Troubleshooting QR code scanning with your phone’s camera

You’ll usually need to scan a QR code when setting up a Nest product with the app. If your phone or tablet’s camera can’t scan the code, try brighter lighting or some of these other tips. You can also skip scanning and type in your product’s entry key or serial number into the Nest app.

How to find the QR code 

The QR code’s location is different for each Nest product, but it’s
typically found on the back, bottom, or inside the battery compartment.
If you need help, tap Help me find the code on the Nest app’s QR code
scanning screen. The app will show you a picture of exactly where the code is.
QR code

Tips for scanning 

Use brighter lighting

Your phone or tablet will not use the flash when scanning a QR code with the Nest app, so bright lighting is important. Turn on more lights or open the window shades and try scanning the code again.

 

Put it on a plain background

Patterns on a tablecloth, rug or wall can sometimes confuse your camera’s auto-focus feature and prevent the code from scanning. If your Nest product is on a patterned background, try moving it to a plain surface and re-scanning the code.

Don’t hold it in your hand

Put your Nest product on a counter, table or other solid object. If it’s shaking too much, your phone’s camera can have trouble focusing. You can also try resting your elbows on the table to steady your phone.

Don’t tilt your phone

Your phone’s camera may have trouble scanning the code if it’s tilted at an angle. Make sure it’s level with the surface that the code is printed on.

Keep your distance

If you’re holding your phone too close or too far away, it won’t scan the code. Try holding your phone about a foot away and slowly moving it towards the QR code.

Some phone cameras can’t focus as well as others at close distances, so you may have to hold your phone a bit further away. Try holding your phone so the QR code is inside the Nest app’s blue box and move it slowly away.

 

Watch your shadow

If you’ve already made the lighting brighter but the QR code still isn’t scanning, make sure a shadow isn’t falling on the QR code. This can often happen when you move your phone close to scan the code.

 

Clean the lens

Your phone’s lens can pick up a lot of dust and smudges that can affect image clarity, so give it a wipe with a soft cloth to clean it off.

How to skip QR scanning

If your phone can’t scan the QR code, you can manually type in the key or serial number.

  1. Tap Continue without scanning at the bottom of the QR code scanning screen. Then type in your product’s entry key or serial number. The key or serial number are located next to the QR code.
  2. Follow specific instructions for each Nest product below if you need more guidance.

Tip: If you have a hard time reading your Nest product’s entry key or serial number, take a picture with your phone’s camera. Then open the picture in your photo app and zoom in.

Nest thermostat 

Google Nest thermostats are a bit different because scanning the QR code or entering the serial number isn’t needed to begin installation. The app will only ask for your thermostat’s entry key after you’ve installed it and finished selecting options.

  1. Tap Continue without scanning at the bottom of the QR code screen.
  2. Select Nest thermostat from the list, then select the model you're setting up.
  3. Tap Next.
  4. Install your thermostat by following the instruction manual included in the box.
  5. Tap Continue Setup when you’re done with thermostat installation and it’s powered up.
  6. Type in the entry key you see on your thermostat’s screen. Tap Show me how if you don't see the entry key and need instructions on how to get it.

Nest Protect 

Google Nest Protect’s entry key is located on the back next to the QR code, so you’ll need to remove it from the backplate if it’s already installed on the ceiling or wall.

  1. Tap Continue without scanning at the bottom of the QR code screen.
  2. Select Nest Protect from the list.
  3. Type in the entry key (not the serial number). Tap Show me how to see where the entry key is.
  4. Tap Next. The app will then continue with setup.

Nest cameras 

If you have a camera, you can type in its serial number and entry key. You’ll see them near your camera’s QR code.

  1. Plug your camera into a power outlet before entering the serial number and entry key.
  2. Tap Continue without scanning at the bottom of the QR code screen.
  3. Select Google Nest Cam then pick the camera model you’re setting up from the list.
  4. Type in the entry key. (Dropcams will ask for the serial number in this step). Tap Show me how to see where the entry key or serial number is, if you can’t find it on your camera.
  5. Tap Next.
  6. Type in the serial number on the next screen. The app will then continue with setup. If you see an invalid serial number error, make sure your camera is plugged in before trying again.
  7. Tap Next. The app will then continue with setup.
 

You can also try USB setup

You can also connect your Nest Cam or Dropcam to a computer with the included USB cable to set up your camera. This method will work for all cameras except Nest Cam IQ.

Nest Connect

Nest Connect's six character entry key is located below the QR code, near the plug prongs.

  1. Tap Continue without scanning at the bottom of the QR code screen.
  2. Select Nest Connect from the list.
  3. When prompted, type in the six character entry key. Tap Show me how to see where the entry key is, if you can’t find it.

 

 
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?