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Save battery for Nest cameras and doorbells

The Google Nest Cam (battery) and Nest Doorbell (battery) have built-in, rechargeable batteries that are made for long-lasting battery life. But the battery life you get depends on several things, like how much activity is recorded and your settings in the app.

If your Nest camera or doorbell needs to be charged more often than you'd like, here are a few things you can try.

This article only applies to the following devices:

Nest Doorbell (battery)

Nest Cam (battery)

Expected battery life

Battery life will depend on factors including activity, temperature, and selected camera settings. You can extend the battery life of your camera by adjusting video quality, length of video clips, time between recorded events, and using activity zones to monitor specific areas. Here are some typical scenarios.

Nest Doorbell (battery)

  • Busy - About 1 month battery life (about 25 - 30 recorded events per day)
  • Typical - About 2.5 months battery life (about 13 - 16 recorded events per day)
  • Quiet - About 6 months battery life (about 2 - 5 recorded events per day)

Nest Cam (battery)

  • Busy - About 1.5 months battery life (about 20 - 25 recorded events per day)
  • Typical - About 3 months battery life (about 9 - 12 recorded events per day)
  • Quiet - About 7 months battery life (about 2 - 4 recorded events per day)

Battery charge time

Battery charge time depends on several factors, including ambient temperature and the state and condition of the battery.

Important: The battery won't charge at temperatures below 32°F (0°C), and will only charge slowly at temperatures close to freezing.

Learn about cold weather battery charging behavior in Nest cameras and doorbells.

Nest Doorbell (battery)

Typical: It takes approximately five hours to fully charge the battery using a compatible 7.5W AC adapter (sold separately).

Nest Cam (battery)

Typical: It takes approximately five hours to fully charge the battery using the provided 7.5W AC adapter and charge cable.

  • If you charge your camera as needed, the camera’s view will show the battery charge percentage.
  • If you keep your Nest Cam (battery) connected to a compatible USB cable for continuous power, you’ll see the ∞ symbol on the camera’s battery info in the app.

Battery life estimation

Google Nest Cam (battery) and Nest Doorbell (battery) will show you an estimated battery life in the app approximately 48 hrs after each time they're charged. As your camera or doorbell learns over time, its battery life estimate will adapt to conditions to improve accuracy. So if there's a lot of recorded activity at the beginning, the estimation will be relatively low. But if the activity drops off after, the battery life estimation will increase.

Note: Cold temperatures affect the battery life. As the temperature gets colder, the battery life gets shorter.

Change settings to save battery

Lower the battery usage

When you lower the battery usage, your camera or doorbell will adjust video recording settings to do the following:

  • Optimize its video quality.
  • Shorten the length of time for which events are recorded.
  • Take longer to begin recording between events.

Here's how to lower the battery usage:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. Touch and hold your device's tile.
  3. Tap Settings Battery.
  4. Tap Battery usage and then More battery life to help improve your camera's battery life.

Use the battery saver

When the automatic battery saver is enabled, your camera or doorbell will automatically adjust its features to help conserve battery.

Here's how to turn on the battery saver:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. Touch and hold your device's tile.
  3. Tap Settings Battery.
  4. Tap the switch next to Automatic battery saver.

What happens when battery saver mode is on

Nest Cam (battery)

If you have a Nest Cam (battery), it will automatically adjust its settings and features when it has about 7 days of battery life left (or about 20% of its remaining battery life). Here's what you can expect:

  • The video quality is optimized to help improve the battery life.
  • Your camera will only detect and record people events. Other video events like familiar faces, vehicles, and packages will not be recorded.
  • Emergency events will still be recorded at the default 3-minute clip length. Otherwise, person event clips can be a maximum of 10 seconds long.
  • After an event is detected, your camera will take longer to decide when to begin recording again if the activity is still occurring.

