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Home Away Assist not Working - (US/CA)

Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey folks,


For anyone in the US experiencing issues about their thermostat's Home Away Assist feature and had gone through the troubleshooting guide here:

If the issue persists after trying the steps on the link above, please reply back with needed information below so we could dig deeper into it:
  • The type of Nest thermostat you have
  • What mobile device you have and the OS version
  • The software version of your thermostat




Community Member

Nest Learning Thermostat Display (3rd Generation)

Android BB Key2 OS 8.1.0 (also my wife has iPhone 10)



Issue started on 9 April. Previously also had a similar issue a few months ago with my wife's iPhone not reporting its location, but we were able to fix that. Note that if I set up the Nest app to be the one to use Home/Away Assist on my phone, I see the notification when I leave home or come back home...and see the events in the history. But it has no effect on turning the thermostat from Away to Home or vice versa. When instead settings up the Home app to use the phone for presence sensing for Home/Away Assist, the phones location doesn't seem to be recorded by the app at all. Note that when this function was working before 9 April, the Home app was the app that was set to control the Home/Away Assist on both my Android phone and my wife's iPhone.

Community Member

* Nest Learning Thermostat

* iPhone 14 Pro Max, iOS 16.3.1

* Thermostat software version: 6.2-27

I was out of town for five days (left Feb 23, came back today Feb 27). In the Home/Away activity l can see that Nest was fully aware that nobody was home Feb 24-26 (zero activity during the days I was gone), and yet it blasted the heat for 12 hours a day on Feb 25 and 26.In fact, it even told me that "Your adjustment caused energy usage above the weekly average" which is straight up wrong since there were no adjustments and nobody was even home (there are dozens of supposed "adjustments" all throughout the day, even though nobody was home and nobody was touching the thermostat, so it seems the software is somehow hallucinating random temp adjustments). I'm not allowed to upload pictures here, but I can show you both away/home history and the "adjustments" that the thermostat thinks it's doing.

It may be a coincidence but it was also set to "learning mode" in the settings. I have a second thermostat (same house, different floor) which has learning disabled did not have any issues. So my hunch is that there's a bug in your "learning mode" where it tries to learn our activity that somehow ends up triggering spurious and false "adjustments" even though nobody is home. I'm now going to disable learning permanently from both and see if that avoids the issue.

Might be interesting for someone at google wants to run some numbers of how often you've been running the heater when the thermostat is in "away" mode (nest knows we're away, and still runs the heater, should be easy to find if you have diagnostics on this). That might be interesting. See just how many dollars and CO2 emissions this bug has caused over the (apparently) multiple years it's been in the product without getting fixed. I bet most people don't even realize and just pay their significantly higher gas bills. Maybe do a bit of a postmortem on that.



Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hello ssylvan,


I'm sorry for the late reply, and thank you for taking the time to let us know about your inquiry. I wanted to ensure that everything was covered here.


Do you have any schedule temperatures created? If so, it'll prioritize your schedule even when your thermostat is set to "away" and Eco mode is activated. You can also try clearing all the scheduled temperatures to ensure your system won't run unexpectedly.


Please let me know if that helps or if the issue still persists.




Hi there,

I wanted to follow up and see if you are still in need of any help. Please let me know if you are still having any trouble from here, as I would be happy to take a closer look and assist you further.




Hello ssylvan,


I'm checking in to make sure that you've seen my response. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns before we lock this thread in 24 hours.




The nest has learned a schedule yes. That's why it's called the learning thermostat. If the nest doing it's primary function disables the home/away feature then why does it even have it? 

You are wrong about how this feature works, btw. The documented behavior of Home/Away assist is that when you are away, it should ignore the schedule and set it to eco mode. That is literally the entire reason it has this feature. Why on earth would it start the furnace at 6am when I'm on vacation, just because that's what it does when I'm home. This is nonsense. Here's what Google's documentation says:

"Home - On means your thermostat will use your regular schedule whenever anybody's home. Away - Eco Temperatures means your thermostat will switch itself to Eco Temperatures when no one's home."

Also, it works JUST FINE if you turn off the automatic learning stuff and just leave it with whatever schedule it has learned so far. I.e. the schedule is active when you are home, and when you are away it turns off. So what you are describing simply isn't correct, IF you turn off the learning stuff and just leave the schedule alone. 

However, there's a bug where if you turn on the "learning" thing (which it prompts you to do twice a year) it will randomly turn on the furnace even when you are not home. 

Also I don't "need help" (and you are not helping, you are misinforming). I know what the issue is: a bug in the nest software, that has apparently been in the software for years and nobody has been interested in solving it. I have a workaround, so I have a working system now. I think it would be great if you stopped wasting your customers' money by fixing your product, but there's no mystery here - a bug in your software disables the home/away feature whenever "learning" is active. Lots of people have been reporting this to google over multiple years now, and google has so far ignored the issue having "community specialists" telling customers incorrect information or pointless troubleshooting steps that don't work. You can google for this issue, it's been a constant problem for _years_ and apparently nobody wants to fix it. 

For other people with this issue, here's how you fix it: The way to work around it is to either set your schedule manually, or disable "learning" once it's learned a schedule you like.

You can either take that bug report and fix it, or you can keep being mistaken about how your own product works, but I just wanted to get on the record that what you are describing is not only not how the product works, it's complete nonsense. The nest learns your schedule, it's the primary selling point of the nest. Home/Away would be a nonsensical feature if it only worked without a schedule.