How to 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. But if you have difficulty or get an error in the mobile app, you can set up certain 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: Camera models not listed above cannot be set up on a computer and must be set up on a phone. If you're having trouble setting up your camera, be sure your phone's Bluetooth is turned on, and bring your camera and phone closer to your Wi-Fi router. This may help solve the errors you might see during setup.
1. Before you start
- If you haven’t already, you should first try to set up your camera with a phone or tablet.
- For setup on a Windows computer, you’ll need to be signed in as an Administrator. To learn about Administrator rights, visit Microsoft’s support site.
- Bring your camera and your computer to the spot in your home where you’ll be setting 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’ll be going outside to test your Wi-Fi connection and mount your camera.
2. How to 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.
The light on the front of your camera will glow blue
2. Double click on the icon
Once your camera finishes starting up, a window
Important: Keep your camera plugged into your computer until prompted.
If you can't find the Nest or Dropcam icon
If a window with setup icons doesn’t pop up on your computer or you can’t find it, follow the instructions below for your computer’s OS. We’ll use Nest Cam as an example, but the steps are the same for Dropcam.
Mac OS X 10.4 or later
If the launch icon does not appear on your desktop, you can launch setup from the Finder.
Windows 10, 8.1, and 8
Windows 7, Vista
3. Follow the instructions to finish setup
After you double click the Nest or Dropcam icon, an app will launch and guide you through the following steps:
- Create a free account, or sign in if you already have one.
Connect your camera to Wi-Fi. Your camera will 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 don’t see your network or your camera fails to connect, see the following articles to help troubleshoot:
- 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 will use this location to tell you where alerts are happening and group any other Nest products that match this location.
- Finish setup. The Nest app will guide you through some final customization steps, including checking that your camera can stream video on your Wi-Fi network.
If you can’t see your camera’s video stream when you sign into home.nest.com, follow the troubleshooting suggestions in this article:
4. Bookmark home.nest.com and sign into the Nest app on your phone
Add a bookmark for home.nest.com 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 be able to sign in to the Nest app on your phone to watch video, get alerts, and manage camera settings.
3. Mount your camera
Now you’re ready to install your camera in the spot where you want it to stream video.
Unplug the USB cable from your computer if you haven’t already. Then plug it into your camera’s power adapter.
Both Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor are designed for DIY installation, but each is mounted differently.
Nest Cam Indoor or Dropcam: Plug your camera into a household outlet near where you want to install your camera. Then proceed to the following article.
Nest Cam Outdoor: Don’t plug in your camera outside yet. Simply proceed to the following article for the next steps.