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Enhancing your Wi-Fi signal frequently resolves issues concerning Nest thermostat connections. This enhancement can be achieved by setting up a mesh network or utilizing Wi-Fi boosters.

However, there are other tweaks you can make to improve that signal strength.

So in this guide, I’ll show you how to carry these out and get your Nest thermostat back online.

Fix a Nest Thermostat that’s Offline

If your Nest thermostat suddenly goes offline, it may be due to a disrupted Wi-Fi connection.

Whenever this happens you might have to:

  1. Check if the thermostat is powered on
  2. Check for any alerts or messages on the Nest app or thermostat display
  3. Fix the thermostat and get it reconnected to your Wi-Fi network.
  4. Resolve any issues within the app or smart device
  5. Make sure the Wi-Fi router is operating smoothly

In the steps below, I’ll elaborate further on these.

1. Check the Power to the Thermostat

An offline status can be easily identified either through the Nest application on your smartphone or directly from the thermostat's display. 

So as soon as the thermostat loses its connection, you’ll be greeted by a notification from the app or an alert on the thermostat’s display.

Whenever this happens, the first thing you should do is to see if the Nest thermostat has power.

  1. Try waking up the screen on the thermostat. Press the ring button or turn the dial and see if it lights up.
  2. If not, check for any blinking light indicators
  3. If the screen is entirely blank, try recharging or replacing the batteries on your device.
  4. However, if your thermostat is operating as usual, and you can control the temperature, check the battery levels and see if it needs recharging.

Check the Battery Status on Your Nest Thermostat

When the battery voltage is low, either due to a low charge or an internal defect, the Nest thermostat will enter into a power-saving mode and disconnect from the Wi-Fi.

So before anything else, it’s a good idea to check the battery voltage on your thermostat. 

Check Battery Levels on a Nest Thermostat

Settings applicable for the latest 2020 model

Nest thermsotat 2020 models 1

Usually, the latest Nest thermostat will put up an alert whenever the battery is low. However in case you missed it, you can check the battery level through the settings. Here’s how:

  1. Simply open the quick-view Menu by pressing the ring button.
  2. Then, scroll to “Settings” and press the ring button to select it.
  3. After that, navigate and enter the option titled “Battery.”
  4. Here, you can get an indication of the current battery levels. 
  5. If it’s too low, the status will read “Very Low.”
  6. In that case, it’s best to replace the batteries. Pull the thermostat from the display and replace the batteries with a fresh couple of Alkaline AAAs. 
  7. Wait for the device to restart and recheck the battery levels by following steps 1-4 above.

Check Battery Voltage on a Nest E or Learning Thermostat

Instructions on how to access the power information

Nest E and Learning 1
  1. Open up the quick view menu and head over to settings.
  2. After that, navigate to ‘Technical Info' and select the option labeled: ‘Power'.
  3. Check the voltage level under “Battery.”
  4. If it’s lower than 3.6V, the batteries are low and need to be recharged.
  5. To recharge the battery, pull the thermostat from the wall plate
  6. After that, recharge the thermostat via the micro or mini-USB connector at the back of the display.
  7. Simply plug in a compatible cable and use a charging brick to recharge the thermostat overnight or for a couple of hours.
  8. After that, reinstall the thermostat and see if the power issue is resolved.

2. Check The Nest App or Thermostat for Any Alerts or Error Codes

Usually, your thermostat or mobile apps will let you know if the thermostat has disconnected from your device. Along with this notification, they’ll also provide instructions or error codes that will help you diagnose the issue further. 

Some of the most common messages and error codes in this situation are:

  • “Install power wire”: Recommends you set up a C-wire in your thermostat for better power stability.
  • E298, E73, E74, or E196 Error Codes: Implies your thermostat is not getting stable power, check battery levels and set up a C-wire if necessary.
  • W5 Error Code: Notifies that the Nest thermostat is disconnected from the Wi-Fi.

If you've lost the thermostat's connection with the Nest or Google Home apps, make sure to check out this article.

