How to Manually Recline an Electric Recliner? A Complete Guide

When your electric recliner isn’t working due to no power or a broken motor, you can still make it recline manually.

Look under the chair for a special lever called the Manual Override.

Use this lever to move the chair into a comfy position without using electricity.

It’s like taking charge and finding your perfect spot, even when the power is out or the motor is acting up. Let’s dive into more details.

Do Power Recliners Need to be Plugged In?

Yes, electric recliners typically need to be plugged into a power source to operate. They rely on motors that are powered by electricity to adjust the reclining positions.

This is what makes them so convenient – with just the push of a button on the hand control, you can effortlessly adjust the recline angle to your liking.

However, there are situations where you might need to recline your chair manually.

Can Power Recliners Be Operated Manually?

Absolutely, yes! Many modern electric recliners are equipped with a manual override feature that allows you to recline the chair even without electricity.

This feature is usually in the form of a lever or a latch located on the underside of the recliner.

manual override feature in recliners

In some models, it might be necessary to remove the seat cushion to access this lever.

Refer to your recliner’s manual or manufacturer’s website for specific instructions on locating the manual recline lever.

Electric Recliner Stuck in an Open Position

Have you ever encountered a situation where your electric recliner is stuck in an open position and you can’t seem to get it to close?

Don’t worry, this is a common issue and can be addressed.

Before you start troubleshooting, it’s important to ensure your recliner is unplugged for safety reasons.

Now, let’s explore how to reset your electric recliner and bring it back to its normal state.

How to Reset an Electric Recliner?

Resetting an electric recliner can often resolve issues with it being stuck in an open position or not responding to commands. Follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the Recliner: Ensure the recliner is unplugged from the power source.
  2. Locate the Reset Button: Some recliners have a reset button on the control panel. If your recliner has one, press and hold it for 5-10 seconds.
  3. Wait and Plug Back In: Wait for a minute or two, then plug the recliner back into the power source.
  4. Test the Recline: Try operating the recliner using the hand control. It should now respond properly.

If your recliner doesn’t have a reset button or this method doesn’t work, consult your recliner’s manual for model-specific troubleshooting steps.

How to Manually Recline an Electric Recliner?

You can recline your recliner manually. Here is a step-by-step process.

Step 1: Locate the Manual Override Lever

First, you’ll need to locate the Manual Override lever.

This lever is typically found on the underside of the recliner, near the base. It might be covered by a fabric flap or a plastic cover, so you might need to feel around a bit.

Step 2: Remove the Cover

If there’s a cover or flap over the Manual Override lever, gently remove it.

You can use your fingers or a flat tool like a screwdriver to carefully lift the cover. Be cautious not to damage the cover while removing it.

Step 3: Activate the Manual Recline

Once you’ve exposed the manual override lever, it’s time to activate the manual reclining mechanism. To do this, pull or push the lever, depending on your recliner’s design.

activate the manual recline in your recliner

This action will disengage the electric motor, allowing you to recline the chair manually.

Step 4: Find Your Desired Position

As you push or pull the manual override lever, you’ll feel the resistance lessen. This is your cue to adjust the recliner’s position according to your comfort level.

Experiment with different angles until you find the perfect position for relaxation.

Step 5: Lock the Recliner

After you’ve found your ideal recline angle, you can lock the recliner in place.

Some recliners have a locking mechanism that engages automatically when you release the manual override lever.

Others might require you to lock it manually by pressing a separate lock button. Refer to your recliner’s user manual for specific instructions.

Troubleshooting Electric Recliner Issues

If the above guide didn’t work, apply these easy troubleshooting tips.

Problem: Recliner Won’t Recline Manually

Solution: If you find that your electric recliner is not responding to the manual override lever, there might be an issue with the manual mechanism itself.

In such cases, it’s advisable to contact the manufacturer’s customer support for guidance.

Problem: Recliner Feels Stuck

Solution: If you encounter resistance while using the manual override lever, stop immediately.

Forcing the recliner could cause damage. Instead, check for any obstructions or tangled cords that might be impeding the manual reclining process.

Pros and Cons of Manual Reclining

Works during power outagesRequires physical effort
No dependency on electricitySome models might have complex mechanisms
Simple mechanismLimited positions compared to electric


Having an electric recliner doesn’t mean you’re out of options during power outages or motor issues. Thanks to the manual override feature, you can still enjoy the comfort of your recliner.

Remember, each recliner might have slight variations in its manual mechanism, so referring to your user manual is always a good idea.

By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can recline your electric recliner manually and continue to relax in style, no matter the circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There a Manual Override for Electric Recliners?

Indeed, many electric recliners are designed with a valuable Manual Override feature.
This feature helps you recline your recliner manually without the need for a power source.

How Do You Manually Reset an Electric Recliner?

To manually reset your electric recliner, begin by locating the manual override lever tucked beneath the chair. Activate the lever to disengage the electric motor, giving you control over the reclining angle. Find your perfect position and enjoy.

Will Power Recliners Work Without Power?

No, power recliners rely on electricity to function. But in the absence of power, you can use the Manual Override feature for reclining.

What Causes Electric Recliners to Stop Working?

Electric recliners can cease working due to motor glitches, wiring issues, or disruptions in the power supply.

This clever addition allows you to adjust the recliner even when the power is out or the motor isn’t functioning.

Arshad Afridi
Hi, I'm Arshad Afridi, a furniture enthusiast with 3 years of experience in the recliner, chair, and sofa industry. I have a passion for creating comfortable and functional furniture pieces that enhance the beauty of any space. Join me on my blog as I share my expertise and insights on the latest furniture trends and design inspirations.