Account Sharing Update

As most of you know, with the release of the 2.0.5 version of the SmartThings Mobile app for Android, we have rolled out location sharing to Android and iOS users. We appreciate all your patience while we got this ready and want to share a quick note about the update as well as provide some of the nuance that come with the current iteration of location sharing.

With the old integration sharing happened at the account level, but in this new iteration sharing is of the individual locations. This is where caveat number one comes in, if you initiate sharing with someone you will share ALL the current locations you have access to. This includes all devices, SmartApps, modules, etc., and all of these can be edited/deleted by the sharee. In the future we plan to add more granular permissions so you can control what the sharee can see, and do, once you share locations with them.

Additionally, here are some other intricacies that come with sharing your locations with someone.

  • Any locations shared with YOU by someone else will NOT be shared with someone with whom you share.
  • i.e. User A can give you access to location A, to which they are the admin owner. You are the admin owner of location B. If you share with user C, they are just given access to location B, not locations A and B.
- If you add a new location in the future after initially sharing with someone, that location will not be shared with anyone you've shared with in the past unless you re-share with them. - If sharing is removed but the sharee is still logged in, they may still be able to see devices or rooms etc. but they will not get any updates from cloud and will not be able actuate anything or make any edits etc. - If your phone has 4 buttons on the bottom of it, you won't have a 3 dot button in the app, it will be re-assigned to one of the physical buttons on the bottom of the phone

There are also some known issues we are planning to resolve to make the experience better:

  • Windows Phone does not have this feature yet but should be included in an upcoming release.
  • Improve the messaging when sharing an account so it is clear how it works.
  • Share recipients cannot remove shared locations themselves.
  • Android missing confirmation message when new user creates mobile presence.
  • New user is only prompted to add mobile presence to one location even if multiple are shared.

So it’s here and location sharing is out! Please don’t hesitate to bring any other weirdness you see to our attention (wether in this thread or via contacting support) so we can let our development team know. We know this has been a long time coming and thank you very much for being patient with us while we got this sorted out.

You can check out videos and more info about this feature on the blog or in the support knowledgebase.


So that I understand this correctly, is this what sharing can do? I have a hub at my house (Location A). And I want to set up a second hub at another location (Location B). I want to give access to others using only location B. Is this what you are saying is possible? They won’t be able to see anything or control anything at Location A?

So this would give me control over both locations as well as using my phone as a presence sensor at both locations, but the folks that only have access to Location B won’t be able to do anything at Location A nor will they be able to see anything correct?

In this setup, at the current time, you could accomplish this only by setting up Location B first, inviting the new user, and then setting up Location A. We are working to enhance these features for more granular control. (and yes, you would have control over both locations)

Bummer, I was hoping that I could repurpose my old hub at a different location. I’m not about to wipe everything I have set up at my main location to be able to do this. Seems like this is pretty backwards.


OK, would it be possible to set up Location B with at different email account and then add my real account to my current set up? Then my phone would work at both venues and I would just have to log into the other account just to add other users to Location B?

Yeah, that sounds right.

where do I find sharing in the app? thanks!

Menu>My Account>Account Sharing

Awesome, thanks @Ben! Are you allowed to/is it safe to share the details of the challenges you faced that caused the feature to be removed initially?

Also, not sure if anyone else experienced this but I setup the hub which created a ‘presence sensor’ for my Android phone automatically, while we waited for the update I logged into the app on my GF phone which also created another presence sensor for her iPhone automatically and everything worked perfectly.

Once the additional user feature was back I sent an ‘invite’ to my GFs email which she used to setup an account and log in. No new presence sensor was created for her again but the existing one that was initially created for her phone never changed status, it always showed present even if she was very legitimately away.

In the end she deleted her presence sensor and than added it again for her phone and it’s now back to working perfectly again!

It has to do with our global changes. Having two environments made this kind of tough. I’m sure there are a few other reasons but that was the main one.

1 Like

[quote=“slagle, post:10, topic:28653, full:true”]It has to do with our global changes. Having two environments made this kind of tough. I’m sure there are a few other reasons but that was the main one.

