Smart Home

4 Serious Issues With the Yale Assure Smart Lock

Jackson Chung 25-08-2018

The idea of not using physical keys is great. If only it worked.


Yale’s Assure Lock with Bluetooth and Z-Wave (YRD4) aims to rid your pocket of jangling keys, promising a world where you only need to twist your phone to unlock your front door. Unfortunately, it fails miserably.

Yale Security YRD446-ZW2-619 Yale Real Living Assure Lock with Bluetooth and Z-Wave in Satin Nickel (YRD446ZW2619) Yale Security YRD446-ZW2-619 Yale Real Living Assure Lock with Bluetooth and Z-Wave in Satin Nickel (YRD446ZW2619) Buy Now On Amazon

I had the opportunity to install this so-called “smart lock” — replacing a traditional deadbolt — only to find myself sometimes locked out of my own house. Here are four issues affecting the Yale Assure smart lock you need to know.

yale assure lock issues

1. Wireless Connectivity Means Lots of Troubleshooting

The model I purchased for testing has both Bluetooth and Z-Wave connectivity (model number YRD446ZW2619, to be exact). I initially thought this was great because it would support two operation modes: standalone through Bluetooth or connected to a smart home hub through Z-Wave.


However, the Z-Wave signal from my Samsung SmartThings hub Samsung SmartThings: The Future of Smart Homes? Samsung has supported the idea of the smart home for a long time, and their recent developments and flexibility make Samsung's SmartThings a solid investment for the future. Read More in the living room could barely reach the front door, due to the walls and furniture in the way. I had to place my hub within three feet of the lock in order for it to register.

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In hindsight, I should have ordered the Zigbee version because Z-Wave doesn’t operate on an international standard — there are various frequencies for different parts of the world:

  • 921.4; 919.8: Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia
  • 921.4: Brazil
  • 868.42; 869.85: CEPT Countries (Europe and other countries in region), French Guia
  • 919.8; 921.4: Chile, El Salvador, Peru
  • 868.4: China, Singapore, South Africa
  • 919.8: Hong Kong
  • 865.2: India
  • 915 to 917: Israel
  • 922 to 926: Japan, Taiwan
  • 869: Russia
  • 919 to 923: South Korea
  • 908.4; 916: USA, Argentina, Guatemala, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico, Bermuda, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Panama, British Virgin Islands, Suriname, Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Colombia, Turks & Caicos, Ecuador, Uruguay

Due to these variations, a Samsung SmartThings hub How to Set Up and Use Your Samsung SmartThings System Just purchased a new Samsung SmartThings system? Here's a step-by-step guide for everything you need to know to get it working perfectly in your home. Read More from North America will not connect with a Z-Wave light bulb from Australia, for instance. And this is why I couldn’t purchase a Z-Wave network extender to boost the signal: The Yale Assure smart lock was designed to work in the United States on U.S. Z-Wave frequencies, as was my SmartThings hub. But I’m based in Australia and if I were to purchase a Z-Wave network extender locally, it wouldn’t be the right frequency, while an American model would burn to a crisp with our 230V 50Hz electricity supply.


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Zigbee, on the other hand, is maintained by a global standard, much like Wi-Fi. As long as the smart device you’re looking to add to your network is released with the HA 1.2 specification (or earlier, since it’s backward compatible), it will be compatible with any Zigbee-enabled smart home hub 7 Smart Home Hubs You've Never Heard of Before Some smart home hubs get all the press, so you might not be aware of these lesser-known gems! One of these lesser-known smart home hubs might just be the perfect fit for you! Read More . My colleague Bryan Wolfe wrote an extensive article on the differences between Zigbee and Z-Wave What's the Difference Between Zigbee and Z-Wave? Here's Everything You Need to Know To ensure your smart home devices communicate well with each other, it's important to know what wireless language they speak! Here's everything you need to know about Zigbee and Z-wave. Read More with everything you need to know about the two protocols.

So what did I learn from this Z-Wave kerfuffle? I learned how important it is to plan out my smart home strategy properly. In the future, I’ll carefully consider the devices I’d like to add The Coolest Smart Gadgets Compatible With a SmartThings Hub The SmartThings hub connects wirelessly with hundreds of compatible smart devices, allowing you to monitor, control, and secure your home from anywhere in the world. Read More and choose between Zigbee and Z-Wave. Every powered (or plugged in) Zigbee or Z-Wave product introduced to a smart home will act as a repeater in their mesh network, enhancing the signal strength and connectivity to the hub.

yale assure lock issues


2. Bluetooth Connectivity Problems

Even though this Yale Assure Lock advertises Bluetooth capabilities, I could never get it to pair with my iPhone. So much for Twist & Go. And before you ask: yes, I did perform a factory reset on the lock. Unfortunately, no amount of fiddling could get the lock to connect to my phone. Trust me, I tried for a good hour.

