Learn about what you'll see on your Nest thermostat

Google Nest thermostats have two main screens: the Temperature Screen and the Quick View menu. Your thermostat can also show you important notifications and error messages if needed.

Nest thermostats do more than let you change the temperature, they let you know what’s happening. For instance, your thermostat can show you important notifications about issues with your system, the ambient temperature, and the temperature your system is set to reach, and more. Here’s a complete guide to all the icons, numbers and more of what you’ll see on your thermostat.

 

Temperature screen

This is what you’ll see and use most often. You’ll see the current ambient
temperature, the temperature your thermostat is set to
(the Target Temperature), and icons like the Nest Leaf when relevant.

Thermostat leaf screen

Quick View menu

Press the ring on your thermostat and the Temperature screen
switches to the Quick View menu. Here you can change your
thermostat mode (from heating to Eco Temperatures, for instance)
and dig into settings where you can do things like change your
temperature schedule, the Wi-Fi network, and more.

Quick view

Notifications and errors

If there’s a problem or something important you should know,
you’ll see a message pop-up on your thermostat or in the app.
You may also see an icon on the temperature screen after the
message goes away.

Nest thermostat rush hour screen

Farsight

3rd gen Nest Learning thermostats also have Farsight.
Farsight shows you practical information such as the time,
the weather or the temperature, in a large format that’s easy to
read from across the room.

Nest thermostat farsight

 

The temperature screen 

thermostat temperature screen

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Thermostat E

 

Thermostat temperature screen basics 

Nest thermostat temperature Nest thermostat e labels
Nest Learning Thermostat Nest Thermostat E

 

  • The temperature screen will show you the current temperature in your home, and the temperature your system is set to.

    • The SMALL number near the edge of the screen is the current room temperature measured by your thermostat’s sensors. If you have a Google Nest Temperature Sensor that’s currently active, you’ll see the temperature measured by the sensor, which is typically located in another room.
    • The LARGE number in the center of the screen is the Target Temperature. This is the temperature your system is set to heat or cool to. Turn your thermostat’s ring clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the Target Temperature.
    • You’ll see ECO and the green Nest Leaf icon instead of a number indicating the temperature when your thermostat is set to Eco Temperatures to help save energy.

 

  • Icons will appear at the bottom of the temperature screen to let you know what’s happening and when your thermostat is using certain features. For instance, you’ll see the Nest Leaf to let you know that you’ve selected an energy-saving temperature. See the icons section below for details.

  • The color will change between orange (heating) blue (cooling) and black (off or ECO) depending on your system’s current state. You may also see a message like “Heat set to” or “Cooling.”

  • The thermostat screen will turn off when it notices that there hasn’t been any recent activity nearby. If you’ve enabled Farsight, the screen will switch to showing you the option you’ve selected (the room temperature, time, weather, etc.).

  • Important notifications such as an error, issue with your system, or an upcoming energy Rush Hour will be automatically shown on the temperature screen. You can manually dismiss most notifications, except critical errors. Notifications will automatically disappear after a while, or when the issue is resolved.

  • Press the thermostat to manually switch to the Quick View screen if needed. Remember, Nest thermostats don’t have touchscreens, press down until you hear a click.

  • You can also see the temperature screen in the Nest app. Just tap your thermostat on the app home screen to bring it up. There are some key differences between what you’ll see on your thermostat’s temperature screen and the one in the app. See the section below for details.

Time-to-Temperature 

When you manually change the temperature on your
thermostat or with the app, you’ll see how long it will take
for your home to reach the temperature you’ve chosen.

Your Nest thermostat will estimate the Time-to-
Temperature in increments of five minutes. If it’s less than
ten minutes until the temperature you’ve selected is reached,
the display will read, “less than ten minutes.” If it’s more than
two hours, Nest will read “IN 2+ HR.”

Nest thermostat gen 3 time to temperature

 

Once the target temperature is reached, the Time-to-Temperature will disappear, and the screen background will turn from orange (heating) or blue (cooling) to black.

The Time-to-Temperature estimate will get more accurate as your thermostat continues to learn about your home, your system’s efficiency, and how quickly your home warms up and cools down.

When you won’t see Time to Temperature

  • You’ll only see Time-to-Temperature estimates for temperatures that you’ve manually set with the thermostat or the Nest app. Temperatures that you have put into your schedule and temperatures added by Auto-Schedule won’t have a Time-to-Temperature displayed.

  • Your Nest thermostat won’t display a Time-to-Temperature estimate if continuous heating or cooling is needed to maintain the temperature that you have selected or if the temperature fluctuates unexpectedly. For example, if you have a poorly insulated home and an extreme cold front rolls in, your heating system might have to constantly cycle to keep the temperature up. In this case, the display will simply read “HEATING” without a time.

