Nest Camera How to & Troubleshooting Guide

Nest Camera How to & Troubleshooting Guide

Nest cameras are known for their superior quality and are a cheaper option than other secutiy cameras. Nest products include the Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor security cameras, and the Nest Cam IQ, an intelligent security camera that can tell a person from a thing and even recognize familiar and unfamiliar faces.

While these cameras are without a doubt a good investment for anyone looking to improve their home security, they can have issues like any other equipment or appliances. To help users with Nest cameras make the most out of their security cameras, here is a how-to and troubleshooting guide for some of their commonly reported issues.

How to Install Nest Cam

If you have a new Nest camera, you need to start by connecting the camera to the Nest app before proceeding to the other installation steps. Connect your camera to the Nest app and test video streaming in your chosen location before you install or mount it. A poor Wi-Fi signal can affect the video.

Each Nest camera has different mounting and installation instructions. The following instructions are for installing a Nest Cam Indoor.

There are three ways you can install your Nest Cam Indoor:

  • Simply place it on a horizontal surface like a shelf.
  • Use a magnetic base to attach it to a metal surface.
  • Install the metal plate to mount your camera on a wall, ceiling or any non-magnetic surface.

Installing the Nest Camera on a Wall or Ceiling

To install your camera on a wall or ceiling with a mounting plate, follow these instructions:

  1. Make sure the location you have chosen is close enough to a wall plate. Try holding the camera where you want it with the power cable and adapter plugged in. You should have a little slack just in case.
  2. Check your Wi-Fi coverage by viewing your camera’s video stream with the Nest app. If the camera can’t connect to Wi-Fi, or if the video stream is interrupted, you might need to choose another spot where the signal is stronger.
  3. Once your camera is successfully streaming video, you can proceed to install the mounting plate. Hold the plate against the wall, ceiling, or other surface, and screw it in. Make sure the cable clip points in the direction you want the cord to go. The screws are self-tapping, so they will install easily in drywall, wood, and plaster without drilling a hole. If you need to drill into hard materials like masonry or concrete, use wall anchors which you should find at your local hardware store.
  4. When drilling holes, drill only one to start with. Place the mounting plate on the wall so that the hole you drilled lines up with one of the slots on the plate. Drill the other two holes using the slots as a guide. This will help all the holes line up with the slots.
  5. If you used a drill to put in the screws, hand-tighten them with a screwdriver to make sure the installation is secure and to prevent over-tightening and possible damage to your walls or ceiling.
  6. Next, stick your Nest Cam to the mounting plate. The magnet will hold your Nest Cam securely, even if you install it on the ceiling.
  7. Check your camera’s view by looking at its live stream in the Nest app, and adjust the position if you need to. You can also flip the view in the Nest app if it is completely upside down.

If you ever want to move your Nest Cam to a new location, be sure to also change its location with the Nest app.

How to Set Up Nest Cam

Follow the instructions below to set up your Nest camera:

  1. Start with the Nest app.
  2. Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
  3. Make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your camera.
  4. If you are new to Nest, download the Nest app from Apple App Store or Google Play. Open the app and create and account. Then, on the Nest app home screen, tap Add.
  5. If you already have a Nest account, open the Nest app. In the top right corner of the app home screen, tap Settings. Then, select Add product.
  6. Scan the QR code. The app should ask you to scan your camera’s QR code with your phone. You can also tap “Continue without scanning” and enter your camera’s serial number and entry key instead. These numbers are next to the QR code.
  7. The app should then ask you to pick a location name from a list. To type in your own, select “Custom” at the bottom.
  8. Plug in your camera into a household wall outlet with the included power cable and adapter. The camera’s light should pulse blue to let you know that it gets power and is ready to be connected.
  9. The Nest app helps your camera to automatically scan for nearby Wi-Fi networks. Select the network you want your camera to use.
  10. Check your camera’s video stream. The app should help you check that your camera can stream video. Make sure your camera is placed exactly where you want during the test. If the video appears, you are ready to install or mount your camera. If the video doesn’t appear, your camera may be too far from your Wi-Fi network. Move it closer.

