Depending on how you have Nest’s Home/Away Assist feature set up, you might be receiving notifications to set you alarm even if you’re still home. Here’s how to fix it.

RELATED: How to Make Your Nest Automatically Detect When You're Away

You can use the Home/Away Assist feature with any of Nest’s products, and it gives these devices the power to automatically set to their away modes when it detects that you’re not home.

The problem, though, is that the Nest app can sometimes thinks you’re “Away” when you haven’t left the house. This is because Home/Away Assist is using the motion sensors of the Nest Secure system as the only way to determine whether or not we’re home. So if you get this kind of notification when you’re still home, it’s because your Nest Secure hasn’t detected any motion for a particular amount of time—not so great if you’re chilling in front of the TV, reading, or just sitting at your computer.

You can change this behavior by adding your phone’s location as a way for Nest to tell whether your home or away. And, of course, you could just turn off Home/Away Assist altogether, and manually arm your Nest Secure system (or manually set the Nest app to “Home” or “Away”). Let’s take a look in the Nest app and customize these settings.

Start off by tapping the Settings button (the gear icon) in the top right corner of the main screen.

On the “Home” page, select the “Home/Away Assist” setting.

Next, tap the “What Decides If You’re Home” setting.

As you can see, our example phone’s location is not being used to determine whether “Home” or “Away” gets enabled. To change this, tap the “Use Phone Location” option.

And then turn on the toggle switch that appears. The Nest app will now switch to “Home” or “Away” status based on your phone’s GPS location.

You can also tap each individual sensor listed for your Nest Secure system and either include or exclude it from Home/Away Assist. If you disable everything, you’ll need to manually switch to “Home” or “Away” in the Nest app to set your status.

When you’ve set all that up, go back and tap the “Security” setting under the “When You Are Away” section of the main “Home/Away Assist” page.

The toggle switch at the top lets you determine whether or not the Nest app automatically arms or disarms your Nest Secure system when you set your status “Away” or “Home.”

Below that, you can choose the security level to associate with the “Home” and “Away” statuses.

Finally, the “Remind Me” lets your Nest send you a notification reminding you to arm your Nest Secure system when the Nest app detects that you’re not at home. This is the notification pictured at the very top of the article, only this time those notifications will work properly, since we’ve fixed the Home/Away Assist issue.

With a Nest Tag, it’s really easy to manually arm and disarm your Nest Secure system, so disabling Home/Away Assist entirely isn’t a bad idea. However, if you are a big fan of complete automation, these are the settings you’ll want to customize and mess around with.

Profile Photo for Craig Lloyd Craig Lloyd
Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile.
Read Full Bio »