Are Ring Cameras Always Recording?

Two ring cameras on a shelfTwo ring cameras on a shelf

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Having your Ring Camera record footage is one of the major benefits of a Ring Protect Plan. But, there are a lot of questions surrounding just when and for how long your camera will record.

Do Ring Cameras Record Continuously?

Ring cameras on their own do not record continuously. However, with the Ring Protect Plan, they record and store footage when they detect motion. They will also record and log whenever the doorbell is rung, or you enter live view.

You get a 30-day free trial of Ring Protect when you first set up your camera. After it ends, you can continue subscribing for a monthly fee or just use the camera’s free features.  

There are currently three Ring Protect Plans available:

  1. Ring Protect Basic
  2. Ring Protect Plus
  3. Ring Protect Pro

If you choose the Ring Protect Pro Plan, you can also have your Ring Cameras and Ring Alarm system professionally monitored 24/7. 

Note: Protect plans are only good for one address per subscription. You must purchase two subscription plans if you have a business and a home you want to keep track of.

Do Ring Cameras Always Record with a Protect Plan?

No matter which plan you sign up for, your Ring Camera will not record continuously. It will only record when it detects motion.

Ring Protect plans allow your camera to record footage, but with some caveats.  

FeaturesRing Protect BasicRing Protect PlusRing Protect Pro
Number of Devices1UnlimitedUnlimited
24/7 Monitoring Capability NoNoYes
24/7 Backup InternetNoNoYes

With each plan, the video history is deleted after 180 days. But, you can share and save videos and download up to 50 videos simultaneously.

The 24/7 backup internet feature, only offered with Ring Protect Pro, allows your devices to still receive internet through cellular data and record footage in case of a power outage.  

How Long Can Ring Cameras Record?

If an intruder steps onto your property, your Ring device might only record for a few seconds, leaving you wondering what to do next.

If you don’t answer the motion push notification sent to your phone, you can only record a maximum of 120 seconds

If you want to record for longer, you can answer the notification on your phone and record Live View for up to 10 minutes

By default, the length of time Ring devices record will vary. However, you can adjust this to the maximum recording length if your Ring Camera is hardwired

Cameras that can be hardwired include:

How to Change Your Ring Camera’s Recording Length

If you have a hardwired Ring Camera, you can open the Ring app and follow these steps to change your video recording length:

  1. Tap “Devices” in the main menu.
  2. Select the camera you want to make changes to.
  3. Press “Device Settings.”
  4. Select “Video Settings.”
  5. Tap “Video Recording Length.”
  6. Toggle “Auto” off and select “120 seconds.”

Now, your Ring camera will always record for 120 seconds when it detects motion.

Using Ring Snapshot Capture

If you want to always know what’s going on with your Ring Camera, I recommend turning on Snapshot Capture in the Ring app. This feature works whether you have a Ring Protect subscription or not. 

It regularly updates your home screen with snapshots of your camera’s Live View, letting you see what’s going on with any Ring Camera in your home at any time. 

  1. Open the Ring app.
  2. Tap the menu icon in the top-left corner.
    Open the hamburger menu, the three horizontal lines
  3. Tap “Devices.”
    Select devices
  4. Select the camera you want to view snapshots from.
    Select the doorbell
  5. Tap “Device Settings.”
    Click device settings
  6. Press “Snapshot Capture.”  
    Tap snapshot capture
  7. Choose your Snapshot Frequency. I recommend choosing the highest frequency available. 
    Adjust the capture settings
  8. Tap “Save” in the upper-right corner.

Now, you’ll have a history of what your Ring Camera sees throughout the day. 

How to View Your Snapshot Capture History

When you’re ready, you can follow the steps below to see all the snapshots your Ring Camera has taken:

  1. Open the Ring app.
  2. Select the camera you want to view snapshots for.
  3. Tap “Live View”
  4. Scroll to the left side of the app to see previously taken snapshots.

Snapshots are saved to the cloud for seven days. After that, they will be automatically deleted.


Are There Any Cameras That Continuously Record?

There are quite a few security cameras that offer continuous recording.  

Some of them are strictly for indoor surveillance, while others can be used outdoors.  

Indoor Security CamerasOutdoor Security Cameras
Nest Cam IQ Arlo Pro 2
Eufy Indoor Cam 2KEufy Solo OutdoorCam
Arlo Ultra 2Eufy 2K Pro Wired Doorbell

Ring Camera is Not Detecting Motion

If your Ring Camera or Doorbell is not detecting motion, there are many ways you can troubleshoot it. Some of the most common problems include:

  • Motion alerts are disabled
  • Your motion zones aren’t large enough
  • Your doorbell is offline

Will a Ring Camera Record if the Power or Wi-Fi is Out?

Unless you have a Ring Protect Pro Plan with cellular backup, a Ring camera cannot record footage if the power or Wi-Fi is out. 

How to Tell if a Ring Doorbell is Recording

Ring Doorbells have a red indicator light that turns on while they’re recording.

Ring Cameras also have a Motion Warning feature, which verbally notifies visitors to your home that they are being recorded. This feature is on by default, but you can turn it off.

As the owner, you can tell if your Ring Doorbell is recording through the Ring app. You’ll get a notification on your phone every time it begins recording.

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