What happens when you turn your camera on or off with the Nest app

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When you turn off your Nest Cam or Dropcam with the Nest app, all video and audio activity stops. If you have a Nest Aware subscription, video history recording is stopped too. However, your camera will stay connected to power and the Internet so it can be remotely turned on with the Nest app and so that there’s no delay when it switches back on.

You’re always in control of when your camera’s video streaming and recording switches on or off. But even when it’s set to off, your camera stays powered up so it can periodically check its Wi-Fi and Internet connection. It needs to stay connected so you can manually switch it back on with the Nest app, so it can automatically start streaming on schedule, or quickly begin recording in case of an emergency. For instance, if you have a Nest Protect that detects a high level of smoke, your Nest Cam can be turned on quickly so you have a record of how a fire started and spread, which could be useful for insurance purposes.

Why your camera’s light might be off while the camera is on

By default your camera’s light will be on while the camera is on, but you can turn it off with the Nest app if you want. For instance, you may want your hallway camera’s light to be on, but your living room camera’s light might be distracting.

If you set the light to off, it won’t turn on during normal use. The only exception is if you unplug your camera and plug it back in. Then the light will flash blue while restarting for a few seconds, even if it’s set to off. It’s easy to change the light setting by selecting your camera in the app, then going to Settings > Status Light.

How to turn off your camera completely off

If you want your camera to be completely off you can simply unplug it, however you won’t be able to control it or watch its video stream with the Nest app. Once you plug your camera back in, it will take some time (usually less than a minute) to restart and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and the Internet, and start streaming again.