Connect MyQ to Alexa: FAIL

UPDATE 11/14/20203: Chamberlain shuts down 3rd party API access

This article used to be a tutorial on how to use the SimpleCommands app to connect MyQ to Alexa. This was the best, free method to connect MyQ to Alexa. It allowed you to open and close your garage door with Alexa commands. However, the wonderful people at MyQ have shut down this “loophole” so it will most likely never work again.

In addition, you may have read other articles that claim you can use IFTTT to connect MyQ to Alexa. This was not a great a solution because
1. it requires a small subscription fee to enable MyQ in IFTTT, and
2. it only allowed to close the garage door (open was disabled for “security” reasons).
Regardless, IFTTT no longer works either because the Alexa service is no longer part of IFTTT.

I was only able to find one decent option left for those of us that care about home automation, and were unfortunate enough to buy a MyQ garage door opener. It’s called “ratgdo”. Ratgdo is a 3rd party control board that you install in your Chamberlain or LiftMaster garage door opener. Essentially, it bypasses the crappy MyQ cloud software and lets you use your garage door opener with MQTT or ESPHome instead. Of course, it’s not free (cost is $30-$44), and it does require about a 10 minute installation. Furthermore, the board was out of stock before Chamberlain nuked the API, so I imagine there are an insane amount of backorders by this time. That said, here is a link to the website.

SimpleCommands or IFTTT?

MyQ doesn’t integrate directly with Alexa (there is no MyQ Alexa skill). Therefore, you will need a third-party app to connect the two.

There are two third-party apps that I know of that can connect Alexa to MyQ: IFTTT and SimpleCommands. I have used both, and I prefer SimpleCommands because it allows you to close AND open the garage door. IFTTT only allows you to close the garage door.

Both apps are free, but the free plan for IFTTT only allows you to use up to 5 applets (applets are IFTTT’s word for routines). After that, you need a premium subscription which costs $3/month or $30/year. On the other hand, SimpleCommands is free without limitations.


How to connect MyQ to Alexa using the SimpleCommands app

If you want to connect MyQ to Alexa, I recommend using the third-party app, SimpleCommands.

Here’s a very brief summary of the guide that follows: Use the SimpleCommands app to create scenes. Those scenes get imported into the Alexa app. Then, within the Alexa app, create routines that activate the scenes. Done!

Total Time Needed: 20 Minutes

Steps to Connect MyQ to Alexa

I try to make the step-by-step guide very thorough so even the most novice user can follow along.
If you’re a more advanced user, you may still want to skim through the steps because there are few tips/tricks I’ve learned that help the automation work smoothly.

Step 1 – Install SimpleCommands app

Download the SimpleCommands app (Google Play | App store) and create an account. Make sure you remember the password because you’ll need it again in a couple steps.

Step 2 – Connect MyQ to SimpleCommands

a. With the SimpleCommands app open, press the Add/Remove Items button.

b. Find myQ – Openers in the list of items and Press +Add

c. Enter the email and password for your myQ account. Then press Submit

Now your MyQ account should be linked to the SimpleCommands app. If it worked, you will see “Manage” after the myQ – Openers entry instead of the “+Add” button.

Step 3 – Create Scenes in SimpleCommands

a. Press the top left menu and select “All Items” to return to the home screen.

b. Any MyQ devices that you have installed on the MyQ app should now show up here. I have a single Chamberlain garage door opener (my review). Select it.

c. The menu for the garage door device should pop up. Look to the bottom of the menu and press the “Enable Voice Companion Alexa and/or Google Assistant” button.

d. Choose which functions you would like to enable. For my home, I want to enable both open and close.

e. For each function, you need to enter a phrase, then press “Save”. This is the phrase that will show up as a scene in the Alexa app.

Once this step is finished, you are done with the SimpleCommands app.

Note on choosing a phrase – You want to choose a phrase that sounds nothing like the phrase you actually want to use. For example, if you want to be able to say, “Alexa, close garage door,” then DON’T choose the phrase “close garage door”. In fact, it’s even better if you don’t include “garage door” in the phrase at all. I decided to use an abbreviation like this, “grg dr close.” *If you don’t understand why you are doing it this way, you can just trust me, move on to the next step, and it will become clear. Or, you can read the long explanation below.

