How to Program Your Newer Subaru Keyless Entry Fob/ Remote

Below is a video on how to Program Your 2005 Subaru Legacy Keyless Entry Fob/ Remote

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subaru key fob





If your fob looks like this one or you own a 2008, 2007, 2006 Tribeca, Impreza, Legacy/Outback, 2005 Legacy or Outback this programing procedure should work for your car.


Your subaru can accept four different codes so you can use four keyless entry fob. To register a new transmitter with the keyless entry system, it is necessary to program the transmitter’s eight digit code (identification number) into the cars system.

First let us start by locating and writing down the eight digit code. Sometimes you can find this code on the back on the key fob on a white sticker above the panic button. If it is not there or has fallen off you will need to open the remote as if you were going to change the battery (CR 2025). To do this you will need to get a flat screw driver and at the top of the remote insert into the hole and twist the screw driver and that will open the remote. With the remote open you will see that white sticker with the eight digit code… Write that down on a separate piece of paper or enter it into your cell phone for later and close the remote.

Once you have your eight digit code we can begin programming. I would read these instructions completely at least once before beginning. As everything has to be done rather quickly.

First enter the car so you are sitting in the driver seat. *Note all doors, rear gate or trunk lid all need to be closed. Wait for the dome light to go out.

Next open and close the driver’s door.

Next put the key into the ignition and the turn the key from LOCK to the ON position ten times. (Within 15 seconds)

Next open the driver’s door and then close it.

If done properly you will hear an electronic tone sound once, a buzzer will continue to sound and the interior light will flash until the transmitter codes are completely registered.

If you do not perform the steps above within 45 seconds an error will occur and you will not hear the tone or buzzer and the dome light won’t flash. If this happened you will need to start over again.

While the buzzer is going you will need to enter your eight digit code using the driver’s side door lock button. You will do this by pushing the button towards LOCK the same number as the first number of your code. When you’re done entering that number pull it towards UNLOCK ONCE. You will need to do this to enter the rest of the seven numbers.

For Example: If your code is 3 2 7 xxxxx. You would push it towards LOCK three times then pull to UNLOCK once then push towards LOCK two times then pull towards UNLOCK once then push towards LOCK seven times then UNLOCK once and so on.

Once you have entered all eight digits you will hear another sound at this point you will need to reenter the code in the same manner starting with the first number in full series.

Once you have entered the eight digits the second time if the two codes matched up you will hear a beep and the doors should LOCK and then UNLOCK.

Next press lock and then unlock on the key fob. Then turn OFF the key and remove it. WAIT 2-3 seconds and you will hear a click. Next open and then close the driver’s door. WAIT 5 seconds and then the key fob should start working.

That’s it you have just successfully just programmed a keyless entry key fob to work with your Subaru Legacy.

*Note: Make sure no one else is operating their keyless entry system within range of your vehicle while you are programming your transmitters. It is possible that their transmitter code will be programmed into your system which will allow them unauthorized access to your vehicle.

*Also Note: That you can locate this procedure in your owner’s manual on page 2-18. Your dealer can also program your remote for a fee. They have a computer that will program it to your car rather than going though this procedure.






I’m trying to program a 2007 Tribeca. The door lock/unlock when i finish entering the numbers (2x) and everything seems to be the same as you indicated in video but at the end the remote will not work. Any suggestions?

I have used it on an 2008 Tribeca and it worked. If the car does the lock and unlock after entering the code 2x then its correctly entered into the car. If it doesn’t then you didn’t do it in the time allowed. If it does the lock and unlock I would say something is up with the remote. Battery in the remote good..? Maybe a bad fob or shorted out from water..? Maybe you will have to take it to your dealer and have them program it.

Great DIY on the Remote programming. Here’s my dilemma, Subaru Forester 2013 uses a tear-shape remote and a separate key. I would like to have a remote key like the 2013 Impreza.
I cannot find a solution and hope you have one.


Thank you, I haven’t really worked with the 2013 stuff yet. I want to say it’s possible I have heard that someone used the 2012 Impreza remote with a 2013 forester. I guess you would have to contact the dealer.. find out if they both use the same security system. (pretty sure they are) and get a key cut and try it.

Helpful video. However, I have a 1998 Subaru Outback. I have the original remote, and purchased an after market fob because the original one is falling apart, even though it still works. So, I opened up the original remote, and found it has a 9 digit number. 5 digits, a space, and then 4 digits. Question is, do you think the programming would still be the same as for newer subarus, and should I try all 9 digits, or just the first 5 digits? ANY help or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

That Should be the Alpine system… Here are the steps they are much easier.

