If you are getting the “Activating Device” notification when motion is detected, or the doorbell is rung, but no video, then this guide is for you.
Don’t worry; this issue is quite common, particularly for first-time users. We provide 14 steps for you to diagnose and fix the problem. Let’s begin!
1. Bad signal between your phone and your mobile network, or restricted phone data plan
When you are away from home, the Ring app is your main point of connection to your Ring doorbell device. You can control the smart doorbell from any device (mobile phone or personal computer) that supports the Ring app.
To successfully use the Live View option via the app, you need a stable internet or Wi-Fi connection. Your internet connection should be the first thing you check when you have issues with the Ring app. Although video streaming requires less bandwidth, it needs a strong connection.
2. Poor Wi-Fi signal between your Ring doorbell and home router
Another reason your Ring doorbell Live View feature is not activating may be a weak connection between your router and smart doorbell device. This might even remain an issue after you’ve connected to a good internet connection.
If the signal strength between your router and Ring doorbell is bad, the Ring device will find it difficult to transfer real-time video files to your Ring app. To access the signal strength, follow the steps below:
- Open and login to your Ring app.
- Click on the three parallel lines on the upper left of your mobile screen. Click on the particular Ring device you want to troubleshoot (given that you have multiple smart doorbell devices). Click on the “Device Health” option. You will see your signal strength under the “Network” section on the Device Health screen.
- Choose “Devices.”
- Click on the particular Ring device you want to troubleshoot (given that you have multiple smart doorbell devices).
- Click on the “Device Health” option.
- You will see your signal strength under the “Network” section on the Device Health screen.
Note: if the signal strength is poor, you may want to reconsider the distance between the router and the Ring device (as distance plays a major role in signal strength). The closer the two devices, the stronger the signal strength and vice versa. Apart from the distance, the layout of the home or interfering objects can break the signal. Ensure your home layout supports a strong connection between the two devices.
3. Low internet upload/download speeds (on your home router)
You can stream footage from your front door anywhere because the Ring device is uploading the video data to a cloud system where your app can download the data. The speed of the process makes it seamless and unnoticeable. However, if the internet speed is slow, the data transmission is affected, hence the Ring app will be unable to download the image from your Ring device camera.
You can test the internet speed by following the process below:
- Take your mobile device closer to the spot where your Ring device is installed.
- Type “ring.com/speed” on a web browser on your mobile device.
- Tap the “Start” button in the central part of the gauge to initiate the speed test.
Once the test is completed, the test results will be displayed in the small table under the gauge. The green number and blue number represent the download speed and upload speed, respectively.
If the test results for the upload and download speeds are greater or equal to 2 Mbps, the Ring device should function properly. Like we’ve mentioned before, move the router closer to the Ring device in case the results are lower than 2 Mbps.
4. Switch to the lightweight Rapid Ring App
The Rapid Ring App is a companion app (used with the Ring app). It is optimized to increase the speed of communication between your Ring device and app. It allows you to stay up to date, initiates Live View, and communicates with your visitors. Although it is regarded as the “light version” of the Ring app, it cannot work without the original Ring app.
5. Check battery of Ring doorbell, or check power supply if hardwired
If your Ring Doorbell Live View is not activating then check if the Ring doorbell battery is low. Ensure the smart doorbell battery is properly charged. Ring doorbells can work with your home power supply and battery. The Ring doorbell uses a lithium polymer battery, which should last from six to twelve months before recharging. High activity and low temperature can drain the battery faster.
To check the battery percentage, follow the steps in the second troubleshooting method. The device health test reveals the battery percent, router signal strength, as well as other diagnostics.
6. Wi-Fi contention
Wi-Fi contention refers to the number of devices competing with the Ring doorbell for the internet connection. The result of the speed test won’t matter if there are several devices competing heavily with the Ring device. The best bet is to reduce the load on the Wi-Fi router, and try again.
7. Double-check Ring doorbell settings
Double-check the Ring doorbell settings to see if you have disabled the Live View feature or motion sensor recording. Restoring the Ring doorbell to factory settings can help undo the previous references (that could explain the Ring Doorbell Live View not activating).
8. Try switching from 2.4GHz to 5GHz
Ring devices can function with 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. However, you can switch the current frequency to see if it would help. You may need to create another SSID for your smart doorbell in order to connect to the 5 Hz frequency.
9. Upgrade router or install Wi-Fi repeaters or Chime Pro which acts as a repeater
If you are using previous router versions, you may want to upgrade the router for maximum performance. To further enhance the efficiency of your router, get and install Wi-Fi repeaters. A Wi-Fi repeater, aka Wi-Fi extender, increases the coverage area of your Wi-Fi network and eliminates the connection difficulties faced due to router distance from the Ring app.
10. Disable VPNs if enabled on phone or router
Some VPN apps limit the users’ bandwidth and reduce the pace of internet connection in a bid to encrypt your traffic. The existence of such VPN programs can reduce the downloading speed of the mobile Ring app or the uploading speed of the Ring doorbell device.
11. Slow phone with lots of apps or Bluetooth enabled
Mobile apps are to the phone as contending devices are to the router, hence you are advised to reduce/disable the activities of such applications when using a Ring app. Some phones have the processing ability and required space to handle multiple program functions alongside the Live View feature while others aren’t built for such.
12. Ensure your phone’s OS is up to date and compatible with the Ring app
The OS (operating system) of your devices parents other devices; hence the Ring app cannot function well if it is not compatible with the device’s OS. Ring announced on April 10th, 2018 that the Ring app will cease to work on Windows mobile devices. However, the app is still operational on Windows desktops, tablets, and laptops. The Ring app is free on Android OS and iOS.
13. Update firmware of your Ring doorbell
Updating the firmware of your Ring doorbell automatically improves its performance by eliminating bugs and adding new features from the app provider. Follow the steps below to update the firmware of your Ring doorbell.
- Open the Ring app.
- Choose “Device Health.”
- Check “Firmware” under the device details.
- If it displays “Up-to-date,” there’s no need to update it.
- If it displays a number, it means your firmware is due for an update. The device will automatically update itself when a new event comes up (Live View, Ring, or Motion).
14. Restart router & Ring doorbell
Sometimes, the solution to a device error is a simple restart. Never underestimate the power of the restart button. You can restart your Ring doorbell by following the steps below:
- Press and hold the orange button for about 20 seconds.
- Then, release.
- On release, the front light will blink a few times, meaning that the restart process has commenced.
The process should be complete in about 60 seconds.
Common Questions Relating to Ring Doorbell Live View
The Live View feature allows smart doorbell users to see and communicate with visitors in real-time when the doorbell is rung.
When the user goes live, they can see the visitor(s) via a high-definition camera and respond through the microphone.
The doorbell can be programmed to record when the motion sensors are initiated or when the doorbell is rung.
There are certain factors that can affect the smoothness of the Live View feature. These factors include: upload or download speeds, RSSI value, weak Wi-Fi connection, low battery on the gadget, and home/office router interference.
Ring Doorbell Live View Not Activating: The Verdict
Try out the 14 troubleshooting methods in this guide and leave a comment to let us know how you got on! If the Live View feature remains inactive after following these steps, then you may need to contact the Ring support team.