FAQ: How to Add a New Location Mode, or Manually Change from One Location Mode to Another (Classic App)

That list is the same as the smartlighting list – – it means “when in any of the checked modes.”

Again, as @WB70 mentioned, “night” on that list is the name of a mode. The system can only be in one Mode at a time. It doesn’t mean that the system will know that it’s night as in after sunset – – if you check that box, it’s just going to check to see if the mode value is currently “n i g h t.” So in this context, it is not possible for the system to be in “away” Mode and in “night” Mode at the same time. The system only tracks one mode value at a time.

It is possible for you to be in the “armed away” smart home monitor state and “night” Mode at the same time because smart home monitor armed state and mode are two different things. But the listing in your screenshot is just a list of mode names, and the system only allows for one mode value at a time.

A Mode gets changed whenever you have an automation set up to change it. If you want to, you could have a routine that changes the house to “night” mode at 10 in the morning every Thursday. SmartThings doesn’t care. Modes can be named whatever you want them to be named, and changed whenever you want them to change – – the name itself doesn’t have any special meaning to SmartThings.

In contrast, the smart home monitor armed states at the time of this writing are pre-defined and limited to disarm, armed stay, and armed away. And they do have special meaning as they control whether or not the scout monitoring service will be informed when something happens.

So, in your situation, you yourself might be away from the house after sunset, but as far as your SmartThings system goes, it is not possible to have the mode be both “away” and “night” at the same time. It has to be one or the other, because your system can only have one mode value at a time, and the names of the modes don’t have any special meaning as far as the system goes.

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Thinking all this should be added to FAQ somewhere JD.

In addition to JD’s comments about SHM and Scout, I wanted to add more thing about using the Smart Home Monitor (even though this thread was primarily for Mode)

By leveraging the Smart Home Monitor with Armed (Away) and Armed (Home), you have the ability to automatically monitor (without additional routines needed) specific devices. You can Configure which Open/Closed Sensors are monitored in either Status and you can configure all the cameras that you want to monitor motion on. You have the ability to then configure receiving push notifications, text notifications, sounding an alarm, or turning on lights and also capturing video from the cameras where motion was detected (I believe Arlo is 100% supported - I have Nest so can’t leverage this functionality). This to me gives you so much more added value configuring the Smart Home Monitor to perform these tasks using the Monitoring Status that your Hub is in versus doing it all manually based on a Mode and having to write Routines for all of this and on top of that making sure that you have Routines written that set your Modes appropriately because as JD stated, the Mode is just a value and isn’t automatically changed by the system because for example: it’s dark outside. You have to either write a routine that sets the SHM Status or your Mode to a specific value (whether automatic or a manual routine that fires when pressed), or for the SHM simply pressing one of the 3 Statuses to Arm or Disarm the system. If an intrusion is detected you have the ability from your mobile app to directly view the intrusion and dismiss or take action where appropriate. I understand that you are not new to ST, but if you are setting the Mode to Away (I’m assuming that means nobody is home), then I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to leverage the SHM to put the status of your ST Hub into Armed (Away). I know we all have different scenarios that work and don’t work for us, but I think one of the biggest pluses of ST is the ability to automatically monitor specific devices that capture these alerts based on the Hub Status, not the Mode. Just trying to share my opinion to maybe give a little different insight. Hope it helps.

JD, between the two of us, we now have a book :slight_smile:

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And a good book it is. You guys did some great explaining, and I appreciate your patience.

I do use routines to change the modes. At 10 pm, change mode to Night. At 7 am change mode to Home. When everybody leaves, change mode to Away. I think the key thing for me was mentioned by JD about the list: “When in ANY of the checked modes.”. That’s what I was unsure of. Now I know the cameras will work whether in Away or Night mode. They have routines to make them record motion when in Night or Away mode. I just wasn’t sure they would work if I had more than 1 box checked. As far as I know, that wasn’t mentioned by ST documentation.

And I will have to experiment some more with SHM…

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This has to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen, Why on earth would they make adding a mode so difficult???

As inconvenient as it is and not being able to add a mode from the Mobile app, it is a 1 minute process to logon to your IDE and add a new Mode that you want to use within ST.

Simply login to IDE, go-to Locations, select your location, and then where it shows Modes, press Create New and save it. Thats all there is to it.

Remember, modes are not be confused with the SHM Statuses (Armed Away/ Armed Home / Disarmed).

