BBB Business Review

change honeywell alarm system code

Photo courtesy of Alarm System Store via YouTube

If your home is equipped with a Honeywell Alarm system, it’s always protected against burglary, a crime that happens at an average of every 13 seconds in the United States, according to the FBI.

Just having a security system has been shown to deter burglars as they look for an easier and safer target. But even if you do get broken into the damage is mitigated to an extent. Without a security system in their homes, people lose an average of $5,343, while those whose homes are equipped with an alarm system lose $3,266, according to the Electronic Security Association. The $2,000 difference proves the essence of investing in a home security system—to minimize loss from burglary.

So what does it mean to you? Make the most out of your home alarm system. Your alarm system can protect not just your home but also your family against the risk of fire and break-ins. Whether you’re home or away from home, your Honeywell Alarm system gives you peace of mind knowing you’ll be quickly alerted of any potential security threat.

As a Honeywell alarm system owner, one of the things you need to learn is how to change its code, especially if the default master code has not been replaced yet. If you haven’t done so, you’d better change it before a burglar breaks in using your easy-to-guess default code.

What is a master code?

The master code is a four-digit security code programmed into your alarm system during its installation. You enter the code to silence alarms, turn the Chime mode on or off, arm or disarm the system, and perform other Honeywell Alarm system functions.

This code is known only to you (if you had the system installed) or the previous owner of your home (if the system is already installed when you moved in). You can also assign different user codes, each with different authority levels and limitations, to other members of your household.

How to change the master code of a Honeywell Alarm system

Only the main user of the alarm system can change the master code. Here are the steps to do it if you know the default or existing code:

Enter your current master code. On Vista systems, the default code is 1234.

  1. Press 8 (the CODE key).
  2. Press 02.
  3. Enter a new four-digit master code.
  4. Re-enter the new code. The keypad will beep once to let you know that the code has been changed.

How to reset the installer code

If you don’t know the installer security code, you can still change it. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Unplug the transformer from the power source.
  2. Disconnect the battery.
  3. Plug the transformer back in.
  4. Reconnect the battery.
  5. Within 30 seconds of turning the alarm system on, press * and # at the same time. The screen will show “Installer 20.”
  6. Enter *20
  7. Enter a new 4 digit installer code. The system should beep if it took it.
  8. Press *99 to exit programming mode.

How to verify that the code has been changed

After you’ve entered a new installer code, make sure it works by testing it out. It’s quick and easy to verify the new code. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Enter the new installer code followed by 800.
  2. The screen should show Installer 20. This means that you are in programming mode.
  3. Exit programming by entering *99.

change user codes

Photo courtesy of Alarm System Store via YouTube

How to assign, change or delete user codes

As the main user of your Honeywell Alarm system, you can assign secondary user codes to your spouse, children, parents, housekeeper and babysitter; enabling them to operate certain functions on the alarm system.

  1. Enter your master code.
  2. Press 8 (the CODE key).
  3. Enter a two-digit user number (from 03 to 33) for which a user code is to be assigned, changed or deleted.
  4. If you’re assigning or changing a user code, enter a four-digit code that will be used by the person you assigned that code to. The keypad will then beep once.

If you’re deleting a user code, do the first two steps and stop. The keypad will then beep once, which means the code has been removed.

You can keep adding or deleting user codes by repeating the process.

To test out the new user code, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the user code.
  2. Press 1 (OFF).
  3. The keypad will then ding once if the user code is programmed. You won’t hear anything if it is not programmed.

How to change user code authority levels

You can assign each of the secondary users an authority level, which defines the alarm system functions that a certain user can and cannot perform. For example, giving an authority level 1 to a user means he or she can only arm the alarm system. Disarming and other system functions aren’t allowed for this user.

Here’s how to change the authority level for a user:

  1. Enter your master code.
  2. Press 8 (the CODE key).
  3. Press the user number whose authority level you want to change.
  4. Press #1.
  5. Enter the number that corresponds to the authority level that you want to give that user.

To test out the new authority level you should try to do something that is unique to that authority level. For instance level 1 cannot disarm the system. To test it:

  1. Enter the user code followed by 3 (STAY). The alarm system should arm.
  2. After the alarm is fully armed, try to disarm with the same code. User code followed by 1 (OFF). The system should not disarm.
  3. Enter your master code.
  4. Press 1 (OFF). The keypad will then beep once.

 Security code tips and precautions to remember

  • To keep burglars or any unauthorized person from gaining access to your alarm system, don’t create an obvious and easy-to-guess code like 1234, 4321 or 1111.
  • When you enter a code sequence, don’t pause between key presses. Pressing each key should be done within 4 to 5 seconds. If that period elapses, your code won’t be accepted, and you’ll have to start over again.
  • If you hit a wrong key, just pause for a few seconds. The alarm system will reset itself. Then start over.
  • When you’re done changing a code of your Honeywell security system, write it down and keep it in a safe place. You’ll need that code to make future changes to your home security system.

Here’s a video tutorial by the Alarm System Store that will guide you through the process of programming codes on a Honeywell Vista alarm system.

honeywell alarm system code

Video courtesy of Alarm System Store via YouTube




I had to buy a new keypad because the old keypad won’t take some keys (won’t enter for a specific key.) I’m having trouble understanding the instructions of a manual I downloaded off the net, so I changed my master code to numbers that work. For example, I don’t know what the keypad address is. The directions say I can set an address of 00 to 30 of a non-addressable mode 31. What does that mean?

Robert Burdoin

I have a constant 05 (IR sensor). I followed your “How to reset the installer code” procedure and it didn’t take. I never need the IR Motion sensor but it has failed and I want to bypass it. How do I proceed. I have a Ademco Vista-10SE system with a 998PI motion sensor.


I want to change the security code on our 20 year old Ademco system. I have been on line but am confused about master code vs security code?


If I’m going to reset installer code, will that change send any signal to ADT or Ackerman? I want to add zone because of new addition, but don’t want to pay ADT 150$ for 15mins.

Thank you


I have 103 Comm message. Replaced my modern. How to I get rid of error message?


I’m having A hard time erasing a user code. Please help me. Sincerely Sarah.

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