SmartThings Support

How do Modes work in SmartThings Classic?

Modes present an easy way to control when certain automations are active.

The SmartThings Classic mobile app has three preconfigured Modes:

  • Home
  • Away
  • Night


What Modes do

Think of Modes as behaviour filters for your home. You can change how devices act or behave in your home based on the Mode you are in. For instance:

  • When in Home Mode, I want a motion sensor to turn on a light.
  • When in Away Mode, I want the same motion sensor to send me a text message as a security warning and to turn on an alarm.
  • When in Night Mode, I want that motion sensor to turn on a light and send me a text message.

For nearly every automation, Routine, or SmartApp in SmartThings Classic, you can adjust that configuration’s settings so it only triggers during a specific Mode. If you like, you can also create a custom mode on graph.api.smartthings.


How to trigger Modes

Modes are configurable through Routines, and a Routine can be triggered automatically or manually. For instance, the default Goodbye! Routine switches the Mode to Away.

When adding a new Routine, you can customize Mode settings during its setup.

To edit an existing Routine’s Mode:

  1. Tap Automations
  2. Under Routines, tap the gear icon in the Routine’s tile
  3. Tap below Change the Mode to
  4. Tap the Mode
  5. Tap Done


How to see which Mode is active

  1. Tap the menu (Android) / More (iOS)
  2. You will see the Mode beneath the selected Location (e.g., Mode is: Home)


How to add or remove a Mode

If you would like to add or remove a Mode, you can do so under My Locations in our IDE.


The difference between Modes and Routines

While the initial lineup of Routines and Modes may seem redundant, Routines and Modes are not always the same.

For instance, you might want to create a personal Routine called "Kids at School," which will turn off the lights in the kids’ room when they leave for the day, but it will not change the Mode for the entire household to Away.

As another example, a Routine could be used to turn down the thermostat upstairs when no motion is detected after an hour, even though a Mode change is not warranted.