Start with everything shut and sit in the drivers seat.
Open and close driver door
Put the key into ignition.
Turn the key ON LOCK 10 times in 15 seconds, leaving the key in LOCK position don’t remove key.
Horn will sound 1 time to indicate you are in remote programing mode.
Open and close the driver door.
Press and release any button on the remote.
Horn will sound 2 times to indicate that the remote has been programed. (you can program up to 4 remotes)
Remove the key from ignition.
Horn will sound 3 times to indicate you completed the procedure.

That should work for you.

Good Luck,
The DIY Guy

hello, I’m having trouble programming my key fob for my 2006 tribeca, when i put the key in turn it ten times it does not beep or flash lights. The only thing that I have notice is now when I unlock the car with my key it no longer honks at me until I put the key in the ignition. Any idea as to why it is not responding? thanks!

Hi DIYGuy,

Bought a 2007 Forester wihich did not have a key fob. I purchased a used one on line. The 8 digit code consists of numbers and letters. Any suggestions how to program it? Thanks!

That is the wrong code. There should be another sticker in there with just numbers. Sometimes if you look on the back of the circuit board you can find the all number code. If you can’t find it I believe the dealer can still program it without it for you with there computer or purchase another fob.

Used this procedure for a 2012 Forester and it worked perfect. Thanks for saving me the $80 the dealer wanted.

I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was
good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to
a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

I think I read somewhere that you sold fob’s. I need one for a subaru 2006 forester. Can you tell me how much it would be? Thanks. Am anxious to try it.

I am sorry I don’t sell fobs. I just have a link to them on the website. Some people have gotten them off Ebay just be careful buying used fobs as there is no way to tell if there still functional.

Help. I cannot get this to work on my 2007 Impreza/Outback Sport. I have tried a million times and cannot seem to get it into program mode. No matter how fast or how much I ensure I am going all the way to on and back fully to lock.

It should work. Start off by sitting in the car for a min, Then open and close the door and then turn the ignition off to the on position 10 times. You might want to try doing it 11-12 times just in case one or two sequences didn’t register. I have had one or two cars that don’t do the tone for some reason so I continued to go though the procedure and it worked at the end.

Are these instructions for programming the remote–for keyless entry–or does it code the chip that’s in the key itself? I ordered a new laser-cut key for my 2014 Crosstrek that cost me $85. When I went to pick up the key I learned that I had to pay the dealer another $60 to code it. I was mad so I took my key and went home without getting it coded.


Hello Cathy, These instructions are for programing the remote/ fob for the keyless entry system. I would call around sometimes you can find a dealer that will do it cheaper or I would call a few local locksmiths as they might be able to do it. Maybe not as it is a 2014. Not sure if you bought the car from a dealership but if you did sometimes they will do it for a little cheaper since you bought the car from them.

Thank you. Watching the vid was most helpful. I did this on a 2006 Legacy, it took a few times but it works. I did find the info in the manule but the vid helped a lot.

I have a 2008 Tribeca and need to get a replacement key. Once I get the new key fob and have it cut, will this procedure allow the new key to start the car? And will the old (original key) still work?

Thanks for the great info!

Hello, This is to program the key less entry fob not the immobilizer chip within the key. So this procedure will not make the new key able to start the car.

I have. 2006 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. I’m confused because there seems to be more than one set of programming instructions. I’ve tried them all and can’t seem to get the car into programming mode. Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!! BTW – my original remote is kind of a “teardrop” shape with only 2 buttons (they are on the front) for lock and unlock.


This programing method should and will work for a 2006 outback sport. You need to turn the key from LOCK to ON (10) times you have 15 seconds to do this. You need to do this rather quickly. Most people don’t Realize how fast you need to do it. The vehicle will respond with the lights flashing and an audible tone emitted. This is to confirm the vehicle is in programming mode. If you do not see the light or hear the noise then wait a few minutes and start the process over. I have had maybe 2 cars for some reason that don’t flash the lights or do the tone when in programing mode. But I just kept doing the programing of the fob and at the end they unlocked the car.

Watched this instead of reading the page long programming instructions. Programmed a 09 legacy remote to a 05 legacy in less than 5 minutes with the help of this video. If it doesn’t work for you make sure you have the correct inner casing color, there is white and black colors. Mine uses the black color and the white one will not work. So if you’re having issues then I suggest you open the casing to see what color the inner shell is around the circuit board. I’m talking about the casing that goes around the board that covers the 8 digit code.
Thanks diyguy, you made my day so much easier. The written instructions were insanely long.

