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Nest Home and Away

Community Member

Hi all, can anyone help.

I have several indoor Nest cameras. I would like them to automatically turn on when I’m away and off when I’m at home. I thought this would be simple enough.

I’ve set up an automation using the nest app and I’ve set presence detection using my phones GPS with both the nest app and Google home app.

I have been trying to get it working properly for over a year. In that time I have tried setting it up on 3 different iPhones and a Samsung, all on different mobile networks.

But the presence sensing is awful. At least 4 times a week I have to manually set it to away when I arrive at work and most days, I have to manually set it to home when I get back. Plus it regularly switches to away when I am sitting in my living room. I only noticed because I’m left in darkness, as I have also set the automation to turn off my lights when I am away.

I’ve tried contacting Google but they couldn’t help. I’ve even tried to research if there was some kind of physical button I could switch off when I leave and on when I come home.

Anyone have any ideas?


Community Member

Dave, If the app you're trying to use is anything like the f%$&*ng app that you have to use to adjust the schedule for your Nest thermostat....good luck. I have had a Nest since they first came out. The app was meh. Then Google bought it, took the app under it's wing and it hasn't worked since. Makes ITunes look simple to use. My thermostat never knows if anyone is home. Now I'm retired and always home but it doesn't know it. The app is 7 years old and buggy beyond belief. Google doesn't care. You are on your own. Again, good luck.

Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi folks,


I’m sorry for the delay. I appreciate your efforts here. Let’s get this sorted — a few questions: is there a pending Android update? Is there enough memory on your phone storage? Also, is the Do Not Disturb setting off and the Background app refresh on in your phone settings? 


Going over the steps here might help:

  1. Restart your modem or router, unplug it from the power outlet for 1 to 2 minutes. Then, plug it back in.
  2. Restart your camera, unplug it from the power outlet, wait for 60 seconds. Then plug it back in.
  3. Checking your home location settings:
    • In the Nest app, go to Settings and then Home Info and then Address.
    • Edit the address if needed. Then select Next.
    • If the pin location is off on the next screen, have the customer drag the map to move the pin to the correct location.
  4. Restart your phone. Turn it off for 60 seconds. Then, turn it back on.
  5. Make sure that Background App Refresh is enabled for the Nest app. The Nest app needs this feature turned on for Home/Away Assist to work.

Let me know how it goes.




Community Member

Hello JT, please see my responses as follows:

- Yes all of my devices are running the latest IOS & Android OS. Please note as previously mentioned, I have tried with various brand new Iphones and Samsung phones over the past 2years. The Nest GPS presence sensing, has been unreliable on all devices. I actually got rid of my last Android phone several months ago. However I stopped using the Samsung Galaxy's GPS to detect my Nest Home and Away presence several months earlier, as I found it even more unreliable than my Iphone.

- Yes there has always been plenty of available memory.

- I have gone through periods of using a Do Not Disturb automation for a month or so, and periods where it is turned off completely. Either way, seems to make no difference to the reliability of presence detecting. As mentioned, Nest incorrectly sets  me at either home or away at least 2-3 times a week. I have had periods where every day I have had to manually turn away on when i get to work, manually turn home on when i get home.

- Yes background app refresh is turned on.

Thanks for those steps but I already tried them around 2years ago when I first notified Nest of the problem. After many, many months of fault finding they said they couldn't solve the problem but were working on an update. I'm still waiting about 6 months later. 

Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey there,


I appreciate you for trying all those suggested troubleshooting steps. Let’s further check this. Do you have family members in your account? How many bars (signal strength) do you have on your phone?


You can also give these steps a try: 


  1. Check that there are no people (or their mobile devices) still in the home. It’ll keep it from switching to Away mode. For example, if a home member has a tendency to leave their phone at home when going for a run.
    • Check for any of your devices within the home that you have installed and signed into the Nest app, such as iPads or tablets — these are common devices to be left in the home. If any device is logged in, still present in the home, and contributing to Home/Away Assist, remove it as a contributing device.
    • If there are other people who are using the Nest app for shared access in your home, they should check that their mobile phone’s location is correct in the app too.
    • The Nest app’s automatic checkup should help prevent most connection issues that are caused by the mobile phone’s settings.
  2. Check your mobile phone power, settings, and signal strength.
    • Make sure your cellular data (also called mobile data) and Wi-Fi are enabled.
    • Check if your phone is in airplane mode. If it is, take it out of airplane mode.
    • Check the battery level of your phone. If your phone is running very low on power, cellular data and Wi-Fi may have been automatically disabled to preserve the battery charge. Charge your phone first.
    • If you have a low signal strength, your home status should switch once the signal improves.
    • Check your Nest app’s notifications and data permissions in the phone’s OS Settings. 
      • Usually, there will be a list of all installed apps somewhere in the phone’s Settings menu. 
      • Select the Nest app from the list and check that it can use cellular, Wi-Fi and GPS data, and receive notifications. Enable any disabled selections.

Let me know if that helps.




Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi there,


It's me again. I want to make sure you're all good — how did the steps go?




Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hello there,


Due to inactivity, I'll go ahead and lock this thread in 24 hours. Feel free to start a new thread if you need assistance with your Google Nest speakers and we'd be glad to assist you further.