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Why Does My Arlo Camera Keep Detecting Motion?


Arlo’s extensive range of indoor and outdoor security cameras are popular devices that help bring peace of mind to homeowners and business owners.

The battery-operated cameras allow you to keep an eye on your home, get notified when you have a delivery, check in with the kids at home while you’re out, and watch back footage from a previous day – all conveniently controlled via the app on your smartphone.

The motion detection feature is handy because it will notify you via the Arlo app whenever it senses movement within the camera’s field of view or activity zone. However, if not correctly configured, the motion sensors can glitch from time to time and repeatedly send you false alerts.

Arlo cameras can send false motion detection alerts due to moving trees, pets, cyclists, cars, or pedestrians. False triggers can also include moving shadows, reflected sunlight, or heavy rain. You can fix false alerts by optimizing the camera’s motion sensors or setting up motion detection zones.

If your Arlo camera keeps detecting motion that isn’t there, read on to discover five potential fixes to the problem.

Why Does My Arlo Camera Keep Detecting Motion? – 5 Simple Fixes

If your Arlo camera is falsely detecting motion, one of the fixes below could solve the problem you’re experiencing:

1. Optimize Your Arlo Camera’s Sensitivity

You may need to adjust your camera’s motion detector sensors if they are over-sensitive and picking up even the tiniest movement.

Depending on the model, Arlo cameras can detect motion in one of two ways:

  • The Arlo Ultra, Pro 3, Pro 3 Floodlight Camera, Video Doorbell, Essential Wire-Free, Pro 2, Wire-Free, Pro, and Go models have built-in infrared systems which detect motion through heat. This type of sensor is more sensitive to objects that move across the field of view rather than towards or away from it.

    The motion sensor settings on these models range from 1 to 100, with one being the least sensitive and 100 being the most sensitive.

  • The Arlo Q Plus, Q, and Baby models pick up movement via changes within the video frames. The sensitivity ranges between 1 and 9, with one being the least sensitive and nine being the most sensitive.

You can check the motion detector settings via the Arlo app and change the sensitivity levels there.

To amend the motion sensitivity settings, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Arlo app on your smartphone or head to my.arlo.com and log in to your account.
  2. Select ‘Mode’ and tap on the Arlo device you wish to update.
  3. Under ‘Armed’, select the pencil icon.
  4. Select the rule you want to edit.
  5. Tap the pencil icon under ‘Motion is detected’ and move the slider to decrease or increase the camera’s sensitivity.
  6. Tap ‘Save’, then ‘Edit Mode’, and then ‘Done’.

By reducing the motion sensitivity down to one, you can test for false alerts to find the optimum setting for your camera.

Keep testing and increasing the sensitivity until you’ve worked out when the camera starts experiencing false alerts.

Once you’ve reached that point, reduce the sensitivity by roughly 10% and save those settings as your optimized sensitivity mode.

2. Reinstall the Arlo App

Another reason you are experiencing false alerts with your Arlo camera could be caused by bugs or glitches within the Arlo app.

Firstly, make sure you are using the most up-to-date version of the app by visiting the app store on your phone and checking for updates.

Next, try removing and then reinstalling the app to clear out any potential issues that may be causing the camera to glitch.

3. Adjust Your Arlo Camera’s Audio Detection

The microphone on your Arlo camera could be picking up on distant audio, such as the wind or leaves rustling, and mistaking it for motion.

By adjusting the audio detection settings on the camera, you could reduce the sensitivity to prevent it from alerting you in these situations.

To change the audio sensitivity on your Arlo camera, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Arlo app on your smartphone or head to my.arlo.com and log in to your account.
  2. Select ‘Mode’ and then pick the device you would like to update.
  3. Tap the pencil icon next to the mode you would like to change the audio sensitivity for.
  4. Tap the pencil icon next to the rule you wish to amend, and then select the pencil icon next to the audio trigger.
  5. Move the slider to the left to reduce the audio sensitivity.
  6. Tap ‘Save’, followed by ‘Edit Mode’, and then ‘Done’.

4. Reposition Your Arlo Camera

In some cases, the camera’s position could be the reason behind the false motion alerts. For example, a camera mounted in an exposed setting could be susceptible to sway in the wind, which will trigger motion detection.

