Adding Thread device directly to HA

I had quite a bit of trouble getting my first Matter/Thread device into HA but finally got it working. Others may find this useful:

  • I have a Google Nest display which works as a Thread border router. I had this long before I considered adding Matter/Thread to HA. This device is long-gone but Android still hangs onto it as the default Thread network.
  • Regardless of what app you use to add a Matter device, Android will try to add it to the default Thread Network on the phone (Nest Display). However, since my Nest display is gone, pairing failed.
  • This problem is evident by the fact that Home Assistant detects other Thread networks and my phone gave errors to the effect of “Failed to add to NEST thread network”
  • Strangely enough, HA detected the other Nest Thread network, but the Nest display is not in the home. Perhaps it detected it via Android, I’m not sure.

To solve this issues:

  1. On Android, go to Settings > Apps > Google Play Services. Delete all Storage and Cache. Note this also deletes credit cards used for tap-to-pay in Google Wallet, they will have to be added back manually. This also deletes Matter & Thread libraries (see next step).
  2. Delete the undesirable thread network from Home Assistant
  3. Delete the Google Home app, Reinstall Google Home app. This causes the Matter & Thread libraries to get reinstalled.
  4. Open Google Home App. I’m not sure if this step is required but I did it in case the Matter / Thread libraries are pulled in the background rather than on install.
  5. Open Home Assistant Android App. Sync Thread Credentials by going to Settings > Companion App > Troubleshooting.
  6. Still in HA App. Settings > Devices > Add Device > Matter. Follow on screen instructions.

Also during this process I ran into an issue that appears to be similar to Adding thread device to HA via Android app ends with 'Something went wrong' (aqara Door and window P2) - #12 by mobile.andrew.jones. Which is supposedly fixed in this release: Release 2024.1.1 · home-assistant/android · GitHub. Simply using a device that has been plugged in longer, seemed to work. I’ve yet to try a different device.