How to Connect Nest Thermostat to Wi-Fi and Troubleshooting

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Google Nest smart home thermostats are great, but like other smart devices, they need Wi-Fi to fully function. I’ll walk through How to Connect Nest Thermostat to Wi-Fi Setup Steps, as well as a number of fixes if you run into issues and errors with Wi-Fi connections.

These steps are relevant for all the current models out there: Google Nest Thermostat, Nest Thermostat E, and Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation.

For more on Nest thermostats, check out this article: ecobee vs. Nest.

How to Connect Nest Thermostat to Wi-Fi

This is a painless step that will take less than a minute to accomplish. Follow the steps below and you’ve successfully connected your Nest Thermostat to your Wi-Fi Network.

  1. Press the Thermostat to bring up the menu.
  2. Using the outer ring, navigate to the Settings option and press the Thermostat to select it.
  3. Navigate to Network and select it.
  4. After a few seconds you should see a list of the available networks, select the correct one.
    1. If you have a hidden WiFi network, I’ll cover that next
  5. You will now be prompted to enter your Wi-Fi password, use the outer ring to select and enter your password.
  6. Select Done, after a few seconds the thermostat should be connected.

If the connection is unsuccessful, there is a handy troubleshooting guide with fixes later in the article.

One thing you can do now is to also check to see if your router is compatible with the Nest thermostat hardware. Most modern routers will be, but if you have an older model, there might be an issue. 

Use the Nest Router Compatibility checker.

Connect Nest Thermostat to Hidden Wi-Fi

If your Wi-Fi Network is hidden, have your Wi-Fi information handy before you start the setup: Network Name (SSID), Security Type and Password.

If you are not sure about all of them, like the security type, then use a browser on a connected device to enter the Router Settings pages and find the details. Each router brand and model have specific instructions on how to do this, so check the detailed router settings in the router’s manual for help with this step.

Once you have the information, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Thermostat display to bring up the menu.
  2. Using the ring and navigate to Settings. Press the Thermostat to select it.
  3. Navigate to and select Network.
  4. When selecting your network, select the option Other Wi-Fi Network.
  5. Enter your network name and password. If asked, add the Security Type. 
  6. Select Done. After a few seconds, the thermostat setup is done and you should be connected to your Hidden Wi-Fi Network

Add Nest Thermostat to the Nest App

If you are setting up the thermostat for the first time, you may want to add it to the Nest App after you have connected it to Wi-Fi. Below is a walkthrough that details the necessary steps.

  1. Enter the Quick View Menu by pressing the thermostat ring.
  2. Use the ring to navigate to Nest App and select it.
  3. Choose Get Entry Key and note the key that is provided.
  4. Open the Nest App and select Settings.
  5. Choose Add Product, then Continue Without Scanning. Then choose the model of your thermostat
  6. Type in the entry key you were provided with.

“Failed to Connect” Troubleshooting and Fixes

Hopefully by now you are connected to your Wi-Fi network and able to access your Wi-Fi through the Nest App.

If your thermostat is having issues connecting to your network, try the troubleshooting instructions and solutions below.

Fix 1 – Router and Thermostat Incompatible Settings

Check that your Wi-Fi router is on and working correctly. Always start with the obvious, it’s surprising how many times the solution is very simple. 

Make sure other devices can make a Wi-Fi connection to the router. If not, check whether the router has been turned off or disabled. Some routers have a Wi-Fi switch, for others you may have to enter the configuration pages. 

If your Wi-Fi is functioning as expected, then the next thing to check is whether the thermostat can see the Wi-Fi Network. If your thermostat doesn’t show the network in its list of available networks, it could mean that it is out of range or there is interference between the devices. 

Try moving the router closer to the thermostat, preferably so it is within a direct line of sight and check whether the situation is resolved. If it is, then moving the router solved the problem. Or if you’re sure they should be within range you can test to see if there is interference with the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands causing the issue.

Sources of potential interference include:

  • Wireless Phones
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Bluetooth Devices
  • Baby Monitors

Fix 2 – Battery Issues

Check the thermostat’s battery level. This mostly applies to new installs and may actually be a sign of a power issue affecting your installation. Depending on your model the thermostats use a lithium-ion battery which acts as a power back-up.

If everything is working as it should, then the battery should always hold a full charge. If the charge falls below 3.6v, then the thermostat conserves power by switching the Wi-Fi off. 

If the thermostat is brand new, then it may just be in the process of charging the battery for the first time, which usually takes less than an hour. You can speed this process up by removing the thermostat from its wall housing and charge it manually.

Depending on the model use either a Micro or Mini USB cable to charge the battery with a phone charger head. If the problem persists I have an article dedicated to troubleshooting low battery issues on Nest Thermostats elsewhere on the site. 

Fix 3 – Network Signal Status and Strength

If your Thermostat can see your Wi-Fi Network and has trouble connecting or the connection is intermittent then, check the network status by following the instructions below: – 

  1. Press the Thermostat to enter the menu and navigate to Settings
  2. Select the Technical Info option then select Network

There are two parameters that are of particular interest, these are Signal Strength and Ping.

For a connection to be strong enough, the signal strength should be above 50 and the ping should be below 1500ms. If the results lie outside these ranges, then the signal isn’t strong enough between the two devices. That’s akin to having network signal interference.

You may have to move your router around or test for sources of interference by using a process of elimination.

Fix 4 – Reset Network Settings on the Thermostat

If you have an existing installation that has suddenly stopped working or you changed the WiFi password and are having trouble changing it on the thermostat, then resetting the Network Settings on the thermostat may help. 

  1. Enter the Settings menu and select the Reset option.
  2. Select Reset Network this will force the thermostat to forget all network settings.
  3. Using the Connect to Wi-Fi steps in the beginning of this article to try connecting to your router again. 

This step can also be applied if you purchased a new router and want to connect your thermostat to it. Resetting your Nest thermostat only forgets the old Wi-Fi router. Setting up a new Wi-Fi connection is painless, so don’t be afraid to reset it.

Other Nest troubleshooting articles:

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Written by:

Greg Randall
Greg Randall is deeply immersed in Smart Home Technology, with years of experience in home automation, from smart displays to TVs. He enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with like-minded enthusiasts. Beyond smart homes, Greg loves snowboarding and exploring new culinary scenes with friends, bringing a zest for adventure and fine dining to his tech-savvy lifestyle.