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Arm and disarm Nest Secure

On April 8, 2024, Nest will no longer support Nest Secure. It will not be accessible in the Nest app and will no longer connect to the internet. You will not be able to use the Nest app to check the status of your Nest Secure, control your Nest Secure devices, or receive notifications from your alarm system. 

For more information, go to this Community Forum post.

There are several easy ways to arm and disarm your Google Nest Secure alarm system. You can simply hold Google Nest Tag on Google Nest Guard, use the Nest app on your phone, or enter a traditional passcode on Guard. If you like, you can even arm your system with the Google Assistant or automatically disarm at the same time you unlock your Google Nest × Yale Lock.

When you’re arming, you’ll get a countdown from Guard’s light ring that shows you how much time you have to leave before the system arms, or to disarm before the alarm sounds. If you want to change how much time you have to disarm, you can customize it to meet your needs.

Before arming, the Nest app and Guard will also let you know if any Google Nest Detects sense an open door or window, or if there’s another issue that could prevent arming. You’ll be able to address the issue (close the open window), or simply leave it open and continue arming. You can also cancel arming if you want.

Select the method you want to learn about:

Using the Nest app

There are a few ways to arm and disarm Nest Secure with the Nest app.

Change security levels

The first way is to switch security levels. This will only change
the security level on Guard, and won’t affect other Nest
products in your home.

  1. Tap the Security icon on the app home screen.
  2. Select the security level that you want.

    •  Away and guarding Away and Guarding arms doors, windows, and
      watches for motion.

    •  Home guard icon Home and Guarding only arms doors and windows.

    • Nest Guard off  Off turns the alarm off.

Learn more about security levels >

Important: Arming or disarming your system with the app
will not change your home’s mode to Home or Away.

Secure app away and guarding

Switch your home to Away or Home mode

Another way to use the app is to manually switch your
house’s mode to Home or Away.

Keep in mind that this can switch all of the other Nest
products in your home.

  1. Tap your home’s icon on the app home screen.
  2. Select the home mode you want:

    Home mode sets Nest Secure to Off Nest Guard off.

    Away mode sets to Away and Guarding Away and guarding, arming doors
    and windows, and watching for motion.

Note: If your home automatically switches to Away mode, it
won’t change the security level. If you have notifications on,
you can get a reminder on your phone to arm Guard.

Reminder notifications >

Nest app home away page

Use Remind Me notifications

If Nest Secure is unarmed when the last person leaves home, they can get the Remind Me notification on their phone. And when the first person is on the way home, Nest Secure can ask if they want to disarm before they walk in the door.

Just tap the actionable notification to set it to Away and Guarding  Away and guarding. You don’t even have to open the Nest app.

Note: How you need to interact with the notification will depend on your phone model and OS. You may need to use 3D or Force Touch, swipe, etc.

To see how to enable or disable Remind Me notifications for Nest Secure, see the article linked below.

How to set up notifications for your Nest product.

Using Nest Tag

Any time Guard asks you to enter your passcode, you can use
Tag instead of using Guard’s keypad or your phone.

  1. Hold Tag on Guard until you hear it chime.
  2. Guard’s light ring and security level buttons will light up to
    let you know what’s happening.

Hand tapping secure guard with a tag

Keep in mind:

  • Using Tag will can only switch between Away and Guarding Away and guarding and Off Nest Guard off modes. You can’t set Secure to Home and Guarding with Tag.
  • If the alarm is sounding, holding Tag on Guard will also silence the alarm and disarm Nest Secure.
  • Arming and disarming Nest Secure with a Tag will switch your home’s mode to Home or Away.

Using a passcode on Guard's keypad


By default, Guard doesn’t require you to enter a passcode
before arming, it is an optional setting.

To arm Nest Secure, simply press the Away and Guarding Away and guarding
or Home and Guarding Home guard icon buttons on Guard.

Learn more about Security levels >

Secure guard keypad

If you want to select a different security level, you have a few seconds to press another security level button. After that, you’ll have to enter your passcode or tap Guard with your Tag to disarm, then select another security level.

Important: Arming and disarming Nest Secure with Guard will switch your home’s mode to Home or Away.

Tip: As an option, you can have Guard require a password in order to arm. For instance, if you don't want your small children arming your system, you may want to enable entering a passcode before arming. This option appears in Nest app > Settings  and then Security and then Alarm options and then Set the alarm.


Disarming Nest Secure is simple no matter what level it’s set to.

  1. Enter your passcode with Guard’s keypad.

    Note: If you make a mistake, press the  button, then try again

  2. Press the  button on Guard to confirm your passcode.

Note: If you don’t enter the correct passcode before the timer ends, Nest Secure will sound the alarm and send a notification to other people who have shared access to your Nest home.

If you enter the wrong passcode five times, you won’t be able to try again for 90 seconds. But you can use the Nest app or Tag to disarm. 

Using the Nest x Yale Lock

If you have a Nest × Yale Lock, you can have it automatically
set Nest Secure to Off  whenever you unlock your door.

Note: Your lock and your alarm system need to be in the same
home in the Nest app in order for this feature to work.

Here’s how to enable or disable this feature:

  1. On the Nest app home screen, tap Security Home guard icon .
  2. Select Settings Nest settings icon and then Alarm Options > Nest × Yale Lock.
  3. Tap the switch to turn this option on or off.

If you need a quick refresher, here’s an article about the
different ways you can unlock your door:

How to lock and unlock the Nest × Yale Lock >

Note: The lock cannot be used to arm Nest Secure because
there are many times when you may want to lock your door without
arming your system.

nest yale lock main


Using your Google Assistant

If you have a device that includes the Google Assistant, you can use voice commands to arm Nest Secure. If something is preventing Nest Secure from arming, your Google Assistant can tell you what’s going on.

For security reasons, you can not tell your Google Assistant to disarm Nest Secure.

See instructions for setting up your Google Assistant, including a list of things you can say, in the following article:

Learn about controlling your Nest products with the Google Assistant >

Issues that can prevent arming

There are several things that can keep Nest Secure from fully arming or block arming altogether. If you have any of the issues below, Guard’s Info button will turn red and the Nest app will tell you what’s happening.

  • Things that will block arming:
  • Very low battery on Guard
  • A software update is in progress
  • Hardware failure
  • Wireless interference

Some issues may need your attention, so you may want to address them before arming. Guard will still arm, but it will let you know there’s an issue first. Your info button info button will turn yellow, Guard will speak, and you’ll also be able to see what’s wrong in the Nest app.

  • A door or window is open
  • Guard is using its backup battery
  • Poor network connectivity
  • Guard or a Detect needs attention and should be checked

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