Troubleshoot phone location for Android

The Nest app will ask you to update your phone’s settings if there’s something you can do to improve how Home/Away Assist works for you. Here’s more information and how to change your phone’s settings.

1. Turn off Airplane mode

Airplane mode can help save battery charge since it disables Wi-Fi, cellular and Bluetooth, but you may have forgotten to turn it off. Make sure the airplane icon is dimmed and crossed out.

Control airplane mode on Android >

2. Turn on Wi-Fi

This is one of the most important settings because it can affect Home/Away Assist accuracy so much. Make sure the Wi-Fi icon is highlighted in Control Center.

Note: If your device is running Android OS 4.3 or later, you don’t need to have Wi-Fi switched on. Instead, location services can periodically use Wi-Fi even if Wi-Fi isn’t on. Make sure you’ve set Location Scanning to use Wi-Fi. Full instructions are in step 4 below.

3. Turn on Location services and set to High accuracy

Go to Settings and select Location. Make sure that the switch is green to show that it’s set to on. Next, check that the Mode is set to High accuracy.

4. Set Location Scanning

This is one of the most important settings because it can affect Home/Away Assist accuracy so much. In Location, tap the menu icon in the top right corner and tap Scanning.

Make sure that Wi-Fi scanning is set to on. This will let your phone use Wi-Fi to narrow down your location even if you have Wi-Fi turned off.

Note: If your device is running a version of the Android OS earlier than 4.3, it may not have a setting option for Location Wi-Fi scanning. As an alternative, you should try to keep Wi-Fi turned on for optimal Home/Away Assist performance.

5. Turn on cellular data

Go to Settings and select Data usage. Make sure the Cellular data switch is green to show that it’s set to on. This will help ensure your home switches as quickly as possible when you leave or come back.

Important: If you have also set a cellular data limit to prevent additional charges, Home/Away Assist won’t be able to use cellular information after you have exceeded your data limit.

6. Set Nest app settings

Note: The following steps (6, 7, and 8) only apply to Android Marshmallow 6.0 or later.

In addition to general Android OS settings, each app you have installed has individual settings that you may also need to change. In Settings, select Apps and scroll down until you see the Nest app. Tap it and check the following settings in steps 7 and 8:

7. Don’t restrict background data

Tap on Data usage and make sure that the Restrict app background data is off.

This is an essential setting to make sure the Nest app can help control your home even when the Nest app isn’t running.

8. Enable Location permissions

Go back to the App info screen and tap Permissions. Make sure that Location is on. This will let the Nest app get data from Android’s location services.

Note: The Nest app uses the standard location services built into Android. These services use a combination of cell tower signal strength, Wi-Fi network information, and occasionally GPS to narrow down your location if needed.

9. Restart the Nest app

In some cases force quitting the Nest app can disable Home/Away Assist. If you notice that your home isn’t switching between Home and Away modes when it should after force quitting, simply quit the app and restart it.

Note: Some Nexus phones (5, 5x, 6 or 6p), and possibly other Android phones, may report your location incorrectly on occasion, so cameras in your home might switch on or off unexpectedly. If this happens, you can remove your camera from Home/Away Assist and set a camera schedule for it to follow.

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