Use Amazon Alexa to control your MyQ garage door opener for free!
Use Amazon Alexa to control your MyQ garage door opener for free!

**As of 8/23/2021, SimpleCommands has fixed their link to MyQ. This procedure is now the one to use, with some modification**

Have you been looking for a way to use Alexa to control your MyQ garage door? I bet all you’re finding is to pay an annual subscription fee to Chamberlain. Granted, it’s only $10 per year to subscribe, but it is pretty selfish of Chamberlain since they had an Alexa skill, but chose to remove it in order to charge a fee. I looked too, and was about to pay Chamberlain their $10 until I found another good and free solution. And, this solution will work for both iPhone or Android devices.

This is a pretty simple, straight forward solution. First, you’ll need the SimpleCommands app. Links to the apps are here. Once you’ve installed the app, use this page for step by step instructions on how to setup the routine.

**Changes to what the above link tells you to do.**

In Step 5, instead of telling Alexa to discover devices, go to the Devices tab at the bottom of the iOS app (hopefully it’s in the same place on Android), then, scroll left at the top until you find Scenes. Next page, click on “Discover Scenes.” Alexa should now find the Scenes (Routines) you created in SimpleCommands. Once the Scenes are found and added, go to the More tab, bottom right on iOS, click Routines in the page that comes up. Call the routine whatever makes sense to you. For the When, you can do a voice trigger or a location trigger. I prefer the latter. For the Add Action, have Alexa control a scene and add one of the scenes (Open/Close) from the newly discovered Scenes. If you’re using a location (geo) arrive trigger, when your device gets within the radius of the location, it will trigger the routine and your garage SHOULD open. You can also add an additional action such as having Alexa give you a Welcome Home greeting.

That’s all there is to it. Now, when I’m at the end of my alley, since I just installed the Echo Auto which gives me Alexa in my car, I just say, “Alexa, start Open Garage.” Voila! By the time I get to the house, the garage door is open. SimpleCommands can be used for much, much more. Just explore their knowledge base for other routines you can have work with Alexa or just the app itself.

June 17, 2020 Addendum:

After noticing twice Alexa heard the command, but failed to open the garage, I began a troubleshooting session. When I used the shortcut, from the comments, ‘Alexa, open garage’ she would answer OK but the garage remained closed. Going back to the original command, ‘Alexa, start open garage’ she would indicate there was a problem. Going into SimpleCommands, I found an error of the garage opener offline. Yet, when I looked in my WiFi app, I could see the MyQ was connected to my network. In fact, using the MyQ app on my iPhone worked as expected. I had reset my network a couple of days before in order to get a TiVo Mini working via MoCA. Even though it appeared everything should be working, SimpleCommands was still showing the Open Garage as offline.

I proceeded to delete the association with SimpleCommands and start anew as outlined above. I went into the ‘Add a Connnection’ portion of SimpleCommands and added the myQ connection. When I attempted to link myQ with SimpleCommands it would fail. Multiple times. Testing logins with the same credentials at myliftmaster.com would succeed. After many attempts, instead of using the myQ connection I used the Generic Garage Opener connnector instead in SimpleCommands. Success! This must have something to do with not having the ‘paid’ subscription to Chamberlain for myQ. Once I was able to link SimpleCommands with the Generic Garage Opener (which by the way still shows myQ) everything worked again.

Some things to take note of: it was necessary to recreate the Open & Close routines in SimpleCommands since I deleted everything. Then, I had to use the Alexa app to re-establish the Scenes connections. Finally, when abbreviating the command in Alexa from ‘Start open…’ or ‘Start close….’ to just ‘Open….’ or ‘Close…’ it was necessary to relink those as outlined below in the comments.

July 3, 2020 Addendum

Why involve Alexa at all for opening? If you setup the SimpleCommands routines, you can set a location trigger for when you come home. This uses what’s called geofencing to locate your phone and if you have been gone, as you come home the garage will automatically trigger and open. I’ve used this everyday since I walk outside. Works a charm! (You can setup a location trigger to close your garage, but I like to see that happen as I leave, so I don’t use it.)

Hopefully, this will shorten any time you need to spend troubleshooting.

July 29, 2021 Addendum

As of about July 15, 2021, the API link between SimpleCommands and MyQ has been broken. While SimpleCommands has been working to fix this, as of the date of this addendum it remains in disrepair. I have discovered two other methods of linking Alexa with MyQ. 

The first is to build a custom Alexa skill as outlined in another blog post here. Building the skill is much easier than you might think. If you have a hard time with technology, it might take an hour. If you can follow directions and technology is easier, maybe half that, give or take. It works.

The second method involves using SmartThings. If you’re already using SmartThings for your Samsung TV or other home automation then this might be a good fit. You can find the instructions here. This one was not so easy for me. It took a couple of hours. I may rewrite the instructions if enough persons comment here about it.

Both of these other methods do allow you to control a MyQ garage opener without interaction through geofencing. Simply, you get to or from a location and that becomes a trigger to open or close the door.

You can find other tips by going to the blog homepage. You can find iHelp’s main offerings, here.