9 Ways To Fix Philips Hue Home And Away Not Working

Whatever it is, one thing is for sure – smart home technology have changed the way we work and live. If you want to have your smart devices turn off when you leave and have them turn on when you get home. With Hue Home and Away feature, you can quiet all of these worries.

While this feature is very good, but it is also very annoying when it doesn’t work occasionally. The Home and Away would be turning on and off randomly. Don’t worry, I will tell you how to fix Philips Hue Home and Away not working.

When you have problems, you need to find out the reason for your problems, then you can solve them. I will outline more in-depth solutions later, but you can try to solve your issues with two methods first:

  • Ensure your smartphone knows where you are using a feature called Location Services.
  • Check that whether your lights and devices have been updated to the latest versions.

What is Home and Away, and How Does it Work?

Few things have a bigger impact on the way our home feel and look than our lights. You definitely hope the light is on when you come home at the end of a long day at work. 

Geofencing is a term that describes a virtual fence surrounding a particular location. It can be used to realize your idea. When you leave or enter that fenced-in area, a specific action will happen. For example, your Philips Hue lights can turn off when you leave that virtual fenced-in area, and they can turn on when you enter.

You should like this feature very much as it can bring you great convenience. But it also will have some problems out of nowhere. This is normal for technical products. I will tell you some methods that how to fix Philips Hue Home and Away not working.

How to Fix Your Hue Home and Away Not Working

The Home and Away feature is good for everyone. However you will have some problems such as permissions and setting that can you can solve them easily.

Home and Away Setup you should know.

Enable ‘Out of Home’ Control within the Hue App

Please make sure you don’t see this sentence – “Enable out of home control to make use of this feature” below:

Out of home control Disable

Now you should do it if you see it. First, click the “settings” then you will see “Disabled” is showing under the “Out of home control”.

Location Services

It is important to let your devices know your location. If you don’t enable it, it will have a lot of problems for your smart home.

Location Services Setup

The Location Services capabilities of iPad and iPhone allow the devices to use onboard Wi-Fi, GPS, cell tower location data, and Bluetooth to determine the location of the iPad or iPhone.

You can make the locations and GPS features work under the Location Services setting. While you enable it, your Home and Away maybe start working immediately.

Significant Locations

Besides you can use Locations services, there is another great feature called “Significant Locations” you can use. With this feature, your iPhone remembers where you have been, and where you are. It keeps a record of your frequent hangouts.

Don’t panic, the data is not collected by Apple, just kept on the iPhone.

The setting is buried quite deep. It can be found on iOS (it is not in Android Phones) through the following steps:

  1. Settings
  2. Privacy
  3. Location Services
  4. System Services
  5. Significant Locations

If the location services feature doesn’t work, you can enable “Significant Locations” to see if it works. You also should check some permissions problems.

Philips Hue App Permissions

There are some Hue app problems that cause Home and Away feature to stop working. For example, the app can’t know where you are.

App privileges don’t have to be all or nothing: With Location Services, for example, you can decide just your Hue App can access your location never, always, just while you are using the app. When you switch to a different app, the location is not available to the previous app.

So you can just turn on location services under “App Permissions” for your Philips Hue app, so you don’t need to turn on it for all of your apps on your phone.

App Permission manager setup

Anyway, if you don’t turn on the location services for your Philips Hue app, your Home and Away feature will not work at all. Of course, other sneaky settings also can cause it to stop working.

Eco Mode and Smart Battery Settings

Smartphone batteries don’t last forever, and also some devices come with an almost-embarrassing screen-on time. The apps and luscious, big AMOLED and LED screens are an obvious drain on the battery.

Location services, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC also drain battery power, even if the device isn’t connected. So you may have turned Location services off sometimes in order to make your phone battery last longer.

The battery is the beating heart of your phone, giving your phone the power to use your favourite apps such as the Hue app. When optimizing the battery, most of your apps that are draining your battery in the background would be closed. 

However, you should keep your Philips Hue app running in the background if you need your Home and Away work. The Home and Away of Philips Hue app checks some things such as if you are closed to the home.

Different smartphone brands have different battery settings. You can close some apps you don’t need to save battery power, but if you need your Home and Away work, please make your Philips Hue app stay one.

A few tips to maintain a battery health

  • Make use of ‘Power-saving’ mode
  • Restrict app usage on your smartphone
  • Turn off ‘location services’

 Tips to maintain iPhone battery lifespan

  • Enable ‘optimized battery’ charging feature
  • Use the ‘Auto-brightness’ feature
  • Don’t use the iPhone in extreme temperatures
  • Use ‘Low-power’ mode
  • Reduce ‘Auto-lock time’ on your iPhone

Update Hue Firmware and Bulbs

If all of your smartphone settings are right, so you should consider another problem with your light, it may be because of your light problems.

