How to Factory Reset and Uninstall Your Nest Thermostat

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If you’re replacing your Nest Thermostat, or are moving and want to take it with you to your new place, here’s how to factory reset and uninstall it.

Even if you’re keeping your Nest Thermostat, but are simply just moving it to a new house, you’ll still need to factory reset it, since the Wi-Fi network will be different, and more importantly, the heating and cooling systems at the new house might be different from what your Nest Thermostat originally had set up.

Luckily, it’s pretty quick and easy to factory reset your Nest Thermostat and uninstall it from the wall.

How to Factory Reset the Nest Thermostat

Start by clicking on the Nest Thermostat unit to bring up the main menu.

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Scroll to “Settings” and select it.

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Scroll all the way to the right and select “Reset”.

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Choose “All Settings” at the very bottom.

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Select “Reset” on the next screen to confirm.

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Turn the silver ring to the right until the dial moves all the way to the other side.

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Push on the unit to select “OK”.

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From there, you’ll have 10 seconds to cancel the reset if you’d like.

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After that, it will begin the factory reset process. This only takes a few minutes.

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Once it’s done, you’ll see the language selection screen.

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How to Uninstall the Nest Thermostat from Your Wall

Once you see the language selection screen, you can take off the main unit of the Nest Thermostat and detach it from the wall plate. It will still stay powered on due to the internal battery meant for power outages, but you can let it run out and recharge it when you go to install the thermostat in the future.

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Next, you’ll need to turn off the heating and cooling at the breaker box. Sometimes, the furnace and the air conditioner are on two separate breakers, so you’ll need to switch off both. Remember, this isn’t just for your own safety–not shutting off the heating and cooling completely can blow a fuse, which will require an electrician to fix.

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You might also have to turn off a third breaker for the wire that gives the thermostat power. The diagram of your breaker box may say which breaker the thermostat is connected to, but if not, it’s a safe bet that if your thermostat is located in your living room, turning off the breaker for the living room will do the trick.

Furthermore, your furnace’s main shutoff could be next to the furnace itself, rather than on the breaker box.

Next, head back to your thermostat. We recommend taking a voltage tester and confirming that there isn’t power running to the power wire. If there is, you need to go back to the breaker box and try turning off another breaker.

Once you’re sure everything is turned off, detach the small wires from the Nest’s wall plate by pushing down on the clips at the end and pulling out the wires. It’s a good idea to mark where these wires went. Most of the time, the color of the wire will correctly correspond to the letter of the terminal that it’s connected to (e.g. yellow wire connected to “Y”, white wire connected to “W”, and so on), but sometimes that isn’t the case, and you might have something like a blue wire connected to “Y”, so be sure to note this when you take apart the wires.

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After that, get a screwdriver and unscrew the two screws holding the wall plate in place.

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You can then remove the wall plate and begin the installation of a new thermostat.

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Depending on how big your new thermostat is, it may be a good idea to do some spackle, sanding, and painting to cover up where the old thermostat was, so it looks presentable with the new thermostat installed. Most smart thermostats will come with a large decorative plate, but sometimes that won’t cover up the old spot completely.

How to Remove the Nest Thermostat From Your Nest Account

After you factory reset and uninstall your Nest Thermostat, you’ll need to remove it from your Nest account if you plan on selling or giving away the device.

Start by opening up the Nest app and tapping on the settings gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

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Select your Nest Thermostat down at the bottom.

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Tap on “Remove thermostat”.

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Tap on “Remove” when the pop-up confirmation appears.

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Once that’s done, your Nest Thermostat will be removed from your Nest account and it will no longer appear on the Nest app’s main screen.

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Again, you don’t need to remove your Nest Thermostat from your Nest account if you still plan on keeping the device, but you’ll absolutely need to do this if you’re going to sell it or give it to someone else.

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He's also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.