The tips below should prove helpful if you want to avoid unwanted motion detection on your Arlo camera:

  • Install the camera on a secure surface that won’t sway in adverse weather conditions.
  • Don’t install the camera in an exposed location where it’s likely to be windy.
  • Avoid pointing the camera towards trees and plants that sway a lot in the wind.
  • Try not to point the camera directly towards the sun because it could mistake the glare in the lens as motion.
  • Avoid installing the camera in locations where the temperature regularly fluctuates. Arlo cameras with built-in infrared sensors can mistake heat pockets for movement.

5. Set up an Activity Zone for Your Arlo Camera

By setting up custom activity zones on your Arlo camera, you can identify specific areas within the field of view where you want it to detect motion.

Every time the camera detects motion within one of the activity zones, you’ll receive a notification via the Arlo app, where you can watch the recording or live video feed.

You can set up activity zones on the following cameras without subscribing to an Arlo plan:

  • Arlo Pro 4
  • Arlo Pro 3
  • Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

Whereas you’ll need to opt into an Arlo plan subscription if you want to set up activity zones on the following devices:

  • Arlo Ultra Series
  • Arlo Pro Series
  • Arlo Essential Series
  • Arlo Go Series
  • Arlo Legacy cameras (including Wire-Free, Q, Q Plus, and Baby)

How to Set Up Activity Zones on an Arlo Camera

You can set up multiple activity zones with up to four or eight anchor points, depending on the size and shape of the area.

To set up an activity zone on your Arlo camera, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Arlo app on your smartphone or head to my.arlo.com and log in to your account.
  2. Select the gear icon to open the settings menu under the relevant camera.
  3. Select ‘Activity Zones’.
  4. Select the ‘+’ icon to create a new activity zone.
  5. Drag the corners of the shape to resize it and position it by dragging it into the correct place.
  6. Select the pencil icon and enter a name for the zone.
  7. Select ‘Done’ to save the new activity zone.

Activity zones help minimize false alerts by specifying which areas you want the camera to detect motion in.

This feature would come in handy if you live in a densely populated area with shared entrance access and you want to limit the activation zone within your property’s boundary.


Arlo Camera False Triggers – Potential Causes

Arlo cameras detect motion by analyzing changes in the video frame or through infrared technology that picks up on movement when it sees a warmer object than the surrounding environment.

While you can customize the sensitivity for both types of motion detectors, you will likely experience false triggers with your Arlo camera from time to time.

Potential causes for the false triggers include: 

  • Shadows caused by moving cars, pedestrians walking across the street in the distance, etc. 
  • Insects / animals
  • Leaves and plants swaying in the wind
  • Reflected light from car windscreens or nearby windows
  • Cobwebs attached to the camera
  • A bug or glitch with the camera hardware or Arlo app

Arlo Motion Sensitivity Settings – Optimal Settings

Optimizing the motion sensitivity settings is the best way to avoid your camera falsely alerting.

To ensure your camera is functioning at optimal performance, you should take the following factors into account:

Arlo Camera Position

The camera should sit at least 7ft above the floor and point downwards to get the best angle.

Depending on the model, an Arlo camera can detect motion between 15ft and 50ft away, so position the camera somewhere close enough to where you expect the movements to occur.

Most Arlo cameras are more sensitive to objects that move across their field of view than towards it, so bear this in mind when deciding where to install your camera.

Arlo Camera Battery Level

Once the camera’s battery level reaches 25% or less, the motion sensors may be susceptible to delays, which will cause the alerts to lag.

Most Arlo cameras have built-in batteries that last between 4-6 months, apart from the Arlo Q and Arlo Baby, which are AC powered.

Bring the camera inside, plug it into the USB charging cable, and insert the plug adapter into a wall socket to charge the camera’s battery.

A blue blinking light will turn on once the battery is charging; once you see this light signal, you can leave the camera to charge for 2-4 hours.

When the blue light stops blinking and turns solid, the battery has been fully charged, so you can remove the cable and put the camera back in its place.

Alternatively, if you have purchased an Arlo charging station separately, you could use this to charge the camera’s battery. 

Operate the charging station by removing the battery from the camera and inserting it into the charging port.

Arlo Camera Signal Strength

The Arlo Go and Go 2 cameras have built-in SIM cards that connect to a mobile network to access your Arlo account.

