How to Install Garage Door Slide Locks

Garage Door Slide Lock Latch

Garage door slide locks are also called latches, side bolts and side locks. They are levered locks that mount on the end stile of your garage door and latch through your vertical track. Slide locks are a cost effective way to secure your overhead door if your door is opened manually without the use of a garage door opener. Slide locks are extremely easy to install provided you have the right tools and materials. Here is a step by step installation guide.

Start with your garage door in the closed position and unplug the garage door opener power cord from the ceiling outlet. That way nobody accidentally opens up your garage door during installation. It is important to note that slide locks should only be installed on garage doors that don’t already have garage door openers installed. Running your garage door opener with the slide lock engaged can severely damage your garage door panels, track and opener.

Materials Needed:Garage Door Track Slug

  • Slide Lock Latch 2″ or 3″ Universal Bolt
  • (4) Self Drilling Hex 7/16″ Screws (Metal Doors)
  • Lag Screws (For Wood Doors Only)
  • Impact Drill or Wrench (7/16″ Bit”)
  • Flathead Screw Driver or Hole Punch

You garage door slide lock should be installed on the second section from the bottom on either side of your garage door. Your door manufacturer will usually provide a small rectangular slug template in the vertical track. You will have to knock that out so the latch on your lock will go through the track. Other manufacturers already have a vertical groove built into the vertical track.

Align the slide lock with the bolt engaged into the vertical groove or punched hole. Then install two self drilling hex screws both above and below the base of the lock. Both the slide lock and end stile of your garage door should have pilot holes in place as a guide. Do not over tighten the self drilling screws as this will strip out the fastener thread or door stile. A keyed padlock can be inserted into the hole on the latch bolt end for extra security.

If you insist on installing a slide lock on a garage door that already has an automatic opener installed we suggest securing the latch until needed. To do this simply shoot another self drilling screw into the base of the lock through the latch. This will prevent someone from accidentally engaging the lock. They would first have to remove the self tapping screw to slide the latch bolt into the track.Slide Lock Install


  • Lower Door to Closed Position
  • Unplug Opener Cord from Outlet
  • Punch Out Slug Template in Vertical Track
  • Secure Latch Bolt  Using (4) Self Drilling Screws


Garage Door Guide Cal
Hello, I’m Cal – owner of Garage Door Guide LLC    

I write tutorials about garage door repair, installation and maintenance. With over a decade of experience in the overhead door industry I’ve learned a lot and I’d like to share my knowledge with you.

2 thoughts on “How to Install Garage Door Slide Locks

  1. Noah says:

    The garage door I’m confronted with securing already has the slide locks in place. What it lacks is the transfer bars to the center of the door and the lock mechanism that actuates them. How do I install this?

    • Garage Door Guide says:

      “Lock bars” are obsolete. They have been replaced by lock systems that use cables in place of the steel bars. On each side of the door latches are installed into the track…when the T handle is twisted it releases the latches and the door is free to move.

      You would have to order a “T” handle (cable) lock kit…its best to order them from the same company that manufactured the door for compatibility reasons. I would also suggest consulting the door manufacturer, although there are usually install instructions that come with the T handle lock kits inside the packaging.

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