Differences between the app and thermostat temperature screens

There are some differences between what you’ll see in the app and on your thermostat. The app has some extra options for system controls, the current humidity in your home, and information about all the temperature sensors connected to your thermostat.

On your thermostat:

  • Whether your system is heating, cooling or idle (the app background is orange when heating, blue when cooling, and black when idle)
  • The target temperature that your system is set to heat or cool to
  • Fan (when it’s running)
  • Time-to-Temperature
  • Nest Leaf (depending on target temperature)
  • Eco (when thermostat switches to Eco Temperatures)

In the app you'll also see:

  • System Mode (for switching between Heat, Cool, Heat • Cool, Eco and Off modes)
  • Fan control (that lets you manually turn your system’s fan on and off)
  • Schedule (for changing the temperature schedule)
  • History (to view your Energy History)
  • The current humidity in your home
  • Settings (change Eco Temperatures, set a fan schedule, lock the thermostat, and more)
  • Nest Temperature Sensors that are connected to your thermostat will also be listed along with the temperatures they’re reporting and useful information like “Room tends to be cooler than at the thermostat,” or “Weak connection to the thermostat” if you may need to move it closer.
thermostat temperature screen temperature screen
Nest Learning Thermostat Nest Thermostat E

 

Temperature screen icons 

The icons below will appear when needed, but they depend on your system as well as energy savings program participation so you may not see one or more of them at all.

Nest Leaf

leaf icon

You’ll see this icon when your thermostat is set to an energy efficient temperature. Use the Nest Leaf as a guide to help you save energy.

Learn more about the Nest Leaf >

Rush Hour Rewards 
or 
Seasonal Savings

seasonal savings icon

You can see this icon during either a Rush Hour Rewards or Seasonal Savings event. Rush Hour Rewards and Seasonal Savings are available for some Nest thermostat owners who are customers of Nest energy partners.

You’ll see the Rush Hour Rewards icon if your thermostat is adjusting your temperature to help you save energy during peak hours.

Learn about Rush Hour Rewards >

Learn more Seasonal Savings >

Time of Savings 
or 
Charge Guard

charge guard icon

You’ll see this icon during either a Time of Savings or Charge Guard event. These energy saving programs are available for some Nest thermostat owners who are customers of Nest energy partners.

If you’re on a Time of Savings plan with your energy provider, your thermostat can automatically reduce your heating or cooling use when electricity costs are highest. You’ll see this icon if your thermostat is adjusting your temperature to help save energy.

Learn about Time of Savings >

Some energy providers add an extra charge to your energy bill if you use a lot of electricity at once, called a demand charge. You might see this icon if your Nest thermostat is helping you to avoid these extra charges by adjusting your temperature.

Learn more about Charge Guard >

Fan

fan icon

If you can turn on your system’s fan independently of heating or cooling, you’ll see the fan icon on the temperature screen when it’s running.

How to control your fan with the Nest thermostat >

Airwave

air wave icon

You’ll see this icon on your temperature screen if your Nest thermostat is using Airwave to help save you energy.

Learn about Airwave >

Humidity

thermostat humidity icon

The Humidity icon is displayed on the temperature screen whenever your Nest thermostat is using your system to adjust the humidity in your home. You’ll only see this icon if you have a humidifier or dehumidifier installed on your thermostat.

You can set times when your humidifier or dehumidifier won’t run, so they won’t disturb you. To learn how, see How to change Quiet Time settings.

Sunblock

thermostat sunblock icon

You’ll see this icon when Sunblock uses your Nest thermostat’s light and temperature sensors to help keep you comfortable.

Learn about Sunblock >

The Quick View Menu 

The Quick View menu gives you easy access to important
settings and information about your thermostat.

Simply press your thermostat’s ring to open the Quick View
menu. It will show you several options to choose from, each
represented by an icon. Turn the ring and press to select the
one you want.

Quick view

 

Done

thermostat done icon

Highlight the checkmark and you'll see the current time and day of the week as well as the temperature and humidity in your home. If you’re connected to Wi-Fi you’ll also see outdoor weather information.

Note: If your thermostat isn’t connected to Wi-Fi you won’t see weather information.

Select this icon and press the thermostat ring to return to the temperature screen.

Off

thermostat off icon

Heat

Thermostat heat icon

Cool

Thermostat Cool icon

Heat•Cool

Thermostat heat cool icon

The mode icon lets you choose whether your thermostat uses heating, cooling or both to keep your home comfortable. The available modes will depend on your equipment. So for instance, you’ll only see Cool and Heat•Cool modes if your thermostat is connected to central air conditioning.

The color of the mode icon will change so you can easily tell what your thermostat is set to.

How to switch thermostat modes >

Learn about Off mode >

Eco

leaf icon

Your thermostat will automatically switch to Eco Temperature when your home is unoccupied to help save energy, but you can also manually set it by selecting this icon.

