Advanced mode is too hidden

I’ve seen, repeatedly, where someone can’t figure out how to do something they want. Frequently the answer is “do you have advanced mode enabled?”

I understand and don’t disagree with the concept, but how it’s implemented seems to result in more questions rather than less!

I don’t know the right answer to raise its visibility slightly - maybe others can suggest. Maybe a “?” icon near where there are advanced mode options that aren’t visible simply reminding the user if they aren’t able to do what they want, advanced mode might open up more possibilities.

At the other end of visibility (perhaps going too far), on pages with advanced options, there could be an advanced tab, or a collapsed advanced section at the bottom of the page, rather than having it completely hidden from view.

My original idea for this was an incremental one (within WTH guidelines). But I also agree with this response that long term, there might be a better way to approach the overall concept:

So you are saying that toggling advanced mode on your user profile is hidden?

I think maybe we should have advanced mode as an onboarding question but really its where it needs to be and we shouldn’t show features you don’t have access to. That is just confusing and makes the common user know there stuff they can’t do

For that you got my vote :+1:
Most places already have that today, but some are definitely missing

Nope. I’m saying that HA is pretty overwhelming to begin with… so after a week of getting comfortable with it, the user has now forgotten that advanced mode even exists, much less where to enable it.

There’s plenty about home assistant I don’t know but I’m not “confused” or fretting about it.

Hiding basic requirements like the configuration check was a bad idea. Almost as bad as device automations.

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A config check automatically kicks in when restarting Home Assistant from the UI, but that could be more clear as well.

Yeah, I only noticed it because it caught an error for me when I forgot to run check config before restarting.

Yes this is too hidden. This toggle doesn’t actually show or hide anything on the profile page, it only affects other pages. So that means to get to that point the user had to proceed down one of three possible user flows (at least that I can think of)

  1. The user was trying to do something they couldn’t figure out and went looking on the forum or in documentation for how to do it. They were directed to this option on the profile page. Given the profile page had nothing to do with the task at hand (since nothing on the profile page is affected by this toggle) they almost surely did not find it on their own.
  2. The user went to profile to see what settings were provided by HA as part of initial exploration and noticed this toggle. If they are a technical/developer type user or the kind of user who typically dig deep into to the software they use they probably toggled it on at this point in time just out of habit.
  3. They are already an expert HA user and had previous knowledge of this toggle so they sought it out.

I am strongly of the opinion that UIs should present and group options based on how users use them. This is how you make extremely technical things easier to grasp or even intuitive. You present the concepts they understand and then the more advanced concepts nearby thus helping helping users make mental links between concepts they understand and related concepts they don’t yet. So an advanced mode toggle makes complete sense and it should absolutely be presented in the places where it actually toggles things, not in some hidden away place that users have to learn they need.


I believe the thought process behind that is standard / non-advanced users will primarily use the GUI to manage everything. And the GUI method already prevents the user from saving things in a broken state, so they wouldn’t really need config check.

Well there is a few spots where the UI helps the user find this setting on their own, for example:

At the bottom of the main Configuration section it says “Missing config options? Enable advanced mode on your profile page.”

And in Supervisor section when searching in add-on store, it will say “Missing add-ons? Enable advanced mode on your profile page.”

It’s not 100% consistent yet though, some spots have a message like this and others don’t.

Ah right, I forgot about that. Sorry have had it on for a while. I still think it would be ideal to have each page with advanced options show this toggle but you’re right, that’s definitely better and more naturally discoverable.

Also is there a reason the text directs you to the profile page to toggle it instead of just providing you with a way to toggle it? Nitpick I know but I’m always a fan of eliminating extra steps.

Mainly for feature discoverability. If the user gets directed to the profile page and manually toggles Advanced mode on themselves, they learn where the location of that toggle is and will remember if they ever wanted to switch back to standard mode.

Is there a reason that “Advanced Mode” is a separate concept from Administrator? It seems redundant for an admin to have to toggle “Advanced Mode”. I don’t really see an issue with removing the feature altogether and tying the revealed functionality to the user being an “admin” or “user”

It’s my understanding that the advanced mode stuff is supposed to be optional when it comes to running an HA setup… i.e, you could create a setup you are happy without advanced mode.

I wonder how true that is. Do people actually run without it, or are there things that cause pretty much everyone to turn it on? Maybe I’ll make a poll. Course, when 1.0 comes out someday and a whole new group of people appear due to added publicity, that ratio might change compared to the (possibly) more technically inclined people running it now.

Even if it were enabled by default it would still be optional to the user whether they actually use the features or not. It just seems like a lot of effort to hide otherwise innocuous services. It’s not like access to the services is revoked, they can still be called manually through the services dev tool. “Advanced Mode” just adds unnecessary steps to make the services more easily accessible.

Having an admin account isn’t necessarily indicative of a users skill level, because when setting up Home Assistant for the first time, the default owner account is always an administrator. It makes sense for these to be separate concepts IMO.

It would be reasonable to add an explanation and toggle to the initial onboarding though.

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But what is included in “Advanced Mode”? It mostly adds buttons to perform services that otherwise would have to be run manually. If anything not enabling it is a more “advanced” setup. Adding 1 click solutions to perform actions is kinda the definition of “simplifying”

A link to my old post regarding Advanced Mode here : Simple Mode in Home Assistant 1.0 · Home Assistant dev docs

TLDR : I think the feature invalidates itself by making all documentation confusing for any admin, especially new users. As features are somewhat arbitrarily hidden behind Advanced Mode, it makes any debugging or following of docs, tutorials, or help unreliable unless Advanced Mode is turned on. This problem is two-fold as new users may not even be aware of an Advanced Mode, so they do not realize that the docs are correct, but what they refer to is hidden. This is the opposite of what you want for a new user. And anyone who knows about this problem likely just turns it on and leaves it on for the same reason.

The hiding of features should, IMHO, be related to user accounts, not an advanced menu. Or at the very least, it should default to on for admins.


I vaguely recalled your write-up when I opened this thread, ScottD. I should have hunted up the link to it so that maybe a more robust discussion could happen - my underwhelming and incomplete initial post here didn’t really do the topic justice like yours did.

A year later… I realized I forgot to respond back with the results of an informal poll in the FB group:

  • 120 out of 140 admins run advanced mode all the time
  • 20 out of 140 (the whole remainder) voted for the response “what is advanced mode?”

I think this confirms much of what has been said in this thread.