Hue Software update

Smart bulbs, to put it simply, are lighting fixtures that you can control wirelessly. There are totally different from your regular bulbs as you can eliminate the need to control them manually. 

Some mart bulbs use Bluetooth to pair directly to your phone, however, you can’t control them when you are not at home because it is a point-to-pint connection. Other smart bulbs use the wireless protocols Zigbee or Z-Wave, which are slightly faster than Bluetooth and allow a few devices to be controlled at the same time.

Your Philips Hue bridges, switches, and Hue bulbs all run firmware you can update. Firmware is necessary for communication in your smart home system. It is especially important now, not only a vulnerability could allow malware to be installed on your device, but also could cause your Home and Away features to not work. 

Updates are installed via the Hue app for Android, iPad, or iPhone. They can be installed automatically so you don’t need to think about it.

To check for updates, you need 2 steps on your phone

  1. Setting
  2. Software update

This process is different for different manufacturers. I also recommend enabling automatic updates if you haven’t already. To me, I’d be more worried if there weren’t any updates. It just means they are always making the product better.

Alternative Methods for Home and Away Feature

In fact, you can still get the how and Away working if you leave the Hue App behind. Many problems have many solutions.

Many users still complained that their Home and Away does not work ever though they have used all of the above methods. They can’t figure out where the problem is. Actually, you can turn off this feature in the Hue app.

Try Using HomeKit and Alexa

Don’t worry, you can use other methods to achieve this feature. Homekit, Alexa, and other smart home apps also have similar features for you.

Ideally when setting up your smart home, you want to get all your devices under a single ecosystem (e.g., Google Home, HomeKit, Alexa, SmartThings). So you can use them to mimics the same features if your Home and Away don’t work properly.

Triggers for Apple Home Automation

However if you don’t have some devices to detect when you are leaving home or coming home, you can’t set it up. 

Try Using Smart locks

You also can use smart door locks to offer this functionality. Do you know smart locks? 

A smart lock is arguably the most crucial part of a truly smart, connected home. Not only will it allow you to go and come as you lease, but it will also monitor who is leaving and entering your home, and can create a routine to turn on/off a right for Home and Away functionality.

A Motion sensor is another option if you don’t want to use them.

Try Using a Motion Sensor

A hue motion sensor

The majority of technologies make it easier to interact with your lighting, bathroom, kitchen, and air temperature, making your home more comfortable, energy-efficient, and capable than ever before.

In fact, many of them are versatile. If you are more creative, you can use them better. You can use your smart motion sensors to provide Home and Away functionality.

How to create the Home and Away feature with motion sensors

If you don’t want to give up your Significant Location privacy, but you still need Home and Away feature. A motion sensor can help you to automate it.

In addition to the obvious uses for you, they also provide some other functions such as Home and Away outside of detecting burglars. 

To mimic the Home and Away feature, you just need the Shelly Motion Sensor or Hue Outdoor Motion Sensor to do it. If you are looking to illuminate your driveway, motion sensor lighting is a must when it comes to safety and security. 

You also can use the Shelly Motion Sensor and an Echo or Alexa routine to provide Home and Away features.

You have to spend some energy designing the whole smart home system, but it is worth it if you don’t want to give up your personal information in the Hue app.

However, if you live in a busy street or area where people, cars, or animals frequently pass by, it may become a nuisance as your security light will always illuminating on unnecessary triggers. OK, you can create an Alexa routine for this problem:

  • Name: when I come home then turn lights on
  • Trigger: smart device trigger – > a motion sensor – when detecting the motion
  • Actions:
    • Turn specified (various) lights on.
    • Wait 20 minutes.
    • Turn specified (various) lights off.


You already know some solutions to fix your Philips Hue Home and Away not working, and know some alternative solutions. I do a brief list below:

Solutions for Home and Away not Working

  • Enable ‘Out of Home’ Control within the Hue App
  • Location Services
  • Significant Locations
  • Hue App Permissions
  • Smart Battery Settings and Eco Mode
  • Update Hue Firmware and Bulbs

Alternative solutions for Home and Away Feature

  • HomeKit and Alexa
  • Smart locks
  • Try Using a Motion Sensor

If you have any other methods, please tell me, I will add them to this list, thank you.

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