*Long Explanation: These phrases from SimpleCommands are going to show up as scenes in the Alexa app. In order to directly activate any scene in the Alexa app, you have to start any command by saying, “Alexa, start ‘scene name'” or “Alexa, activate ‘scene name'”, etc. Therefore, the phrase required to activate the garage door would be something like, “Alexa, activate close garage door.” In my opinion, that isn’t a very natural way of speaking. It’s clumsy and hard to remember. What I really want to be able to say is: “Alexa, open (…or close) garage door.” In order to make that happen, I will create an Alexa routine that activates the scene. The routine can be activated by any phrase you choose, and doesn’t require the “activate” or “start” commands that scenes require. If you have a scene called “close garage door” and you have a routine that is activated using the same phrase, Alexa will sometimes get confused. In order to avoid that confusion, follow the advice from above and make sure the scene name is nothing like the phrase for the routine.

Step 4 – Link SimpleCommands to Alexa

If you don’t already have an Alexa account, you’ll need to download the Alexa app and setup your account.

a. Then, open the Alexa app and press the lower right “More” menu.

b. Select “Skills & Games” from the menu.

c. Press the “Search” button.

d. Type “kloee for SC” into the search form.

e. Select and enable the “kloee for SC” skill. Don’t worry about the poor rating on the skill. It works perfectly for what we’re going to do.

NOTE: There is also a “SimpleCommands” skill made by the same company. It’s not the skill you want. Stick to the “kloee for SC” skill for this purpose.

f. Enter your login info for SimpleCommands here. Or, if you chose to have your login info remembered, it may automatically link your account. Once the accounts are linked, press “Close”.

Step 5 – Find new scenes (if needed)

Once the skill is enabled and your accounts linked, Alexa should automatically search for and find your new scenes. When I did this, Alexa finished searching and said it found no new devices. But, when I went to my list of scenes the new garage door scenes were already there.

If Alexa doesn’t find your new garage door scenes,

a. Press “Devices” on the bottom menu.

b. Then scroll to the right on the top slider menu and select “Scenes”.

c. Scroll all the way to the bottom of your list of scenes and press the “Discover Scenes” button. This process may take a minute or so. When it’s done, it should discover the new scenes you just created in the SimpleCommands app.

Step 6 – Create Alexa Routines

a. Press “More” on the bottom menu

b. Select “Routines”.

c. Press the “+” button in the upper right corner to start creating a new routine.

d. Select “Enter routine name

e. Type in a name for the routine. This can be anything. I chose to keep it simple and name it exactly what it does. Press “Next” in the upper right corner.

f. Select “When this happens”

g. Select the “Voice” option.

h. Now enter the exact phrase you want to use to control your garage door. I chose “Alexa, close garage door.” Then press “Next”.

There is also an option to “add another phrase”. You can use this to add variations such as “close the garage door” or “close my garage door”.

i. Next select “Add action”.

j. Select “Smart Home”.

k. Select “Control scene”.

l. Find and select the scene you want to activate with this routine. In my case, it’s “grg dr close”.

m. Once the scene is added, save the routine.

n. Now you can repeat steps 6c – 6m to create the “open garage door” routine.

NOTE: A simple phrase like “Alexa, open garage door” could be a security risk. With this method, there is no confirmation PIN. Ultimately, it’s up to you to assess the security risk and choose a phrase that you’re comfortable with.

Once the routines are created, you are done!

Step 7 – Test the routines

To use the routines simply say your wake word followed by the text you entered in the routines. In my case, it’s

“Alexa, open garage door”,

or “Alexa, close garage door.”


Troubleshooting

If you find that one day your routines quit working, you may have to re-sync your MyQ credentials in the SimpleCommands app.

First, open the MyQ app and verify that MyQ still works to control your garage door.

If that works, then open the SimpleCommands app.

a. From the home page, press the “Add/Remove Items” button.

b. Then find “myQ – Openers” and press “Manage”.

c. Finally, press “Sync”.

This should fix the problem.


FAQs

24 thoughts on “Connect MyQ to Alexa: FAIL”

  1. I tried this and it did not work because i have multiple garage door openers at different houses on the MyQ account. The app selects the first opener and there is no way to change it. Any ideas?

