Is Your Nest Camera No Longer Recording Wide Angle? Fix it Here!


Nest cameras have a diagonal 130° wide-angle field of view.

Normally, a Nest camera should record the entire field of view depending on your selected settings and the range of services, subject to the subscription type.

However, a Nest camera may not record a wide-angle at times. 

Nest cameras don’t record the wide-angle if the view is zoomed in and the Enhance mode is enabled. This mode overrides other selected settings. The Nest service will stream the wide-angle if you zoom in but record only the magnified portion in its enhanced mode. 

You may temporarily zoom in to your Nest camera live view or history, but it should not affect the recording feature.

However, the zoom-in or magnification is permanent in the Enhance mode unless you disable it.

This guide elaborates on how to fix the Enhance mode of a Nest camera. 

Why Nest Camera Stops Recording Wide Angle

The zoom feature is a temporary user-controlled function.

Zooming in or out has no lasting effect on live stream or video recording unless the Enhance mode is enabled.

The Enhance mode is an advanced zoom feature that retains the magnified view unless you reverse it. 

The Enhance mode option pops up when you zoom in or out.

Tapping on it when the mode is disabled by default will enable the feature.

As a result, your Nest camera will switch to recording only the highlighted, magnified, or enhanced part of the field of view, not the full wide-angle. 

The Enhance mode and zoom feature work in tandem and within the same interface of camera controls.

Thus, you and others with access to the feed must always be conscious of the possibility of inadvertently enabling the Enhance mode whenever you zoom in or out. 

The Enhance mode does not necessarily freeze the Nest camera sensors to only a particular zoom level.

You may zoom in only once or twice, and you may go further to pan the view so that you can magnify a particular portion within the enhanced frame. 

Enabling the Enhance feature at any juncture will get your Nest camera to freeze that specific field of view, irrespective of the angle.

Subsequently, the Nest camera will record only that part of the full wide-angle view, even if you have any Activity Zone selected beyond that frame. 

Activity Zone and other user-selected features won’t work on Enhance mode.

The Enhance mode at any level of zoom and pan overrides all other customizable features related to: 

  • Streaming 
  • Motion or activity detection 
  • Live video feed 
  • Saved recordings or history 

How To Fix the Issue

Now that you know why your Nest camera isn’t recording a wide-angle, it’s easy to fix the problem. 

Disable the Enhance Mode

The Enhance feature of Nest cameras is only available on the dedicated app, not on Google Home or other interfaces.

The Enhance mode isn’t enabled by default, so it must have been activated by a user with access, which could happen inadvertently.

Check the settings. 

Here’s how you can disable the Enhance mode of Nest cameras: 

  1. Open the Nest application. 
  2. Select the Nest camera that’s not recording the wide angle. 
  3. Choose between video history or live stream. 
  4. Place two fingers and spread or pinch to zoom in or out. 
  5. At this juncture, you should see the ‘Enhance’ option. 
  6. Tap on the screen once if you don’t see the or Nest cam unenhance icon icon. 
  7. Tap on Nest cam unenhance icon to cancel or disable the Enhance mode. 

The Enhance enable and disable or cancel icons will pop up among the camera controls.

These icons should show up whenever you zoom in & out of the live feed or history view.

However, tap on the screen once if the camera controls don’t pop up automatically. 

Check the Live View and Zoom Out

The Nest app’s live view has a few regular features of the typical smartphone cameras.

You can tap on the screen twice, and the feed will magnify.

Tapping on the screen twice again will let you zoom in further.

Users may inadvertently zoom in, pan, or out. 

According to Google, the zoom function through the app’s view, whether Live or History, doesn’t affect the streaming and recording features.

Hence, your Nest camera should still stream, detect motion or activity, record, and save the video in its usual wide-angle view format. 

However, the grey area is in the Enhanced mode option.

Like the zoom feature, you may have the Enhanced mode enabled, which will disable the other settings and restrict the streaming & recording service only to the portion that has been selected and magnified. 

Zoom Out Using the Google Home App

Here are the steps to zoom out a Nest camera using the Google Home app: 

  1. Open Google Home. 
  2. Select the Nest camera. 
  3. Check the Live view. 
  4. Verify if the feed is zoomed in. 
  5. Place two fingers on the screen. 
  6. Drag and pinch your fingers closer. 
  7. Repeat till you zoom out completely. 

If you have to zoom in later, place two fingers on the screen and spread them apart to magnify a part of the view.

Also, you may double-tap to zoom in once, repeat it for further magnification, and then use one finger to pan around the magnified area to view specific enhanced portions. 

Zoom Out Using the Nest App

Here are the steps to zoom out a camera using the Nest app:

  1. Open Nest. 
  2. Select the Nest camera. 
  3. Drag and pinch two fingers closer. 
  4. Repeat if it is necessary to zoom out completely. 
  5. Use the landscape mode if you’re unsure. 

Zoom Out Using the Nest Desktop or Web Interface

The desktop or web interface isn’t identical to the app.

You cannot double-tap, pan, and spread or pinch your fingers.

However, there’s a zoom slider feature in your feed. You’ll find this slider on the left side.

Use this tool to zoom out. 

Temporary zooming in has no correlation with a permanently magnified or enhanced view.

Thus, these steps may not solve your problem if you have enabled the Enhance mode through the Nest app.

A zoomed-in view on Enhance mode won’t let the service record a wide-angle. 

Final Thoughts

Check the Enhance mode whenever your Nest camera doesn’t record the full wide-angle view.

Disable the Enhance mode, zoom out completely, and check if the Nest camera is working expectedly.

If not, there may be a camera, sensor, or firmware problem. Contact Nest support.  

Nelson Barbosa

I'm an engineer in love with smart home tech. On my website, I share useful tips and tricks to help my readers get the most of their devices and make their lives simpler by adding just a drop of technology in everyday routines!

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