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Nest Camera (indoor/outdoor) Battery

Community Member

We recently installed 3 Nest Cameras (battery)  at our cabin home. We chose these specifically because they were battery and are now finding out that they will only run in idle mode while on battery power. This defeats the whole purpose of these cameras. But before I return them (literally loved how easy they were to install and bought 3 more for our home), I want to double check that this issue hasn’t been resolved. I’ve searched the forums and it doesn’t look like it has. 





We have had a battery camera plugged in with the optional power cable for 19 months. It is "Live" all the time. But if we unplug it, it immediately goes into "Idle" mode because the battery cannot support running "Live" all the time.

The Google Nest Help page below confirms this: "The Nest Cam (battery) must be connected to a power source to have 24/7 video history. If your camera is battery powered, it will only have event video history, even if you have a Nest Aware Plus subscription."

Incidentally, if we unplug our battery camera, it does not wake up to detect someone walking in front of the camera.  It only functions well if it is plugged in.

But if it’s idle, there is no history because the camera isn’t detecting anything to record <shrug>. 

I’m wondering if the doorbell (battery) has the same restrictions. 


When running in "Idle" mode on battery power, the battery camera is supposed to wake up to detect and record events, but in our experience it doesn't do well at that.

The same link above says "24/7 video history is not available for the Nest Doorbell (battery), even with optional wired installation."

And the Google Nest Help topic below says: "If you’ve connected your Nest Doorbell (battery) to your existing doorbell wiring, the wires don’t directly power the doorbell. Instead, the battery is trickle charged by the power that comes through the wires, and the doorbell runs off the battery charge."

OOF. Guess as soon as it shows up, I’ll be returning that too. So far, I’m so disappointed <shrug> live and learn I guess. 

thanks for the helpful responses!

Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hello everyone,


@Jay_Dee, thanks for reaching out here in the Community. We understand your concern about the idle mode of the Nest Camera when on battery powered and the Nest Doorbell won't be able to record 24/7 even with optional wired installation. 


We don't have any news to share about applying these features to the Nest Camera and Nest Doorbell. We're always looking for ways to improve and we'll take it as feedback. I'd suggest you send feedback about your concern using this link to let the Google Engineering team know about your concern. While they won't respond directly back to you, this is the best way to let them know about this. Please let me know if you have other questions or concerns as I will be locking this after 24 hours. Feel free to start a new thread and we'll be happy to help.


I appreciate the help, MplsCustomer.