Problem with location from phone for presence

Getting location from phone to update presence is never particularly reliable but right now I cant get it to work at all.

None of the usual remedies for temporary issues are fixing it this time, such as forcing a location update by opening the google earth app, changing Home’s geolocation circle, disabling and re-enabling routines using presence, even removing and re-adding the device as a source of location

Trying to get location from a different device also doesnt work
Changing Home’s geolocation circle isnt producing the normal notification message
Moving the geolocation position away should simulate changing presence but this isnt having any effect

Together all this does seem that the location function isnt working right now

phone brand/model/OS version?

As it happens, my phone is playing silly beggars with home presence at the moment and it is normally rock solid. Other phones are OK at home though, and mine worked OK for a ‘linked place’ today. My usual remedy for misbehaving presence is to disable and reenable it in the app so I’ll give that a go.

I have all of these same location related problems. Routines that have worked for years no longer function properly. I use a virtual switch on or off based on my presence at home. so its a 2 stage process

  1. set switch based on presence
  2. set home / away / night mode based on switch position and time of day
  • mode does not switch to night in routine based on time of day and my presence at home
  • notifications of presence and mode are not sent

I have Pixel 7 Pro. Only had it since the start of the year but these issues only started 3-4 weeks ago.

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I gave up on the ST app as a presence sensor and instead starting using Alexa. It’s been very reliable. I posted about in the Presence in 2023 topic.

Many thanks for the replies. Presence started working again today - rather than just being one of the usual issues it had completely stopped working all day and no steps would fix it until it just fixed itself - as ST changes are ongoing I thought it worth mentioning in case it might be cloud related. I’ll give the suggested alternatives a try to see if they’ll give better reliability and performance.

We’re using Alexa for two different locations and all our arrival/departure actions are working flawlessly.

Hitchhiking on this thread with a presence oddity.

We have optical fiber internet. The Optical Network Terminal is mounted on an outside wall, connected to an uninterruptible power supply which is plugged into a GFCI outlet on a dedicated circuit.

Something is tripping the GFCI randomly every couple of months. Once the UPS battery drains, we lose our internet.

Presence sensing for SmartThings is set up the simplest way, using geolocation for my Pixel phone. It’s been very reliable.

This happened today while we were away. I got no indication that my SmartThings V2 hub had gone offline. I only knew there was an issue because my Nest cameras went offline.

So here’s the oddity. As we arrived home, the SmartThings app on my phone notified me that I had arrived as it normally would. But without being able to actually communicate with the hub to set the mode. No indication of error.


I have to confess my surprise and dissatisfaction that this continues to plague users of SmartThings.
My Surface Duo (first version) on Android 12 worked - albeit not entirely reliably - for quite some time.
Over the last few days, it has steadfastly refused.
Location services are enabled in the OS settings (always enabled, not just when the app is running, and with precise location enabled), geolocation is enabled in the SmartThings app and I can set my home location with the app correctly filling in my home address once the pin is placed.
Yet, when I log in to, and click the three dots in the upper right of the webpage to select ‘Manage Location’, I am told ‘Geolocation is temporarily disabled’.
I have tried deleting the phone (for some reason it appears as a device twice), re-adding it (again, it appears twice), and setting up in the app to use location services.
I have tried all this again today to see if I can recover the function, so I’ll be able to see when I return home this evening.
Why is this feature so unreliable?

When I leave, I have an automation to set my location mode to ‘away’ (which - in turn - triggers other automations), set a thermostat, change my security mode and ensure all lights are turned off through a scene. When I return, the same settings are altered by to the opposite settings. These automations aren’t happening.

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that feature has been unavailable for quite some time in (at least for me)

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There is a newer thread about presence Pixel 8 pro and Presense Detection

It does seem normal to see two entries in the web interface and the easiest and most reliable way to fix it when it stops working is to toggle “get your location from this phone” off and on it the app and re-enabling any routines and perhaps also update the geo location - all from the device app rather than the web interface.

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It has been saying that for a long time now. The web client appeared a few years ago and showed some promising signs but then seemed to be abandoned. It came as quite a surprise when, after a couple of years of seemingly being left to rot, it suddenly got thrust back into the limelight when they needed somewhere to redirect to when the legacy IDE was approaching its withdrawal date. It really does need bringing up to the standards of the ‘Advanced Web App’ as SmartThings desperately needs a decent web client app.

Your phone appears as one device in each of your Locations that has the presence sensing enabled. The API includes the device by default in Location listings, though the mobile apps choose to ignore it. The phone itself also exists as a single device outside of any Location and is the parent of the mobile presence devices. This device is only visible to your account and only appears in device listings if ‘User Devices’ are requested, as they are in the Advanced Web App.


Thanks all for your information.
The presence is now detecting (albeit slightly slowly). I shall have to keep an eye on device restarts and resetting the location preferences within the SmartThings app.
However, I do wish there were a fundamental fix for this. My Ecobee doesn’t suffer from this.

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