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Learn more about Home/Away Assist

Use this article to learn about any devices that you manage in the Nest app. For devices that you manage in the Home app, go to our About Home and Away routines article.

Home/Away Assist uses input from activity sensors in your Nest products in the Nest app and your phone’s location to automatically switch the behaviour of Nest products in your home when you leave and when you come back. You don't have to set each product manually or rely on a fixed schedule.

Nest products can work together to automatically do the right thing as you come and go.

How Home/Away Assist works

You can open the Nest app at any time to see whether your home is in Home or Away mode.

There are two ways Home/Away Assist determines whether to automatically switch to Home or Away: where people’s phones are, and whether Nest products are currently noticing any activity in your home. 

You can learn more about how Nest products use presence sensing in our Help Centre.

How Home/Away Assist uses phone location

Once you’ve set up Home/Away Assist to use your phone’s location, it uses a combination of mobile and Wi-Fi data, and GPS from your phone to help tell when you leave or come back home.

Because Nest only needs to know  whether you’ve left or come back, it won’t continually record your phone’s exact location like a GPS navigation app. Your phone’s location also isn’t used to determine when exactly you walk in the door or when you drive out of the garage.

Instead, the app defines a large area around your home called a geo-fence that acts like a home zone. The Nest app only gets a notification from the Location Services of your phone’s OS to determine when you enter or leave your home zone.

For example, if you walk over to your next door neighbour’s house, your home may not switch to away because you still may be within your home’s geo-fence.

Learn about presence sensing and how to manage your data

Troubleshoot Home and Away routines and Home/Away Assist

For the best experience

You should only use one phone to help with Home/Away Assist. If you have more than one mobile device, you should pick the one that you take with you most often.

So to help ensure the best experience with Home/Away Assist, you should have mobile data and Wi-Fi enabled in your phone’s settings.

How to change Home/Away Assist settings

What happens when you leave and come home depends on which products you have connected to the Nest app and how you’ve set their behaviours.

During setup, the Nest app will ask if you want your product to use information from Home/Away Assist to automatically switch behaviours. Any time after setup, you can easily change Home/Away Assist behaviour in Settings.

If you don't want to use Home/Away Assist, you don't have to.

How Home/Away Assist works with a shared home

You can invite anyone that you trust to control the Nest products in your home with the app.

People that you've invited can also use their phones to help out with Home/Away Assist, just as yours does.

Share access to your home in the Nest app

Manage members in your home in the Home app. Note: This is only available if you use a Google Account to access and control your home and Nest devices.

How Home/Away Assist works with Home and Away routines

If you have not migrated your Nest account to a Google Account and only control your Nest products in the Nest app, you can only use Home/Away Assist. We recommend that you migrate to a Google Account

If you use both the Home app and the Nest app to control your Nest products using a Google Account, then both Home and Away routines (Home app) and Home/Away Assist (Nest app) work well together and are available for you to use.

If so, you and anyone in your home can choose to use phone location with Home/Away Assist or Home and Away routines at any time. You can also turn phone location sharing off altogether.

You can learn more about the differences between Home/Away Assist and Home and Away routines in our Help Centre.

To learn about these settings, read Home and Away routines settings and Home/Away Assist settings.

Home/Away Assist activity history

The Home/Away Assist activity history will show you activity events, as well as when your home switched between Home and Away, for the past 10 days. You’ll see a list of events as well as some of the reasons for each switch.

You can use this information to help troubleshoot if your home doesn’t switch between Home and Away when you expect it to.

How to view activity history for your home:

  1. Tap Settings Nest settings icon on the Nest app home screen.
  2. Tap Home/Away Assist Home away assist icon.
  3. Scroll down and select Activity history.

Activity history can be viewed by the Owner of a Nest home or anyone that has full access. Anyone with Home Entry Only access will not be able to view the activity history.

You won’t have an option to disable activity history, so make sure that you only invite people that you trust to your account.

Phone location

Anyone invited to the account will see information about their own phone location in the activity history. For example, you might see something like the following in your own activity history:

  • Your phone left.
  • Your phone came home.

If you look at an activity history event that involves another user’s phone, you’ll see more general information. You won’t see who’s phone triggered the event. For example, your history might read something like:

  • The last phone left.
  • A phone came home.

If you are using a Nest Account and have not migrated to a Google Account, find details about how we handle your data in the Nest Privacy Statement.

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