How Long Does a Tesla Camera Record?

How long does a Tesla camera record? That is the question many customers are wondering after learning that their cars are recording videos even when the car is not in motion. Some people are concerned that their privacy has been violated, while others are just curious about the feature. 

If you are also curious about how long a Tesla camera records, you are at the right place. In this article, we’ll provide you with the answer to this question and more. We’ll explain how the camera works and give you an overview of the different recording modes. Plus, we’ll share some tips on how to get the most out of your Tesla camera recordings.

How Long Does a Tesla Camera Record

How Long Does a Tesla Camera Record?

In a word, a Tesla camera can record as long as you want and as long as there is space in Tesla’s memory. Usually, when you enable it, Tesla will continue to record continuously as long as there is free space in its USB flash memory.

The recording continues with four of the eight cameras. When the USB flash memory is full, it automatically deletes the oldest clips. However, if you use a bigger size of flash memory, Tesla can collect several months of clips.

Now the question is, what will happen when Tesla is in idle mode? In this case, you can turn on sentry mode. It records full-time in sentry mode but leaves a 1-minute snippet recording clip if something suspicious happens.

On the other hand, when you blow the horn, touch the icon, or get involved in an accident, Tesla will not let the clip, recorded one minute before that moment, be deleted, but will save it forever. But you can delete it if you want. Even if you don’t bring your Tesla, it saves a snippet of what you’re doing with its AI system, or if there’s something inconsistent with or around your car.

How to Use a Tesla Dashcam?

When your Tesla is on, its dashcam records events and occurrences around the car. Dashcam does not record clips when Tesla is off. You must use DashCam to record any unwanted incidents that happen in and around your Tesla.

Dashcam requires a formatted USB flash memory card. This flash memory is used to save and restore video clips. See the discussion below to use Dashcam properly:

To enable Dashcam, first go to Controls. From there go to Safety> Dashcam and choose:


Your Tesla dashcam automatically records and saves any kind of emergency like airbag placement or collision. When you select Auto, Tesla’s recognition varies depending on its sleep, power, and autopilot conditions.


If you want to record manually, you must touch the dashcam icon, then you can record the latest 10-minute clip.

On Honk

When this option is enabled, when you blow the horn, the dashcam will record a recent 10-minute video and save it as a clip.

After enabling dashcam by pressing any one of the above options, you can manually save the clip by touching the gray camera icon. The dashcam controls are:


It shows a red circle with a gray camera icon. This indicates that the dashcam is recording. Touch this icon to save the video clip. If you want to pause the recording, hold down the icon.


A gray camera icon with a gray dot indicates that the recording has paused. If you do not want to lose the video clip, pause the dashcam recording before removing the USB flash. Touch the same icon to resume recording.


The gray camera icon with a green checkmark indicates the saved clip. If the dashcam shows this type of icon, then the video clip has been saved.

How Long Does the Tesla Dashcam Record?

The Tesla dashcam records continuously while the car is in motion, and the footage is stored on the car’s USB flash memory. This means that the dashcam will continue to record even if the car is turned off. 

In the event of a collision, the dashcam will automatically start recording. The duration of the recording will depend on a variety of factors, including the mode that is currently being used (front or rear view), the speed of the vehicle, the size of the USB flash drive, and the severity of the collision.

How to Enable Tesla Sentry Mode?

Earlier in this article, we learned a little about Tesla Sentry Mode. When your Tesla Sentry mode is switched on, all its cameras and sensors are alert. Even when the car is locked, it is ready to record various untoward incidents that take place in its vicinity. You must have dashCam switched on and the USB flash used to be properly formatted to ensure that video clips are saved and recovered in Tesla Sentry mode.

Do you want to automatically turn on the sentry mode every time the car is locked or parked? Then follow the settings below:

First, go to Controls and from there, follow Sentry Mode> On. There you will find three customization options which are as follows:

Exclude Home

This is your first option. If you enable it, Sentry mode will not work in all the places of your choice, such as your home, office, etc. Sentry mode will be alert in all other places except these. But in this case, you first have to set those places as home. To do this, first, go to Navigate, then hold down Home. Then type the address and press Save As Home.

Exclude Favorites

In this mode, your Tesla will turn on sentry mode in all places except your favorite places. This means that all the places you have included in your list of favorites will have sentry mode off.

Exclude Work

It works the same as the above two options. Sentry mode will be asleep in all the areas you have on your worklist. But remember that no matter which home, favorite, or workplace you choose, the car must be parked within 10 meters of the specified place. Sentry mode will not work in any way if the dashcam is off at this time.

To manually turn Tesla Sentry Mode on or off, notice and touch the circle icon in a circle on the car’s touchscreen. Alternatively, touch Sentry from Controls. Having sentry mode active will increase your power consumption. To enable Sentry Mode, you need to keep Tesla Charge at a minimum of 20%. 

Whenever the charge goes below 20%, you will get a message in your mobile app. Tesla is prohibited from installing any software updates while Sentry Mode is on. Above all, never rely entirely on sentry mode for the overall protection of your Tesla.

Also Read: Tesla Side Camera Not Working: Possible Causes & Solutions!


Having a Tesla dashcam is one of the smartest investments you can make. Not only does it protect you in the event of an accident, but you also be able to capture priceless footage of your life at the moment. 

In this blog post, we have taught you how to use a Tesla dashcam, and also discuss how long does a Tesla camera record. Finally, we have shown you how to enable Tesla sentry mode, which will help keep your car safe while you’re away. We hope this information will help you the most about your Tesla’s ultimate security.