A weak network connection could cause delays between when the movement takes place and when the camera starts recording.

Arlo recommends having at least three bars of mobile signal strength for optimized performance.

To check the signal strength on your Arlo Go or Go 2 camera, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Arlo app on your smartphone or head to my.arlo.com and log in to your account.
  2. Select ‘Settings’ and then ‘My Devices’.
  3. Select your camera.
  4. Select ‘Signal Strength’ to see how much signal your camera has.

To improve the signal strength, try moving the camera to another location and test it again.

Avoid putting the camera within 6.5 feet of large electrical equipment, large metal or concrete objects, or other sources of signal interference such as microwaves, baby monitors, or cordless phone bases.

Connection to the Arlo Base Station

Wire-free cameras with a weak signal to the base station may also cause recording delays when motion is detected.

The tips below will help you to increase your camera’s signal strength if it is too weak:

  • Install the camera at least 6.5 feet away from interfering devices such as microwaves, baby monitors, or cordless phone bases.
  • Ensure the camera isn’t positioned too close to other WiFi routers, as this could interfere with the wireless signal.
  • The camera’s base station needs to be 300 feet or less from the camera for the signal to reach it.
  • Walls and obstructions between the camera and its base unit will reduce the signal strength, so try to avoid having too many obstacles within its line of sight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Arlo Motion Detection Test – What is This?

By performing a motion detection test on your Arlo camera, you’ll be able to determine whether it’s detecting motion correctly and not giving you false alerts.

To carry out a motion detection test, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Arlo app on your smartphone or head to my.arlo.com and log in to your account.
  2. Select ‘Settings’ and then ‘My Devices’.
  3. Select the device you wish to test.
  4. Tap ‘Device Utilities’ followed by ‘Motion Detection Test’.
  5. Move the slider to test the motion detection on your Arlo camera. An amber light on the device will flash when it detects motion.

The motion test will not change the camera’s motion detection settings. Once the test has been completed, you can update the motion detection settings by adjusting the camera’s rules.

Arlo Motion Detection Range / Activity Detection Zone – Overview (How This Can Affect False Motion Detection?)

The motion detection range varies depending on what model of Arlo camera you have.

Arlo Q and Arlo Q Plus cameras have a range of up to 50 feet, whereas Arlo Wire-Free cameras can only reach up to 15 feet away.

If you have a Pro Wire-Free camera or the Arlo Go, you will be able to detect movement up to 23 feet away.

Activity detection zones force the camera to focus motion detection on specific areas. 

These zones are helpful because they will stop you from being constantly bombarded with false motion detection notifications.

For example, suppose there is a swaying tree that sits within the camera’s motion detection range, causing it to trigger. In that case, you could exclude it from the activity zone, so the camera will effectively ignore its movements.

Try to avoid including objects that constantly move inside your activity zones, such as a flag, twig, water fountain, or spinning garden ornament.

Following the advice above should dramatically reduce the risk of your camera alerting to false movements.

How Do You Change an Arlo Camera From Motion to Manual?

If you have exhausted all of the suggestions within this article and are still experiencing false alerts frequently, you could disable motion detection.

To edit the camera’s existing mode, follow the steps below: 

  1. Open the Arlo app on your smartphone or head to my.arlo.com and log in to your account.
  2. Select ‘Mode’ and pick the device you wish to update.
  3. Under ‘Rules’, select the pencil icon next to the rule that you wish to edit.
  4. Uncheck the box next to where it says ‘Motion is detected’ to disable motion detection.
  5. Select ‘Save’ followed by ‘Done’ to finish.

By turning off motion detection, your Arlo camera will essentially turn into a basic surveillance camera where you can watch live-view footage via the app.


In Summary

To summarise, your Arlo camera could keep detecting motion and sending you false alerts because the sensors are too sensitive and are picking up movements such as swaying trees, pets, cyclists, cars, or pedestrians in the distance.

Arlo cameras have also been known to alert to moving shadows, sunlight reflecting off windows, and adverse weather conditions such as snowfall.

You can fix false alerts by optimizing the camera’s motion sensors, setting up activity zones, moving the camera to a more stable location, or performing a motion detection test.

If you have exhausted all the possible fixes to this issue, another option is turning off motion detection and using the camera as a basic surveillance device.


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