Organize and Customize Home Assistant


By default, Home Assistant will show all of your devices and services in the default view. You can change this from within the groups.yaml file on the server.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 1.54.13 PM

Open your groups file in Visual Studio Code and you’ll find a blank slate to work with. Let’s start by grouping up some items. Here is a group of the items in my bedroom.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 1.59.25 PM

name: Bedroom
– switch.bedroom_lamp
– switch.bedroom_fan
– switch.bedroom_speaker

view raw


hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Put together your first group, save, check the configuration, and restart Home Assistant.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 2.05.09 PM

Ta-Da! You’ve got a group. Make a few more and we can organize them even further.

  • The groups.yaml file can be used to change the default view and create tabs that can be populated by other groups.
  • Change the default view by adding default_view: to the file.
  • Then add whatever groups you want to add to it.
  • Notice I used a hashtag to comment out the Christmas Tree. I’ll add it back in when the tree goes up.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 2.12.16 PM

  • After saving and checking your configuration, your States tab should only show the entities or groups that you included within the default_view:
  • If you’re comfortable enough with whats going on, you can also remove the “Welcome Home!” card by removing introduction: from configuration.yaml

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 2.32.19 PM

  • Groups can also be put within tabs at the top of the page by using view: yes in the groups file.
  • I’ll move my fish tank to a new tab.
  • I suggest while working within your groups file to also make groups that you want to have voice control over. As an example, I have a “bedroom” group with my lamp, fan, and speaker. I also have an “alexa_bedroom” group that has my lamp and fan because I don’t want my speaker turning on and off whenever I tell Alexa to turn my bedroom on and off.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 3.00.00 PM

  • Save, check your configuration, and restart Home Assistant.
  • You should see your new changes go into effect.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 2.46.14 PM

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 3.22.25 PM


*Customizing entities has been made easier in Home Assistant 0.53. Scroll down to learn about the Customize Editor. This technique will still work, but you may prefer the editor.

Now that everything is organized, you can customize your entities.

  • Navigate to your customize.yaml file and you’ll be presented with another blank canvas.
  • Within the customize.yam” file, you can change names, icons, and hide groups or entities from Alexa on the Echo Dot (which will be our next step).
  • Icons are added by using MDI icons.
  • You will be connecting the Echo Dot to the system using the emulated_hue: component. To hide entities from this component you can use emulated_hue: false to change the name of the entity for the Echo Dot use emulated_hue_name: Using hidden: true will hide an entity inside Home Assistant. This can make an entity visible to Alexa, but not Home Assistant.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 3.21.04 PM

  • Save and check your configuration.
  • Restart and your customizations should now be visible.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 3.54.53 PM

Customize Editor

Home Assistant 0.53 introduced the Customize Editor. This gives you the ability to customize the same elements we just went over, but from the front end.

  • In order to use the editor, you will need to have customize: !include customize.yaml in your configuration.yaml file and a customize.yaml file in your config volume on the network.

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 3.47.47 PM.png

  • I want to change the icon for my Fish Tank Light.
  • I’ll go down and pick an attribute to override and choose icon.

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 3.28.21 PM

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 3.28.43 PM

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 3.28.52 PM

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 3.59.22 PM

  • Icons change immediately.
  • Some customizations may require restarting Home Assistant.

Look at all of your entities

  • Now that we’ve changed the default view, many of the entities have become hidden.
  • You can see them in the States section of the Developer Tools.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 4.09.02 PM

If these guides have been helpful to you , please share them! If you have any questions, please reach out to me in the comments. Thanks for visiting!


25 thoughts on “Organize and Customize Home Assistant

  1. hey, if i want to create groups like you did i always get an error: ERROR (SyncWorker_0) [homeassistant.util.yaml] while parsing a block mapping
    in “/config/groups.yaml”, line 1, column 1 expected , but found ”


      1. But now they completly disappeared from the “HOME” States tab. my groups.yaml file:
        view: yes
        – group.led_stripes
        – group.lights

        name: Led Stripes
        – switch.led
        – switch.led_red
        – switch.led_green
        – switch.led_blue
        – switch.led_yellow
        – switch.led_white
        – switch.led_orange
        – switch.led_purple
        – switch.led_turquois

        name: Lichter
        – switch.entry
        – switch.lamp

        name: Geraete
        – senor.broadlink_sensor_temprature

        where could be the problem?


  2. Hey Johnny, I don’t think I see anything wrong with the words here, I can only think it might be the formatting. Consider rebuilding your groups configuration, one group at a time and restarting after each one. This can help you narrow down where the mistake is.


      1. The groups look fine. I think you need “off” commands for your switches. Even if you won’t use them. What I would try, is comment out all of your switches with “#” and re-add them one at a time. Then you’ll know which switch is causing the problem.


  3. if i remove the whole group section everything is shown on the home screen…
    im not sure, is it about the position of the group: !include group.yaml?
    cause my broadlink and sensors are before this line and my switch is after it


      1. i finally found my problem i used the wrong switch names…i had to look them up under states…. thanks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s