How to set up the Nest camera on a computer

You should use the Nest app on your phone to set up your camera and connect it to Wi-Fi. But if you have difficulty or get an error in the mobile app, you can set up some Nest camera models on a computer instead. Note that for setup on a Windows computer, you will need to be signed in as an Administrator.

  1. Bring your camera and your computer to the spot in your home where you will be setting up your camera.
  2. Plug your camera into your computer. Use the included USB cable to plug your camera directly into a USB port on your computer. The light on the front of your camera will glow blue (yellow on Dropcam), indicating that the camera is starting up. After a moment, the light will start blinking.
  3. Once your camera finishes starting up, a window should pop up on your computer with setup icons for both Mac OS and Windows. Double click on the icon for the OS your computer uses.
  4. After double clicking, an app will launch and guide you through the following steps:
  5. Create a free account, or sign in if you already have one.
  6. Connect your camera to Wi-Fi. Your camera will scan for nearby networks automatically. Wait for the list of Wi-Fi networks to appear, then choose the network you would like to use.
  7. Pick a name for the camera that matches its location. You can choose a location from the list or select “Custom” at the bottom of the list to type in your own name. The Nest app will use this location to tell your where alerts are happening and group any other Nest products that match this location.
  8. Finish setup. The Nest app will guide you through some final customization steps, including checking that your camera can stream video on your Wi-Fi network.
  9. Add a bookmark for the Nest web app to your browser so you can quickly get your Nest camera video stream and manage your camera’s settings.

How to Set Up Camera Alerts on Nest Cam

Camera alerts are notifications you receive on your phone or tablet when your Nest camera detects important activity.

To set up camera alerts:

  1. Open the Nest app.
  2. On the app home screen, tap “Settings”.
  3. Select “Notifications”.
  4. Select the camera that you want to change alert settings for and select from the options below.

Notification type

Select push notification, email, or both to send alerts to the Nest app or email.

  • Push notification-Alerts pop up on your phone, just like alerts from other apps. You can receive notifications as long as you are signed into the Nest app.
  • Email-Alerts are sent from notifications@nest.com to the email address you use to sign into your account in the Nest app. You can get emails whether or not you are signed into the Nest app.

When to send

  • No one’s home- This option sets your camera to send notifications only after your home has switched to Away mode.
  • Always- When you select this option, your camera sends notifications whether you are home or away.

How to Set Up Activity Zones on Nest Cam

Activity Zones can have your camera send alerts and mark your video history timeline when there is important motion in the zone. You can create your own custom zones to cover the areas you want to be notified about. You need a trial or paid Nest Aware subscription to create Activity Zones.

To create and use Activity Zones on a phone:

  1. Open the app and select the camera you want to make an Activity Zone for.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Select “Activity Zones”.
  4. Tap “Create Zone”. The new zone appears in the middle of the screen.
  5. Turn your phone to go into landscape mode for a full screen of your camera’s view. Make sure the screen rotation setting on your phone is on.
  6. Tap and drag inside the zone to move it.
  7. Tap and drag any of the 8 points on the sides of the zones to change its shape.
  8. To change the color of the Activity Zone, click one of the colored circles on the bottom of your screen. You have four different colors to choose from.
  9. Tap the Pencil icon at the top of the screen to give your zone a descriptive name. Tap the Check mark to save the zone name.
  10. Once you have given the Activity Zone the shape, color, and name you want, tap the Check mark to save the zone.

To edit an Activity Zone:

  1. Select the camera that you want to edit an Activity Zone for.
  2. Tap the Settings icon.
  3. Select “Activity Zones”.
  4. Select the zone you want to edit.
  5. Change the zone as you like. You can change its size, shape, color, and name, just like you would if you were creating a new Activity Zone.
  6. When you are finished, tap the Check mark to save. If you change your mind, you can always Tap Cancel in the top left corner to keep your previous settings.

