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Set up Nest Protect with the app

  • Set up Protect with the Nest app before you install it on the ceiling or wall. You need to scan a QR code on the back of your Protect to add it to the app.
  • The app has complete detailed instructions and will guide you through Protect setup and installation.
  • Use this article as an overview of setup along with some troubleshooting help.
  • Once you add your Protect to the app, you can get alerts on your phone, silence alarms with the app, and more. If you don't add your Protect to the Nest app, it will still warn you when it detects smoke and carbon monoxide (CO), but you won't get notifications from the app.

For a preview of Protect setup and installation, check out the video.

How to set up Nest Protect with the Nest app

What you need to get started

  • Nest Protect
  • Wi-Fi and internet access in the same location that you're installing your Protect (your home's Wi-Fi network)
  • Wi-Fi network password
  • Phone or tablet
  • Latest version of the Nest app
  • A Nest or Google account

1. Put your Protect near your Wi-Fi router

  • Put your Protect on a table near your Wi-Fi router so it's easy to access as you set it up.
  • Don't pull out the battery tab. The app will tell you when you need to. If you already have, don't worry. You can press the button to wake up your Protect when needed.

If you're installing more than one Protect

  • Set up all your Protects at the same time and add them to the Nest app before you install them on the ceiling or wall.
2. Turn on your phone's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  1. Make sure Bluetooth is on, and your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network that you're connecting Protect to.
    Important: Sometimes phones and tablets won't immediately connect to Protect over Wi-Fi and will automatically switch to cellular data.
  2. Temporarily turn off cellular data on your phone. Once you're done with setup, you can turn it back on.
  3. Check Wi-Fi settings. Some devices have automatic network switching options, which should also be disabled.
    • Uncheck Avoid poor connections. You can turn it on again after setup is complete.

You may need to turn off and restart your phone or tablet for these changes to take effect. After restart, double-check that Wi-Fi is back on.

3. Get the Nest app

  • If you don't already have the Nest app, go to the Google Play store or Apple App Store to download it.
  • If you already have the Nest app, check that you have the latest version.

4. Sign in to your account

If you're new, you'll be asked to create an account. Otherwise, sign in if you haven't already.

5. Add Protect to the app

  • If you got your Protect from a previous owner, or you’re moving your Protect to your new home, perform a factory reset.  Protect must be reset to factory settings before you can add it to your account.
  • 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 and then Add product .

6. Scan the QR code

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

Troubleshoot QR code scanning

The app will automatically recognize that you're adding a Protect and guide you through setup.

Tip: Write down the Entry Key for each Protect you install and keep it 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'll install it

Pick a location from the list of rooms in the app. Protect will speak the room name you've chosen during a Heads-Up alert or Emergency Alarm. You can also add a label or create a custom name.

You can always change this information later if you need to.

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 don’t get a blue light or welcome message when you remove the battery tab:

  1. Remove the batteries from your Protect.
  2. Check for pieces of the tab in the battery tray.
  3. Put the batteries back in. Make sure to push them in all the way.
protect 2nd gen pull battery tab

If you pulled the tab out earlier and the light is no longer glowing blue, press the button on your Protect to wake it up.

Note: If you have a 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.

9. Connect Protect to Wi-Fi

  • Select the desired Wi-Fi network from the list of available networks in the app.
  • If you already have a Protect connected to the Nest app, your new Protect will automatically connect to both your other Protect and Wi-Fi. If your new Protect doesn't connect:
    • Move your phone and new Protect closer to your other Protect to make sure they're in range.
    • Press the button on your other Protect.

If you get an error code or need more help, check these articles:

10. Choose Pathlight settings

Choose Pathlight settings so Protect can light your way in the dark. You can choose to have it off, on, or always on.

11. Finish setup

Protect will connect to the internet and appear in the Nest app, and its light ring will turn green.

12. Label your Protect

Write down the date and room name you chose on the back of each Protect. This helps you keep track of where they're supposed to be installed.

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

protect 2nd gen back label

13. Add another Protect if you have one

The Nest app will ask if you have more 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.

Tap Next if you're done setting up your Protects.

14. Choose Sound Check settings

Sound Check lets your Protects automatically test their speaker and alarm once a month. Choose your preferred settings now, or change them any time in the app.

15. Install Protect

For installation instructions, go to Install Nest Protect

Like all smoke alarms, it's important to keep 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.

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