Nest Doorbell (battery)

If you have a Nest Doorbell (battery), it will automatically adjust its settings and features when it has about 7 days of battery life left (or about 20% of its remaining battery life). Here's what you can expect:

  • The video quality is optimized to help improve the battery life.
  • Video events like people, vehicles, animals, and packages will not be recorded.
  • When someone presses the doorbell button, your doorbell will record video for about 20 seconds following the button press.
  • Emergency events will still be recorded at the default 3-minute clip length.
  • Your doorbell will turn off its wake-up sensitivity for a few hours. This means that it will only wake up if you turn it on in the app or if someone presses the doorbell button.

When your doorbell has about 24 hours of battery left, it will automatically switch to doorbell only mode. It will only send notifications when someone presses the doorbell button. Other features will be turned off to conserve battery.

Change the video quality

Adjust the video quality in settings to balance high resolution video with longer battery life and lower bandwidth use.

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. Touch and hold your device's tile.
  3. Tap Settings Video.
  4. Under "Video quality," tap High.

Adjust how much activity your camera records

Turn off seen events

Motion events use a lot more battery compared to other events, and are turned off by default. If you turned motion events on in your camera or doorbell's settings, you can turn them off to conserve battery.

If you have multiple events enabled, try turning off events that aren't as important to you.

Here's how to turn off specific video events:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. Touch and hold your device's tile.
  3. Tap Settings Events.
  4. Select Seen events.
  5. Tap the switch next to any events (for example, Motion) that you want to disable.

Use Activity Zones

You can also create custom Activity Zones to further reduce the amount of activity your camera detects. Use the app to draw an Activity Zone around a part of your camera's view, then select the event notifications you want to receive for that zone.

Set up and use Activity Zones

Tweak your camera's angle

Your camera or doorbell uses up battery faster if it detects activity in high traffic areas (for example, a busy street or sidewalk). Adjust your camera's angle so that areas with a lot of unwanted activity are out of view of the live stream.

Shorten the maximum event length

The maximum event length defines how long your camera or doorbell will record each individual event. Making the event length shorter will reduce battery usage.

Here's how to shorten the maximum event length:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. Touch and hold your device's tile.
  3. Tap Settings Video.
  4. Tap Maximum event length and choose a shorter event length.

 Personalize your feed

Events can be personalized to show just events you want to see.

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap Feed  and then Customization settings .
  3. Select a device or an event type.
  4. Change the events you want to receive.

You can also change these settings from a feed event.

  1. Next to an event in your feed, tap More and then Hide [type of events] or Hide [zone] events.

Change the wake-up sensitivity

You can adjust the wake-up sensitivity of your camera or doorbell so that it uses less battery to decide when to wake up and start recording.

Keep in mind that lowering the wake-up sensitivity does the following:

  • It decreases the range at which the camera or doorbell can sense activity.
  • It increases the amount of time it takes for the camera or doorbell to wake up once it senses activity.

Here's how to lower the wake-up sensitivity in your camera or doorbell's settings:

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. Touch and hold your device's tile.
  3. Tap Settings Video Wake-up sensitivity.
  4. Choose the Low setting.

Protect your camera or doorbell from cold temperatures

Cold temperatures affect the battery life. As the temperature gets colder, the battery life gets shorter. Also, the battery in your camera or doorbell won't charge at temperatures below 32°F (0°C).

Cold weather battery charging behavior in Nest cameras and doorbells

If you can, move an outdoor camera to a place that's more protected from the cold, like under an eave.

You can also connect a Nest Cam (battery) to a power outlet so it doesn't need to use the battery.

Connect your camera or doorbell to another power source

If you have a camera, you can connect it to a power outlet using the included USB cable. This will power the camera so it doesn't need to use the battery.

If you have a doorbell, you can install it using the doorbell system wires for your home, or use an indoor power adapter. This will help keep the battery charged at temperatures above freezing. (Even when connected to wiring, the doorbell battery won't charge at temperatures below 32°F/0°C.)

Important: To help prolong the life of your doorbell's battery, it will only charge to 75% if the doorbell is wired to the doorbell system. Before you install your doorbell, you can use the USB cable to charge the battery above 75%. However, after the doorbell is wired to the system, the battery will drop down to 75% and stay at that level or below.

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