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Set up and connect Nest camera

Start here if you have a new Google Nest camera, or if you've removed your camera from the app and want to add it back.

Note: You can also find steps to setup and install the Nest Doorbell (battery) and Nest doorbell (wired) in our Help Center.

Setup is simple - the app will take you through the steps. You need the app to connect your camera to Wi-Fi and get recorded video, so you should always use the app to guide you through setup and installation.

Here’s a brief overview of the steps to get started, along with some important troubleshooting.

Important: Connect your camera to the app before you install or mount it. You’ll need to scan the code on your camera to connect it to the app.

1. Download the app you need

Depending on which camera model you have, you’ll use either the Google Home app or Nest app to set it up. Download the one you need from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Use the Google Home app to set up the following Nest cameras:

  • Nest Cam (battery)

Use the Nest app to set up the following Nest cameras:

  • Nest Cam IQ Indoor
  • Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
  • Nest Cam Indoor
  • Nest Cam Outdoor
  • Nest Dropcam (all models)

2. Add your camera to the app with the QR code

Choose the instructions that match the app you’re using to set up your camera.

The Home app

  1. If you haven’t already, download the Home app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Open the Home app <icon>. If prompted, sign in with your Google Account.
  3. On the home screen, tap Add device or service.
  4. Select Set up device <plus blue circle icon>.
  5. Tap New device <blue home icon>.
  6. Choose the home you want to add your camera to, or select Add another home to create a new one. Then, tap Next.
  7. The app will try to look for nearby devices. When prompted, select the camera model you have as the device you want to set up.
  8. Use your phone’s camera to scan your camera’s QR code. You can also tap Continue without scanning and enter the setup code.
    Tip: If you don’t know where the setup code is, tap Find the code for help..
  9. The app will help walk you through setup and installation.

The Nest app

If you're new to Nest

  1. If you haven’t already, download the Nest app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
  2. Open the app and create an account.
  3. On the app home screen, tap Add .
  4. Scan the QR code on the back of your camera. You can also tap Continue without scanning and type the numbers at the top of the QR code.
  5. The app will walk you through setup and installation.

If you already have an account

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app icon.
    • Note: If you have more than one home in your account, make sure that you’ve first selected the Nest home where you want to install your camera. Tap Menu Arrow pointing down in the top left of the home screen to change homes.
  2. In the top right corner of the app home screen, tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select Add product plus.
  4. Scan the QR code on the back of your camera. You can also tap Continue without scanning and type the numbers at the top of the QR code.
  5. The app will walk you through setup and installation.

Add your camera to the Home app after setup

After setup in the Nest app, you can add your Nest camera to your home in the Home app. This lets you control your camera and other compatible connected devices (like a smart bulb or Google speaker) in the same place.

Set up smart devices in the Google Home app

Note: If you already sign into the Nest app with a Google Account, your Nest camera and some other products in your Nest home should also appear in your home in the Home app.

3. Get more help with setup and installation

Troubleshoot issues during setup

During setup, the app lets you connect your camera to Wi-Fi, personalize settings, check the video quality, and more.

If you have any issues, here are some quick tips.

Help messages and codes

If you see a help message with the code in the app, get detailed troubleshooting help from our interactive troubleshooting tool for Nest cameras and doorbells.

Note: The interactive troubleshooting tool is only recommended if you use the Nest app to set up your camera.

Connection issues

If you can’t find your Wi-Fi network, or if your camera has trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi, here are a few things you can do to try and fix the issue:

  • Wait a few minutes, then try to connect your camera again.
  • Move your camera closer to your Wi-Fi router to improve the signal.
  • Reduce wireless interference.
  • Try restarting your router.
  • If you have a hidden Wi-Fi network, you’ll need to type in the network name (SSID) manually.

For more tips, go to our Troubleshoot adding Nest camera to the app article.

Power issues

Signs that your camera isn’t getting enough power include the following:

  • Your camera won’t turn on.
  • You get a message or status in the app telling you there isn’t enough power.
  • Things like the Wi-Fi connection and the video quality can also be reduced when there isn’t enough power.

Here are some things you can do to try to fix the issue:

  • If your camera uses a cable to stay powered, check that the cable and power outlet are working properly. Use another compatible cable or power outlet with your camera to see if it works.
  • If your camera is battery powered, recharge it when the battery is low. You should also make sure it’s seated correctly on its stand when you remount it.

Video quality issues

If your camera is having video delays or lag, it’s usually a sign that the Wi-Fi connection is weak. It could also be a sign that your camera doesn’t have enough power. Try the following to try to fix the issue:

  • Move your camera closer to your Wi-Fi router to improve the signal.
  • Reduce wireless interference.
  • If your camera uses a cable to stay powered, check that the cable and power outlet are working properly. Use another compatible cable or power outlet with your camera to see if it works.
  • If your camera is battery powered, recharge it when the battery is low. You should also make sure it’s seated correctly on its stand when you remount it.

If your camera’s video is distorted, here are a few things you can try to fix the issue:

  • Dust off the camera lens.
  • Angle the camera so that it’s not directly facing the sun’s beams.
  • Put your camera somewhere shady and protected from extreme weather conditions. While outdoor cameras are built to work outside of your home, extreme hot or cold temperatures can affect things like the video quality.

For more tips, go our Troubleshoot Nest camera video distortion article.

Get more installation help

The app will give you basic installation instructions to mount or install your Nest camera. But if you need more tips for your camera, select your camera below for detailed instructions.

4. Learn how to use your camera

To help you get started with your camera, we’ve selected the most important articles you should read in our Get started using your Nest camera article.
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