It’s likely that you receive a ton of irrelevant false positive motion alerts from your Nest Cam—a car driving by, a bug flying through the frame, or a bush off to the right waving around in the wind. Here’s how you can limit those kinds of notifications using Activity Zones.
Keep in mind that you’re not going to be able to get rid of every false positive motion alert, but by creating Activity Zones and customizing your notifications, you can at least keep them to a minimum.
Creating Activity Zones
Creating an Activity Zone for your Nest Cam or Nest Hello video doorbell allows you to receive motion alerts from only a certain part of the camera’s field of view.
So for example, if you live on a busy street and your Nest Hello is pointed right at that street, you’ll probably get a ton of useless motion alerts. Instead, you can create an Activity Zone where you select everything in the frame except for the busy street. That way, you’ll only get relevant motion alerts.
We have a guide on creating Activity Zones (you’ll need a Nest Aware subscription), and it’ll take you through the process of creating an Activity Zone using the web interface, which is the easiest way to do it.
You can do it from the Nest app on your phone or tablet by going into the settings for your camera and selecting the “Activity Zones” option. However, it’s a bit cumbersome to do this on a small touch screen. So if you’re able to do it from the web interface, then that’s the best option.
The next step is to customize the notifications for your Nest Cam or Nest Hello. You can do this step by itself without creating an Activity Zone (especially if you don’t want to pony up for a Nest Aware subscription), but ultimately, combining Activity Zones with customized notifications is the best thing to do.
We also have a basic guide on customizing notifications, but the real magic is adjusting the alerts for the Activity Zone that you created earlier.
To do this, open up the settings for your Nest Cam or Nest Hello, and then tap the “Notifications” setting.
From there, tap the Activity Zone you want to configure.
On this screen, you can simply select which types of alerts you want to receive: People, all other motion, or both.
Now, go back to the previous screen and tap the “Motion outside of a zone” setting.
This page gives you the same options, but it only applies to the area outside of your Activity Zone.
Again, this won’t 100% get rid of false positives—like a bug flying into the frame or something blowing in the wind—but it should cut down on most of the needless motion alerts, especially random cars driving by or anything else that isn’t happening directly on your property.