FAQ: Routine Only Seems to Work for First Person Who Comes Home

Updated 12 November 2015

At some point, there was a change and now routines WILL run even if the house is in the mode you’re going to change into. That’s good, it’s just confusing because it’s unclear if this is now always true or only sometimes. Until there’s some official documentation, I’ll leave the rest of this in place as it’s one of those “can’t hurt, might help” things.

Possibly this is a mode issue. It did exist as a problem with v one, but only with hello home actions, not with shortcut groups.

It’s pretty simple once you understand what’s going on, it’s just there’s nothing anywhere that tells you that this is what’s going to happen with routines.

OK if you have a routine that changes the mode, then nothing in that routine will run if the house is already in that mode. That’s not very intuitive. A lot of people assume that it will already run, just the mode won’t change because it’s already in that mode. But that’s not how smartthings handles routines. Instead, the entire routine gets bypassed because The system is already in the mode it’s supposed to end up in.

So if you have a situation where you want the door to unlock on arrival for two different people and you want the mode to change, you just need to have two separate routines.

The first routine changes the mode to home when either spouse arrives home.

The second routine does not do a mode change. All it does is unlock the door when either person arrives home.

That way if first spouse arrives home and the house is empty, routine one runs and changes the mode to home. Routine two runs and unlocks the door for them.

Then, when the second spouse arrives home and the first spouse is already there, routine one does not run because the house is already in Home mode. But routine two still runs and unlocks the door for the second spouse.

Basically, anytime you have a routine with a mode change you need to think about whether you really intend to skip all the other logic in that routine if the house is already in that mode. If not, you need to break out the mode change from the other events and have multiple routines.

I have the Amazon Echo and the Philips Hue along with the Smart Things.

2 Questions:

1: How do you connect/link your Android? My Smart Home Monitor says ‘unconfigured’ no matter what I do in the app. All I have are door sensors, motion sensor and a keychain.

2: How do you set up a routine? I have a keychain and would like some lights to come on when I get home and I am going to get a Sonos and would like something played each time I come home. How do you set this up?

I’m sorry, I don’t use Android. On the configure issue, your best bet is to write to support@smartthings.com and they should be able to help you get all of your devices connected to your network properly.

As far as routines, try this:

For Sonos, see the knowledgebase:


Each of these entries is a clickable link.

hmm, interesting. i will try this out to see if it fixes my problem! i have this exact same issue.