Get the most out of camera alerts

Google Nest cameras have advanced sound and motion detection that can help you keep an eye on things without being distracted by background activity. Beyond the basics, there are a lot of things you can do to make camera alerts work better for you.

Note: This applies to all our Nest Cams, Nest Hello video doorbell, and Nest Hub Max.

Your camera detected something but you didn't get a camera alert

  • Nest cameras are designed to alert you when they detect important activity, so you don’t get bombarded by notifications.

  • Your camera uses advanced algorithms that learn and improve over time.

  • While your camera may notify you when it first detects activity, it shouldn’t send additional notifications as the activity continues.

For example, if you don’t get a notification when someone walked in front of your Nest Cam, it may have been because your camera already detected similar activity moments before.

Check the Nest app’s event history and Sightline for activity your camera records. You can also see camera events in the Home app’s Feed and History. That way, you can easily view everything your camera has picked up, even if you didn’t receive an alert.

Something happened but your camera didn't detect it

Nest cameras determine when something moves based on how much an image changes over a short period of time. So, your camera may not send an alert if the following is true:

  • The activity is out of your camera’s field of view.

  • An object is blocking the camera’s view.

  • The camera is very far away from the activity.

  • The lighting in the scene is dim or washed out.

You may have to move your camera, change your camera’s angle, or change something in the scene so that you don’t miss important activity.

You're getting too many camera alerts

Turn off sound detection if you need to

  • Nest cameras can figure out the difference between steady background noise and any sounds you need to be notified about.

  • If there’s a lot of irregular noise in the area, you may get a lot of alerts.

For example, you might get more sound notifications from an outdoor camera installed in a spot where there’s always something going on, like birds chirping or cars passing by.

If you need to, you can turn off sound notifications altogether and still get notifications about motion.

You can also change your Nest camera’s microphone, speaker, and audio settings. Keep in mind that if you turn off your camera’s microphone, you won’t hear audio in the video stream or recorded video.

Subscribe to Nest Aware for more intelligent alerts

  • With a Nest Aware subscription, cloud servers run advanced algorithms to help your camera figure out whether or not an activity should trigger an alert.

  • Your camera can also let you know when it has seen or heard someone. With certain camera models, you can get an even more advanced familiar or unfamiliar face alerts.

Set up Activity Zones

  • A Nest Aware subscription is required to set up and use Activity Zones.

  • Activity Zones let you customize certain areas of your camera’s view that you want to keep an eye on.

  • While your camera continues to record the whole view, you can choose to not get notified about motion inside of a zone.

For example, if there's a window in your camera's view that shows a lot of outdoor activity that you don’t care about (like street traffic), you can set up an Activity Zone on that window so that you don’t get notified about it. You can continue to receive alerts about activity outside of that zone.

Customize your alerts from a shared camera

For example, one person can choose to get every single notification available, while someone else might want to only get notifications about motion in a particular Activity Zone.

If you get too many notifications from a shared camera, or if you want to get more, you can change the settings in the Nest app. This does not affect which notifications other people get.

Troubleshoot notifications and emails

If you aren’t getting alerts, or if you’re getting alerts but you think you shouldn’t, you can troubleshoot notifications and emails from Nest.




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