The Modes simply give you additional control of Automations so that you can run or perform different things based on a combination of the SHM State and the Mode.

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I think the reason is not to confused the average users by giving them easy access for creating mode. Most people get confused with routine, SHM. It’s not completely convenient but not difficult either so I see their point for doing this. I know it took me a while to learn about these stuffs. Possible I am one of those basic users.

It appears that the latest build of the app no longer lets you create or edit your modes. I can see them but I can no longer open them or add new ones.

Login to IDE, goto My Locations, click on your location, and then scroll down to Modes, press (create new) and save it. If you wish to edit a mode, click on the mode and click edit.

Thanks for that. Once I login and edit the mode all it will let me do is
edit it’s name. What am I missing?

Yes, that’s it! what were you looking to do?

Back when I first made my custom modes a year or so ago I seem to recall I
could specify specific devices that were part of those modes. In the IDE I
don’t see any configuration options other than renaming it.

That’s been true for about a year and a half. See the first sentence of the first post in this thread:

on September 15, 2016, an update was released to the android and iOS SmartThings mobile apps which removed the ability to add a new mode through the app. Hopefully this was just a glitch and it will be re-added soon. Meanwhile, you can still add a new mode through the IDE. Instructions in the following thread.

iOS 2.2.0 - Release Notes - #29 by JDRoberts

Follow that link, and it will tell you how to add a new mode through the IDE.

But it’s never been specific to individual devices, just locations ( Hub). You can add a new one or delete an existing one or rename an existing one. But once you’ve given it a name, that’s all there is to it, there are no additional parameters.

If you are using smart home monitor, that does let you assign specific devices to specific armed states, but there’s never been anything similar for modes.

I had hoped that it wasn’t still the case. Thanks for confirming. I have
been able to get the same functionality in the IDE so far.

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The documentation, How do Modes work in SmartThings Classic, is circular at best. Nowhere does it define the functional differences between Modes, nor does this thread help clear anything up.

The link I just mentioned, as well as this thread, are at the top of Safari Google hits at this time. Where the heck is the meat of this matter and why isn’t it easy to find?

The first thing to know is that there are two completely different kinds of modes and they work very differently from each other. One kind is for your home automation rules and the other kind is for your security rules.

We had the ones for home automation first, so a lot of the documentation doesn’t even discuss the ones for security. That was true for this FAQ at the time that it was written.

Location modes are used for home automation rules

Location Modes are definitely confusing. And weird. But useful.

The first thing to know is that there is no functional difference between them. They are just arbitrary values that you yourself define. You could call them grape, banana, and orange, and they would work the same way.

They don’t have any real meaning until you start using them in automations.

The easiest way to explain them is through examples. The following examples are all from the classic app, not the new app, but they should give you the concept.

Security modes represent the armed state for smart home monitor

If you are asking about the “security modes” that are used with smart home monitor then those have a very different structure. They are pre-defined as away, armed stay, and home. You can’t add more and you can’t change how they are used.

The easiest way to understand those is the following thread (the topic title is a clickable link). You will have already read the routines FAQ that it links to, so you don’t have to go around that particular circle again. But it will discuss how the security modes are used and how they differ with the ADT hub model.

I’m sorry if all of this seems like a long way around, it is, and it has to do with the fact that the system has grown over time and then they gave some new features the same name as some old features. :scream:

(If somebody wants to write a new modes FAQ for the new app, that would be very welcome. I can’t do it because the new app is not voice accessible.


Thanks, JD. I started out with the modern ST app and that’s caused more confusion than if I had gone through the classic, first.

So, we have Scenes, Modes, Routines and Automations. I’ve already run into scenarios where Routines and Automations step on each other’s toes, so Routines need to go. I’m assuming this is the intent with the new ability to associate a Mode with a Scene, or is this the SHM modes being associated with Scenes? Oh well, Millennials killed documentation – we’ve known that for a long time… Test it till we guess it, I suppose.

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Scenes in the classic app were pretty much your standard home automation lighting scenes. Scenes in the new app are more like routines in the classic app.

Remember with modes in either app that there are two kinds: location modes and security modes. They have very different characteristics.

Pretty sure you have to do it in the IDE. But isn’t that also true for the classic app at this point? See the very first post in this thread.


You can only edit locations in the new app at this point > main screen > more (three dots in upper right of screen) and touch Manage Home. As @JDRoberts pointed out, you need to go to IDE to create new locations