The lack of Bluetooth connectivity also meant that I could not manage my keys through the Yale Connect app or assign temporary keys to guests. Without Bluetooth, the lock immediately loses much of its functionality. While it’s possible I received a faulty unit, that reflects negatively on Yale’s quality control of this $200 lock.

yale assure lock issues

3. Reporting the Wrong Locked Status

It would be a little worrying if your smart lock consistently reports that your front door is unlocked, wouldn’t it? That’s exactly what I’ve been facing.


yale assure lock issues

This Yale Assure Lock never reported the right locked status back to my smart home hub. In fact, it always displayed the “unlocked” state. Research and discussions with an expert in Z-Wave revealed two possible reasons:

  1. The Z-Wave network isn’t strong enough to properly ping the lock. The suggested solution? Repositioning the hub.
  2. The lock’s Z-Wave module is faulty and isn’t sending the right lock status to the hub.

Either way, I was definitely not alone in this. In fact, it’s quite a popular issue but for some, a revised device handler seemed to have solved the problem.

Personally, I tried using different device handlers, moved my hub around, and repaired my Z-Wave network multiple times. I still couldn’t get it to report the correct lock state.

4. A Jammed Bolt

This issue was quite a serious one because I actually got locked out of my own house because of it. As of today, I still haven’t figured out the cause or how to rectify it. Living dangerously, I know.

The bolt sometimes jams and not retract, causing it to remain locked even after entering my PIN code. The 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 digits would light up, and initially I thought it was some sort of error code. Then I realized it was just trying to display an “X”. Funnily, this Yale Assure Lock has a speaker and a voice that guides the user through the different menu items. Why couldn’t Yale program a voice message for the error?

Kinks to Work Out

The Yale Assure Lock has caused more stress for both me and my family members than any traditional deadbolt. Rather than providing peace of mind, it has made us feel more insecure, fearing we’d be locked out of our own house. Although I was able to control it from my smartphone to some degree, the reliability issues trumped any convenience it brought to the table.

Needless to say, I’ll be returning it — it’s nowhere ready for prime time yet. And I’d approach other Yale smart locks with extreme caution.

Update: It’s Finally Working

Not to long after this article was published, I received a replacement unit from Amazon and purchased a ZigBee network module from Yale’s online store (which is down at the time of writing). I’m happy to report that with the help of the ZigBee module, my Yale Assure Lock no longer suffers from connectivity issues and networks seamlessly with the Samsung SmartThings hub. Let this be a lesson to Amazon US shoppers located outside of the US: when selecting smart home products, try to pick one that supports ZigBee.

As for the jammed bolt, I realised that the bolt recess wasn’t deep enough. Drilling away an additional quarter of an inch gave the bolt sufficient room to travel and alleviated that issue.

Overall, even though the Yale Assure Lock works perfectly now, it certainly wasn’t the case at the start.

Have you experienced any issues with your Yale Assure Lock? Let us know in the comments.

Related topics: Home Automation, Smart Locks, SmartThings.

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  1. John Meerabux
    May 17, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Why even use Z-wave? I purchased about four yale zigbee touchscreen locks that looked just like this 5 years ago via Amazon. Batteries would last about 6-12 months but no technical faults and signal was good. It took a few months before Swannone patched updates to recognize the Yale system properly, though I played with the old Smarthings hub (imported) it wasn't as easy to use and needed some custom github code. Back then Bunnings in Australia only had Z Wave available, so the legal way to get matching Australian radio was to import USA version with zigbee. Not sure why Bunnings didn't sell Zigbee, I didn't save much getting it online. The only issue I had was matching the satin nickel for door knobs as USA use this satin yellow brushed colour finish while in Australia Bunnings only supplied chrome (very white silvery gloss finish). Ironically the house already had light fixtures in matching satin nickel so buying some simular style Kwikset door knobs overseas on ebay made all the door and ceiling furnishings match anyway. The lights that didn't match got removed.

  2. Oldjoe
    March 14, 2020 at 11:45 pm

    So you installed an illegal Zwave hub and the lock wouldn’t work with it. And the physical installation was faulty. But it’s all the fault of that nasty Z-wave protocol and the product itself. What a nong!

