What are Master Codes and Installer Codes?

Master Codes and Installer Codes both have different functions. The Installer Code on a panel is used for entering installer programming mode. In this mode, various changes to the function of the system can be made. Meanwhile, the Master Code is used primarily for arming and disarming.


When the Installer Code is entered on a panel, the user will be taken to a different menu than if they enter their Master Code. This menu allows users to add and program new devices, change system settings, and change delay times. The Installer Code can also change the Master Code, but it cannot assign any other user codes. Additionally, the Installer Code can never be used to disarm a system, unless it was the code used to arm the system in the first place.

The Master Code is the primary code for the alarm system. In addition to arming and disarming the alarm system, the Master Code provides access to a user menu. From there, you can add, edit and delete user codes, change the master code, view the event log, set the system clock, program keypad macros, set scheduled events and activate output devices like triggers and relays. The Master Code can always disarm the system, even if it was not armed using that code.

In addition to Master and Installer codes, there are also User Codes. These codes can perform basic arming and disarming functions, as well as zone bypassing, and they are a good way to allow a person to reliably arm and disarm the panel, without having to provide them with the Master Code.

It should be noted that the Installer Code and the Master Code on a panel can never be the same. Each needs to have its own unique four-digit number. Every alarm system brand has a standard default Installer Code and Master Code. Knowing these codes can be helpful for accessing a panel after it has reset to factory default. Below are some of the default codes:

  • Honeywell: Master - 1234 ; Installer - 4112
  • 2GIG: Master - 1111 ; Installer - 1561
  • Qolsys: Master - 1234 ; Installer - 1111

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Thanks Julia! I have being reading through your FAQs here at AG and am learning so much about the system that we bought--much appreciated!
No, reporting of program entry/exit is not a programmable option on that panel. It will not report it.
Well mine is an L7000--is there an option somewhere that I can check to see if it is enabled or disabled?
Entry to, and exit from, programming are not reported on most residential burglary panels. If there were an option to report it, we would not enable it.
I'm wondering about what uses of the Installer code get sent to AlarmNet and the Central Station? It seems clearly that if the Installer code is used to arm or disarm that would get sent, but does its use to enter Programming Mode also get sent to AlarmNet and then to CS? If yes, what use might either or both make of that record?
Great.....Thanks for the info
No, accessing the panel's programming using the "backdoor" method will not wipe out the existing panel programming.
On a Vista 20P if I reset the panel using the power up option to change the Installer code, does that erase the zones that are currently programmed into the panel? I don't know the current code.

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