Motion detection is a must-have feature of a smart home security system. For homeowners, getting notified and know what's happening around the premise is important.

While when the motion camera is being unresponsive, such as motion detection not working, detecting motion but not recording, or delay in motion capture, what should you do?

Motion Detection Notification

Behind the Miss-Out

There are two main types of motion sensors in a surveillance system, one triggers motion by measuring changes in pixels and relying on motion algorithm, known as optical-based motion sensor; another sets off motion alarms by detecting body heat and infrared energy, known as PIR motion sensor.

Both types could suffer motion miss-out when there is network connection problem. Technical issues like firmware, software, and placement can also be blamed for cameras’ inability to trigger motion alert, record motion or push notifications.

How to Fix Motion Detection Not Working

1. Activate & Reconfigure Motion Detection

Some users might have experienced that their security camera is not reacting to people walking into its frame, nor does the camera capture any motion events.

In such case, it's likely that user forgets to configure motion detection setting during setup stage. Some security cameras will initiate motion detection by default while some are not.

Thus, make sure you have enabled motion detection in your desktop software or mobile apps.

Or you did all above and the problem is still there, readjust sensibility and change other motion detection settings like increasing sensibility to object size, increasing contrast to the max, resetting Geo-fencing, resetting motion detection schedule or resetting threshold level.

Enable Motion Detection

2. Update Firmware

Many security cameras will start recording when movement is detected. Behind such technology lies in the complicated algorithm which will calculate the pixies difference between different frames.

However, once the algorithm is not properly calculated, situations like cameras are not recording movements even there are people approaching or walking pass, will occur.

Updating security camera firmware or firmware of NVR/DVR to the latest version could fix potential bugs that have been meddling with the motion detection or push notification.

3. Update Monitoring Software

Monitoring software or apps play a role in motion capture and motion alert triggers since you need them to enable motion detection and trigger in the first place, or not for some of them trigger motion by default.

Any bugs or unresolved technical problems in the monitoring software or apps could have an impact on the general performance of your security cameras or systems.

Think about the movie Ant-man or TV show Arrow, a simple glitch could jeopardize the overall functionality. Upgrading your apps or software to an updated version and gets rid of this nagging problem once for all.

4. Change Cameras' Placement or Pointing Angle

Security cameras with built-in PIR motion sensor, such as Arlo cameras could see cameras do detect motion but fail to record or capture movement. Or cameras can't detect or record motions through glass or window glass panel.

In such cases, avoid placing motion detection security cameras behind the glass window especially cameras with a PIR motion sensor; do place wireless motion sensor security cameras closer to a WiFi router or hotspot.

The object from afar is relatively easier to be miss out, so don't expect security cameras to pick up every movement within its field of view. Focusing on strategic areas for motion detection helps achieve maximal peace of mind as well as reducing unwanted false alarms.

Change Motion Detection Camera Pointing Angle


Normally, people infuriate about getting loads of false alarm alerts and getting their storage/inbox flooded with notifications, but not so much furious when not getting any notification or motion alert.

However, more often than not, no news is not always good news, especially if you are not storing footage to an on-site NVR or uploading to a cloud server, missing out such important forensic video evidence is unnerving.

Motion Detection Not Working

Technically speaking, many cheap or cheapish security cameras, despite having built-in motion sensors, could experience problems like motion detection not working, frequent motion triggers or missing motion capture after months of use.

Buying security cameras from top CCTV camera brand like Reolink could reduce such risks and guarantee long-term stability in performance.

  • dr_sn0w

    That was a really terrible article.

  • spychic

    since the Apple update i allowed on Tuesday Oct. 2 2018, i can no longer open the notification when it pops up on my cell face. when i click OPEN, nothing happens. i have to manually open each cam to discover where the motion is. the entire point of motion detection is to alert me to activity and prevent or capture nature/crime/deliveries/whatever. if i can no longer open the notice on the camera that was triggered, what the hell is the point of notifying me. REOLINK or APPLE
    needs to fix this issue.

  • Pman2016

    I use both Windows app and apps on iOS (iPad) and Android (Samsung). On the iOS and Android apps you can disable sending of emails but no where in the Windows app will you see that email has been turned off. I went on vacation and turned off emails from motion detection from my iPad and was trying to see why it wasn't working in the windows app. I remember I turned it off from my iPad. Reolink needs to have all the features and setting available in the Windows app or just do away with it if you aren't going to maintain it.

    • Olivia

      Hello, there, we have already forwarded your suggestion to our R&D team. Thank you for your feedback and support. 🙂

  • Olivia

    Hello Pao, you may update the Reolink app to the latest version and adjust the placement of your security camera to see if the problem solved. Also check out useful tips here, on how to get the most out of the motion detection feature. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

  • NRA_guy

    I have a new Reolink RLK8-410B2D2 PoE NVR system with two RLC 410-5MP cameras and two RLC-420-5MP cameras. Everything works great except one RLC-410 camera does not record anything when set to ”Motion” recording. Set to ”Normal” it records everything. And ”Live” view works fine, too. I have done everything suggested and more. (There is no update firmware available for my cameras or the NVR.) It is NOT a motion detection setting issue nor is it a camera placement/pointing issue nor is it a Cat5 cable issue. And I am not talking about when I am using a phone app or the Windows Reolink Client software. It does not work on the NVR connected directly to a monitor. The other 3 cameras detect and record motion just as they should. I pressed the ”reset” button on the camera's pigtail but saw no change. I am not sure what the camera's reset button is supposed to do. I think I have a defective camera.