3. Force-Close or Update the App to the Latest Version

Older app versions may lack the necessary updates and features that help your thermostat connect to Wi-Fi.

If an update is available, make sure to do so, since it can fix existing bugs and compatibility issues that could be blocking the connection.

Beyond that, you can also try force-closing the app and trying again.

App
Although rare, your mobile apps and smart device could also be blocking the connection

4. Restart Your Smart Device Or Try Logging in With a Different Device

Your smartphone, tablet, or iPad can also be buggy or run into issues with maintaining a stable Wi-Fi connection. Apart from that, it might also be running VPNs or security protocols that limit your internet access. 

As such, it’s a good idea to restart your device or try logging in to your thermostat via a different smart device.

5. Use a Mobile Hotspot

The best way to eliminate your home’s Wi-Fi router as the culprit is to connect your thermostat to a mobile hotspot on your smart device. 

However, when carrying this out, you might have to Wi-Fi reset your Nest thermostat or reconnect the device to the Nest app. 

Also, make sure your hotpot is closer to your thermostat and it has sufficient cellular data. 

Hotspot
Connecting your thermostat to a mobile hotspot is the best way to figure out if the Wi-Fi network is at fault

6. Restart your Nest thermostat

Usually, your Nest thermostat should automatically reconnect when you restart the Wi-Fi network. However, if it doesn’t, you might have to restart the thermostat as well. 

  1. Wake up the thermostat and open up the quick-view menu
  2. Head over to “Settings” and select “Restart”
  3. Provide any confirmations and let the device shut down
  4. Wait a couple of minutes until it reboots
  5. After that, check if the device has connected to the Wi-Fi network by remotely controlling the thermostat via the Nest or Google Home apps.

7. Reset The Wi-Fi Settings on Your Thermostat

If all the above steps failed, clearing all previous network settings and resetting your thermostat's Wi-Fi connection, might help fix the issue.

To reset the Wi-Fi settings, simply head over to “Settings” → “Reset” and select the “Network” option. 

Provide the necessary inputs to confirm your settings and wait until the device resets the connection. (Usually followed by a quick restart).

After the thermostat has restarted, open the Nest or Google Home apps and reconnect your Nest thermostat with the Wi-Fi network. 

For a detailed step-by-step, don’t forget to check out our definitive article on resetting a Nest thermostat.

8. Check for Internet Access on Your Home’s Wi-Fi

So if you figure out that your Nest thermostat connects to your mobile hotspot and operates without any connectivity issues, you can tell that the problem lies in your Wi-Fi network. 

Therefore, this could be due to:

  • Frozen or defective Wi-Fi router
  • Signal strength issues
  • Incompatible Wi-Fi settings or 
  • Lack of internet access. 

So in the steps below, let’s try to resolve these issues.

9. Restart Your Home’s Wi-Fi Router

A router restart can act as a reset button for your internet connectivity. Therefore, it's a good idea to power cycle your Wi-Fi routers, extenders, or repeaters, if you have any.

  1. Simply disconnect the power cords from your modem and your router.
  2. When they're switched off, all lights should go dark.
  3. Then, wait for half a minute and replug your router and any other Wi-Fi equipment.
  4. Give them about 60 seconds or more to boot up and establish the Wi-Fi network.
  5. Then, try to log in to your Wi-Fi network through your smartphone or a smart device
  6. If possible, try logging in while you’re closer to the Nest thermostat as it will help you troubleshoot any signal strength issues as well.
  7. If you can’t connect, check the router for any warning signs or red indicator lights
  8. If you were able to connect, check internet access using a quick speed test and confirm your Wi-Fi has access to the internet.
  9. If you can’t connect to the internet, contact your ISP for assistance.

Also, if your Wi-Fi router shows any signs of damage or doesn’t put out a Wi-Fi signal, it’s best to check the manual and get help from a professional.

Best Router for Smart Home
Because of ISPs making changes to the network, you might have to restart the Wi-Fi router

10. Check For Signal Issues Within Your Thermostat

Whenever you find the Nest thermostat reconnecting and disconnecting intermittently, it’s almost always an issue with low signal strength and signal traffic/obstructions. 

