FAQ: How to remove ghost devices from your z-wave network

Sometimes after doing a Z-Wave repair you’ll notice error messages on your logs from unknown devices which only have a device id or when you’re looking at the device routing table you’ll notice an Unknown Device listed. These are ghost device, i.e. devices that are no longer paired with the hub and not recognized but still remain in the network routing tables.

The problem with ghost devices is that they can create issues with the mesh, unresponsive devices, slow communication, delays and other issues.

How to check the Z-Wave routing table for a device

To do this, open the IDE -> click on My Devices -> Click on your Z-Wave device . Scroll down and look for Route.

A healthy network route should look something like this:

  • This Device ↔ Hub
  • This Device (5C) ↔ TV Audio System (D8) ↔ Water Valve (D7) ↔ Hub

An unhealthy network with ghost devices will look something like this:

  • This Device (5C) ↔ Unknown Device (40) ↔ Bathroom Light (A0) ↔ Hub
  • This Device (5C) ↔ Unknown Device (BA) ↔ Unknown Device (F2) ↔ Tree Lights (A7) ↔ Hub

These Unknown Device are ghost device. You will need to make a note of each of their ID’s (in brackets) as you will need these to get rid of these ghost devices from your Z-Wave network routing tables.

How to remove a ghost device from your Z-Wave network

To remove a z-wave ghost device, follow these steps for each “ghost” device:

  1. Log into your IDE
  2. Click on My Devices
  3. Click on + New Device
  4. Under Name type in some random name (e.g. Ghost Device 1)
  5. In Device Network Id enter the ghost device id you had located earlier
  6. Select Z-Wave Device for Type
  7. Select the Location where you found the ghost device
  8. Select the Hub in that location where the ghost device is present
  9. Click on Create
  10. Open the ST Classic mobile app (this will not work with the new app yet)
  11. Under My Home -> Things , locate the new device you just created
  12. Open the device, click on the Gear icon on the top right corner
  13. Click on Remove at the bottom of the page, then tap on Remove Anyways when it prompts you
  14. After the device has been successfully deleted, now run a Z-Wave Repair
    NOTE: If you have multiple ghost devices, it’s better to delete all the ghost devices first and then run a Z-Wave repair at the end to update all the tables since Z-Wave repairs can take from 5 to 30 minutes.

You will need to repeat this for each ghost device you have. After running a Z-Wave repair, you can verify the network route for the affected devices using the process above to ensure that ghost devices have been removed.

1 Like

I can’t get this to work. When I click REMOVE I get a spinning circle and “Exclusion Mode Active”
Then I get “Having difficulty? You may Force Remove this Z-wave Device”.
I click FORCE REMOVE and back to a spinning circle and “Attempting to forcefully remove this device”.

Keeps looping thru same steps. I created the device exactly following your instructions.
Rebooted the hub made no difference…

Any help would be appreciated.

Are you using the Classic app to remove?

I get the force remove prompt all the time. After selecting, it looks like it didn’t work successfully but if you go back you may find that the device is gone nonetheless.

1 Like

Yes. I’ve tried several times

Well I repaired the network again and was able to remove the ghost device!!
I checked route for each Z-wave device and and don’t see any unknown devices. :smiley:

1 Like