Allowed to get into the technical nitty gritty? It’s probably over my head but it makes for a fascinating read :smile:

1 Like

@Benji I started HA with ST Hub v2. I had my wife’s phone initally set up with my user. When the update allowed her to create her own account, I too had to delete the 1st instance of her phone from ST. As I noted in the other User thread, my phone’s presence was wonky the next morning, but that was fixed by shutting off the phone for 5 minutes.

1 Like

Maybe it’s just me, but I have absolutely no clue what the intended function of add a user is supposed to be, and what parts of that intention have either been implemented or not.

Can somebody give some use case examples? Why would the second user be administrator of a location the first user isn’t?

Here are the typical cases i’ve seen in some other systems. Not all systems offer all options. But I’m just unclear what option SmartThings intends to offer.

  1. equal users. Each user has full access to everything, including adding devices and inviting other users. One location. Typical household: two spouses.

  2. landlord/tenant. one master account can set everything up, add users, all devices. Tenant account is added for one location. Can do anything for that one location including add devices, delete devices, add routines, invite other users. The idea here is that you add control of the location for the tenant for the period of occupancy.

  3. master/secondaries. One master account can set everything up, add users, add devices. Secondary user can control devices through the app, but cannot add or delete devices. Cannot invite other users. Can see all devices. Cannot set up routines. In the security industry the secondaries are sometimes referred to as “guest account” even if they are other family members. The idea is they can’t change any of the set up, they can just use it

  4. “parent/child” (also called “master/limited access secondary”) one master account can set everything up, and users, add devices. Child account can control a limited set of devices through the app, but can’t do anything else. Specifically cannot disable motion sensors, cameras, alarms, etc. Pretty much just let them turn lights and music on and off. Typical for a parent with teens.

The only thing that’s different between three and four is that three can see all of the devices, and four can’t even see that some devices are there. In a lot of rental situations, you’re not allowed to have surveillance equipment the tenant is not advised of. So that’s what three is for. They know the cameras are there and they know motion sensors are there, but they can’t turn them off. Four is more for a family situation (or in some states for a nanny cam) where You don’t even want the person to know that some devices exist.

Some systems allow you to have multiple master accounts for any of these four, for example both parents would have full master access while the teenagers would not. Some only allow for one master account per location.

Anyway, which of these (or a fifth), is SmartThings trying to deliver through add a user?


Our goal is to allow you to decide at a granular level each user’s access level. You decide :smile:

OK, that’s the end goal. What’s the current reality?

Which of the four use cases can be implemented with what’s now in production?

Inquiring minds and all that… :sunglasses:

1 Like

So would you suggest using this functionality to solve the problem of having multiple locations but only one being allowed 3rd party OAUTH integrations (IFTTT, Echo, etc…) as discussed here Echo and Multiple SmartThings Locations (Hubs)?

Aka should I ask support to spin off one of my locations into another account and then cross share access to each location? Or is this issue likely to be resolved without needing a one location/account workaround? If so I’d like to be patient and keep my single account. However if its not coming I’ll go ahead and use this as a workaround. Thanks!

1 Like

Current reality as I understand it is #1, but for all locations (I.e. All hubs in the account).

@slagle how will ST handle scenarios such as @JDRoberts provided above?

I would like to see ST implement User ROLES to handle permissions, which provides a flexible method for control for both ST and Users.

Example Roles:
Admin - full capabilities
Parent - no ability to add/delete things/routines, but able to EDIT everything
Child - only able to edit selected things/routines
Guest - only able to VIEW selected things/routines



The reality is the information we provided already is all we can provide at the moment. When we know more detail about how granular controls will work we will let you know. We just wanted to let you see a little bit into the future of this feature.

Understand that permissioning is not yet possible but I think all Jdroberts wants is an example of what location sharing does for an owner based on the release. Is there some cases to simplify this to people.

I can’t find any definition of the term “admin user” which is used in the new FAQ on account sharing. It doesn’t seem to appear anywhere else in the official support database.

The definition of that might help clear up some of the confusion.

Because I’m still trying to figure out a use case where user B is the admin of a location that user A doesn’t have access to when user A sends an invite to user B as in the official support FAQ example.