Troubleshoot familiar face detection

If your camera notifications aren’t working as expected

Here are a couple of things to check if you’re getting:

  • Wrong notifications
  • Too many notifications
  • Too few notifications 

Adjust your camera's view 

Here’s how you can help your camera better tell the difference between the faces it sees:

  • Place your camera at head level or a little above. That way, it can see someone’s face even if they’re wearing a hat.
  • Review your familiar faces library on a regular basis during the first few weeks, especially after you add a new person. Promptly fix any face identification mistakes.

If you’re getting alerts for people who aren’t there, try pointing your camera away from the following:

  • Televisions. Actors’ faces in TV shows and movies might get picked up by your camera and trigger unfamiliar face alerts.
  • Mirrors. When your camera picks up someone’s reflection, there’s a chance it might send a notification about multiple people.
If there’s no way to keep your mirror or TV out of your camera’s view, change your camera’s notification settings to not to send person alerts when you’re at home.

Check your camera's notification settings

Important: Before you change notification settings it’s important to understand how they work. Here’s a few key points.

  • Google Nest cameras can alert you when they detect activity, but they won’t spam you with repeat notifications for the same activity over a short period of time.
  • Your camera won’t send additional notifications if the same person comes into view repeatedly over a short period of time, or stays within view for a while.
  • If your camera spots a familiar face and an unfamiliar face at the same time, it will send an alert about the unfamiliar face.
  • You might get different alerts for the same person if you have more than one camera and their settings are different.
  • When your camera spots a familiar face, it will send a familiar face alert that includes the name (if any) you assigned to the person.
  • When your camera spots an unfamiliar face, it will send an unfamiliar face alert.
  • If your camera’s not sure whether it recognizes a face, it will send a person alert instead of a familiar face alert.
  • Our cameras use advanced algorithms that do their best to send you as few notifications as possible, while still making them relevant.

How to change notification settings in the app

For detailed instructions on changing camera notification settings, see the following article:

Learn about camera alerts and how to change settings>

If your camera created a new profile for a known familiar face

Sometimes your camera may misidentify a familiar face as a new face and create duplicate profiles of the same person.

To fix and merge duplicate profiles:

  1. On the Nest app home screen, tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  2. Tap Familiar faces.
  3. Tap and hold on the person’s picture you want to combine. You’ll see a checkbox to confirm your selection. For iOS customers, tap Select.
  4. Tap the duplicated picture that you want to combine. If there are multiple duplicate profiles, you can select them as well.
  5. Tap the Merge nest familiar face merge icon  icon. 

If your camera identified someone incorrectly

If your camera identifies someone incorrectly, you should fix it as soon as possible. This will reduce the chance of that person being misidentified again.

To remove incorrect or misidentified snapshots:

  1. On the app home screen, tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  2. Tap Familiar faces.
  3. Tap the face profile you want to review.
  4. You’ll see a grid of snapshots. Tap any incorrect ones to highlight them. For iOS customers, tap Select, then tap any incorrect ones.
  5. Tap Delete nest cam trash clip  to remove those snapshots. For iOS customers, tap Remove.

Note: Nest’s familiar face detection feature is not available on Nest cameras used in Illinois. Certain state legislation may affect Illinois customers’ use of the feature, so we’ve disabled it as a precaution. If the home where you’re using your camera is in Illinois, you shouldn’t be able to turn on familiar face detection in the Nest app.

Use familiar face detection in compliance with the law. Depending on where you live, you might need to get consent to have your camera help identify people visiting your home.


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