How to Customize Nest Secure’s Alarm Levels

The Nest Secure has three different alarm settings: Off, Home, and Away. Here’s how to customize some of these settings to fit your needs.

Here’s how each alarm level perfroms by default:

  • Off: Only doors/windows opening and closing are detected and logged, but the alarm doesn’t sound at all and no alerts are sent.
  • Home and Guarding: Only doors/windows opening and closing are detected and logged, but the alarm does sound and you do receive alerts.
  • Away and Guarding: Any motion, as well as doors/windows opening and closing are detected and logged. The alarm sounds, and alerts are sent.

You can change these parameters slightly. Start by opening the Nest app on your phone and tapping the “Settings” button (the gear icon) in the top right corner of the screen.

Tap the “Security” option at the bottom of the list.

On the “Security” page, tap the “Security Levels” setting.

From here, there are a few things you can change around. We’ll start by tapping the “Quiet Open” setting.

This is a feature that lets open a door or window without the alarm going off when the system is set to Home and Guarding. You simply press the button on the Nest Detect sensor and you’ll have 10 seconds to open the door or window without the alarm going off.

After tapping the “Quiet Open” setting, that section expands, and you can hit the toggle switch to turn it on or off.

After that, tap the “Motion Detection” setting.

This setting lets you enable or disable all motion detection when the system is set to Away and Guarding.

Disabling this setting might be a good idea if you have cats or other animals that jump around on furniture and are likely set off the alarm. Keep in mind, though, that disabling this will completely turn off motion detection on all security levels.

Lastly, tap the “Reduced Motion Sensitivity” setting.

If you just have a small dog that doesn’t cause a lot of trouble and wouldn’t move around much, you can instead enable this setting to prevent false alarms by tapping on the toggle switch to turn it on or off.

Keep in mind that if you enable this setting, motion detection is still enabled for anything larger than a small dog, and it’s probably a good idea to still be cautious about any false alarms.

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.

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