To remove an Activity Zone:

  1. Select the camera that you want to delete an Activity Zone for.
  2. Tap on the Settings icon.
  3. Select “Activity Zones”.
  4. Select the zone you want to delete.
  5. Tap Delete icon at the bottom right corner of your screen. Confirm that you want to delete the zone.

How to Watch Nest Cam on TV

You can stream your camera on your TV using Google Nest or Home speaker or display, and Chromecast or a TV with Chromecase built-in.

  1. Set up your Nest Cam with the Nest app.
  2. Set up your device. If you haven’t set up your chromecast and speaker or display follow the steps below.
  3. To set up Chromecast, plug in your chromecast, download the Google Home app on your Chromecast-supported device, open the Google Home app, follow the steps or at the top left of the Google Home app home screen, tap Add> Set up> device> New device and follow the remaining steps.
  4. The Google Home app will walk you through the steps to set up your Google Nest or Home speaker or display.
  5. Connect your camera to your speaker or display.
  6. Open the Google Home app
  7. Verify that the Google Account shown is the one linked to your speaker or display. To switch accounts, tap another account or “Add another account”.
  8. Make sure your camera is on the same Wi-Fi network as your speaker or display.
  9. Verify that the home listed is the one you want pair your camera to. To switch between homes, click the triangle to the right of the home name.
  10. At the top left corner, tap Add> Set up> device> Works with Google
  11. Tap the device to pair.
  12. When the pairing is complete, tap Done
  13. Link TVs using the Google Home app. The steps below are option if you only want to control your TV with your mobile device or tablet. However, if you want to control your TV using voice commands through your speaker or display, follow these steps:
  14. Make sure your mobile device or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi or linked to the same account as your Chromecast, or speaker or display,
  15. Open the Google Home app. At the top right, tap your account. Verify that the Google Account shown is the one linked to your speaker or display. To switch accounts. Tap another account or “Add another account”.
  16. Go back to the home screen, then tap your Chromecast or TV with Chromecasr built-in.
  17. At the top right, tap Settings.
  18. Look for a banner at the top of the page that says “Enable voice control and more.” If the banner appears, tap it and follow the steps to link your TV. If the banner doesn’t appear but your email address appears under “Linked account(s),”your TV is already linked.
  19. Note that If you get an “Error when linking device” error message, you must factory reset your Chromecast device.
  20. Use voice commands to stream your camera to your TV. To do so, say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google”, then “Show (camera name)”, “What’s on (camera name)”, “ (camera name) on (Chromecast device name)”, “Play (camera name) on (Chromecast device name)”, or “Show (camera name) on (Chromecast device name)” to start stream. To stop stream, say “Stop (TV or Chromecast device name)”.

How to Install Nest Cam Outdoor

Installing a Nest Cam Outdoor is different from installing a Nest Cam Indoor. The installation and mounting instructions are not the same.

 To install your Nest Cam Outdoor, you will need the following:

  • Wi-Fi and a working broadband internet connection with at least 2 Mbps upload speed. DSL may not qualify.
  • A phone or tablet with iOS 8 or later, or Android 4 or later
  • A Nest Account
  • A power outlet
  • A Philips screwdriver or power drill with Philips driver bit

You may also need:

  • Drill bit (3/32” for pilot, or 7/32” if you are using wall anchors.)
  • Ladder

Then, before you take your camera outside, start by turning it on inside the house to get everything setup. Connect your Nest Cam’s cable to the power adapter, push and twist the USB connector into place, then plug the adapter into a power outlet. Your Nest Cam will turn on and you will see a blue light.

After turning your Nest Cam on, the next thing to do is to add it to your Nest Account. Download the Nest app from the App Store or Google Play. Open the app and tap “Sign up” to create and account. Then tap Add, choose Nest Cam and follow the instructions. If you already have a Nest Account, tap the settings icon in the top-right corner of the app home screen. Then tap “Add product,” choose Nest Cam and follow the steps.