    Please take down this review and don’t embarrass yourself further,

  3. guy
    March 7, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    I've had this lock for going on 3 years now. I had no issues connecting it to my bluetooth on my iphone right away. You can also program it directly on the keypad.

    Having said that I didn't see the use of the 'twist-to-unlock' feature. It was too many buttons to get to it and pressing the code worked quicker. I am 'just' now attempting to connect it to my zwave network (aeotec gen5 module w/ homeassistant). I hope this will go pretty smoothly...

    Overall I am pleased with this lock and am disappointing with the battery selection (rechargeable lithium-ion would be preferred) and the bluetooth feature wasn't useful. I do like needing one less key though!

  4. Charlie
    August 20, 2019 at 12:05 am

    I just had the issue where my iPhone SE Nest app was showing me the door being locked, and then opening itself. I finally went to the app on my iPad, and it worked. I think it’s time for a new phone.

  5. Jim Turpin
    May 21, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Note, when certain Z-wave devices like locks register, they go into a very low power mode on purpose to prevent the handshake codes from being received by other devices (or hackers with sniffers). Other devices register at full power. I had the same problem when I first got my Yale lock but when I researched the protocol, I discovered that is why in the instructions it insists on you being very close when you are pairing the Z-wave lock with its' hub. Anyhow, I have paired many zwave devices, changed locks, things like that without any problems. Just have to understand there is a reason for that initial close registration. Once it registers, it goes back to full Z-Wave power. By the way, I have three separate Z-wave systems running in my house, all work rock solid. You really have to be a long way away with lots of obstacles for it not to work as it is very a resilient method of communicating.

  6. Laurie
    April 18, 2019 at 4:45 am

    I continually get "phantom" door openings from my Yale Assure 446 (Dead bolt lock).

    I have a Smart things hub with the Yale lock connected to same. My initial "install" was with a "Z Wave" module and the "phantom openings" were very regular up to 2-3 times a day. I decided to change to a "ZigBee" module (after reading this article) and the "phantoms" stopped however now I get about 2-3 "phantom" openings a week.

    I have been able to get "smartthings" to provide me with a SMS message when my door opens/closes. As you can appreciate as I live alone and when I am at work receiving a SMS that my front door is open it is of great concern. I installed a temp indoor cctv camera to check the door when a SME is received. I have the Yale lock set to auto close in 10 secs which does help a little.

    I am now considering disconnecting the Yale lock from smart things de to this massive failure.

    does any one have any suggestions ?

    • Jackson Chung
      April 18, 2019 at 4:47 am

      Hi Laurie,

      Seeing as how this is a blatant security issue, you should contact Yale for a replacement.

      • Laurie
        April 18, 2019 at 5:01 am

        Hi jackson

        thanks for your reply

        i have emailed Yale Aust with the "same" above

        i await their response


  7. Vancouver Neurotherapy
    September 23, 2018 at 2:17 am

    I too purchase not one, but two of these exact same models BLE YRD446 619 to be precise as well as the Yale z-Wave BL1 model push button and the Yale Nest x model, which when purchased from retailers, does not include the Nest hub so it can never be used!!! All locks only function on their basic code only. None of the wireless features work on any lock whatsoever!!! Beware, better yet, avoid ALL of their products because after spending $1000 and 8 months, 3 technicians on site (one from Best Buy Geek Squad, another two IT professional, and a locksmith), none were able to get any to work. I called technical support not once, twice or three times, but over 15 times!!! Never had a replacement sent out to me despite them telling me they would, the best they could do 8 months later was offer to send a new bluetooth chip for me to swap out on my own! What about the other device that is equally as defective! I keep getting error code 9 and uninstalled the app, reset to factory, set up 3 accounts, nothing.

    AVOID THIS PRODUCT! Save yourself the headache of their flash advertising but no practicality. Consider the August lock instead that is now also owned by Yale unfortunately.

  8. Alan
    September 16, 2018 at 6:47 am

    I have the Zigbee version and it works good. Also for some environments, the button versions hold up better. With both Zigbee and ZWave, battery devices have relatively short range that saves the battery. If you just have one hub (like SmartThings) and just locks, you will have a hard time. Add 3 or 4 Zigbee devices around and things will be much better. Not only do 120v devices repeat Zigbee, but they also store the status of battery Zigbee devices when they shut down to save power. The lock makers need to do a better job at explaining this. The more Zigbee devices, the better.

  9. Larry P.
    March 28, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    After several years weather has wreaked havoc on the touch screen of my Yake dead bolt lock, making it increasingly hard to see the position of the numbers, especially for my guests. Is theee a solution for this problem? Can the outer screen be replaced easily?

