is off, dim, or flickering (and the invisible light beam path is not obstructed), alignment is required.

  • Loosen the sending eye wing nut and readjust, aiming directly at the receiving eye. Lock in place.
  • Loosen the receiving eye wing nut and adjust sensor until it receives the sender’s beam. When the green indicator light glows steadily, tighten the wing nut.

So there you have it. If your garage door opens ok but won’t close then it’s possible the safety reversing sensors are not correctly aligned. Don’t just assume that if the path is clear that the sensors are ok. This problem bugged me for several months. Hopefully after you read this you won’t have the same problem in the future.


About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. James says:

    Thanks for posting the alignment tips. You really saved the day.
    I bought my house about 6 years ago and the garage opener worked flawlessly until last week, when it stopped closing correctly.
    I figured it had to be the sensors but had absolutely no idea how to adjust them (eyeballing was doing nothing).


  2. Todd says:

    Thank You! Took 2 minutes to fix.

  3. Paul says:

    Thanks for the info. I had the same problem. I adjusted the force screws, which did not help. After reading the info you posted, I checked the indicator lights. One of them was disconnected. I reconnected the wire and it did the trick!!

  4. George says:

    I just did it and it worked – the problem was exactly as described and so was the solution! Thank you very much!

  5. Lorne says:

    Worked great, but watch for corrosion in the wire to the sensors.

  6. Kevin says:

    thanks for the info, about an 1/8″ off on alignment, wouldn’t think that small amount would matter but that was the problem

  7. Joseph says:

    Hello, I have a problem where the openers will open the door, but neither will close it. The wall unit will close the door.
    I have a solid green and a solid amber light on the sensors.

    If I manually close the door, and quickly run to the door and obstruct the sensor, the door will immediately go back up. So, it seems to me both sensors are working properly.

    If I put my hand between the sensors, the green sensor will go dark. So, again, I think the sensors are ok.

    Anything else?


    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Does it start to close at all?

      • Gary D. Currington says:

        No, the door does not start to close at all. The remote
        will open the door, not close. Sensors are OK, both lights are green and are steady. Model 1200 1/3 HP Lift Master

        • Todd Fratzel says:

          Seems like maybe the electronics that make sure it won’t close on someone are messed up. Have you adjusted the setting on it for how much pressure makes it reverse?

          • Gary D. Currington says:

            No. What setting would that be?
            Please note the door will operate with the wall mounted

          • Todd Fratzel says:

            Most liftmasters have a dial on the motor housing that adjusts the setting that engages the safety opening. If the wall one is working, I’m stumped…maybe a bad remote?

        • Jim says:

          I ran into problems when I put in an LED bulb into the lift unit. It transmits radio signals that interfered. I could open the door, but not close it, with the remote unit. I took out the bulb, and it worked fine.

  8. Joseph says:

    I contacted support and worked with them for a while. It was determined the board was bad. I found someone on ebay selling boards for $33, so I got one and replaced my board. All works now.

    This is the link to eBay for that board:

  9. Angel F says:

    Hi, my problem is exactly as described, except that the amber sending light does not go on at all. So both the green light on the receiving and the amber light on the sending units are not on. You mentioned that the amber light should always be on. Does that mean that there is something else wrong with the sending unit?

    Thank you,
    Angie F

  10. DJR says:

    The door goes down as far as the sensor then goes back up and then the light blinks. Both sensors are solid. Checked to make sure the green is steady and it is. What makes it go as far as the sensor then go back up? Only does it about 50% of the time. The other 50% it works fine.

    • ervin sloboda says:

      when the door goes down to the sensors and goes back up. Make sure you didn’t do what I did. Left the rope hanging loose and it would get in the path of the beam. Felt real dumb.

  11. pman19 says:

    just changed out my sensors. i can open the door but not close it. the lights on the sensors are on when the door is closed. after opening the door they go off. when i try to close the door again the motor unit flashes 10 times and door budges slightly but wont go down. i thought the sensors were buggered due to cold weather so i changed them. do i have to reset the settings? if so how do i do this? help

  12. Shawn E says:

    A couple additional thoughts: this issue could also be caused by short-circuit, bad contact, wrong wiring or broken wire from the safety sensor system to the garage opener. To help troubleshoot, your garage door opener may have diagnostics using a small flashing LED – count the number of times it flashes and look at the operating manual to de-code.

  13. Patrick says:

    Perfect. It has been driving me crazy for a month. Now we have the fix. Thanks for posting.

  14. If you’re not able to fix [or align] the sensors..
    Is there anyway to disconnect the sensors, and just use the remote control to open/close the garage door?
    Thank you.

