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Camera and doorbell alerts

Nest camera alerts are notifications you receive on your phone or tablet when your Google Nest camera or doorbell detects important activity. Camera notifications are managed in the Google Home app or the Nest app.

How alerts work

  • Home app settings are off by default. You can turn notifications on or off at any time.
  • The notification options you get depend on the type of camera you have and whether you're subscribed to Nest Aware.
  • You can choose to receive notifications for everything your camera detects, or choose notifications for only certain types of activity.
  • You need to separately set up alerts for each camera and doorbell in your home.
  • If others can control devices in your home, each person can set their own camera alert preferences in the app.
  • If you've turned on critical alerts, you may receive some push notifications even when your phone is set to Do Not Disturb mode.
  • Some camera alerts are always on to keep you informed about important events like when your camera goes offline, if it was removed from the app, or detects tampering. You can't change settings for these notifications in the app.

Change camera alerts

For steps on how to enable notifications for your camera, or change which kinds of alerts you get, go to the app you use to control your camera.

Home app notifications

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap Favorites or Devices .
  3. Tap and hold your device's tile  More More menu  Settings .
  4. Select Notifications.

Here's more information about notification settings you can change for your camera.

Push notifications

Tap the switch to enable or disable push notifications for your phone when your camera detects activity. When enabled, you can receive camera alerts as long as you're signed into the app.

Away-only notifications

Tap the switch to enable or disable away-only notifications. When this is on, you can only receive camera alerts when your home is set to Away mode so you won't be disturbed by notifications when someone is at home.

Seen activity types

Tap the switch next to each type of notification to enable or disable alerts for things like motion, people, or animals. This list can vary depending on your camera or doorbell model and if you have an Aware subscription.

Home app event settings

Changes to your camera's event settings will affect your notifications. You'll receive notifications only for the types of events that are turned on.

To turn specific video events on or off:

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap Favorites or Devices .
  3. Tap and hold your device's tile  More More menu  Settings .
  4. Tap Events and then Seen events.
  5. Tap the switch for any events that you want to turn on or off.

Nest app notifications

  1. Open the Nest app.
  2. On the home screen, tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select Notifications.
  4. Select the camera that you want to change alert settings for and select from the options below.

Notification type

  • Push notification: Alerts pop up on your phone, just like alerts from other apps. You can receive notifications as long as you're signed into the app.
    Note: When you close the Nest app, it doesn't sign you out. You can continue to receive notifications even if the app is closed.
  • Email: Alerts are sent from to the email address you use to sign into your account in the Nest app. You can get emails whether or not you're signed into the app.

When to send

  • No one's home: This option sets your camera to send notifications only after your home has switched to Away.
  • Always: When this option is selected, your camera sends notifications regardless of whether you're home or away.

Event detection accuracy

Nest cameras and doorbells help show you what's going on at home, but the technology isn't perfect. We try to make our camera events as accurate as possible, but things like the following can happen:

  • A picture can be confused with a real event. For example, a t-shirt with a picture of a dog might trigger an animal detection event.
  • A person crawling on the ground can be misidentified as a pet.
  • Close relatives can be misidentified.

Types of camera alerts

  • For complete details about alerts and notifications, go to What you get with a Nest Aware subscription and select your camera or doorbell. The alerts and notifications you can get vary by device and whether you have an Aware subscription or not.
  • With a Nest Aware subscription, your camera can use advanced algorithms to improve its motion and sound detection and send you better notifications.


Common event notifications that you can get include people seen, motion detected, animals, and vehicles.

Familiar face detection

Familiar face detection can teach your Nest camera how to tell the difference between the faces you know and don't know. Over time, it can start to recognize people you know and send you more helpful alerts. For more information, go to Familiar face detection.

Activity Zones alerts

Activity Zones let you mark a specific area in your camera's view that you want to get alerts for. Your camera can send alerts and record an event in your camera's video history when there's important motion in the zone that you have created. For detailed information, go to Set up and use Activity Zones.

Technical problems

Your camera can also notify you when it has technical issues, such as when it goes offline. These alerts can help you troubleshoot when your camera isn't working as intended.

Email Notifications

Note: This option is only available for cameras in the Nest app.

If you choose to get notifications sent to your email address, the email should include a snapshot image of the activity your camera spotted. You can download these snapshots to your phone or your computer's hard drive.

Troubleshoot notifications

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