I have a 2006 Subaru Forrester does this process work for that car too. Also i have a spare Toyota FOB would I be able to use that on my Subaru? Thanks

Yes this will work for a 2006. I don’t know about using a Toyota fob. I would say it would work if it was the BRZ as Toyota has the sister car the FRS. If it does work let me know.

Hi DIY guy,
Recently purchased a 2009 Forester Diesel.Has two keys with 2 x lock/unlock buttons.
have had keys checked and are transmitting(wont start car without them)
Have tried this method(as above) several times,no joy
also tried removing drivers side kick panel and connecting plugs,pressing lock/unlock
tried local Subaru dealer and been told to replace keys(yet these keys work.
any other ideas?

This should work for a 2009 forester… I’m unsure why it doesn’t work. Maybe because it’s not a U.S. version on the vehicle. It is somewhere in the owners manual maybe page 45 if I remember correctly… I would try replacing the battery just to rule that out. The transmitter chip in the key use tpo start the car is different then the lock/ unlock feature. Your local dealer should have the computer to program them for you. Maybe these remotes were dropped in water causing the lock/ unlock part of the remote to go bad.


Will this work for new Forester 4th gen (Late 2012 onwards)? I need to buy a FOB first but keen to try this process. In Australia the Subaru dealers want to charge $580+ for a replacement key.

I know I have done it on a 2011. So I would say it will work for you on the 2012. If it does please let us know. I just want to make it clear.. This doesn’t program your the immobilizer chip inside the key to be able to start the car. This procedure is for programming the keyless entry fob to lock/unlock the car.

Great post. It worked on my 2007 Outback fine. I also have a 2006 Forester XT Turbo. On that car it worked when I turned back only to the accessory instead of lock. I have to push that key in a little to get to the lock position, so cant turn it as fast all the way to lock.

Thanks for the instructions!

As a note from a 2006 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport owner, mine also did not make any of the honks, buzzes, or lights to indicate that the program was running, but I was able to successfully program regardless.

Only way for me to tell that it was working was when programming the code using the lock button, it didn’t lock or unlock the car. If I didn’t do it fast enough, the lock/unlock would start to actually lock/unlock the car. Hope that helps people that don’t get any of the audio/visual signals!

Tried a slightly different method (whereby one enters the 8 digit code twice using the lock/unlock button) on a 2013 Outback and it worked.

Hi DIYGuy,

Great video!

I just bought a 2006 Impreza from a private seller. All he had was the master key, no keyless entry fobs. I’m worried that there might be old key fobs floating around that could access my car. Do you know of a way to reset the security system to “forget” any old fobs?

There are four programming slots for fobs. If you only bought one new fob then you can program that number in 4 times. If you bought two new fobs to use program each number in 2 times. That will fill out the slots with your numbered fobs and push out any old fobs the old seller might have.

First of all, I’m incredibly thankful you spent the time writing this. You’re a good man.

A few comments to help others after programming 2 new remotes for my 2006 Impreza WRX wagon:
1) I had to turn the key from OFF to LOCK 11 times, leaving it in the LOCK position on the 11th turn.
2) After doing # 1 correctly there was a buzzer, but the dome light did not flash.
3) After entering the code correctly a 2nd time I heard the beep/buzzer, but the doors did not LOCK/UNLOCK.
4) At the end it took a full 10-15 seconds for the key fob to start working.

Thanks again and good luck to others.

Hi my name is Tony and I have a 2012 Legacy 3.6R.I would like know if that same process will work for my key fob?

I have subaru forester 2011, i need to program my fob, does this process works for this vehicle pl. let me know, I tried 10 time but its not working, please help. thanks

Hello, There is a link in the first part of the post to them on Amazon if you click the word “fob” it will take you to them. You can also find them on E-bay. Are you saying Japanese model as you live there or imported one or because you have a J to start your VIN # rather then a 1 ? Either way I’m pretty sure that the remotes with be interchangeable.

Yes, This is still working up on to 2018 and I think someone just posted in a YouTube comment that it has worked on a 2019 as well. You’re welcome. Good luck with getting your fob programmed. Thanks for watching and taking the time to leave us a comment. Don’t forget to give the video a thumbs up/ like if you haven’t already. Thanks

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