  15. ervin sloboda says:

    I have tried the paper towel tube with no success. I have changed the sensors and reversed them with no success. I have cleaned the lenses with no success. The thing I noticed today, the green light is flickering when the door is open, it’s like it’s on AC. When the door is closed , it is solid.
    When it is a cloudy day or nite, it works fine. The sun isn’t even hitting the sensors. So I’m guessing the next thing is the board or get a bigger hammer!!

  16. Howard says:

    For people who believe the circuit board needs replacement. A likely problem area is a failed capacitor in the AC/DC converter on the board. See below

  17. Jeff Norris says:

    The repair worked just as prescribed. I learned this after a LiftMaster Certified repair person tried to charge me $1350 for an entire new system. I politely asked him to leave, pulled up this site and made the proper repair. Works just like brand new.

  18. Greg says:

    Thank you! That did it.

  19. Abrian White says:

    It worked! You are thee best!!! I wish had found this blog a month ago!! I have had to open the garage, pull out, go close it by holding the button, and leave out the front door one too many times!!

    Thank you!

  20. John R Jellum says:

    Same problem on no close. Rec sensor lit but not alined. Thanks for the help.

  21. Chelsea says:

    So I was working on a commercial liftmaster door and I tried adjusting the sensors and nothing happened. I called tech support and they said it was probably the circuit board but I wanted to be sure. The master light blinks 5 times and the radio light stays solid amber. The light went off while adjusting the emitter sensor but at first but after I couldn’t get the light to go out again even when I pushed the radio button on the board itself. Any ideas? Is it actually the circuit board?

  22. Christophe Bobda says:

    Wonderfull hint.
    Thanks so much. My garage would not close with the remote. This has been going on for 2 month. I always have to close from the switch. After reading this post, I went and check the sensor alignment. I figure out the screw holding the sender was loose and it was facing down. I put it back and everything is working just fine. I spent no more than 1 minute on it.

    Thanks again for saving me money and time

  23. Steve Ussery says:

    My girlfriend called the garage door company to come out and look at the garage door opener with same problem. She said he didn’t do anything but wanted to sell her a new $700.00 opener. Luckily there was no charge. After pulling up your link I was able to fix the opener within minutes. Thanks for your help!

  24. Rick r says:

    Our will open but not close and has 2 safety sensors and only one has a green light ,could this be my problem .

  25. Peter says:

    Thanks so much for this article! Your advice solved our garage door problem immediately. Thanks so much!

  26. Larry M says:

    This problem has been haunting me on and off for weeks. After reading and adjusting the green sensor, Problem Solved! Apparently when I would roll out recycling I would nudge it and knock it out of whack. Thank you.

  27. JR says:

    Thank you I adjusted the eye beam and it is working like a charm I appreciate the good advice!

  28. Mark Buker says:

    Liftmaster garage door opener….3 years old. Door will not shut and both lights are out on the sensors. It will shut if you hold the wall switch. Sometimes the sensor lights are on and it operates correctly, but most of the time the sensor lights are out.

    Whats UP?

  29. PJ says:

    Bless you for such a great and helpful site!
    Mine was flickering and now it’s resolved.

  30. loosedrag says:

    The amber and green light are solid and nothing is obstructing yet it goes almost to the floor and reverses. If I’m inside and help it slightly with my foot it will stay down. Of course I can’t be doing that all the time. Is there another remedy?

  31. loosedrag says:

    Beams are solid. No obstruction, wheels are greased and door reverses about a foot from the floor. I can step on it before it reverses slightly to help it close, but, is it a tension issue? I don’t see a screw to turn.

  32. Robert says:

    It was the LED bulbs. I replaced standard bulbs with LED. Door would open but not shut. Standard bulbs solved the problem.

    • Vance says:

      I just had the same issue! Pissed me off! I just spent a good chunk of money on really nice LED bulbs. I guess they put out a signal that blocks the closing code from my vehicles. I literally had to be 10 foot from the motor to make it work. So bloody frustrating. But, at least I didn’t replace my motor for using 20 dollar bulbs.

  33. Dotun says:

    Thanks so much!

  34. Shelly says:

    Help. Green sensor light is on but Amber is not on. Fiddled with it tried to realign to make it light, but nothing. Could that one sensor be shot??

  35. Roger Ashlock says:

    I’m having the same problems as others. My door willnt close all the way, it reverses and opens. It doesn’t matter if I use the remote or push button by the door. I even tried holding the door push button down in the closed position. It still would open. I have a steady amber and green indicating light on my sensors. The senors indication lights stay on steady. They don’t flicker when the door opens or closes. The only time the indication light goes out is when I break the beam. Help in Washington. Thanks in advance.