    • Yolanda

      Hello there, please check if you have set up motion detection for the RLC-410 camera properly first and here is a detailed guide for your reference, If yes, connect the camera to another channel of your NVR and see if the motion recording works.
      Also, to examine if the camera is defective, test the motion sensor by connecting the camera to your router directly and enabling email and push notifications in the settings. Please send your feedback to us on if you can receive any notification when the camera is triggered. If yes, then the camera sensor works properly and the camera itself is not defective.
      Feel free to contact me if you have encountered any further problem.

  • iidvbii

    I just purchased and set up an Argus PT over my front door. The camera misses almost all motion, unless you stand directly in front of it waving your hand for instance. People have come all the way to our front door and then after knocking it we get a small video of them waiting on the porch. At other times it seems to go off with nothing in its field of view. Its not set up behind anything, it has a clear view of our walk way but still it isn't picking up a full grown man walking directly at it?


  • Marc Siedenburg

    Hi, I have the opposite problem: Motion Detection works perfectly but it does not switch off in ”Scenes”. So I created 3 Scenes: ”Home”, 'Night” and ”Away” and created settings for each Scene. Obviously I don't want Motion Detection to send push notifications and e-mail in the Scene ”Home” so I deselected those options. But it still keeps sending them...(hardware: RLK8-410B2D2)

    • Olivia

      Hello Marc, we are sorry that we don't offer the schedule feature for the scene mode as of now. So, you need to enable the ”Home” scene manually when you are at home. Please also upgrade the app to the latest version since we have optimized the push notification feature in the latest version 4.19 as well. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

      • Marc Siedenburg

        Thank for the info. I have also found out that the ”Scene” functionality is not present in the MacOS client ( so that settings conflict with the IOS App. I hope that ”Scenes” will be added to the MacOS client.

        • Olivia

          Hi Marc, the Scene Mode is only available in the Reolink app as of now. If you alter the notification settings via the Reolink Client after enabling the ”Home” scene, your cameras will send you push notifications and email alerts in accordance with the latest changes, which may lead to the conflicts. Hope this clarifies.

  • Ishmael Baptiste

    i have selected ”timer” over alarm because it records continuously and identify motion triggered footage, but in the app when i playback i do not see any motion triggers, i just have 24hrs of video in 30min segments but i have no clue if there was any motion, how am i supposed to have 24hr recording and at the same time go thru the footage to check for motion ?

    • Olivia

      Hi Ishmael, please specify which camera model you are using. You may upgrade your camera with the latest firmware here,, and upgrade your Reolink app to the latest version as well. By doing so, you will be able to have 24hr recording and go through the motion-triggered footage as well. Hope this helps.

  • Sharon Lewis

    I have a Vivitar IPC 113 and it works fine, I just do not get push ”alarm” notifications when there is motion detected at the door. The app takes a pic and stores it in the app, I just can't get the app to notify me of same. I have to constantly open the app to see if there is a dot next to the ”me” thing and then follow through to look for the screen shot. I have push enabled, I have notifications enabled, I'm using iPhone with updated IOS, and the Vivitar Smart Security System app. Everything works except push notifications of the ”alarm” when motion is detected. Is this because I do not have the SD card installed in the camera? I thought the Sd card was only required to record video. I will be getting the SD card, just not right yet. Thank you.

    • Olivia

      Hi Sharon, does your camera connect to the network? If not, you may connect it the WiFi and see if the push notifications work. If not, it is best to consult the tech team of your security camera brand asap. Hope this would help.

  • Olivia

    Hi Eric, according to the product page, your security camera seems to use pixel change detection. For more detailed info, it is best to consult the professionals from your security camera brand. Hope this helps.

  • Christine

    Why doesn't my account notify me when another family member logs in? It did until we had a power outage.

    • Olivia

      Hello Christine, thank you for reaching out. You will not receive notifications when another user accesses the camera via the phone app. Only when motion is detected or other exceptions occur, you will be notified. Hope this would clarify.

      • 1FlyAmigo

        So the phone app doesn't get notifications?

  • Ruby

    Hi I have 2 argus eco one is on my front gate. It will pick up cars on the street or a cat running down the driveway but it won't pick up a person walking or riding a bike right by my front gate. I have turned up the sensitivity to 95. Anyone have any suggestions?

  • Olivia

    Hi, Tricia, thank you for reaching out. Please check the record setting of the camera first. If the recording function is on and the camera still doesn't record, please format its SD card or change it with a new one (to see if the SD card is okay and works compatibly with the camera). If the problem still remains after those efforts, please submit a request here: Our support team will contact you as soon as possible.

  • I Have a Reolink 410W installed in my garage in front of the main door (1 meter) but people that come inside per this door the camera doesn't detect.. But car passing in the street it detect.. I already tested in all leves of motion alerts.. Anyone has a tip for detect people in direction of the camera? (People that come behind the camera in direction of the main door its detect normally)

    • Olivia

      Hi there. You can try to adjust the camera orientation and make sure the camera facing the people coming inside at an angle. If the problem still exists, you may contact Reolink support team here:



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