Troubleshoot QR code scanning

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You’ll usually need to scan a QR code when setting up a Nest product with the app. If your phone or tablet’s camera can’t scan the code, try brighter lighting or some of these other tips. You can also skip scanning and type in your product’s entry key or serial number into the Nest app.

How to find the QR code:

The QR code’s location is different for each Nest product, but it’s typically found on the back, bottom, or inside the battery compartment. If you need help, tap Help me find the code on the Nest app’s QR code scanning screen. The app will show you a picture of exactly where the code is.

Tips for scanning:

Use brighter lighting

Your phone or tablet will not use the flash when scanning a QR code with the Nest app, so bright lighting is important. Turn on more lights or open the window shades and try scanning the code again.

Put it on a plain background

Patterns on a tablecloth, rug or wall can sometimes confuse your camera’s auto-focus feature and prevent the code from scanning. If your Nest product is on a patterned background, try moving it to a plain surface and re-scanning the code.

Don’t hold it in your hand

Put your Nest product on a counter, table or other solid object. If it’s shaking too much, your phone’s camera can have trouble focusing. You can also try resting your elbows on the table to steady your phone.

Don’t tilt your phone

Your phone’s camera may have trouble scanning the code if it’s tilted at an angle. Make sure it’s level with the surface that the code is printed on.

Keep your distance

If you’re holding your phone too close or too far away, it won’t scan the code. Try holding your phone about a foot away and slowly moving it towards the QR code.

Some phone cameras can’t focus as well as others at close distances, so you may have to hold your phone a bit further away. Try holding your phone so the QR code is inside the Nest app’s blue box and move it slowly away.

Watch your shadow

If you’ve already made the lighting brighter but the QR code still isn’t scanning, make sure a shadow isn’t falling on the QR code. This can often happen when you move your phone close to scan the code.

Clean the lens

Your phone’s lens can pick up a lot of dust and smudges that can affect image clarity, so give it a wipe with a soft cloth to clean it off.

How to skip QR scanning

If your phone simply can’t scan the QR code, don’t worry, you can still connect your Nest product to the app. Simply tap Continue without scanning at the bottom of the QR code scanning screen, and you’ll be able to type in your product’s entry key or serial number. The key and serial number are located next to the QR code.

See the specific instructions for each Nest product below.

Tip: If you have a hard time reading your Nest product’s entry key or serial number, take a picture with your phone’s camera. Then open the picture in your photo app and zoom in.