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Package alerts

Google Nest doorbells and some Google Nest cameras can learn to detect packages left in its view. It can also send you a notification when it notices a package.

Important things to know

  • Package alerts are available at no additional cost for Nest Doorbell (battery) and Nest Doorbell 2nd gen (wired). If you have a different camera or doorbell that supports package alerts, you need to purchase a Nest Aware subscription to get the alerts.
  • When a package is detected, the activity is recorded and saved to the cloud.
  • To watch the recorded package video, tap the notification, or go to your Video History in the app.
  • Package alerts work much like other camera alerts, so you can turn them on or off and use them with Activity Zones in the app. In addition, each person with shared access to your home can choose whether they receive package alerts.
  • Package alerts can work better with person detection also turned on.
  • You can set your doorbell or camera to be on all the time so it can alert you to package deliveries even when you’re home. Just turn off Home/Away Assist or Home & Away Routines in settings.
  • Package detection works best when the package is set down in an area within your doorbell or camera’s view and remains stationary for a short amount of time, which makes it easier for it to detect when a package has been delivered and when it’s been retrieved.
  • Packages must be at least 8x10x1 in (20.3x25.4x2.5 cm) to be detected.
  • If 2 or more packages are delivered near the same time, you may only be sent one notification for the first package instead of multiple notifications.
  • When it’s dark outside, the distance your doorbell or camera can detect a package may be shorter due to low lighting conditions.

Turn package alerts on or off

Home app

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap Favorites or Devices .
  3. Tap and hold your device's tile  More More menu  Settings .
  4. Tap Notifications.
  5. Turn Packages on or off. Note: If you want to turn on alerts and package events are turned off, the app will ask you to turn on package events first.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app
  2. T ap Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select your doorbell  Notifications.
  4. Turn Packages on or off.
How package alerts work with Home and Away

 If you want your doorbell camera on all the time so that it can detect packages even when you’re home, you can turn off Home/Away Assist or Home & Away Routines for your doorbell camera in the Nest app or Home app:

Home app

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap Automations .
  3. Under “Household Routines,” tap Home or Away.
  4. Select your doorbell or camera.
  5.  To remove this device from your Home & Away Routines, tap Remove Action   SaveNote: If you manually set your home to Home, the camera doesn’t turn off. So, you can still receive package alerts if they’re turned on.

Nest app

  1. Open the Nest app Nest app.
  2.  On the home screen, t ap Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select your doorbell.
  4. Select Home/Away Assist.
  5. Under “Automatically turn the camera on and off," turn the switch off.

Use alert settings to control package alert behavior

Each person with shared access to your Nest home can choose whether they can get package alerts all the time or only when no one’s home.

For instance, if alerts are set to “No one’s home” on your phone, you can’t get package notifications when you’re at home. If people share access to your Nest home, you can only get a package notification when everyone with shared access is away from home.

Turn package alerts on for Activity Zones

When you turn on package alerts for Activity Zones with the app, notifications include the corresponding zone the package was seen in, or if it's no longer seen.

Set up and use Activity Zones

Check package events in the video history, the Feed, or home history

A notification is sent when a package is seen or no longer seen, but you can also check package events in the video history in the app. Like other activity events, a package event includes a snapshot and timestamp of the activity detected. To check the event, tap the notification.

Video history in the Home app 
Video history in the Nest app

You can also find package events in the Home app’s Feed and History.

Troubleshoot package alerts

Here are some things that can help if you’re not getting package alerts:

1. Turn on person detection

Package alerts can work better with person detection also turned on. If you don’t get package alerts when you think you should, make sure that person detection alerts are turned on for the camera or doorbell.

Turn on person detection in the Home app
Turn on person detection in the Nest app

2. Help deliverers put packages where they can be detected

These days, deliverers often put packages where they can’t be easily seen to prevent theft. If you want deliverers to put packages in places where your doorbell or camera can detect them, you might want to do the following:

  • You can write additional delivery instructions when you order from some carriers to help deliverers put packages in a place they can be detected.
  • You can put a sign near your doorbell or camera to tell deliverers where to place packages so that it can see them.

3. Adjust the view

If a package was seen but you didn’t get an alert, it could be because your doorbell or camera’s view of it is blocked by something or because the package is out of view.

You should check that packages can be seen in the video stream. If not, adjust your camera’s angle. You may need to install the wedge to change your doorbell’s angle and adjust its view or remove the object that blocks the packages from view.

For example, if you notice that packages are typically left too far right from your doorbell’s view, you can try to adjust your doorbell’s angle to the right with the included wedge.

As another example, if you notice that a potted plant blocks your doorbell’s view of a package, you can try to move the plant out of the way.

If that doesn’t work, you might want to check that your doorbell or camera can detect packages in other spots. Once you know packages can be detected in certain spots, you can use Activity Zones to get better notifications about where your packages are left in view. You can also try to help deliverers leave packages in those spots. Check the section below for more information.

4. Make delivery spots well lit

While your doorbell or camera has Night Vision, it can only see about 6 ft in the dark. If you want it to detect packages at night, make sure the area is well lit.

Lighting conditions for your doorbell or camera may also be impacted by seasonal changes. In the winter, for example, you may want to turn your porch light on sooner since it may get darker earlier.

Event detection accuracy

Nest cameras and doorbells help show you what's going on at home, but the technology isn't perfect. We try to make our camera events as accurate as possible, but things like the following can happen:

  • A picture can be confused with a real event. For example, a t-shirt with a picture of a dog might trigger an animal detection event.
  • A person crawling on the ground can be misidentified as a pet.
  • Close relatives can be misidentified.

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