So in that case, you can try to eliminate whatever is hijacking or blocking the signal and also check the Wi-Fi strength on the thermostat. 

Check Wi-Fi Connection Strength on the Thermostat

To check the signal strength on your Nest thermostat (2020 model):

  1. Head over to “Settings” on your Nest thermostat
  2. After that, select the “Network” option
  3. Check the values under the “Wi-Fi” label.
  4. These values will let you know if the Wi-Fi is disconnected or how strong the signal is.
  5. Usually, a signal strength that’s lower than 36 implies the connection is weak and needs improvement

For the Nest Thermostat E or Learning Models:

  1. Head over to “Settings”
  2. Then, navigate to the “Technical Info” Menu
  3. After that, tap on “Network”
  4. Check the signal strength to get a better idea of your network’s connection
  5. If it doesn’t show a ping or signal strength value, return to the “Technical Info” menu.
  6. Then head over to “Nest Weave” and check for any status indicators

If the Nest weave information says “Connected – Remote control unavailable” the Nest service is down or pending maintenance. In that case, check the status of the Nest service via a quick Google search or wait a couple of hours and try reconnecting.

On the other hand, if the Nest Weave status is displayed as “Not Connected” your thermostat is disconnected from the Wi-Fi network. 

11. Remove Unnecessary Smart Devices or Wireless Gadgets

Gadgets operating on a 2.4 GHz frequency, such as cordless phones, baby monitors, microwaves, Bluetooth devices, smart security cameras, and the like, can disrupt your thermostat signal.

So if the thermostat ping stays above 1000 or if the signal strength drops below 36, try switching off these optional devices.

Beyond that, you can also try disconnecting (and forgetting the network settings) on most of your unnecessary smart devices. This helps you reduce the traffic to your Wi-Fi router and make sure you don’t exceed the maximum device limit. 

After that, check the ping and signal strength again and look for any improvements.

20 of the Best Z-Wave Devices for Your Smart Home!
Too many smart devices in a tight space can create network traffic

12. Reposition Your Wi-Fi Router

When it comes to signal strength issues, your router's location can make all the difference.

So if possible, try moving your thermostat, several inches, to a different room, floor, or anywhere that’s closer to your Nest thermostat.

When doing so, don’t forget that other electronics like televisions or soundbars can interfere if they're too close to your router. So keeping it separated with enough open space, will allow it to propagate the Wi-Fi signal without too much interference.

13. Make Sure the Wi-Fi Settings Are Compatible

On the other hand, if your Nest Thermostat refuses to link up with the Wi-Fi, it's often due to incompatible Wi-Fi settings or overly strict security measures.

Firewalls or strict parental controls may block your Nest thermostat. Temporarily disable these settings and try again.

In some cases, you can re-enable these settings after the initial Wi-Fi setup with your Nest thermostat. If you don’t know how to disable these, you can check your router’s settings.

Beyond that, you can also make sure the Wi-Fi network follows these protocols and configurations:

  • Turn on 802.11 b/g/n (For 802.11 ac routers)
  • Router's DHCP lease time is set to at least two hours.
  • Router’s Power Save Mode (PSM) is turned on.
  • The router runs on the 2.4GHz band with band steering disabled

Final Step: Get Help from a Professional

However, if any of the above steps won’t get your thermostat reconnected with the network, you will have to get help from a professional and control it manually in the meantime. 

A professional will be able to diagnose the issue more accurately and even figure out if the thermostat or Wi-Fi router is defective and in dire need of repairs or replacement. 

Nest Thermostat 8
You can always manually control the thermostat until you resolve the network issue

Conclusion

Troubleshooting a Nest thermostat that shows up as “offline” can become very tedious. 

However, always remember that the issue revolves around three fundamental components: your Nest thermostat, Wi-Fi router, and in some cases: your smart device. 

So make sure you go through each of these when resolving the issue and make sure to switch networks and smart devices so you can easily rule out which components are acting funny.

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