Why Won't My Security System Enter Programming When I Type  + ?
There are a few reasons why your security system won't enter programming when you type  + . The two most likely causes are that the Installer Code has been changed or the system has been locked out of programming. Either way, the backdoor method will hopefully get you back in.
For a Honeywell VISTA System, the command [Installer Code] +  normally gets the user into programming. Most DIY users keep the Installer Code at its default of 4112 for easy access. As a result, the command for entering programming on a Honeywell VISTA Security System is usually  +. You will know that you have successfully entered programming because the keypad will either display "Installer Code 20" or just "20".
If that command does not get you into programming, then there are two likely causes, either the Installer Code has been changed, or you have been locked out of programming. You should always keep the Installer Code at 4112 and always use [*99] to exit programming to prevent yourself from being locked out later.
Please note that the [*88] programming field can be configured to prevent the user from accessing programming, even by using the backdoor method. As a result, you should never attempt to configure the [*88] programming field. Additionally, always use the [*99] command to exit programming. Never use the [*98 command] to exit programming. For more information on the [*88] programming field, please see page 11 of the VISTA Programming Guide.
Whether the installer code has been changed to an unknown value, or the [*98] command was used to exit programming, you may be able to get back in using the backdoor method. If this method doesn't work, then you are permanently locked out of programming based on the [*88] setting. Your alarm company will need to remotely adjust the setting to allow you re-entry. Again, never attempt to adjust the [*88] setting, as it can lead to you being permanently locked out of programming.
Complete the following steps to backdoor into a VISTA System:
1. Power down the panel. Disconnect the backup battery and unplug the transformer to power down the system. The keypad and any communicator lights should go blank. This indicates that the system has powered completely down.
2. Restore system power. Take the transformer and plug it back in. This will restore system power.
3. Perform the backdoor method. The keypad should light up upon restoring power. Immediately, within 50 seconds, press and hold the [*] and [#] keys. You may need to have someone help you get to the buttons fast enough. Keep the buttons held down until the screen reads either "Installer Code 20" or just "20". This may take several moments. One of these messages indicates that you have successfully performed the backdoor method. If the system goes back to the normal disarmed display, without entering programming, this indicates it has been locked out.
4. Change the Installer Code. Assuming you have entered programming, enter the command [*20]. This will have you enter the field for changing the Installer Code. Enter the code  to set the Installer Code back to its default. The keypad will beep three times to confirm the entry. You can press [#20] to review the entry and make sure the code was accepted.
5. Exit programming. Enter [*99] to exit programming. You should then be able to re-enter programming using the command  + . Always use the [*99] command to exit programming in the future. Never use the [*98] command to exit programming, or else you may need to perform the backdoor method again.
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