  36. Brian N. says:

    So glad I found this page. Garage door wouldn’t close with the remote and I was going nuts trying to figure it out. Turns out the green receiving light was loose and flickering. I tightened the nut and it works fine now. Thanks a lot!

  37. Jean C says:

    One door would raise with remotes, but would not go back down except with the wall switch held firmly till the door went all the way to the floor. Thankfully we have 2 garage doors, so I could look at the operational one and deduct some conclusions. After reading this thread, I realized I hadn’t even noticed the yellow and green sensor lights on the operational door’s sensors — so that was my first clue when I began to look closely at my door that wouldn’t go down = there were no sensor lights on that side. After a lot of reading, I discovered that the amber light should be ON all the time, and if everything is in alignment, then the green light will also be on. Second clue — no amber light must mean no power. So I started looking at connections, and found a jerry-rigged connection up near the drive unit. Someone had kinda taped it together (I suspect the chain cut it sometime), and upon closer examination I realized those wrapped wires were not connected. So after stripping an end on the wire, I was able to get a teeny wire-nut on it & plug in the drive again — and BINGO — amber sensor light. A bit of alignment and all is working well. Thanks for your comments.

  38. Jennifer says:

    I am having the same issue. Door will open when I come home with the remote, but when I leave my house, I can’t close it with the remote. I changed the batteries in the remote and that didn’t work either. After reading this page, I went out and looked at the sensors. Both the amber light and the green light are steadily on. I tried to realign the eyes and still nothing. I was hoping this could be a quick fix. What am I missing???

  39. B says:

    Thank you Todd! You saved me a lot of money. My garage door was acting up for a while now. One light was steady green & the other was flickering (on the 2 sensors). I loosened the the screw holding the sensor on the flickering one and re-positioned, until the light was steady green. Pressed the remote and the door closed without any problems.

    Thank you for sharing.


    June 2018

  40. Donna says:

    I had the same problem, door would go up with remote and wall unit, but would not go down without stopping and reversing, if I held the wall unit button it would go down after 3 tries, but not with remote. I checked the manual, since the light did not flicker when the door reversed itself in the downward motion, i increased the force screw on the down motion on the opener unit in the back, one notch at a time, in clockwise direction, until the door went down without reversing. Works fine now with remote and wall button. Before I did that I made sure sensors were aligned.
    This blog was very helpful. Hope this works for you.

  41. diane bielefeld says:

    thanks so much. i did exactly what you said and it worked. thanks so much!!


  42. Marg says:

    My small golf cart garage door will not close with remote but will open & both lights are on Amber & green so they are in line also changed battery in remote?

  43. Eddie Hsu says:

    Hi Todd,
    I have 3 Liftmaster Garage door openers when I bought my house few years ago, they all worked fine for all these years. The house was built in 1998. But recently, I have problems with one of the openers, it opens or closes only once with the remote, then it won’t work until about 4 minutes later after the light goes out. But it works with the wall control with or without light being on or off every time. I tried to replace the light bulb with incandescent bulb, or just took it of completely. But it still wouldn’t respond with the remote until I hear a “Click” from the motor unit, which indicates the light sensor is off, then it works again. I wonder if the light sensor interferes the signal from the remote whenever there is electric circuit going through the light bulb unit. What’s your advice? Can I reduce the factory setting of the length of light from 4 min. to 30 seconds? Thanks.

  44. Jay Reid says:

    One more cause- My remote works once in either direction, then I have to wait for the light to time out before the remote will work again- I checked the battery in the outdoor keypad and it needed replacing- that solved my problems. Jay

  45. Val says:

    Thank you very much for the clear and easy fix.

  46. Tom says:

    Thank you Todd ! this has been driving me crazy. It was the LED bulb !

  47. Monna says:

    Thank you so much. I’m a 71 year-old woman and was able to fix this in 2 minutes.

  48. Nas says:

    It worked!!!!
    Thanks alot for the tip. I was getting very frustrated having to get the car out of garage, then jump out to close the door manually with the garage button, then walk out through the front door……This was after trying a few other things including changing remote batteries etc.

