The Ring doorbell works by detecting movement within a certain capture range. When the motion detection feature isn’t working, the doorbell is a pretty useless security device!
Issues with motion detection are more common than you think, especially for new users. So we’ve compiled this easy step-by-step guide to help get your Ring doorbell back up and running!
How Ring Doorbell Motion Detection Works
The Ring doorbell senses motion through heat sensors, which monitor the heat changes within the doorbell’s capture zone.
Usually, human beings are hotter than the environment. Thus, as a person enters the doorbell’s motion detection range, the doorbell senses the temperature change and sends a push notification to your phone.
However, the motion detection technique used during the day is slightly different from what is used at night. During the day, the doorbell relies on Advanced Motion Detection technology to search for objects within its capture range.
On the other hand, nights are associated with poor lighting, so the doorbell cannot accurately search for objects. It instead relies on Passive Infrared (PIR), which double-checks any motion to verify if it is indeed an object and whether there is any heat change associated with it.
Your doorbell then sends alerts to your phone, and you can view the live coverage of the current events.
Ring Doorbell Motion Detection Troubleshooting Steps
A Ring doorbell can detect motion within a range of 5 to 30 feet. You can also customize the motion detection sensitivity for each of the six zones possible.
However, it can be frustrating when your doorbell doesn’t send any alerts even when someone approaches the door. What could be wrong? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on troubleshooting motion detection on a Ring doorbell.
Step 1: Double-check if Motion Alerts are enabled in the Ring app
According to Ring, the main cause of a Ring doorbell failing to detect motion is often because a user has disabled Motion Alerts in the Ring app.
Surprisingly, this applies to 90% of all cases and is especially common with new users.
You’ll only need to check your Ring app on your iOS or Android device and ensure the buttons for both Motion Alerts and Ring Alerts are switched to the blue “on.”
Step 2: Test your camera to see if it can detect motion
If motion notifications are enabled in the Ring app and the doorbell isn’t detecting motion, you may want to test whether the camera detects movement.
Ideally, when there is movement inside any of your camera’s motion detection zones, the camera should send push notifications to your phone, allowing you to see who is at the door.
Test your camera by triggering a motion detector to see if you’ll receive accurate and instant alerts.
Step 3: If the camera is behind glass, reposition it, as PIR requires heat source detection
The Ring doorbell works by using Passive Infrared (PIR) to detect the amount of heat emitted by the object causing motion or light changes. You can customize the sensitivity of the camera by filtering the amount of heat it detects.
However, the PIR will, of course, not work properly if there are any obstacles in front of your camera. Ensure the camera is installed without any obstruction, even from glass panes.
Step 4: Set Motion Frequency to “Frequent” and retest
Open the Ring app on your Android or iOS device and tap on the Ring doorbell icon. Select “Motion Settings” and choose the Smart Alert icon. It is the last option on the menu.
There are three options – light, standard, and frequent. The light option gives fewer notifications, while the frequent one sends more alerts. Select the frequent option and save the new settings. Retest your camera again to see if it’ll give you any motion alerts.
Step 5: Review your Motion Sensitivity setting
If the Ring doorbell is positioned correctly but won’t detect any motion, perhaps you’ve set the sensitivity too low.
Tap the three lines on the top left of your Ring app and select the video doorbell. Choose “Motion Settings.” The motion sensitivity slider is the third option in the menu. Move it further to the right to increase the motion sensitivity of your Ring doorbell and retest your camera.
Step 6: Double check your Motion Settings, ensuring zones are large enough, and retest
Again, open the Ring app and select the Ring doorbell. Tap on “Motion Settings” and select “Zones and Ranges.” Here, you want to ensure that all the six zones are on and that the motion detection range for each is the largest possible.
Tap on the save button on the bottom-right section of your screen. You will get a pop-up screen prompting you to Ring doorbell’s front button to save the new settings.
Do that and tap “Continue.” Your Ring doorbell has now been reset. Trigger your camera to see whether it will now send motion alerts to your phone.
Step 7: Check the mount and angle to make sure it is positioned correctly
Sometimes, if you have several steps leading to your main door, the Ring doorbell may not pick up activity happening right outside your door. You’ll need to adjust the mounting angle appropriately.
The idea is to tilt the camera a little downwards. Do this by adding washers behind the screws on your camera’s mounting brackets. Add extra washers as needed until you attain the correct angle.
Step 8: Confirm there is no Motion Schedule enabled
The Ring app has a great feature that allows you to disable motion alerts at a specific day and time. This feature comes in very handy, especially when you’ll be doing some activities right outside your door or during high traffic hours.
Check the motion settings on your Ring app to confirm there is no Motion Schedule enabled. If present, disable the schedule and retest your camera.
Step 9: Verify Ring doorbell is online, and the signal is good
The Ring doorbell works by connecting to your home Wi-Fi network, which allows it to communicate remotely with your smart device. If there is no Wi-Fi or the connection is poor, the doorbell won’t work.
Open the Ring app on your device and select the Device Health Page. Select the Signal Strength icon and verify its status. If the signal strength is good, proceed to the next steps.
Step 10: Verify Notification Settings in your Ring app
Double-check that the notification settings in your Ring app are on. Both the Motion Alerts and Ring Alerts should be switched to the blue “On” setting. Also, check that both the push and email alerts are switched on.
Note that the notification settings are device-specific. You have to manually switch on these settings on every device connected to Ring.
Step 11: Verify “Do not Disturb” on your phone is disabled
Next, check that the “Do not Disturb” setting on your phone is off. This feature is represented by the moon icon. Switching it on tells your phone that you do not want to receive any alarms or notifications.
If the feature is on, turn it off. Pull up the shortcut menu of your phone and tap on the moon button. Retest your camera to see if you will now receive motion alerts.
Step 12: Check application settings and restart your phone if you still are not receiving notifications
Still not receiving applications? Check your device application settings and enable the Ring application. Open the phone settings and tap on “Applications” (or “Application Manager”).
Choose the Ring app and double-check that the show notifications icon is on. If it was on, and you were not receiving alerts, disable it and switch it on again. Clear the application’s data and restart your phone.
Retest your Ring doorbell by triggering a motion event.
Step 13: Reset your Ring doorbell
Finally, you may need to reset your Ring app and Ring doorbell. Delete the app from your smartphone and reinstall it again from your Google Play Store or App Store, depending on your device.
Next, perform a hard reset on your Ring doorbell. Begin by pressing and holding the black button for 15 seconds. The front light flashes to show the process has started successfully.
Wait for about one minute for the process to come to completion. Press the black button again to set up the device again. Please refer to this detailed resource we wrote earlier on how to reset your Ring doorbell.
Now login to the Ring app on your device and retest the cameras.
Regardless of the reason why your Ring doorbell isn’t detecting motion, one of the troubleshooting tips we’ve discussed above should help you.
The top cause of Ring doorbell motion sensors not working is if you accidentally disable the motion alert on your device. Always ensure your motion alerts setting is on.
Do you have any questions or additional troubleshooting tips? Please feel free to share in the comment section below.