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?




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