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Set up Nest Protect with the app

Important: You need to set up Protect with the Nest app before installing it on the ceiling or wall.

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

Once connected to the app and Wi-Fi, you can silence Protect with the app, get alerts on your phone, 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.

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

How to set up Nest Protect with the Nest app

What you'll 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
  • iOS phone or tablet 
  • Latest version of the Nest app
  • Be logged into your Nest or Google Account in the app
  • Requirements to use the Nest app

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 yet. The Nest app will tell you when you need to. If you already have, don’t worry. Press the button to wake it up when needed.

If you’re installing more than one Protect

  • Set all your Protects up at the same time and add them to the Nest app before you install them on the ceiling or wall.
  • Put all your Protects on a table so you can easily access them all.

protect battery tabs

2. Turn on your phone's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 
  1. Make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network that you're connecting Protect to. 
    • To turn on Wi-Fi: open the Control Center and tap Wi-Fi.
    • To turn on Bluetooth: open the Control Center and tap Bluetooth. 
    • Important: Sometimes iOS devices won’t immediately connect to Protect over Wi-Fi and will automatically switch to cellular data.
  2. ​​​​Disable cellular data before you set up your Protect. Once you’re done with setup, you can turn it back on. 
    1. To disable cellular data, open the Control Center and tap Cellular Data.
    2. Note: If you have a 1st gen Protect, bluetooth doesn’t need to be on since it doesn’t use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

3. Get the Nest app 

  • If you don’t already have the Nest app, go to the Apple App Store to download it.
  • If you already have the Nest app, check that you have the latest version.
    • On your iOS device, select Updates in the Apple Store app. 
    • If your app needs to be updated, the Nest app will appear on the list and you’ll need to select it.

4. Turn on Local Network Access

Turn on Local Network access on your phone  so it can connect to your Protect. 

  1. On your iOS device’s home screen, tap Settings Privacy Local Network. You’ll find a list of apps.
  2. Turn on Local Network Access for the Nest app.

5. Create a free account 

  • If you already have an account in the Nest app, go to step 5.
  • If you’re new to Nest, you’ll be asked to create a free account. Tap Sign up in the app.

6. Add 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.
    • Select Add product Nest add product icon. .
    • Choose Nest Protect.

7. 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. Make sure you have your Wi-Fi password handy.

Tip: Write down the Entry Key for each Protect you install 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.

8. Tell your Protect where you're going to 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.

9. 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
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.

If a blue light doesn't appear or you don't get a welcome message after removing the battery tab, the batteries may need to be pushed back into place or part of the battery tab may have broken off. To fix the problem, use the steps in this help center article to remove the batteries then check for pieces of the battery tab that are left in the battery tray and put the batteries back in.

protect 2nd gen pull battery tab

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

Your Protect uses a temporary Wi-Fi network to complete setup. This 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 iOS device, you’ll need to switch Wi-Fi networks manually.

  1. Look for Protect’s Wi-Fi network. It should begin with “NEST.”
  2. Go to Settings Wi-Fi.
  3. Select the Protect’s temporary network. It may take up to a minute before the temporary network appears in the list of Wi-Fi networks. You’ll find a checkmark next to the temporary network when you’re connected to it.
    • Note: If the temporary network doesn't appear, press the button on your Protect again. When the light ring glows blue, the network should appear in your phone’s Wi-Fi list. You can also turn your phone’s Wi-Fi off then on again to refresh the list of available networks.
  4. Go back to the Nest app. Your phone or tablet will now connect to Protect. It may take a minute or 2.

After joining the temporary network, there won't be a Wi-Fi icon in the top left of the screen. You will only get a 4G or 3G icon when pairing is fully completed.
Note: If your Protects have connected to each other, you may be able to skip some of the following steps.

10. Connect Protect to Wi-Fi 

If you already have a Protect connected to the Nest app

The app will ask you to press its button so it can connect to your new 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 Protect and transfer your Wi-Fi network information. It may take a minute or two.

Important: Your Protects need to be in range of each other. You may need to take your phone and new 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 Protect to connect to and enter the password. Your phone or tablet will now connect to Protect. It may take a minute or two.

If you get a notification in the app that the batteries are low or if your Protect starts to chirp during setup, your battery voltage may have temporarily dropped. If this happens, follow these troubleshooting steps.

If you run into trouble or get an error, go to the following articles:

11. 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.

12. Finish setup 

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

13. 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

14. 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.

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

15. 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.

16. Keep it clean until you install 

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.

How to install your Nest Protect

protect dust cover
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