Learn about Eco temperatures >

Fan

fan icon

This icon will appear only if your system has a fan that can be controlled separately from heating and cooling. You can use this menu to or turn your fan on or off right away, or set a daily schedule.

How to control your fan with the Nest thermostat >

Energy

thermostat history icon

Turning to this icon gives a quick summary of yesterday's energy use if it’s available.

Press the thermostat ring to see more details about your Energy History for the last 10 days.

Note: If you have a Nest thermostat E, you’ll find History under Settings .

How to read your Energy History >

Schedule

thermostat schedule

Turning the thermostat ring to select Schedule shows the next upcoming temperature in your schedule.

You can press the thermostat ring to view and change your weekly schedule.

How to edit your Nest thermostat’s temperature schedule >

Settings

Settings icon

Settings is where you can change your thermostat’s options and view detailed information that can help you troubleshoot problems.

Press the ring to access and change thermostat settings like screen brightness, Eco Temperatures, network connection, and more.

Learn about settings on the Nest thermostat >

Exclamation point

Thermostat offline icon

Note: Note: If the thermostat is offline, you'll see an exclamation point inside the Settings icon. You can still control your heating and cooling with the thermostat, but you won’t be able to control the temperature with the Nest app.

Troubleshoot an offline thermostat >

The Farsight screen 

3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostats can automatically wake up and switch to the Farsight screen when there’s activity within 20 feet. The Farsight screen shows you useful information in a large format that makes it easy to read even from the other side of the room.

Things Farsight can show you 

You can choose what Farsight shows you, or turn it
off in your Nest thermostat’s settings:

  • The thermostat’s target temperature
  • The current room temperature
  • An analog clock
  • A digital clock
  • The weather and forecast

Note: No matter which Farsight setting you choose,
your thermostat will always go to sleep to conserve
power, and show you important messages such as
smoke and carbon monoxide alerts from your Nest
Protect, Furnace Heads-Up, or any other error or
alert that requires your attention.

Nest thermostat farsight clock

Farsight changes when you get closer to your thermostat 

When the Farsight screen is active, it will automatically show you more details when you get closer to your thermostat, within about 3 feet. Below are examples of what you’ll see, depending on your Farsight setting.

Note: To exit Farsight and use your thermostat to change the temperature or other settings, simply press or turn the thermostat ring.

Farsight
setting

 

Far
When you're up to 20 feet
away

 

 

Near
When you're within about 3
feet

 

None (off)

Nest thermostat black screen
Display stays off

Nest thermostat farsight temperature

Target temperature

Nest thermostat farsight target temperature

Nest thermostat farsight temperature

Current room temperature

farsight thermostat

Nest thermostat farsight temperature

Analog clock

thermostat farsight clock

Nest thermostat farsight clock

Digital clock

farsight clock

farsight clock digital

Weather and forecast

farsight weather

farsight weather near

Farsight is disabled when your thermostat's battery is low 

Your Nest thermostat charges its internal battery with the power it gets from the wires connected to your system. It closely monitors its internal battery charge level, and if it gets too low, your thermostat will take energy saving measures to help ensure you have full control of your heating and cooling, and access to critical thermostat features.

When the charge gets low enough, Farsight will automatically turn off until the battery recharges. You’ll still be able to use your thermostat as usual, but the display will only turn on when you’re within about 3 feet. After your thermostat has had a chance to recharge its battery enough, Farsight will work again.

Why only 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostats have Farsight 

  • Farsight is available only on 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostats with software 5.0 or later installed.
  • 3rd gen thermostats have advanced sensors needed to sense your presence from farther away.
  • Farsight takes advantage of the larger high-res screen on the 3rd gen thermostat so it’s easy to read.

How to change Farsight settings 

3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostats have Farsight on by default, and will show you the target temperature. You can turn Farsight off or change what it shows you with your thermostat.

  1. Press the thermostat ring to open the Quick View screen.
  2. Turn the ring to Settings and press to select.
  3. Select Display Nest and then image.  Farsight
  4. Now you can choose what Farsight will show you, or turn it off by selecting None.

Error codes and notifications 

 
You’ll see messages on your Nest thermostat letting you
know about things that you should know and may need your
attention. You’ll also see certain thermostat errors and
notifications in the Nest app.
Nest thermostat rush hour screen

 

Here’s a short list of key notifications you may see on your thermostat:

Thermostat error codes

Your thermostat will show you an error message when it detects a problem with things like wiring, Wi-Fi, or power. Sometimes you can dismiss an error code if it’s non-critical. However, it may come back if the problem persists. Other issues that require your immediate attention will remain on your thermostat until the problem is fixed.

Troubleshooting error codes: When you see an error code, your thermostat will tell you a bit about the problem. To get help with a specific thermostat error message, make a note of the code in the message ( typically a letter followed by two numbers) and look it up in our troubleshooting thermostat error codes article to see specific troubleshooting steps.

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