Nest Thermostat is Offline: 6 Fixes to Try

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One of the most annoying things that can go wrong is when the Nest Thermostat is offline.

Let me know if this sounds familiar. It’s snowing and freezing outside, but luckily you’re inside your house where it’s warm. But suddenly, you start feeling chilly. You get up to see what’s going on and you see that the Nest Thermostat went offline.  

In this article, I’ll cover what to do when your Nest goes down. These fixes will apply to all the models: the base Nest Thermostat, Nest Thermostat E, and the Nest Learning Thermostat.

There are a number of reasons why this might occur, but thankfully, there are 6 fixes to resolve the issue.

Most of these are easy solutions and can be achieved in a couple of minutes. We’ll start with the simplest solutions and get more complex with the fixes as we move on below. 

Nest Thermostat is Offline – Reasons and Fixes

Before you work through the steps, it’s worth looking to see if your router has compatibility issues with the thermostat. Nest has a list of many older routers that are known to have potential conflicts. The list can be found here

Fix 1: Check The Wi-Fi Router For Issues

The first thing to establish is where the problem lies. Check other Wi-Fi devices to ensure that they are connected to your router through Wi-Fi. If they aren’t then the problem lies with the router and not the Nest. 

If this is the case then very often simply re-booting the router may well solve the problem. If it doesn’t then you will have to try some other troubleshooting steps, things you can try to include: – 

  • If you have recently moved the router then it could be that its new position is affecting the Wi-Fi
  • Check there isn’t a Wi-Fi switch on the router that’s been turned off
  • Using an ethernet cable connected to the router, log into the router configuration page and make sure Wi-Fi is enabled
  • Reset the router back to factory default settings and reconfigure Wi-Fi. This will involve knowing things like your internet login details. Every device will more than likely need to be re-connected to the router again unless you use the same wireless network name and password.

If none of the above works, then it is possible that your router will need replacing.

Fix 2: Restart The Nest Thermostat

Restarting the Nest can be done in the Thermostat Settings options itself.

  • Enter the menu by pressing the Nest to bring up the menu.
  • From the quick menu select Settings. 
  • Once in the settings menu, choose the Reset option.
  • From here, select Restart and the Nest will reboot.

If for some reason you can’t access the menu, try these steps:

  • Press and hold the Thermostat display (essentially the button) for 10-seconds until the screen goes blank.
  • Once the screen goes blank, release the button. You should now see a message saying the thermostat is restarting.
  • Only use this method if you can’t access the menu as it can result in data loss!

If this doesn’t resolve your issue then go to the next step.

Fix 3: Update The Mobile App

Sometimes the Nest app can be the problem. Perhaps the thermostat has had a recent update and the app requires updating.

From your phone or tablet go to the Apple or Google Play Store. Depending on your device, go to the app store and check to see if there is a more recent version of the app available.  

Fix 4: Network Signal and Status

Checking the network status on the router is the next step, this will identify if the thermostat has a strong enough signal to communicate with the network.

  • Enter the Settings menu again
  • Select Technical Info 
  • Select Network
  • Check two parameters: the signal strength and the ping.

What the signal strength signifies is obvious and the ping is the time it takes for a signal go from the Nest to the Wi-Fi router, and back again to the Nest. 

The signal strength is measured on a scale of 1 to 100 and anything below 50 is going to result in a poor connection.

For ping, you are looking for a number lower than 1500ms. If you see a message that reads – Client Not Connected, then there is something stopping the thermostat from connecting. 

If the thermostat connection strength is low and your ping is high, then it could be that there is a source of interference between the router and the thermostat, or the router is at the edge of the thermostat’s Wi-Fi range.

Try moving the router to a position where there is a direct line of sight between the two devices. If the problem is resolved, then you may have to reposition your router or the problem could be caused by interference. 

Potential sources of interference include: – 

  • Microwave Ovens
  • Baby Alarms
  • Cordless Phones
  • Bluetooth Devices
  • Wi-Fi Enabled Video Equipment

By a process of elimination, you should be able to identify if there is a culprit. As you switch devices off, refer back to the network settings to see if the signal strength figures have improved.

Fix 5: Reset Nest Network Settings

If you still can’t connect, then the next step is to reset the Network settings on the Thermostat.

  • Start by entering the menu again and select Settings -> Reset. 
  • This time, instead of selecting the restart option, navigate the menu until you find the Network Reset option. 

Once you have selected this, the thermostat will forget all previous network settings and will need to be set up again. To do that, follow the steps you took when you initially installed the thermostat.

Fix 6: Check The Thermostat Battery For Issues

If none of the above worked or you have had issues with any of the steps because of the thermostat not functioning correctly, then it could be that the battery is the problem.

If you have access to the menu (not always possible with battery problems), then select Settings -> Technical Info -> Power. 

In normal circumstances, the battery should be showing 3.8v (Volts) as it should always charge from the power supplied by the HVAC system.

However, if the power is below 3.6v, it will automatically disconnect from the network to conserve power.

I have a full article on how to troubleshoot Nest Thermostat low battery problems, but there are a few simple steps you can try here:

  • Reseat the Thermostat – Remove the Nest from its wall housing base and press it back in until you hear a click. It is also worth cleaning the connection terminals on both the thermostat and the housing at the same time to prevent a connection issue.
  • Manually Charge the Battery – Remove the device from the wall and on the base of the unit, you will find a USB port. Depending on the model, this will be a micro or a mini USB connection. Using an appropriate cable, attach the thermostat to a phone charger head and let it charge for at least an hour. 
  • Check That The Heating System is Turned On – Sounds obvious but the obvious should always be checked. Perhaps a switch was inadvertently flicked off, which would cut power to the thermostat and stop the battery from charging. 

Hopefully, by this point the problem is resolved and you can enjoy your heating system again!

Do check out some other troubleshooting articles.