  49. Dan Serban says:

    I do have this problem with a twist.
    The sensors are fine but in the morning I cannot close the door with neither of my remotes.
    I have two cars. One has the homelink for a year now and working fine. The other, I just got and is no way to program homelink.
    I also programmed and extra button on the remote and except in the morning, it works.
    Any suggestions will be appreciated

  50. Tim W says:

    I replaced CFL bulbs in the unit with LED bulbs. Not putting 2 and 2 together the remote stopped closing the door. I tried adjusting everything and re programming the remotes. Eventually I read the string here on the LED bulbs emitted a “radio” type wave and that they interfered with the signal from the remote.
    I changed back to the CFL’s and the remote worked again, just as before, opening AND closing the door. Thanks for the heads up and the Liftmaster door I have had for a number of years has and is again working flawlessly.

  51. Scot says:

    I am glad I found this site two days ago I put LED bulbs in and the garage door will go up but will not go down without holding the button until it reaches the floor. Just took the LED bulbs out and it’s now working fine

  52. Shannon says:

    I’m having a similar problem to the post by JOSEPH (7th post from the top) but I’m unable to reply to that post for some odd reason. I have a double garage and my other side is working properly. I took out the LED bulbs from both sides hoping that would resolve the issue with the side that is causing problems, but no luck. Would appreciate any help and suggestions or if anyone has had this issue how to resolve it.

    the openers will open the door, but neither will close it (UPDATE: now the openers won’t even sync to open the door, this just started recently)
    The wall unit will close the door and I don’t have to hold it down.
    I have a solid green and a solid amber light on the sensors.

    If I manually close the door, and quickly run to the door and obstruct the sensor, the door will immediately go back up. So, it seems to me both sensors are working properly.

    If I put my hand between the sensors, the green sensor will go dark. So, again, I think the sensors are ok

    Something we’re missing??

    Thanks in advance!

  53. Todd says:

    My Liftmaster opens fine and closes fine…except about a month ago it now stops about 4 inches from the cement floor – it doesn’t reverse. I’ve tried adjusting the down adjuster but that does nothing. The sensor light glows green and appears to be fine. I’ve disconnected the door with the rope and run it up and down and it closes just fine when it’s disconnected. What could be causing my door to stop 4 inches short? Help! Thanks.

  54. Todd says:

    P.S. Issue is the same whether I use the remote or the regular wall opener. My garage door is 12 years old and has worked fine until this problem.

  55. Bruce Fredrickson says:

    I have a LiftMaster model 3900PLD on a pole barn. It has tin inside and out. My old remote quit working [single button] so brought a 3 button remote from a local dealer. He said the new button would have longer range then the old button ever did. No such luck. I tried extending the antenna wire out 7 feet horizoning above the door. Still no luck. The dealer came out and tried to make it work. No go. Mentioned there might be an antenna booster available. Any thoughts on this. Remote works inside as does the single button control station.

  56. joe moroz says:

    i have a liftmaster 1260 lm. it opens but does not close. both sensors are solid green. i align the sender beam out of alighnment ,yet the receiving sensor stays green. is the receiving sensor bad?

  57. P. White says:

    Liftmaster 2500 manufactured in 2001.

    Replaced motor provided by Chamberlain under “lifetime Warranty.

    Followed owner manual instructions to set travel limits.

    After 1 cycle (close then open)the door stops on the way down about 3 feet off the ground. Remote and wall switch will open the door fully but door continues to stop at 3 feet on the close command.

    Circuit board issue????

  58. Charles Held says:

    I have the opposite problem: doors will close but not open. Two LiftMaster systems; both started having the same problem a week ago. The car remotes (Lexus for one, Hyundai for the other) will close the doors fine, but will NOT open them.

  59. thanks i had the same problems door not closing only by wall unit. it helped me alot with the alignment part got me thinking. I apparently bumped it (by the walk in door) the other side a can had fallen on it. not sure which was at fault but the one by the door a little jiggle did the trick.

  60. Ed says:

    Assuming you meant that it does not close with the remote, do you have an LED bulb in the unit? I had the exact same situation and removed the LED bulb and it now closes with the remote. Some LED bulbs generate radio signals that interfere with the remote “closing” signal.

  61. Michael Nelson says:

    I had LED lightbulbs in my garage door opener and was having the “…open, but won’t close” problem.
    I changed the bulbs to 40-watt incandescent appliance bulbs and all seems to be well.

  62. Bryan Paul Hildebrand says:

    Hi I have the same problem and the door eyes are aligned right and clean. The door begins to close about 10″ and then reverses. This started when the main drive shaft went bad and had to replace it. It all went well. got the chain back on and the door closed and opened. It ran to far on the open end and bottomed out on the stop bolt before the motor. Got that taken care of and now it will not close. It start’s and runs 6-10″ and reverses back open. Does it with the chain hooked up or removed. both door eyes are aligned and torque settings are fine. The torque is set to max and still won’t work. any ideas please.

