Learn about what you'll see on your Nest thermostat

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 your heating usage, the ambient temperature, the temperature your system is set to heat to, 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.

Nest thermostat temperature 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.

Nest thermostat quick view settings

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.

Example of notification screen on Nest thermostat

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 digital clock

The temperature screen

Nest thermostat front view Nest thermostat E

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Thermostat E

Thermostat temperature screen basics

 
Nest thermostat heating current target temperature nest e thermostat example
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 LARGE number (A) 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.
    • The SMALL number (B) near the edge of the screen is the current room temperature measured by your thermostat’s sensors.
    • 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 depending on your system’s current state. You may also see a message like “Heat set to.” The Nest Learning Thermostat screen will turn from orange when heating to black when Off or set to ECO. The Nest Thermostat E’s temperature will turn from orange to white.

  • 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, 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 time to temperature

Once the target temperature is reached, the Time-to-Temperature will disappear.

  • The Nest Learning Thermostat screen background will turn from orange (heating) to black.
  • The Nest Thermostat E’s temperature will turn from orange to white.

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 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 or idle (the colors will change)
  • The target temperature that your system is set to heat to
  • Time-to-Temperature
  • Nest Leaf (depending on target temperature)
  • Eco (when thermostat switches to Eco Temperature)

In the app you'll also see:

  • System Mode (for switching between Heat, Eco and Off modes)
  • Schedule (for changing the temperature schedule)
  • History (to view your Energy History)
  • The current humidity in your home
  • Settings (change Eco Temperature, lock the thermostat, and more)

 

temperature with humidity 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 >

Seasonal Savings

seasonal savings icon

Some Nest thermostat owners who are customers of Nest energy partners are eligible to sign up for Seasonal Savings.

This icon will appear whenever Seasonal Savings is adjusting your heating schedule to help you save energy.

Learn more Seasonal Savings >

Hot water

Hot water icon

You’ll see this icon on the temperature screen when your domestic hot water is heating during boost mode. Follow this link to learn more about how you can turn your hot water on or off, or change your hot water settings.

How to change your domestic hot water settings >

Bacteria Prevention

Thermostat bacteria prevention icon

If this feature is enabled, your Nest thermostat will help to prevent Legionella bacteria. Your thermostat will heat your domestic hot water regularly if you’ve been away for an extended period of time, or if there’s a large gap in your hot water heating schedule.

How the Nest thermostat helps prevent Legionella bacteria >

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 arrow and you'll see the current weather, time, day of the week, and the temperature and humidity in your home.

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

Eco

leaf icon

The color of this icon will change depending on which mode your thermostat is in. You can also tell which mode your thermostat is in by highlighting the icon.

Select this icon to choose from different thermostat modes: Heat, Eco or Off.

How to switch thermostat modes >

Learn about Eco temperatures >

Learn about Off mode >

Hot water on

Red hot water icon

Hot water off

Hot water icon

If your Nest thermostat controls domestic hot water control, you’ll see the current status of your domestic hot water. Press your thermostat’s ring to see the Hot Water menu. Here, you can activate Boost mode, set your domestic hot water schedule and turn your hot water schedule on or off.

Note: This icon will only appear if you have a Nest thermostat set up with a hot water tank or an OpenTherm-enabled combi boiler.

How to change domestic hot water settings >

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 Nest settings icon.

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.

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

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 Temperature, 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 or any other error or alert that requires your attention.

Nest thermostat farsight analog 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

Analog clock

thermostat farsight clock

Nest thermostat farsight analog clock

Digital clock

farsight clock

farsight clock digital

Weather and forecast

Nest thermostat farsight weather temperature

Nest thermostat farsight weather temperature

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>

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 Displayand thenFarsight
  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.

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

Example of notification screen on Nest 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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