    1. I’m not exactly where you are getting stuck. Your MyQ devices should have different names, and theoretically you should be able do this for every device. You would just have to name the Alexa routines differently for each device.

  2. Thanks Eric for your posts regarding both the MyQ device and the Alexa integration. I picked up the MyQ at my local Lowes today on a complete whim. A great surprise when I checked out was that it was only $20 instead of the $30 list price.

    I brought it home and had it working in about 25 minutes. It took a little longer because my Chamberlain Garage “learn” button didn’t match any of the ones listed in the app. A quick Google search revealed that the “purple” button can look brown with age. Changed that and off we went.

    I then found your articles about the device and how to use Simple Commands as the Alexa bridge. Genius!

    Thank You

  3. A follow-up question…can you use SimpleCommands to be able to ask Alexa what the status of the garage door is? It doesn’t seem like you can, but I wanted to check just in case…

    Thanks,

    Charles

    1. I’m not sure about this. Last I checked, you CAN use SimpleCommands to check the status of the garage door. However, I’m not sure of any simple way to have Alexa report that status.

  4. Oliver Berghaus

    Just as a note – the connection with SimpleCommands in no longer available. The programmers from SimpleCommands link not to the LiveKey app they create for iOS. Still works with the rest as well as the LiveKey password. The only difference is that you don’t need to create the phrases in SimpleCommands as LiveKey has three commands for Open/Close/Status of the garage door. Great trick though and thanks for posting. Now I want to create a routine where the garage light comes on every time the door is opened. Let’s see how that works. Thanks again.

    1. Glad you found it useful! The developers at SimpleCommands are constantly making upgrades so I’m not surprised that something has changed. I’ll take a look and update the article.

      1. So, Simple Commands is no longer available? Said it’s for an older version of Android and not available for my device. Is there an alternative now besides IFTTT???

  5. I appreciate your hard work on getting the MyQ to work with Alexa. It will save me so much frustration. Great job and excellent instructions.

  6. Thanks so much for setting this up – I had it working via another routine a couple of years ago but that one became broken and I was unable to reestablish it until now.

  7. When I search for SimpleCommands in the Play Store it tells me that this app is not available for my device because it was written for an older version of Andriod. The comment above by OLIVER BERGHAUS states that it is now the LiveKey App, but that seems to be only available for iOS. Is there any rework of this for Android?

  8. Eric , thank you for your detailed explanation, it’s the best.
    I followed your instructions a year ago and it worked perfectly fine.
    I have installed a new chamberlain garage opener but when it came to the part on installing Kloee for SC on my alexa app, i am getting an error. There is the option to “ENABLE TO USE”, but it takes me to a page that says 404 page not found.
    Please could you help. Thanks again

  9. Echoing what Mazen posted…
    Attempted to add “kloee for SC” skill to my Alexa app., but when the skill goes to the account linking page it shows “404 page not found”.

    PLEASE HELP!
    Thanks for this article.

    1. Hmmm, I see lots of people are having problems. My setup is still working and has been for a long time, so the problem appears to only be with the initial account linking.

  10. Same with the 404. Looks like kloee.com, which LiveKey is using as part of the skill, is no loading. Bummed this isn’t a solution any longer, hopefully they’ll fix it. Trying to debate whether I want to pay $30/year for IFTTT just voice commands for my garage door 🙂

    BUT I really appreciate the detailed post! Must have been a beast to figure out without this!

    1. If history is any indication, the SC developer(s) will eventually fix this. A couple years ago, there was an issue connecting to the MyQ API. It was eventually fixed, but it took a couple months. I suspect that it’s a very small team and SC is not necessarily a top priority.

  11. Thank you! This worked on the first try! These are some pretty detailed steps. It would have taken me forever to figure out on my own

  12. When I first configured this, it used to work fine. But since last few months it has completely stopped working. I think the main reason could be that Alexa is not triggering with GEO fencing. I am not 100% if there has been any update on Alexa app that caused this but clearly that seems to be the reason. Because if I open it manually and select the routine it works fine. I have already tried installing and uninstalling Alexa app with no avail. Can you let us know if yours is still working great? Then clearly it could be my phone. Its iPhone 13 pro on iOS 17

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