After adding Nest Cam to your account, you can now take it outside for the installation. Follow the steps below to complete the installation process:

  1. Unplug the Nest Cam and take it to the spot you have chosen outdoors. Plug it into the outlet you want to use and wait for the green light to turn on. Nest Cam will reconnect to your Wi-Fi network automatically. This may take about 2 minutes. Keep Nest Cam plugged for the rest of the installation.
  2. Before mounting the camera, make sure it can get Wi-Fi in the spot you have chosen. Hold the camera where you want to mount it and check to make sure it is streaming video to the Nest app. If you don’t see video, the Wi-Fi may not be strong enough at that spot and you will need to find a different location or move your Wi-Fi router.
  3. After finding a suitable spot, proceed to mount your camera. Screw the wall plate onto your wall. It helps to drill pilot holes first. If the wall is made of brick or stone, you may need to use the included wall anchors to hold the screws.
  4. Next, put the magnet onto the wall plate. If you have a magnetic surface nearby, you can skip the previous step and just put the mounting magnet where you would like the camera to be.
  5. Put your Nest Cam onto the mounting magnet and aim it where you like. Fine-tune your camera’s position using the video stream in the Nest app.
  6. The next step is to mount the power adapter. Take some few minutes to plan the route of the cable from your outlet to the camera. Make sure you leave some slack at both ends. Nest recommends installing the adapter at least 18 inches above ground in case of flooding or deep snow.
  7. Mount the adapter wall plate with the flat side flush to the wall. Once done, snap the power adapter into place.

How to Reset Nest Cam

Factory resetting your Nest camera removes all settings. You may need to reset if you want to give the camera to someone else, if the Nest app freezes during setup, or if it becomes unresponsive after you have finished installing it.

There is no factory reset button on Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, or Dropcam, Tor reset one of these cameras, simply remove it from your account. Follow these steps to reset Nest Cam:

  1. Select the camera that you want to reset.
  2. Tap on the Settings icon. Write down how you have each camera option set, or take a screen shot with your phone. This will help you restore settings after you reconnect your camera to the app.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap “Remove camera”. When asked, confirm.
  4. You will get a confirmation email from Nest, letting you know that the camera has been removed from your account.
  5. If you are giving the camera to someone else, you are done. If you want to reconnect your camera to the app, simply go through setup again.

Nest Cam IQ Reset

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor factory reset button is on the front side of the camera, below the Nest logo. The factory reset button on Nest Cam IQ Indoor is located on the bottom side of the camera stand.

To reset Nest Cam IQ:

  1. Plug in your camera so it is powered on and keep it plugged in throughout the following steps.
  2. Tap the Settings icon. Write down how you have each camera option set, or take a screenshot with your phone to help restore settings after you reconnect your camera to the app.
  3. Press and hold your camera’s reset button with a paperclip. Your camera will chime and its light ring will start spinning yellow. When the light ring starts spinning blue, release the button. Your camera’s lights will turn off while it is resetting.
  4. The factory reset is complete when your camera chimes and the light ring starts slowly pulsing blue.
  5. After factory resetting, your camera will appear offline in the Nest app. It will stay this way until you remove it from the app.
  6. To remove it from the app, go the app home screen and tap the camera that you just reset.
  7. Tap on the Settings icon.
  8. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap “Remove camera”. Then reconfirm your choice.
  9. You will get a confirmation email from Nest, letting you know that the camera has been removed from your account.
  10. If you are giving the camera to someone else, you are done. If you want to reconnect your camera to app, simply go through setup again.

How Much Data Does a Nest Cam Use?

Nest cameras upload video to the Nest service in the cloud using your internet bandwidth. You can watch the footage on your phone, tablet, or computer. When you pick your quality and bandwidth setting, you are setting the maximum video quality for your camera. Your camera will automatically adjust its resolution and compression according to how much bandwidth is available.

