FAQ: Disarming SHM when Hub is offline? (A: You Can't)

My SmartThings Hub went offline this evening. The hub must have been working because as soon as I opened the door, the alarm siren went off. The problem is that both my wife and I had arrived with our SmartThings Presence Sensors. For whatever reason the system failed to disarm based on those.

With the hub offline from the internet, I couldn’t disarm from my phone. So, I had to go into the house with the siren blaring and remove the battery and unplug it to at least be able to re-enter the house.

I am looking for options for a foolproof way to disarm the system in this situation.

I would love to use a Centralite keypad but I’m guessing that won’t work offline and doesn’t use local processing.
Ideas I can think of include a push button remote to disarm (I presume these can work without the cloud) which I’d just hide somewhere in the garage.
Another thought is if I could get some kind of input into the system I could just wire a key switch up to that and use it to disarm.

Open to ideas!

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Unfortunately, there is no way to disarm (or arm) smart home monitor unless you have access to the cloud. If the cloud is not available, if the Internet is off, or if the hub is not working, you just have to go to the siren and take it off power manually. :disappointed_relieved:

You can check with support to verify this. If they give you a different answer, let us know.


REALLY??? Wow. That’s beyond terrible. I’ve had so many false alarms due to the presence sensors not being detected its not even funny.

I’ve emailed SmartThings support to inquire about this.

I suspect in the long run I’m going to move away from using my SmartThings system as an alarm and just install a parallel traditional alarm system. I wish I could re-use these overpriced SmartThings open/closed sensor for that, but I suspect that is not possible.

I still like having the ability to monitor the status of things remotely. I had REALLY hoped I could do that AND have basic alarm functionality.

The official word from SmartThings is that you can’t disarm when the internet is not available​, the power fails or the hub otherwise goes offline.

They say they’re working on it, but who knows when that’ll be fixed.

I’m pretty bummed. I had really wanted to use SmartThings as a home automation and alarm system in one. I’ve got loads of great automations to let me know if I leave a door ajar, etc. However as an alarm system it’s severely lacking. The geofencing is flakey and with no entry delay you above no way to avoid being blasted by a siren.

Abode seems like a great system but I don’t want to rebuy all these sensors.

I think I’m just going to bite the bullet and get a proper alarm system. They may be ancient technology but they work.


There are many of us who use a completely separate system for security. Myself included. My base requirements are that the security system work when power and Internet are not available, that it communicate by cellular, and that it allow me to refuse an update until a time which is convenient to me. SmartThings doesn’t meet any of those requirements.

I do like SmartThings for some convenience notifications, like letting me know if the guestroom window is left open when rain is expected. I just don’t use it for an all in one system. :sunglasses:

Regarding abode, @SBDOBRESCU might be able to tell you which sensors that you already have that you could also use with it. It’s certainly an interesting system. again, not all in one, though, because they put restrictions on the number of home automation rules you can have, they’re really a security system with a little bit of home automation. :sunglasses:

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I hope it’s OK, I changed the title of this thread since this is indeed an FAQ and you got confirmation from support for the answer. :disappointed_relieved:

But wouldn’t that mean this, implicitly. :smile:

Just saying. …

@JDRoberts thanks fir the tag. Abide rocks and gets better each month. Solid system, hands down. And if you have Nest products, is the best integration on the market. If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask. As for disarming, if you do it from your local network, you don’t need internet. If you do it from the cloud while internet is down, they offer mobile network back up, for $10 per month.

The lack of delay when opening a door has prevented me from using the SmartHome Monitor in “Stay” mode. I’d love to use it, but I know letting the dog out at night I’m going to set off the sired and wake the house up which I don’t like.

Yeah, the literature on the SmartThings website doesn’t really highlight the limitations of using SmartThings as an alarm. Too bad, as there really aren’t a huge number of things that would be needed to make it work great.

I guess maybe I’m missing something, but I always kind of figured you could not arm/disarm without internet…hey it is wireless, and it is server based. My only thought would be that since the “Z” protocols still would work maybe they could eventually put an override button to force disarm, but then that wouldn’t be good for a security system.

Like John Fox, (ex coach for the Carolina Panthers), said…“it is what it is”…and what it is, is a nice “basic” security system that you can set up for less than $500.00, with no monthly fee required…such a deal!

Again, I think I must be in the minority, but I’ve been using SmartThngs/SHM for over 6 months and think it’s great for my needs and expectations.

My $.02. (hope I didn’t jinx myself)


The SmartThings zigbee sensors don’t work with Abode. If they did, I’d definitely give Abode a shot (it does seem to do what I’m looking for in an alarm system, including supporting keypads, entry/exit delay, etc).

However, spending another $560 to re-purchase all the sensors and the starter hub/kit is a tough pill to swallow.

Alarm providers using old fashioned tech bundle the system price into the monitoring cost.

Honestly, I didn’t expect so much of SmartThings to depend on the cloud. There’s no reason 99% of the automation stuff we use couldn’t just run locally on the hub. Adding the cloud into the mix really doesn’t add a lot of value. Something as simple and critical as the alarm part should run entirely local.


Sure, but you sign a long term commitment and you end up paying a lot more for the sensors. You could skip the contract altogether and monitor your home by yourself and just hire Abode to watch your home when you are out of town, that’s what I do.

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There is a reason, ST just hasn’t really made it entirely clear. People have debated why on this forum before.

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For discussion of the details of local processing in SmartThings, see the following thread

Here is an interesting review of comparable DIY alarm systems…

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All things considered when I look at the cost of Abode vs a traditional monitored system from the likes of ADT, Abode ends up coming in cheaper or on par since the cell monitoring for Abode is so much cheaper. I guess the starter kit is a reasonable way to see how things work. I can always expand with more sensors down the road.

Oh, and my SmartThings really quirked last night. The Presence sensors both flaked and thought I left and then the hub flaked out and lost contact to the cloud. Glad I didn’t get up to go to the restroom, or I would surely had peed on the floor.

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Hurry up and pull the trigger, they are running a 25% promo that will end soon :slight_smile:

Trigger has been pulled.

Between my WIFI router, Smarthings Hub and now the Above, the wall where I mount these things is running out of space.

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