Location Away mode not triggering

I have seen this issue crop up occasionally here but it appears a little sporadic. and apologies for the long post - trying to explain this isn’t easy! :slight_smile:

I have routines set in order to change the location mode to either Home, Away or Night. Away is triggered by all location devices (phones) leaving the site, Home is simply triggered by a device coming home, night set based on time and disabled again by time (both if a location device is on site) I then have automations that trigger based on that location status.

Recently I noticed that for (reasons unknown) the night automation was triggering but security wasn’t arming (armed (stay) ) lights etc still turned off as expected. Tinkering got this all working again (pretty sure I deleted and started again).


Doing this then seemed to break the ‘Away’ status (assuming this is the cause not an ST thing as reported back in 2019?). Now when everyone leaves the site, the location Away does not trigger so automations relying on that also don’t trigger (i.e. security still shows as disarmed). What is really confusing, is if i am physically away at work and manually set the location mode to away, the automations trigger as you would expect (Security arms). When I return home, the location mode changes as it should back to Home (thus disarming security and so on). So why on earth is the away status not triggering when returning does as this means the geolocation is working??? All was working well previously until now so really not sure how tinkering with a different automation would affect this. Any help greatly appreciated

Brand and model of the phones? I ask because a number of people have reported geolocation issues once iOS 15 was installed. :thinking:

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Also please post a screenshot of your home / away automations.

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To me it means the geofences are setup OK and are capable of working. Whether the geofences report entry and/or exit may depend on your geolocation, the region radius, how well geolocation is working at the points where it will be detecting entry and exit to the geofence, quite probably how good an internet connection you have at those points, where your device is and your mode of transport.

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X1 samsung s21 ultra and X1 Samsung s21. Has been working fine on these until now.


I don’t see any Automations related to changing STHM (Security)

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Also your automation calls for devices at specific time, not time period. You can have location mode changed at specific time, but you need to change devices location to Precondition

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I’m a little confused.

Location mode (Home, Away, Night) and

Security mode (Armed away, Armed Stay, Disarmed)

Are Two different things and are set independently of each other.

SmartThings Home Monitor (STHM) uses the security mode. So that doesn’t have anything to do with location mode.

A lot of people do create routines so that when the location mode is set to Away The security mode is then set to Armed away, but you have to have created a routine to do that. Similarly, you can create a routine so that when the location mode is set to home, the security mode is set to disarmed, but again, you have to create a routine to do that, it doesn’t happen automatically.

Your screenshot shows a routine changing the location mode, but nothing changing the security mode. :thinking:

There doesn’t seem to be anything obviously wrong with your Routines, though rather than testing for people being at home at certain times I prefer to test for the existing mode. Also note that your home routine will run every time someone arrives or leaves and someone is still at home. Nothing wrong with them though and each to their own.

Have you looked at your mobile presence events to see what is or isn’t happening when you leave? I’d imagine one or both phones do(es)n’t change to ‘not present’ but is it one or both, and is it always the same one?

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The security automations (amongst others) are triggered based on the location mode (separate routines) the issue I am having is that away mode isn’t triggering. If you manually set location to ‘away’ the other routines work fine and security arms etc.

Thanks Graham. This makes sense I thought this but wasn’t sure how to check those events - assume that is in the IDE event logs somewhere? I’ll have a hunt around and see what I can spot.

That’s interesting (and the reason I tinkered with the night settings originally) when it was set to a time period it just didn’t work/set to night time, I don’t think the location was set as a Pre condition though thst is why I created the two. I will try reinstating that as it was tonight and tun a test.

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I would recommend to you, and everyone else, what I do to test every Routine. Use virtual device.
Look for vEdge Virtual device creator by @TAustin, and create virtual presence device(s). Use virtual presence to test your routines, and if they work correctly, replace virtual devices with real one.
I am using virtual Motion, Presence, Switch and Momentary devices for testing every Routine. None of them failed.


@SimonP Just to explain how to use virtual devices for security.

Virtual Presence - create virtual devices for each person or one for parents and one for kids.
Virtual Switch - use for Day(on), and Night (off)
Momentary switch - use it to represent specific time.
Virtual Motion - use it for motion inside or outside
Virtual Door - it’s self explanatory.

This are just to test any Routines.

Multiple times over the last year, I’ve noticed that automations configured to trigger off of location modes were not working properly. Within days they started working properly again. This seemed to occur within a short window after a hub firmware upgrade. I can’t recall exactly, but the automations may have been configured in webcore and the mode changes didn’t seem to be getting passed through to webcore properly. It doesn’t look like you are using webcore, though, so I’m not sure if this is relevant to your situation.

I usually just go to the mobile presence device in the IDE, which has the same name as my phone, and list the events. However I’ve seen a number of users say that the events don’t show for them. I don’t know if is just an iOS app thing or more widespread. I don’t like to encourage use of the IDE but it is yet to be improved on for certain things.

The events can be seen via the API but that can be a bit of a faff if you aren’t already geared up to use it.

Like many others, I mirror my mobile presence onto virtual devices to allow me to see the current status in the app. Indeed that is the only time I directly use mobile presence in automations.

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As Milan and Graham have advised (great tips BTW!) , I have created virtual presence sensors and created routines to mirror the member location status. Adding the virtual sensors to the location status routines and testing them triggers the changes and onward routines as expected (getting there!) I’ll check and do a physical test when we move off site to ensure the chain of events works, if not we should be able to see if it is one or both of the phones causing the issue. @orangebucket, strangely looking at the list events on the phone devices, the s21 ultra (my phone) lists quite a few whereas there is nothing under the s21 (the wife’s phone) could this be to prevent privacy issues (which I think was why they removed the phone status visibility in the first place)


I think the most likely explanation is that your wife’s phone is stuck reporting ‘present’ and yours is working fine.

In my household I am the only person who ever uses the SmartThings app on their phone and my presence works well. It usually works well for the others too but I do notice that if they haven’t left the house for several days the presence may not change when they do, and opening the app briefly seems to restore some sanity. The prerequisite is that all the phones have been configured as best I can to leave SmartThings well alone when they engage in their battery saving tricks. For me that is enough. For the others it seems imperfect.

As far as privacy goes, it is only the mobile apps that hide the actual devices and then only from those who can’t be bothered to look outside the app or use Routines. So if it is a privacy thing it is rather pointless. I always assumed that they were going to make more of the ‘Members’ Thing, which only exists in the app, but never got around to it.


When everyone is gone, do they take all the tablets with them as well? The away mode changes requires “All”.