On the low setting, maximum upload bandwidth is 0.8 Mbps with a resolution of up to 720p. At medium low, maximum upload bandwidth is 1.3 Mbps with a resolution of up to 1080p. For medium high and high setting, the maximum upload bandwidth is 2 Mbps and 4 Mbps respectively, with resolutions of up to 1080p on both settings.

As for the download bandwidth used, generally, you will use download bandwidth when you watch video in the Nest app. Your camera also uses a small amount of bandwidth to download software updates and other information from the Nest service.

The total amount of data used by your camera over a month depends on a few things:

  • How much activity your camera sees.
  • If you subscribe to Nest Aware. Nest Aware subscriptions with either CVR or EBR stream video and use bandwidth whenever your camera is turned on.
  • The quality and bandwidth setting you choose will affect how much data your camera uses.

Since these three factors can vary, below are some possible data usage numbers on the high side so that you can estimate the amount of monthly data you will need for each Nest camera in your home.

  1. Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, Dropcam
  2. Low (quality and bandwidth setting)- 30 GB (maximum monthly data usage)
  3. Medium – 120 GB
  4. High- 300 GB
  5. Nest Cam IQ Indoor, Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
  6. Low (quality and bandwidth setting)- 100 GB (Typical monthly data usage)
  7. Medium low- 200 GB
  8. Medium high- 300 GB
  9. High- 400 GB

To reduce the amount of data your camera uses over the course of a month, you can try the following:

  • Lower the quality and bandwidth setting so that your camera won’t use as much data to upload video to the cloud.
  • Schedule your camera to turn off at certain times, particularly if you have a Nest Aware subscription, so your camera won’t constantly upload video to the Nest service.

How to Update Nest Cam

Nest cameras will update themselves automatically in the background if they have a reliable internet connection.  They can’t be updated manually. As long as your camera is connected to Wi-Fi and the internet, it will update itself automatically when new software is released. You don’t need to do anything. Nest pushes updates to Nest cameras in batches. Because they don’t push the update to all Nest cameras at the same time, you might not get it immediately.

You can also set your phone or tablet to automatically install the latest version of the Nest app.

To automatically update apps on Android:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Tap Menu> Settings.
  3. Tap Auto-update apps.
  4. Select an option:
  5. Over any network to update apps using either Wi-Fi or mobile data.
  6. Over Wi-Fi only to update apps only when connected to Wi-Fi.

To update individual Android apps automatically:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Tap Menu > My apps & games.
  3. Select the app you want to update.
  4. Tap More.
  5. Tap Enable auto update.

To update Android apps manually:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Tap Menu> Manage apps & devices.
  3. Apps with an update available are labeled “Update available.” You can also search for a specific app.
  4. Tap Update.

If you are using an Apple device, you can turn off automatic updates and update apps manually. Or you can turn on automatic updates so that you don’t need to manually update each app.

To manually update apps on iOS devices (iPhone or iPad):

  • Open the App Store.
  • Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen.
  • Scroll to see pending updates and release notes. Tap Update next to an app to update only that app, tap Update All.

How to Connect Nest Cam to WIFI

To connect your Nest camera to Wi-Fi:

  1. Start with the Nest app.
  2. Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
  3. Make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your camera.
  4. If you are new to Nest, download the Nest app from Apple App Store or Google Play. Open the app and create and account. Then, on the Nest app home screen, tap Add.
  5. If you already have a Nest account, open the Nest app. In the top right corner of the app home screen, tap Settings. Then, select Add product.
  6. Scan the QR code. The app should ask you to scan your camera’s QR code with your phone. You can also tap “Continue without scanning” and enter your camera’s serial number and entry key instead. These numbers are next to the QR code.
  7. The app should then ask you to pick a location name from a list. To type in your own, select “Custom” at the bottom.
  8. Plug in your camera into a household wall outlet with the included power cable and adapter. The camera’s light should pulse blue to let you know that it gets power and is ready to be connected.
  9. The Nest app helps your camera to automatically scan for nearby Wi-Fi networks. Select the network you want your camera to use.

