Discover how the DJI Return to Home (RTH) function works and why it’s invaluable for every drone pilot.


The DJI RTH function is a very useful safety feature that helps bring your drone back to a safe, accessible landing location. Read on to discover how this technology works and how you can benefit from it.

3 Return to Home Modes

Smart RTH

This mode allows users to command the drone to return to the Home Point when tapping on the RTH button on the remote controller or the DJI GO 4 app.

Low Battery RTH

When the DJI drone’s battery level depletes to a specified level, a prompt will appear on the DJI GO 4 app, and the drone will return to the Home Point.

Failsafe RTH

This mode brings your drone back to the Home Point if it happens to lose signal when connected to a remote controller or through Wi-Fi.

How Does RTH Work?

A DJI drone will set its takeoff position as the Home Point when it receives four GPS signals or more. The drone will continuously analyze real-time GPS coordinates and use a compass to assist its return flight. Anything that interferes with the Home Point position, GPS, or compass can affect the RTH function.

In order to ensure your drone returns to the Home Point safely, please fly it in an open area free of interference, and remember to refresh the Home Point before any flight.*

*Please note that urban areas with lots of tall buildings can interfere with GPS signals. Magnetic fields, high voltage cables, and structures made from metal can also interfere with the compass.

Preflight Drone Preparation

When a drone enters Failsafe RTH mode, you will not be able to control the drone to avoid obstacles. However, by setting a relatively higher flight altitude in the DJI GO 4 app, the drone will ascend to that altitude before returning home. By flying at a higher altitude, the drone can avoid most obstacles in its path, which is a simple and effective way to ensure safer flight operation.*

*If the drone’s current altitude is higher than the altitude set in the DJI GO 4 app, it will return directly at its current altitude.

When returning to the Home Point, the drone can detect obstacles with its vision sensors and ascend to a safe height. *

*Vision sensors can only detect obstacles with clear textures in a well-illuminated environment. Please note: Mavic Pro, Mavic Air, and Spark are not equipped with upward vision sensors.

Intelligent RTH features

Failsafe RTH mode

A drone will return to the Home Point using its original flight path and restore the signal connection as soon as possible, enabling users to control its flight path.*

*The drone will not return to the Home Point using its original flight path when operated with other RTH modes. Instead, it will choose the shortest flight path to return to the Home Point. Please note: Spark will always choose the shortest flight path to return in any RTH mode.

Smart RTH mode

When the drone arrives above the Home Point, Landing Protection will automatically activate and the downward sensors will determine if the area beneath the drone is suitable for landing. If the area is not suitable for landing, the drone will hover in place, waiting for the user’s command.*

*Please note: Spark is only capable of detecting water surfaces, and can’t detect flat, even surfaces.

In addition, please ensure the lighting conditions are adequate during takeoff and landing.*

*Please note that Inspire 2 does not support Precision Landing.

Return to Home Drones

With the RTH function you can continue capturing spectacular aerial footage and ensure safe flight operation. Regardless of where your adventure takes you, follow these simple steps to maintain good flying practices. Take the first step with a DJI drone today.