Mobile app authorization levels for multiple users (teenagers!)


We just installed our first ST smart hub and connected a light switch and an outlet.

We loved the experience and planned to add more devices as soon as possible. That is until we showed it to our teenage son, who immediately thought what a great tool to mess with his sister by turning her lights off and on at random intervals.

I am at a loss at how prevent this. If I invite them to the app, they each have full control over everything.

If i do not invite them to he app, there is no way we can expand ST to other devices/areas of the home. I need to be able to restrict a family member from accessing specific devices. While I understand the ST developers did not anticipate having knuckleheads like ours living in a smart home, turns out, they do!

Has anybody found a solution for this? I really wanted to install more devices, especially a smart lock, but right now, this would result in so much family drama, there is no way I can go that route!

Right now, I foresee the need to do the following:

  • restrict access per user to specific devices
  • restrict specific user from overriding another (brother cannot override sister, but I can turn off a device my spouse turned on and vice versa)
  • restrict a user from adding more users or removing others (essentially locking others out of the house!)
  • wait until they both grow up and move out before adding more devices…

Did I overlook any options when using the app and some customization is already possible?

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There is nothing built into the system at the moment that would allow this. We all hope it comes soon.

In the mean time, you could use the awesome dashboard created by @625alex!

Very easy to get up and running and offers the ability to have many different dashboards. They work well on mobile devices as well.


If your kids are using Android devices, you could use the free third-party app SharpTools to give them a simplified remote control.

It’s primarily designed as a tool for providing Widgets and Tasker integration on Android (each are In App Purchases), but I have some users that use it as a remote since it opens up quickly and is easy to send quick toggle commands to lights and other switch devices.

I would note that the ‘remote’ UI is really basic, but for some people, that’s exactly what they want.

Edit: I’ve been working on a major UI redesign which is currently released to the SharpTools tester channel that you might be interested in:

Are you using their devices as presence devices? If you are I know some people use Life360 for the presence only, then you could use ActiON Dashboard if you wanted to give them access to only certain things without having to install the ST app at all. I too kind of have the same problem. I wanted my 13 year old’s phone added so I could use it as a presence device but in order to do that you have to install the full app giving her access to everything. I have threatened her to stop playing with the lights…lol. So far that has worked. I have not tried Life360 but may be worth a look if you need their presence detected.

Hope that helps,

Another option is remote like the GE or Intermatic. I gave each of my kids a remote for their rooms which only controls the devices in their rooms.

Having the same exact issue with Smartthings, but with a new roommate. I’d like to add them to the system, but then they would have access to everything and be able to unlock my door or disable the entire system.

If I could add users to SmartThings and disable their access to certain devices, I’d see many more use cases for smartthings. As it is, I can’t really recommend it it to anyone.

What kind of mobile device does your roommate have? iOS/Android?

Some people have said to use Life360 for presence and you can ActiON Dashboard and create multiple copy’s with only access to what you want them to have access to not needing to install the ST app at all.

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What is the current state of “restricted access to users” ? Still nothing?

Nothing official. Many community members use the very popular third-party app, smart tiles, which is a customizable dashboard that runs in any web browser, so it works on most smart phones. Common uses are when you don’t want one kid to be able to turn off the lights in another kid’s room, for housemates that you don’t want to give admin level access to, etc.

There’s a very popular thread in the community just on ideas for hardware or color customization for the dashboard:

If you also need presence detection, there are two popular options: the life 360 app which has an official integration

,or the smartthings arrival sensor, which is a key fob device and is popular for small kids or other people who may not have a smart phone. Unfortunately, the arrival sensor is subject to interference from Wi-Fi, so it will work great at some houses and not at all at others. You just have to try that one and see.

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