How to Record Nest Cam Locally

Video history is Nest’s cloud-based video recording and storage service. You need a Nest Aware subscription for your camera to automatically store video in the Nest cloud so you can access it anytime, anywhere. But there is a way to record your Nest Cam locally without incurring extra fees through Nest subscription service you can try.

For this method, you will need the following:

  • Web browser to see source code
  • VLC

Then follow these instructions:

  1. Make your camera shareable publicly
  2. Navigate to the public link for the camera
  3. View the camera’s output stream source code. Copy the URL link.
  4. Go to VLC. Go to Tools> Preferences> Input/Codecs> Files and set your save location HDD or NAS
  5. Click Media> Open Network Stream. Paste the link you had copied > Click Play
  6. The video window should now open so Click Playback> Record.

The issue with this method is the video will write to the save location and will not be playable until you stop and start a new recording.

How to Go Back to History on Nest Cam

If you have a Nest Aware subscription, your camera’s video history will be stored automatically in the cloud. You can watch your camera’s video history on your phone or tablet with the Nest app, or you can use a computer.

To watch the video history on a computer, sign in to your account at home.nest.com. Then select a camera that has a Nest Aware subscription.

While watching your video history on a computer, you will see a timeline at the bottom of the screen. The timeline helps you quickly scan through all your recorded video so you can find and watch all the important things that have happened.

On the timeline, you can click on the Calendar icon to watch video from a specific day. Depending on your Nest Aware subscription, you can go back a certain number of days in your video history. Use the Clips icon to create a clip or timelapse or view clips you have saved. Hover your mouse over an event without clicking. A small preview window will appear, showing you what was happening during the event. Click on an event to jump straight to it and see what happened or click the New Clip icon to create a clip of the event.

How to Watch Nest Cam Playback History on Phone

You can watch recorded video on your phone with Sightline or event history. Sightline and event history are views of your Nest camera’s video history that are optimized for mobile, so they are only available when you use the Nest app on your phone or tablet.

To use Sightline to see recorded video:

  1. Swipe your finger up or down the activity track to quickly fast forward or rewind.
  2. The dots and bars on the activity track highlight when your camera saw or heard something happen. Tap on any of the dots or bars to jump to the beginning of the event.
  3. A dot usually means your camera noticed a short event.
  4. A longer bar means it noticed activity over a longer period of time.
  5. A gray dot or bar means that your camera detected motion or sound outside of your camera’s Activity Zones.
  6. A colored dot or bar can mean your camera detected motion in one of your Activity Zones (color matches color given to the Activity Zone when it was created), your camera detected motion it thought was important, or your camera detected sound it thought was important.
  7. If you see gaps in your camera’s sightline, it will tell you whether it was because the camera was off or offline, or because there was no activity detected.
  8. Whenever your camera has detected sound or motion, you will see snapshots of what your camera saw at the beginning of the event in Sightline.

How to use event history to see recorded video:

Event history shows an overview of what your camera has detected so that you can easily view what has happened at a glance. You will see a video snapshot, activity name, and time the event occurred.

If you only want to see certain events, you can set a filter:

  1. Tap Filter icon to filter activity by motion, sound, and person. If you have a Nest Aware subscription, you can also get Activity Zone, familiar face, and emergency events.
  2. Select the types of events you want to see.
  3. Tap Done.
  4. There may be a short delay until events are filtered. If you want to create a video clip event, it is easy to do in the event history view.

Why is My Nest Camera Not Working?

There could be several reasons why your Nest camera isn’t working. Make sure that you have the latest version of the Nest app on your phone or tablet. You can download it for free from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. To make sure you have the latest version, you can uninstall and reinstall the app.

Restarting your camera will refresh your connection. After restarting, you should see a solid green light on the front of your camera if it is connected to your home Wi-Fi network. If you see a yellow status light (Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor) or yellow blinking light ring (Nest Cam IQ), your camera may have trouble connecting or there is insufficient power. Try plugging the camera into other outlet.

