Chances are you’ll get a ton of inappropriate false positive traffic alerts from your Nest camera — a passing car, bugs flying through the frame, or a bush to the right waving in the wind. Here’s how you can limit these kinds of notifications using activity zones.

RELATED: Nest Cameras are useless without Nest Aware Subscription

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to get rid of every false positive motion alert, but by creating activity zones and tweaking your notifications, you can at least be able to keep them to a minimum.

Creating Activity Zones


Creating an activity zone for a Nest Cam or Nest Hello video call allows you to receive motion alerts only from a specific part of the camera’s field of view.

For example, if you live on a busy street and your Nest Hello is pointing straight down that street, you’re likely to get a bunch of useless traffic alerts. Instead, you can create an activity zone where you select everything in the frame except for a busy street. This way you will only receive relevant traffic notifications.

We have a guide to creating activity zones (you’ll need a Nest Aware subscription) and it will walk you through the process of creating an activity zone using the web interface, which is the easiest way to do it.

RELATED: How to Create Activity Zones for Motion Alerts on Your Nest Cam

You you can do this from the Nest app on your phone or tablet by going to your camera settings and selecting the Activity Zones option. However, it’s a bit cumbersome to do so on a small touch screen. So if you can do it through the web interface then this is the best option.

Notification settings

The next step is to set up notifications for your Nest Cam or Nest Hello. You can do this step on your own without creating a Activity Zone (especially if you don’t want to copy a Nest Aware subscription), but in the end it’s best to combine Activity Zones with customized notifications.

We also have a basic guide to setting up notifications, but the real magic is setting up alerts for the Activity Zone you created earlier.

To do this, open the settings of your Nest Cam or Nest Hello, and then tap the «Notifications» setting.

From there, click on the activity zone you want to customize.

On this screen, you can simply choose which types of alerts you want to receive: People, All Other Movements, or Both.

Now go back to the previous screen and tap on the «Movement Out of Area» setting.

This page gives you the same options, but it only applies to the area outside of your activity area.

Again, this won’t 100% get rid of false positives — like bugs flying into the frame, or something blowing in the wind — but it should cut down on most unnecessary traffic alerts, especially random cars passing by, or anything else that doesn’t happen directly on your property.

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