Legacy virtual switches stopped working (July 2023)

What is the “virtual device creator app” you are referring to? Are you talking about “vEdge Creator” Edge Driver? Or are you talking about some old smart app?

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Virtual Device Creator has been one of the modules on the Automation tab in the iPhone app.

While I’m somewhat familiar with the online device handlers, this part of the app always created virtual switches that claimed to execute locally (they would show the home icon in smart lighting for instance) and aren’t related to uploading any groovy code.

My experience matches what many others have been posting in July, that these have stopped working multiple times, moving to a lan thing. Deleting them all and recreating, while also rebuilding all automation works, but again they were changed to things again last night.

I’ve read others who have moved to an edge virtual device creator and I’m trying that as well, but it’s not very elegant in functionality.

That was a Smart App and they are dead. You need to find a new method to create virtual devices.

There are several ways. If you have a ST hub @TAustin 's vEdge Creator” Edge Driver is a good way.

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The one in the API Browser+ is also good.

Virtual Switches After Groovy FAQ

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Virtual Device Creator and any of the other similar items in Automations are legacy Groovy-based SmartApps that were discontinued in Jan 2023. There is no relationship between the SmartApps and Edge drivers so I’m confused by what you mean by “…these have stopped working multiple times, moving to a lan thing…”

Why Did My Integration/SmartApp Stop Working in January 2023?

There are 4 ways to create virtual devices, each with pros and cons:

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Hi, @liuliu
I checked your account and I see those devices are now using the LAN-thing driver. The team mentioned that happens when the device was using a Custom device type (DTH).
For example, if you created a DTH in the old IDE or if those virtual devices were created by a Custom SmartApp like in the case of @jpstewart.

As mentioned in this announcement, if there was no Edge driver replacement found for the device during the migration, it would be migrated to a generic “thing” driver.
Since these integrations weren’t Zigbee or Z-Wave, they were detected as LAN.

Based on the above, you need to create new virtual devices, others have shared some options and the Advanced users app can help as well.
To avoid having your routines deleted, create a new virtual device and then, replace it in the routine, after that, remove the original device.

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I’m confused by what you mean by “…these have stopped working multiple times, moving to a lan thing…”

Until this weekend, July 2023, everything with our smartthings setup was working fine.

Suddenly a few days ago, many scenarios around the house completely stopped working and I found it was the virtual switches powering them all which stopped. The icon in the app moved from a switch to pink/grey blocks.

By deleting these and recreating them in the app, under virtual device creator, which is a feature that has been in the smartthings app for quite a long time, everything worked again for two more days until they were again broken in the same way.

I read what Paul wrote as well above. I have a feeling there will be many people moving off of smartthings since this essentially breaks the entire scenario of the product for me without both virtual switches and synchronizing them to lights, which I have not seen any edge scenario for the later.

In iOS, virtual device creator was never an official feature. It was a custom smart app created by a community member that many people did add to their accounts.

In android, there was a virtual switch creator under labs, which was an official feature, and has been temporarily withdrawn while they update it for the new architecture.

So if you were using it with iOS, it was a custom Groovy feature, and created custom devices and that’s why the automatic transition got confused.

I know that doesn’t help, and the whole thing is super frustrating for many of us, but I just hope that clears up a little bit of the confusion . :thinking:


I really appreciate the details. Thank you.

I think I misunderstood an earlier statement that app smart apps were dead though. Reading a bit, I think the smart lighting option will hopefully keep working.

… all this has also made me realize that many other embedded switches (enerwave models) and scene controllers have all stopped working as well. :frowning: It’s all unrelated to this thread, but I’m kinda shocked that the average person who bought these devices (which were all simple to setup) will go through the edge enrollment process. (This isn’t your problem. I understand. Thanks for your reply and time!)

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Hello Nayelyz,

Thank you for your help. I am trying to create new virtual device from SmartThings Developer Web, in the “type” there has (Button) or (Switch) for selection. What are their differences? and Which one should we pick for virtual device? (cause after created they both are showing Virtual type ). However (Virtual Button “without” On/Off function) and (Virtual Switch “with” On/Off function)

A switch is a binary device with state. It is either on or off, like a traditional light switch.


A button is a momentary device that does not hold state. After it is pressed, it immediately returns to a neutral state. Like a traditional doorbell. The resting state is not technically considered “off.” These are usually identified as “held” or “released,” but I don’t know exactly how it is identified in the smartthings app. :thinking:


Both are useful, but they serve different purposes.

The ability for individual users to run custom groovy smartapps in the smartthings cloud is what is dead.

You can still have custom SmartApps, but you have to host them yourself.

And there are still a few official smartapps, provided by Samsung, which includes a new version of smart lighting.

See the community FAQ for more details. SmartApps are covered in points 10 and 11.

FAQ: I have no idea what Edge is. Is that a new developer tool? (2022)

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Yup. Im dealing with that too, and while that is also a pain (we have no deck light control anymore since the system is only ip controlled, and we needed a handler from GitHub before), I totally get that’s a “me” problem and keeping that specifically off here. :slight_smile:

But I also meant settings/controls like this one, where this virtual switch app was just available in the app directly without anything obviously custom. I hear you that it might have been community, but I only ever added and used it within the app itself from what I recall. It might have even migrated from classic, but it’s been three years, so that part is fuzzy.

Thanks for your help on the thread to get folks on track. I’m trying our the TAustin driver for now.

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You are correct. Smart lighting with a lower case “l” is the one Smart App that was converted to the new architecture. So it still works.

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In the new architecture, the SmartApps UI in the mobile app use webhooks to communicate with the backend application that does the processing. 3rd party/custom SmartApps must host the backend application on their own infrastructure vs being hosted on the ST cloud platform like in the old Groovy architecture. In order to keep the popular Smartlighting app (and another one I can’t remember) alive and to provide new SmartApps like SLGA, ST is still hosting the backend application on their own infrastructure for these select apps. To date, there have been very few new 3rd party SmartApps developed on the new architecture.


Yes it should do and I hope it may get some friends in future. While services like Energy, Home Monitor and SmartThings Find present as Webhook SmartApps (albeit created with more privileges/functionality/both than is currently available to the punters), Smart lighting is a different animal built on something that I shall call ‘Recipes’ until I know better. Basically under the hood there are a load of different Rules templates and when you are run Smart lighting to build an automation you are selecting one of those templates (e.g. [Smartlight test] presence with precondition v2) and configuring it so it coughs out a fully functional Rule.

I am taking the thread too far off topic though.


A post was split to a new topic: SmartThings Button No Longer Works

Is there a fix for this yet?
I have a bunch of broken automations. My Smart Life linked devices are all legacy switches. I tried re-linking after a Smart Things app update and that did not fix the problem.

Hi, @motdakasha. Welcome to the SmartThings Community.
I’m not sure yours is the same issue as the one mentioned here. The Smart Life integration belongs to Tuya and it’s using the SmartThings Schema, it’s not Groovy based.
And the legacy virtual devices were those created using the Groovy IDE.

Can you provide more details about what’s going on?
What do you mean by “broken automations”? For example: They have the symbol “!” or don’t run as expected