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Troubleshoot Nest 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. But if you’re getting too many or too few camera alerts, or if you’re not getting notified of activity when you expect, here are some things you can do to make camera alerts work better for you.

Note: This applies to all our Nest cameras, Google Nest doorbells, and Nest Hub Max.

General troubleshooting

If you’re not getting any camera alerts when you expect to, there are a few things you should try:

  • Check that your camera is powered on. Most Nest cameras need to be plugged into a power outlet to stream video and send notifications. If you have a battery-powered camera, make sure it’s charged.
  • Make sure that your camera is online in the app.
  • Make sure that notifications from your camera are turned on in the app.

Too few camera alerts

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. 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 camera, it may have been because it already detected similar activity moments before.

To troubleshoot the issue:

Check your camera’s video history for activity your camera records. That way, you can easily view everything your camera has picked up, even if you didn’t receive an alert.

Video history | Home app | Nest app

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.

To troubleshoot the issue:

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

Event detection accuracy

Nest Cams and Doorbells help show you what’s going on at home, but the technology itself isn’t perfect. We try to make our camera events as accurate as possible, but your camera or doorbell may miss things like:

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

Too many camera alerts

If you’re getting too many notifications from your camera, there are a few things you can do to help:

Adjust which activity you get notifications for

If you need to, you can turn off notifications for certain kinds of events so that your camera will only send alerts for types of activity that you care about.

Note: Anyone who can access your camera in the app can adjust which notifications they get without affecting anyone else. For example, one person can choose to get notifications for all event types, while someone else might want to only get notifications about motion in a specific zone.

Follow the app instructions for your camera to adjust its notifications.

Home app

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings .
  4. Select Notifications.
  5. Choose which events you want to turn notifications off for. Note: If you turn an event off altogether, your camera won’t send you a notification when that kind of activity is detected. The event also won’t be marked in your camera’s video history.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app icon.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  4. Select Notifications.
  5. Choose which events you want to turn notifications off for.

For sound notifications, you can also change your Nest camera’s speaker, microphone, and audio settings. Keep in mind that if you turn off the microphone, the live stream and recorded video won’t have any audio.

Set up Activity Zones to reduce unwanted notifications

If your camera detects a lot of activity in a specific area (for example, a busy sidewalk), you can create a zone and set notifications for activity outside the zone only. This can help if you’re getting too many camera alerts, but don’t want to turn notifications off completely.

Note: If you have already set up Activity Zones, the Home app will automatically create a zone for you in the area outside your zones.

Follow the app instructions for your camera to use Activity Zones to reduce notifications.

 Home app

  1. Open the Home app Google Home app.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings .
  4. Select Events  Seen events.
  5. Under “Activity Zones,” tap Add a zone Plus icon to mark the area you don’t want to receive alerts about. Tap Confirm Check to save.
  6. After setting up a zone, go back to your camera’s Settings Notifications.
  7. Choose the zone you just created.
  8. Make sure that notifications for any enabled events for the zone are turned off.
  9. Go back to Seen events  Outside of zone and turn on the events and notifications that you want to get.

Your camera won’t send you notifications for activity in that zone, but you can still get notifications for activity in other areas in its view.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app icon.
  2. On the home screen, select your camera.
  3. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  4. Select Activity Zones, and tap Create Zone to mark the area you don’t want to receive alerts about.
  5. After setting up a zone, go back to your camera’s Settings Nest settings icon Notifications.
  6. Make sure the Activity Zone you just created has both People and All other motion alerts unchecked.
  7. Go back to Notifications, then tap Motion outside of a zone and check the alerts you want to get.

Your camera won’t send you notifications for activity in that zone, but you can still get notifications for activity in other areas in its view.

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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