Set up your camera on a computer

You should use the Nest app on your phone to set up your camera and connect it to Wi-Fi. If you have difficulty or get an error in the mobile app, you can set up some older Google Nest camera models on a computer, instead.

You can use a Mac or Windows computer to set up the following Nest cameras:

  • Nest Cam Indoor
  • Nest Cam Outdoor
  • Dropcam Pro, Dropcam HD

For these cameras, follow the steps below to connect your camera to the app.

Important: Newer models (such as Nest Cam battery, Nest Doorbell battery, Nest Cam IQ, etc.) not listed above cannot be set up on a computer and must be set up with the Google Home app or Nest app.

Before you begin

  1. If you haven’t already done so, you should first set up your camera with a phone or tablet.
  2. For setup on a Windows computer, you need to be signed in as an Administrator. To learn about Administrator rights, visit Microsoft’s support site.
  3. Bring your camera and your computer to the spot in your home where you want to set up your camera:
    • Nest Cam Indoor, Dropcam Pro, Dropcam HD: Place your camera on a table or on another convenient surface near where you want to mount it.
    • Nest Cam Outdoor: Start inside your home, near your Wi-Fi router and an indoor power outlet. Later, you should go outside to test your Wi-Fi connection and mount your camera.

Set up your camera

1. Plug your camera into your computer

Use the included USB cable to plug your camera directly into a USB port on your computer.

Important:

  • Don't use third party cables as they may not deliver enough power.
  • Don't plug your camera into an external USB hub that's connected to your computer.
  • Try a different USB port if you encounter an issue during setup.

The light on the front of your camera should glow blue (yellow on Dropcam), to indicate that the camera is starting up. After a moment, the light should begin to blink.

2. Double click on the icon

Once your camera finishes its start up, a window should pop up on your computer with Nest Cam or Dropcam setup icons for both Mac OS and Windows. Double click on the icon for the OS your computer uses.

Nest cam and drop cam icons

Important: Keep your camera plugged into your computer until prompted. 

3. Follow the instructions to finish setup 

After you double click the Nest or Dropcam icon, an app should launch and guide you through the following steps:

  1. Create a free account, or sign in if you already have one.
  2. Connect your camera to Wi-Fi. Your camera should scan for nearby networks automatically. Wait a moment for the list of Wi-Fi networks to appear, then choose the network you’d like your camera to use. Be sure to connect only to a wireless network that you trust. You may also be asked to enter the network’s password.

    It can take a little while to find and connect to your Wi-Fi network. If you can't find your network or your camera fails to connect, refer to the following articles to help troubleshoot:

    Wi-Fi network doesn't show up during Nest Cam setup
    Troubleshoot Nest camera and doorbell error codes and messages

  3. Pick a name for your camera that matches its location. You can choose a location from the list or select Custom at the bottom of the list to type in your own name. The Nest app uses this location to tell you where alerts happen and group any other Nest products that match this location.
  4. Finish setup. The Nest app should guide you through some final customization steps, including checking that your camera can stream video on your Wi-Fi network.

If you can't find your camera’s video stream when you sign in to the Nest web app, follow the troubleshooting suggestions in this article:

What to do if you can’t watch Nest Cam video on a Mac or Windows computer

4. Bookmark the Nest web app and sign in to the Nest app on your phone

Add a bookmark for the Nest web app to your browser so you can quickly get to your Nest camera video stream and manage your camera’s settings. If you have any other Nest products, you can also manage them here.

Note: Once your camera is set up, you should sign in to the Nest app on your phone to watch video, get alerts, and manage camera settings.

What you can do with the Nest app
Get started with your camera

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