How to set up Nest Protect with the Nest app

Before you install your Nest Protect on the ceiling or wall, you need to first set it up with the Nest app. You’ll have to scan the QR code on the back of Protect. Once connected to the app and Wi-Fi, you can silence Protect with the app, get alerts from your phone, and more.

Important: You need to set up Nest Protect with the Nest app before installing it to the ceiling or wall. You’ll have to scan the QR code or enter an entry key that’s on the back of your Protect.

Setup only takes a few minutes, and the Nest app will guide you through it.

Watch a video

We've provided detailed setup steps below, but if your prefer, check out the Nest Protect setup video.

How to set up Nest Protect with the Nest app

Before you get started, here's what you'll need:

  • Nest Protect
  • Wi-Fi and internet access in the same location that you’re installing your Nest Protect (i.e. your home’s Wi-Fi network)
  • iOS or Android phone or tablet
  • Latest version of the Nest app
  • Free account

              Learn about the requirements to use the Nest app >

This article covers both 1st and 2nd gen Nest Protect setup. The setup steps are similar, but there are a few key differences that we’ll point out. If you don’t know which Protect you have, check out this article for easy identification.

How to set up a 1st or 2nd gen Nest Protect

1. Put your Nest Protect on a table 

Setting up your Protect is easier if you do it before installing it
to the ceiling or wall since you’ll have to scan the QR code on
the back.

Put it on a table near your Wi-Fi router so it’s easy to access.

Don’t pull out the battery tab yet. The Nest app will tell you
when to do so. If you already have, don’t worry. You can simply
press the button to wake it up when needed.

If you’re installing more than one Nest Protect

You should set all your Protects up at the same time and add
them to the Nest app before installing them on the ceiling or

Put all your Protects on a table so you can easily access them




protect battery tabs


2. Turn on your phone's Wi-Fi Bluetooth 

Make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network
that you’ll be connecting your Protect to.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, make sure that its Wi-Fi and
Bluetooth are turned on in Control Center.

If you have an Android phone, the Nest app will automatically
turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on.

         Learn more about Bluetooth LE >



Important: Sometimes iOS or Android devices won’t
immediately connect to Nest Protect over Wi-Fi and will
automatically switch to cellular data.

To help prevent an error from happening, manually disable
cellular data before you set up your Protect. Once you’re done
with setup, you can re-enable it.

  • On an iOS device, go to Settings > Cellular and turn off the
    Cellular Data switch at the top of the screen.
  • On an Android device, go to Settings > Data Usage > Mobile
    Data and tap or uncheck to turn off mobile data. If your
    device is running a custom version of the Android OS, your menus may be different.

Note: If you have a 1st gen Nest Protect, bluetooth does not
need to be on since it doesn’t use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE),
but you can keep it on if you want.

On Android devices: Check Wi-Fi settings 

Some Android devices have automatic network switching options, which should also be disabled.

This option is often in Settings > Wi-Fi > Advanced.

If your device is running a custom version of the Android OS, your menus may be different.

Uncheck Avoid poor connections. You can re-enable it after Nest Protect setup is complete.

You may need to power down and restart your Android device for these changes to take effect. After restart, double check that Wi-Fi is enabled.

3. Get the Nest app 

If you don’t already have the Nest app, go to the the Apple App Store or Google Play to download it.

If you already have the Nest app, check that you have the latest version.

  • On an iOS device, select the Updates option from the App Store app.
  • On an Android device, open the Google Play app and search for the Nest app to update it if needed.

4. Create a free account 

  • If you already have an account in the Nest app, skip to the next step.
  • If you’re new to Nest, you’ll be asked to create a free account. Tap Sign up in the app.

5. Add Nest Protect to the Nest app 

  • If this is your first Nest product, tap Add New on the app home screen.
  • If you already have a Nest product in your account, tap Settings Nest settings icon in the top right corner. Select Add product Nest add product icon. , then select Nest Protect.

6. Scan the QR code 

The Nest app will turn on your phone’s camera. Use it to scan the QR code on the back of your Protect.

        Troubleshooting QR code scanning >

The app will automatically recognize that you’re adding a Nest Protect and guide you through setup. Make sure you have your Wi-Fi password handy.

Tip: Write down the Entry Key for each Protect you’re installing and keep this number in a safe place. The entry key is 6 digits long, located on the back next to the QR code. This can save you some time in the future if you ever remove your Protect from the app and need to add it back.

7. Tell your Protect where you're going to install it

Now you’ll let your Protect know where it’s going to live. Pick a location from the list of rooms in the app.

Nest Protect will speak the room name you’ve chosen during a Heads-Up alert or Emergency Alarm.

