August DoorSense Not Working (Troubleshooting Guide)

The DoorSense function is very simple.

It is just a magnet.

The way everything works is by monitoring the distance between the sensor and the lock and, as a result, determining if the door is closed, left slightly ajar, or wide open.

Nevertheless, it has its own issues that can prevent it from working properly.

And the fact that it is such a simple device makes everything even more confusing at times.

August DoorSense Not Working

DoorSense Not Showing the Correct Door Status

The most common problem that people stumble upon with the DoorSense sensor is that it will show the incorrect door status.

For example:

  • It can show the door as open when it is closed.
  • It can show the door as closed when it is open.
  • It can show the door as open or closed when left ajar.
  • It can show the door as ajar correctly but will show the wrong status when the door is open or closed.

This issue can occur after long periods of the sensor working just fine, or it can be a recurring problem from day one.

It is generally a calibration issue.

And this is why the first step is to always re-calibrate the DoorSense by re-calibrating the lock.

However, this may not always work, and sometimes it requires more troubleshooting and testing.

If the basic re-calibration did not work, follow the steps outlined below.

To fix a DoorSense that is not showing the correct status:

  1. Remove the August Smart Lock from the door.
  2. Remove the batteries from the lock.
  3. Wait 30 to 60 seconds and reinsert the batteries back in the lock.
  4. Hold the lock in your palm and manually lock and unlock it between 5 to 10 times.
  5. Put the August Smart Lock back on the door.
  6. Go through the calibration process again.

Since the DoorSense is mostly a simple magnet or a contact sensor, the problem may be within the lock itself, especially if the DoorSense has stopped working after a recent battery change or lock relocation.

To rule that out, perform a factory reset.

  1. Remove the DoorSense and disable it in the August App.
  2. Factory reset the lock, removing it from the August App in the process
  3. Go through the whole setup and calibration process again as if installing the lock for the first time.

However, the way the sensor is installed can be another underlying issue. Make sure you have followed the best practices outlined in the section below.


DoorSense Installation Locations

Depending on the lock’s model you are using, there are some slight but important variations to how the DoorSense should be installed.

August WiFi Smart Lock (4th Gen)

If you are using the August WiFi Smart Lock (Gen 4), DoorSense should be installed:

  • Between 1 to 1.5 inches from the edge of the door.
  • Within 1.5 inches from the bottom of the extended deadbolt when surface mounted.
  • Within 1.5 inches from the bottom of the deadbolt strike plate when flush mounted.


August Smart Lock Pro

If you are using the August Smart Lock Pro DoorSense should be installed:

  • Within 1.5 inches from the edge of the door.
  • Within 1.5 inches from the top of the extended deadbolt when surface mounted.
  • Within 1.5 inches from the top of the deadbolt strike plate when flush mounted.


August Smart Lock (3rd Gen)

If you are using the August Smart Lock Gen 3 DoorSense should be installed:

  • Within 1.5 inches from the edge of the door.
  • Within 1.5 inches from the bottom of the extended deadbolt when surface mounted.
  • Within 1.5 inches from the bottom of the deadbolt strike plate when flush mounted.


DoorSense Calibration Failure

Another common problem is DoorSense failing to calibrate.

This is normally associated with improper installation.

Make sure you are installing the DoorSense in the right location as per the recommendations outlined in the section above, and try to stay within the recommended ranges.

Generally, whether the DoorSense is surface mounted or flush mounted doesn’t matter.

That said, I see more issues when the DoorSense is flush-mounted.

It could be that the door frame and the door itself are more likely to interfere with the sensors. On top of that, the lock can pull the sensor out of its location over time, which can also mess up the calibration.

Surface mounting seems more reliable, and it is also the best way to go for rented properties.

Certain doors can be trickier because the frame may block the sensor pushing it too far away from the lock.

Two-sided tape or painter’s tape can help in those cases and prevent damage to the door frame. Magnetic strips or a thinner magnet can also be used instead of the original DoorSense magnet provided.

Replacing your DoorSense magnet with a different magnet does work, but it may require some trial and error to set it up correctly. If you are using a stronger magnet, it should be placed further away and vice versa.

Remember that the DoorSense does not work with metal door frames and metal retractable screen frames. These will interfere with the magnetic sensor.

Also, do not install the sensors inside the door itself. It should go on the door’s frame. It may seem like an obvious thing, but I have seen this mistake done even by experienced owners.

When setting up the DoorSense, it could fail calibration in some instances if the ajar state is too close to the (previously calibrated) closed state.

To prevent that, ensure to leave about 3 inches of width when calibrating with the door ajar.

If the DoorSense gets stuck on calibrating when in the locked position, the magnet may be too far away. So keep everything as close as possible, but it could also be a result of too much friction.

Make sure nothing prevents the deadbolt from moving freely.

Over time or during some seasons, doors can warp a bit. A good sign is if you need to push or pull on the door in order to close it properly.


August Smart Lock Firmware Bugs

New firmware can cause issues.

It has happened a few times over the years.

Go through the troubleshooting steps mentioned above. Try using a different phone to set up and calibrate the DoorSense if possible.

However, if your DoorSense stopped working reliably after a recent firmware update, a good idea might be to ask August Customer Support to roll you back to the previous working firmware version.

You can turn off the DoorSense function through the August App for the time being, as well.

The DoorSense is not needed for the August Smart Lock to work.

The auto lock and unlock functions can still work and you can set the lock to auto-lock after a predetermined time.

However, remember that the door-sensing capabilities will not work. For example, there is nothing to prevent the lock from auto-locking when the door is open.

You will also not get notifications if the door is left open.

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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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