What Do the Lights Mean on My Nest Cam?

Nest camera lights let you know whether your camera is working normally or if there is a problem.

  1. Solid green light means everything is working normally. Your Nest camera is turned on, connected to a Wi-Fi network, and streaming video.
  2. Solid blue light means it is booting up or rebooting. This happens when you first plug your camera into a power outlet, when your camera is rebooting itself after a power outage or firmware update, or waiting to be added to an account.
  3. Solid red light means LED not working properly. If your camera doesn’t show anything but a solid red status light, it means the LED isn’t working properly.
  4. Pulsing green light means someone is watching your camera’s live video stream with the Nest app, a device like the Google Nest hub, or a third party connection like Alexa Show. The light ring will not be illuminated.
  5. No light means the camera is turned off. When the camera is not streaming video, its status light will be off. It could also indicate the camera isn’t receiving power.

Why is My Nest Cam Not Recording Video?

You will see gaps in your video history if your camera was turned off or was offline. If you have an Event-based recording (EBR) subscription, you will also see dark gray areas in your timeline with “No activity detected” when your camera didn’t detect motion or sound events.

If some of your video history is missing:

  • Your camera may have turned itself off according to your Home or Away settings.
  • Your camera could have turned off if you created a manual schedule.
  • Your camera may have lost power. Double check the power adapter and wall outlet, and make sure your neighborhood wasn’t experiencing a power outage at the time.
  • There could have been a service outage.
  • There could be an issue with your Wi-Fi. You need to troubleshoot your Wi-Fi connection.
  • You may not have enough internet bandwidth. You can change your camera’s video quality.

If all your video history is missing, you need to have an active Nest Aware subscription (paid or trial) for your camera to record video.

Nest Goes Offline Frequently Troubleshooting

If your Nest camera is offline, it may be due to several issues. Check for any alerts in the Nest app or in your email. If your camera was unplugged or without power for more than 10 minutes, you will get an alert and an email that includes a snapshot of the last thing your camera saw.

Possible issues you might encounter are:

  • Your camera randomly goes offline and there are gaps in your video history. If your subscription only has event-based recording (EBR), gaps between events are normal.
  • Your camera’s status light is off (Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor) or the ring light is blinking yellow (Nest Cam IQ).
  • You get a message in the Nest app:
  • “Wi-Fi interference is affecting your camera’s video quality.”
  • “A weak Wi-Fi connection is affecting your camera’s video quality. Try moving the router and camera closer together.”
  • “Your Wi-Fi may not have enough upload speed, affecting your camera’s video. Try lowering the image quality in settings.”

Before you start troubleshooting, you should have physical access to your camera. You won’t be able to perform many of the troubleshooting steps remotely and Nest does not provide remote restart or reset options as it could compromise the security of your camera.

Below are some basic troubleshooting steps you can do when you are not at home. Most other troubleshooting steps require you to be at home.

  1. Check the status of the Nest service. Occasionally, when the Nest service is down, it can show your camera is offline. Check back to see when it has resolved itself.
  2. Check the Nest app version. Make sure you have the newest version. You can download it from Google Play Store. To make sure you have the latest version, you can uninstall and reinstall the app.

If you are getting a lot of camera offline notifications, this usually means your camera does not have a consistent Wi-Fi connection. It is likely disconnecting, and then reconnecting again. To troubleshoot this problem, follow these steps:

Check your Wi-Fi connection.

Since all Nest cameras use your home Wi-Fi network, check that you can get online with another device in your home. You can visit nest.com to check if you have a working connection. If you are using a cell phone, make sure you turn off cellular data and turn on Wi-Fi to test your connection.

If you can’t connect, try using a different device to double check. If you can’t connect with any device contact your internet service provider to check the service status in your location.

Move your camera

Move your offline camera a little bit if it is not permanently mounted. Your camera may be slightly out of range and can become disconnected due to wireless interference from large furniture and appliances, floors, walls, and other electronics.

