How to change Home/Away Assist settings

Note: These instructions are for devices you manage in the Nest app. You can find instructions on How to change settings for Home & Away Routines in the Home app in our help center.

With Home/Away Assist, all your Nest products will automatically change their behavior as people come and go. For example, it can turn on your Nest Cam to help you keep an eye on things when you leave home and turn it off when you’re home and don’t need it.

To learn all about Home/Away Assist and how it works, see our Learn more about Home/Away Assist article.

In order to tell if someone’s home, Home/Away Assist can use the location of any phones or tablets signed in to an app account that shares access to your home, as well as the activity sensors in some of your Nest products. You may want to change some of your Home/Away Assist settings to help it do a better job. Select a topic below for detailed settings instructions.

Need troubleshooting help?

For detailed troubleshooting steps that go beyond changing these settings, please see our Troubleshoot Home & Away Routines and Home/Away Assist article.

How to change what Nest products do when you're home or away

To change how Home/Away Assist controls your Nest products, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Nest app.
  2. Tap Settings Nest settings icon on the home screen.
  3. Select Home/Away Assist.
  4. Tap either the Home or Away icon at the top of the screen. You’ll see a summary of what each of your Nest products will do when your home is in that mode.
  5. If you want to make any changes, tap on the Nest product you’d like to control.

In general, if you have multiple Nest products in your home, you have different settings for each one. The one exception is Nest Protect: all the Protects in your home share the same Home/Away Assist settings, so you’ll only see one Protect in this list.

Settings for each product’s Home/Away Assist options are listed below.

Nest thermostats

Here you can choose whether or not your thermostat will switch to Eco Temperatures when your home is in Away mode.

Tap the switch near the top of the menu to enable or disable this option. 

The How It Responds section tells you what happens when your home is in each mode: 

  • Home - On means your thermostat will use your regular schedule whenever anybody’s home. 
  • Away - Eco Temperatures means your thermostat will switch itself to Eco Temperatures when no one’s home. 

Tap Eco Temperatures at the bottom of the menu if you want to change the Eco Temperatures that your thermostat will try to maintain when you’re gone.

Because your thermostat is trying to help save energy when it’s set to Eco Temperatures, it won’t turn on your equipment in advance to meet a scheduled temperature.  

Learn about Eco Temperatures and how to change settings 

Nest cameras and Nest Hello

Tap the switch to set whether or not each camera will turn on or off automatically when your home switches between Home and Away modes.

Keep in mind that camera switching is different from other Nest products: cameras are only switched by your phone’s location or if you manually change your home’s mode to Home or Away. See the following article for details.

How your camera works with Home/Away Assist

Important: If you have set a schedule for your camera, it will switch according to both the schedule and Home/Away Assist. This can cause confusing behavior, so we recommended that you don’t set a schedule if your camera is set to be switched by Home/Away Assist.

Nest Protect

If you have a 2nd gen Nest Protect, you’ll see an option for Sound Check. 1st gen Protects don’t run Sound Check.

Sound Check will always try to run when nobody is home so it won’t disturb you. So there is no option to change it to run while you’re at home, but you can disable Sound Check completely.

Tap on Sound Check options to change whether all your Protects will run once a month and at your preferred times.

Learn more about Sound Check

Security (Nest Secure alarm system)

Nest Secure works with Home/Away Assist in a few ways. Remind Me notifications use Home/Away Assist to remind you to set the alarm when you leave and disarm when you get home. You can also switch security levels whenever you manually switch between Home and Away modes.

This is the same screen you’ll see when you open the Nest app and then go to Settings Nest settings icon and then Security and thenHome/Away Assist. So for more details about the options you’ll see here, visit the “Home/Away Assist” section of the following article:

How to change Nest Secure settings

Nest x Yale Lock

On this screen, you can enable Auto-Lock. When Auto-Lock is on, your lock will automatically re-lock itself after it’s been unlocked.

You can choose to turn on Auto-Lock for Home, Away, or both. You can also choose how long your lock will wait before re-locking itself. For details about all your locking and unlocking options, including Auto-Lock, visit the following article:

How to lock and unlock the Nest × Yale Lock

How to use your phone’s location with Home/Away Assist 

Home/Away Assist knows when someone is home by using data from your Nest product’s sensors as well as your phone’s Wi-Fi and cellular location data. For the best experience, make sure that everyone you’ve invited to share access to your Nest home is also using their phone’s location.

Each person can only have one phone helping with Home/Away Assist. If you have more than one, enable this feature on the device that you usually carry with you.

Phone’s location data can make Home/Away Assist more accurate, but it can be disabled if you want. To change whether or not your phone or tablet shares its location data, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Nest app.
  2. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select Home/Away Assist.
  4. Select What decides if you’re home.
  5. Select Use phone location.
  6. Tap the gray switch to expand the menu. This will show a list of all the people with shared control of your Nest home.

    Note: While you can see whose phones or tablets are being used by Home/Away Assist, you can't enable or disable any phone except your own. They’ll have to change these settings on the phone they’re using with the Nest app.
  7. Tap your name.
  8. Tap the switch to let Home/Away Assist use your location data (it will turn blue) or to disable location data (it will turn gray).

Note: If you’re already enabled phone location on another phone, enabling it on a different phone will disable it on the first phone. Each person can only use one phone to share one phone location at a time.

If you are already sharing your phone location using the Nest app, enabling it in the Home app will disable it in the Nest app. You can only use one app to share phone location at a time.

You can also turn off location data in your phone’s main settings menu, but this will not only affect the accuracy of Home/Away Assist, it may change how other apps on your phone work, too.

Change which Nest products help determine if someone is home

In addition to the location of phones or tablets signed in to an app account that shares access to your home, Home/Away Assist can use information from the activity sensors in your Nest products. 

The following Nest products can help Home/Away Assist figure out whether anyone is home.

  • Nest thermostat
  • Nest Protect
  • Nest Secure, including Nest Guard and Nest Detect

Other Nest products don’t participate in this way. 

Here’s how to change which Nest products share data from their activity sensors with Home/Away Assist.

  1. Open the Nest app.
  2. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select Home/Away Assist.
  4. Tap on What decides if you’re home.
  5. Select a Nest product, then tap the switch to enable or disable its participation in Home/Away Assist.

If you see “No participating products” listed, it’s because you don’t have at least one of the products listed above.

Important: If you disable both phone location and all products from helping with Home/Away Assist, your home won’t automatically switch between Home and Away modes. You’ll need to switch modes manually with the Nest app.

Here are some details about how each Nest product helps Home/Away Assist:

Thermostat

If you switch off your thermostat from helping with Home/Away Assist, but use phone location, your Nest products will only switch their behavior when the Nest service determines that a phone is in your home.

Protect

Wired Nest Protects (120 or 230 V), can keep your home from switching to Away if they see your pets moving after you’ve left. So you may not want to share their activity sensor data with Home/Away Assist. Or, make sure that your pets can’t get into rooms where you’ve installed wired Nest Protects.

Nest Secure

When set to Off Nest Guard off or Home and Guarding Home guard icon, Nest Secure can contribute information from its sensors to help Home/Away Assist determine if someone’s there. However, when Nest Secure is set to Away and Guarding Away and guarding, the motion it senses will trigger an alarm instead.

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