You also have the option to add a label or create a custom name.

         How to change the location or room name of your Nest product in the app >

8. Pull out Protect's battery tab 

Pull out the blue tab on your Protect. It will greet you and the
light will begin to glow blue.

If you’ve already pulled the tab out, but the light isn’t glowing
blue, press the button on your Protect to wake it up.

Note: If you have a Nest Protect already connected to the app,
you may be able to skip some of the following steps. The app
will tell you exactly what you need to do.

protect 2nd gen pull battery tab


For 1st gen Protects: Connect to Nest Protect's Wi-Fi Network 

Your Protect will now create its own ad hoc Wi-Fi network to complete setup. This temporary network lets you connect your phone to your Protect so you can tell it your home’s Wi-Fi network name and password.

If you’re using an Android device, the Nest app will automatically connect you to the ad hoc Wi-Fi network. Your phone or tablet will now connect to Nest Protect. It may take a minute or two.

If you’re using an iOS device, you’ll need to switch Wi-Fi networks manually. Follow these steps:

  1. Take note of the name of the Nest Protect’s Wi-Fi network. It should begin with “NEST.”
  2. Switch out of the Nest app and go to iOS Settings Wi-Fi.
  3. Select the Nest Protect’s ad hoc network from the list of available networks in Wi-Fi settings. It may take up to a minute before the ad hoc network appears in the list of Wi-Fi networks.

    You will see a checkmark next to the Nest ad hoc network when you have connected to it.

    Note: If you don’t see the ad hoc network, press the Nest button on your Protect again. When you see the light ring glow blue, the network should appear in your phone’s Wi-Fi list. You can also try to switch your phone’s Wi-Fi off then on again to refresh the list of available networks.

  4. Switch back to the Nest app.

Your phone or tablet will now connect to Nest Protect. It may take a minute or two.

After joining the ad hoc network, you will not see a Wi-Fi icon in the top left of the screen. You will only see a 4G or 3G icon until pairing is fully completed.

Note: If your Nest Protects have connected to each other, you may be able to skip some of the following steps. Don’t worry, the app will tell you exactly what you need to do.

9. Connect Nest Protect to Wi-Fi 

If you already have a Nest Protect connected to the Nest app

The app will ask you to press its button so it can connect to your new Nest Protect. This will let them share Wi-Fi information and automatically connect.

If your Protect’s light isn’t spinning blue already, press the button to wake it up. Then it will connect to your new Nest Protect and transfer your Wi-Fi network information. It may take a minute or two.

Note: They’ll need to be in range of each other, so you may need to take your phone and new Nest Protect to the same room as your other Protect.

If you don’t already have a Nest Protect connected to the Nest app

The app will show you a list of available Wi-Fi networks. Select the network you want your Nest Protect to connect to and enter the password. Your phone or tablet will now connect to Nest Protect. It may take a minute or two.

Troubleshooting connecting Nest Protect to the Nest app or Wi-Fi 

If you run into trouble or see an error, please see the following articles to troubleshoot:

           Troubleshooting adding Nest Protect to the Nest app or Wi-Fi network >

For iOS customers, if you see a P002 or P013 setup error code, follow these troubleshooting steps.

If your Wi-Fi network isn’t appearing in the list of available networks, follow these troubleshooting steps.

If you have hidden your network for security purposes, learn how to connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network.

10. Choose Pathlight settings 








Now you’ll choose Pathlight settings so Nest Protect can light
your way in the dark. You can choose to have it off, on, or always on.

setup pathlight


11. Finish setup 







Nest Protect will now connect to the internet and be added
to your account in the Nest app. It will tell you when it’s finished,
and you’ll see its light turn from blue to green.

added to account phone app


12. Label your Protect 

It’s important to write down the date and room name you chose
on your Protect’s label. This will help you keep track of where
they’re supposed to be installed.

Note: You can also press the button on your Nest Protect to
hear where it’s supposed to go.

protect 2nd gen back label


13 Add another Nest Protect if you have one 

The Nest app will ask if you have more Nest Protects. If you do, it can take you through a faster setup for the rest of them. Tap Add another Nest Protect and the app will walk you through the setup process for your other Protect.

If you’re done setting up Nest Protects, tap Next.

14. Choose Sound Check settings 

After you’re finished adding all your Protects to the Nest app,
you’ll choose Sound Check settings. This lets your Protects
automatically test their speaker and alarm once a month.
Setup sound check

15. Keep it clean until you install 

Like all smoke alarms, it’s important to
eep Nest Protect dust free. Use the plastic
cover or the box that it came in to keep dust out until you’re
ready to install it.

See the article below for installation instructions:

        How to install your Nest Protect >

protect dust cover


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