    • Gina
      November 29, 2018 at 1:13 am

      I have the same issue with my screen. I have no idea how to fix it. Would love it if there were an easy fix-like replacement of screen.

  10. Manav
    December 11, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    This issue was quite a serious one because I actually got locked out of my own house because of it. As of today, I still haven’t figured out the cause or how to rectify it. Living dangerously, I know.

    The bolt sometimes jams and not retract, causing it to remain locked even after entering my PIN code. The 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 digits would light up, and initially I thought it was some sort of error code. Then I realized it was just trying to display an “X”. Funnily, this Yale Assure Lock has a

    I am having a similar issue with the exact same model. Any workarounds? Couldn’t find anything on the internet discussing this issue which IMO is a serious one. The product shouldn’t have shipped with this flaw.

    • John
      February 19, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      I have the same issue, I get what seems like a jammed bolt after I type in the code, and the "X". BUT, if the key is simply inserted it works!

      • Jackson Chung
        February 19, 2018 at 9:42 pm

        So the keyless lock required a key? ;)

        • gfy
          January 19, 2019 at 8:28 am

          Same problem here. As with the original poster, I found that the bolt depth exceeded the available space carved out of the door jam. After I deepened the recess, the problem disappeared.

  11. David Huss
    November 30, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    If you need a z wave repeater that works on any voltage and is us spec go and get an aeotec multi 6 sensor (5th Gen). It usually runs on batteries but can be plugged in via a USB cord and when plugged in will be a repeater and thus works with any line voltage provided you have the right USB power supply. Also many hard wire devices do handle all voltages. For example the ge light switches can use either (I think).

  12. Barney Stinson
    October 26, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I've got a Yale lock, but not with Bluetooth connectivity. Not had an issue with my lock connecting to my Hub, albeit, the only thing standing in the way of it is a sofa. It's located several meters from the door itself. It connects and pings the Hub properly to report lock status as well as battery life. The only problem I had there was when my kid didn't fully close the door all the way, so it was struggling to lock properly, and its status was unclear. To be honest, two of the four "critical" problems of the lock aren't the fault of the lock itself. It's YOUR fault. As you said, you should've done your research and checked connectivity. As far as the jammed bolt, that sounds more like an installation issue than anything else. I read this whole thing thinking that there was some major security issue or compromise point for the lock. Way to "click-bait" title your "article."

    • Jackson Chung
      October 26, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Well I wouldn't put it that way. I did quite a bit of research before deciding on this particular lock. And the bolt jamming wasn't an installation issue - it seems several other customers have complained about it as well, along with the motor wearing out in several months. As a consumer I felt my issues were valid, and so did Amazon. In fact, they felt a replacement was justified. I'm about to test the replacement lock they sent to see if the test unit was indeed problematic.

      • Roger
        October 29, 2017 at 5:07 pm

        I have tried several of these combination locks, way before bluetooth and Zwave. They all had similar problems. I live in Canada and the units leaked a little air. The inside warm air would condense moisture in the units and corrode them in the winter. They all could not handle any frost heaving in the door: the dead bolts would not retract. I gave up and went back to the old keyed dead bolt locks. A lot cheaper and they are reliable.

    • Juan
      October 26, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      I agree, he even said he could not get his phone to connect. Then at the end of the article he says he could control the lock with his phone to some extent. WTF? Clearly didn't do his research either.

      • Jackson Chung
        October 31, 2017 at 2:17 am

        The lock is equipped with Bluetooth and Z-Wave Plus. Bluetooth didn't work, but I could connect the lock to my Smartthings Hub via Z-Wave. Perhaps you missed that bit.

  13. sml156
    October 26, 2017 at 4:17 am

    I had the same problem and I thought the problems with connectivity were due to a loose wire somewhere inside the unit, While I was disappointed that this was not the case and my hope for an easy fix did not pan out I noticed that there were some unused pads on the circuit board clearly labeled as an Ethernet port and also had the rx and tx clearly labelled. I soldered on a RJ-
    45 connector and hooked it up with some cat5 and wired it to my router. It's only a 100 Mb connection but it's plenty fast for a lock.

    • Jackson Chung
      October 27, 2017 at 4:32 am

      So you have an ethernet cable running from your front door to your router?

    • Jaymer
      June 19, 2020 at 12:54 am

      Nice! Seems like you were able to handle new technology a lot better than the OP. Way to go. Maybe he should go back to renting and get rid of his technology.