How to change Nest Detect settings

Google Nest Detect is an advanced sensor that can sense motion and whether your door or window is open. Changing the settings for each Detect so they work how you want is easy to do with the Nest app.

How to access Detect’s Settings menu

  1. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  2. Tap Security Home guard icon
  3. Scroll down to Devices and select the Detect that you want to change settings for.
  4. See the sections below for details about each Detect setting.


Pathlight is like a night light so you don’t need to stumble around in the dark. It’s ideal for hallways, the kid’s room or any location in your home where you’d like a bit of extra light. Nest Detect’s Pathlight is off by default to help preserve battery life. You can enable Pathlight any time after installation.

  1. Select Pathlight.
  2. You can choose to enable or disable it, or select a brightness setting. For complete details see the following article:

    Learn about Pathlight and how to change settings >

Check setup 

If your Nest Detect is not accurately detecting whether a door or window is open or closed you may need to check it.

  1. Select Check setup.
  2. The app will then guide you through the process. It should only take a couple of minutes.

For complete details, see the following article:

How to check Detect’s open/close sensor or change whether it’s installed on a door, window or wall >

Placement (location and type of installation)

When you first install a Detect, you’ll give it a location so you
can easily keep track of what room it’s installed in. If the alarm
sounds, you’ll know where there’s a possible intrusion. Or if your
Detect sends a low battery alert, you’ll know which one needs your

There are three different settings you can change:

  • Where: If you’re looking to change the name of the room or move
    your Detect into a different room (in the Spaces view), you can select
    from a list of common room names in your home.
  • WallDoor or Window: Enter a name for the wall, door or window
    that you’ve installed the Detect on.

If you are removing a Detect that’s already installed and moving to
a new location, you need to remove it from your account in the Nest app
and re-add it. Each location is unique and Detect needs to be re-calibrated for its new location.

detect replacement phone image
  • Label: In addition to a room name, you can also add a label which will appear next to the wall, door or window’s name in the app. This is helpful if you have more than one Detect installed on windows or doors in the same room. Keep in mind that labels won’t be included in spoken notifications from Google Nest Guard.

Labels are completely customizable, so just type in what you want. For instance, if you’re adding labels to Detects installed on your living room windows, you can have them read Living Room Window (right), Living Room Window (left), Living Room Window (middle) in the app.

Learn about Nest Detect 

Here, you can read about Detect and the kinds of activity it can look for. There aren’t any settings you can change here.

Technical info

This section contains information about your Detect, including its serial number, software version number, and whether it has a low battery. There aren’t any settings you can change here.

Remove Detect 

If you need to remove a Detect from the Nest app, you can select this option. Keep in mind, if you’re removing it from the app because you’re transferring ownership, you should also perform a factory reset on the Detect.

For more information about removing a product from the app, see the following article:

How to remove a product from the Nest app > 

Other settings that affect your Detect

These settings appear in Settings Home guard icon and then Security and then Security Levels. Click a topic below to learn more.

Quiet Open 

Quiet Open lets you open a door or window without triggering sounds on your alarm system.

How to change Quiet Open settings >

Open tones 

When Open Tone is enabled, and the alarm is set to Off Nest Guard off, Guard will sound a friendly tone when someone opens a door or window.

Motion detection 

You can turn motion detection on or off when your system is Home and Guarding Home guard iconor Away and Guarding Away and guarding. See the following article to learn how to turn motion detection on or off for Guard and individual Detects in your home. 

Reduced motion sensitivity 

To help reduce false alarms from a small dog moving around your home, you can keep motion sensing on but set it to Reduced Motion Sensitivity.

How to change Reduced Motion Sensitivity settings > 

For all other Nest Secure settings and options, see the following article:

How to change Google Nest Secure settings >


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