  • Move your camera a foot or two away from its original spot, wait a few minutes, and check your camera’s live stream in the app.
  • Move your camera closer to your Wi-Fi router, and then check if the connection becomes more reliable.
  • For mounted cameras, move your router closer to your camera instead.

If this resolves the problem but you want to move your camera or router back to where it was, you may need to extend your Wi-Fi networks range.

Restart your camera

Restarting your camera will refresh connection. To restart the camera:

  • Unplug the camera’s power adapter from the wall outlet.
  • Wait 10 seconds, and then plug the camera’s power adapter back in.
  • Your camera will restart automatically.

After restarting, you should see a solid green light on the front of your camera if it is connected to your home Wi-Fi network. If you see a yellow status light (Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor) or yellow blinking light ring(Nest Cam IQ), your camera may have trouble connecting or there is insufficient power. Try plugging the camera into other outlet.

  • Restart your router. Restarting your router will reset your internet connection. You should also restart any Wi-Fi range extenders or repeaters that you have. Then open the offline camera’s video stream and wait a few minutes. If you see live video stream appear, the camera has reconnected.
  • Disable any network extenders. Your camera may be trying to connect to an incompatible network extender, which can cause disconnection issues. Then open the offline camera’s video stream and wait a few minutes. If you see live video stream appear, the camera has reconnected.
  • If the problem persists, check your Wi-Fi network or router settings. Incompatible settings on your router can cause your camera to disconnect or show as offline in the Nest app.
  • If after checking the router’s settings your camera still won’t connect to your home Wi-Fi network, check that your router or modem is not on the incompatible list. There are some routers that are incompatible with Nest products.
  • Turn off other devices connected to Wi-Fi. Your internet service provider may limit the amount of bandwidth after it reaches a certain threshold.
  • If all the above steps don’t resolve the problem, factory reset your camera.

How to Reboot Nest Cam Remotely

If there is an issue with your Nest camera or it is unresponsive, rebooting it can help resolve the problem. But, what if you are many miles way?  While Nest does not provide remote restart or reset options as it could compromise the security of your camera, there is a way to reboot your camera remotely that you can try.

This method is by using internet-controlled switches. These are remotely controlled smart plugs that plugs into any A/C outlet. Your Nest Cam plugs directly into the internet-controlled switch.  An example of such a switch is the WeMo Switch Smart Plug. It is an internet-controlled switch that can be controlled by a smart phone app.  By using the WeMo smart phone app, you can turn anything plugged into it on or off.

There are other internet-controlled switches, such as TP-Link Smart Plug, which work similarly to the WeMo switch smart plug.

How to Reconnect Nest Outdoor Camera

To reconnect your Nest outdoor camera if it fails to reconnect on its own, try restarting your camera. Restarting your camera will refresh your connection. Follow the steps below:

  1. Unplug your camera’s power adapter from the wall outlet.
  2. Wait 10 seconds, then plug your camera’s power adapter back in.
  3. Your camera will restart automatically.

After restarting, you should see a solid green light on the front of your camera if it is connected to your home Wi-Fi network. If you see a yellow status light, your camera may have trouble connecting or there is insufficient power. Try plugging your camera into another outlet and try again.

Nest Camera Won’t Turn On Troubleshooting

If the Nest app freezes or it becomes unresponsive, your Nest camera may refuse to turn on. To troubleshoot this problem, you may need to restart or reset your camera. Restarting your camera retains all your settings, so it is a useful first step if your camera is not working normally.

To restart a Nest camera:

  1. Disconnect it from power by unplugging the power adapter.
  2. Wait for 10 seconds.
  3. Plug the power adapter back into an outlet.

Your camera will restart. If this doesn’t fix the issue, then try performing a factory reset.

There is no factory reset button on Nest Cam Indoor or Outdoor. To reset one of these, simply remove it from your account. Follow the instructions on how to reset a Nest Cam to factory reset the camera, and then go through the set up again to reconnect your camera to the app.