  63. Bryan Paul Hildebrand says:

    Ok I got it figured out. There is a item called a rpm reader in the opener motor area. I apparently knocked the sensor fly wheel out of place. Once I pushed it back in place all worked fine. Just a little fine tune on the travel settings and all done. Hopefully this might help someone else.

  64. Nina says:

    I have a LiftMaster Professional 1/3 H.P. Garage opener. About a month and a half ago it started not working properly. Sometimes it will open and not close and sometimes it will close and not open. It works fine if you manually push the garage door button at the wall. I replaced the battery and ordered new remotes and it still does the same thing. After reading the comments I will check the sensors this evening. Please provide some options other than the sensors.

  65. Mike says:

    I want to bump the LED comment. I checked my sensors and they are working perfectly. The only thing I’ve done is add an LED lightbulb to replace a bad CFL. Craziness!!!

  66. Jerry Dichiara says:

    Have liftmast unit about 15 years old. Unit opens fine but go to close and it starts and reverses after 3 seconds of travel. Light doesn’t blink like the sensor was tripped. if i block sensor it reverses and light blinks so sensors are fine. Its doing this via remote or wall switch

  67. Rick says:

    My door closes about 8 to 10 inches then goes back up. Sensors are fine. If I put a little down pressure on the door it closes fine. It will not work on the direct connected opener nor the remotes. It some times works fine about 8 out of 10 times it doesn’t. I am confused…. any help would be great,,,,

  68. Karl R Kriegh says:

    I had the LED light problem too! For months my wife struggled to close the door with the remotes, even having to get out and actuate it with the wired control. Changed the lights back to incandescent and the problem was solved!

  69. Kenneth says:

    I have a 10+ year old lift master.
    The door will always open and close with the wall opener. In when I am leaving in the car the door will open with any of the 3 devices. I back the car out and then the 2 remotes will not work to close the door.

    I changed the remote batteries, same problem. I got a new remote, same problem.

    Tested door sensors when the door is closing they still work and the door opens back up.

    IF I take any of the remotes and hold it close to the main unit and hold the button then the unit gets the signal and the door will close.

    Note: this problem began when the current winter season hit subzero temperatures in my area. I’m thinking the cold has affected the main unit, possibly the capacitor?

  70. Mehrdad Alborzi says:

    I have to keep pressing the button till end of closure of my garage door, otherwise it re-opens. No problem with opening. No problem with the sensors.

  71. Ken says:

    LED bulb was our problem too. Door would open no problem, but would not close from the fob if the car was more than about 10 feet from the garage.

  72. Philip says:

    Just started having the, while using the remote, will open but not close. I put in LEDs a while ago. Wi;ll try replacing them and report back. Very helpful group!

  73. Robert says:

    My problem was the door opened but would not close. I thought it might be the sun but it wasn’t shining on the two sensors. Both sensors had a steady light – green on one side and amber on the other. I held down the garage opener and it shut just fine. So I was beflumoxed. I researched and noted one video said to adjust the closing force and that did it for them so I was up for checking the back of the opener – got the ladder out and up I went and there was this wasp mud nest up there so knocked that down and there was no force setting on the back of this Liftmaster 8160W so got down again and figured I’d try it again and wow it closed. So evidently a wasp mud nest got built and must have been shorting something out up there so keep in mind it could be something as simple as that dorking up your opener – and it was out of sight so you wouldn’t notice until you got up on the ladder to look around at the opener.

  74. Richard says:

    It worked like a charm!!! It was a loose wire and the amber light came back on.

  75. Alfred Arredondo says:

    1 of the sensors blinking red & the other stays green & car remote doesn’t work, what is the issue & how do I resolve the issue(s)?

  76. Marc Prouty says:

    I have a customer with a model 41A5021c opener, manufactured 9/98. The trolley is currently in the open position (just forward of the stop bolt). When I try to close it, the trolley travels about 10-12 inches, then reverses. I have tried it with the door attached as well as unattached, with the same result. Any thoughts?

  77. Charles says:

    Dude! Thank you! I couldn’t close the garage door except for holding down the open/close button that is mounted to the garage wall. One eye had somehow been moved up several inches, and a quick adjustment cost me nothing and solved everything. Cheers!

  78. Andre says:

    Woo Hoo! Thank you for posting this. Exactly my problem. The sending sensor was, I guess, hit by a trash can and was aimed up a bit. All fixed. Thank you again!

  79. Mrs. Phyllis Besenfelder says:

    green light is on, not amber one.
    door works sporadically with both wall opener and remote.

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