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Arlo Not Detecting Motion Through Glass: 6 Easy Fixes

Arlo Not Detecting Motion Through Glass

According to Business News Daily, Arlo is the best home security camera.

It features motion detection technology that sends real-time alerts to the homeowner in case of an intrusion or human activity.

While many reviews rank Arlo among the best home surveillance cameras, its inability to detect motion through glass is a major drawback.

Here’s how to fix your Arlo cameras to detect motion through glass:

  1. Understand that glass prevents motion detection.
  2. Install your Arlo camera outside.
  3. Buy pixel-enabled Arlo cameras.
  4. Install the camera on the window ledge or overhang.
  5. Leave your window open.
  6. Use non-insulated glass on specific windows.

The rest of this article will explain why glass inhibits the motion detection feature in most Arlo cameras and how you can fix this problem. 

How To Fix Arlo Not Detecting Motion Through Glass

Arlo cameras that use PIR sensors can’t detect motion through the glass. This is because glass insulates heat, and PIR sensors detect motion by analyzing heat changes. 

However, pixel-based Arlo cameras can sense movement through glass by comparing differences in pixels instead of heat changes.

If you intend to use your Arlo cameras to detect motion, you should install them outdoors. Notably, you can fix your Arlo on outside walls, above the door, on window sills, and the overhang.

You might also want to check out: Arlo Camera Positioning Not Working: 5 Simple Fixes

1. Understand that Glass Prevents Motion Detection 

Motion detection through glass is not reliable. 

Like most motion-detecting cameras, Arlo uses passive infrared detection (PIR) to sense motion and alert the homeowner.

Others use frame-by-frame detection, also known as pixel-based technology, to detect movement.

Generally, passive infrared technology detects motion by sensing heat changes in the surrounding environment.

However, glass is an insulating material, meaning its temperature does not change with its environment. 

As a result, glass obstructs heat detection, making it impossible for cameras with passive infrared detection sensors to detect motion.

Although Arlo doesn’t detect motion through glass, you can solve this problem by following these guidelines.

2. Install Your Arlo Camera Outside

By choosing a suitable location outside your house, you can have your Arlo camera detect any ongoing activities.

This can happen without the window glass hindering passive infrared sensors from detecting heat changes.

You will need a location with enough room to adjust the field of view and enough focus range to ensure the camera captures as much of the targeted area as possible.

For instance, if you are installing the Arlo Pro, you should give it a view of about 100° and at least a 2ft focus range aimed at a specific target, such as your main gate.

How To Install Your Camera on the Outside Wall

Most Arlo cameras use double-sided tape to attach the base of the mount to the wall. However, when mounting the camera on the outside wall, you’ll need more than double-sided tapes. 

To ensure the camera stays intact even in bad weather, you can use two long screws or more to hold the camera mount base on the wall.

To mount your Arlo camera on the outside wall, follow these steps:

  1. Unscrew the back screw from the back of the base plate
  2. Screw the base plate on the wall surface with the two large screws
  3. Connect the front part of the camera to the wall mount
  4. Position the camera directly to your focus area
  5. Test if motion detection works

By mounting it on the outside wall, you prevent the window glass from constraining passive infrared detection. Also, you avoid false motion sensing as a result of reflections from the glass.

If you need to mount your Arlo camera outside, I recommend this Adjustable Indoor and Outdoor Wall Mount from

It is compatible with most Arlo cameras, easy to install, and comes with a 3-month warranty.

Pro Tip: Ensure that you install it high enough, far away from burglars and other unwanted visitors. A height of about 10ft above the ground is ideal.

3. Buy Pixel-Enabled Arlo Cameras 

Suppose you find it convenient to install your Arlo camera inside. In that case, I advise that you buy one with Pixel-enabled motion detection features.

Examples of pixel-enabled  Arlo cameras are the Arlo Q and the Arlo Q Plus cameras.

This camera detects motion by comparing the changes in pixels to determine if there is movement around.

When there is a specific percentage change in pixels, it triggers motion detection.  If you set the percentage low, then more pixels will change before the camera senses motion and vice versa.

However, several drawbacks affect Pixel-based Arlo cameras:

  • The Pixel-enabled detection cameras use more electricity and they also don’t have an inbuilt battery like passive infrared detection cameras.
  • The camera has to connect to a power source using wires (They are hardwired)

If you wish to replace your camera with a pixel-enabled alternative, I recommend this Arlo Q Plus HD Security Camera from

It’s compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and offers high-quality 1080p images and videos.

4. Install the Camera on the Window Ledge or Overhang

One way to get better results from your camera is by installing it on a window ledge or an overhang.

The outer window ledge or window sill is an ideal location away from the passive infrared inhibiting glass. Notably, it provides a clear view of the outside environment for easy motion detection.

Unfortunately, if you have low-level windows, burglars may see and damage the camera. However, you can solve this problem by hiding the camera in a corner of the window ledge.

You can also mount your camera on the overhang or soffit.

For this exercise, you’ll need long screws to keep the camera in place. You should also ensure that your Arlo camera connects to the wireless internet connection before setting it up.

Here is a detailed 7-minute video showing how you can install your camera on a vinyl soffit.

Learn more: Do you need a SmartHub for Arlo?

5. Leave Your Window Open

If possible, you should leave your window open to avoid the glass barrier that inhibits infrared motion detection.

Besides, doing that prevents the false detections that may occur when your camera focuses on reflections from the glass.

For the best results, you should position your camera at a slight angle downwards and about 15ft from where you expect motion.

It’s essential to place your camera at a safe location where it won’t be seen by trespassers or curious passersby. According to Safewise, choosing the best site also allows you to cover a larger area with a single camera. 

Caution: Leaving your window open makes it easy for burglars to enter your house, damage the camera and property, and also steal your valuables. Only use this method if you live in a highly secure neighborhood.

6. Use Non-Insulated Glass on Specific Windows

As I mentioned before, the main hindrance to PIR motion detection by the glass is heat insulation. Most homeowners use insulated glass to improve energy efficiency and reduce power costs.

However, you can make an exemption and use older plate glass on specific windows in your house. 

Older plate glasses are non-insulated, making it possible for more PIR energy to penetrate through and hit your camera, letting Arlo’s sensors detect motion.

However, you should note that light concentration on a specific area of the old plate glass may interfere with PIR energy, causing a false alarm. 

Therefore, install the older plate glass on a window that doesn’t encounter direct sunlight any time of the day. 

Wrap Up

Most Arlo cameras use passive infrared technology to detect motion. This feature detects motion by sensing heat movement.

However, the glass on most windows has an insulating material that prevents the penetration of heat.

This feature makes it impossible for such sensors to detect thermal heat. The only way to avoid this problem is by placing the camera away from the glass.

Alternatively, purchase Pixel-enabled Arlo cameras that can detect motion through the glass. However, you’ll need to connect it to a power source. Also, you should note that reflection from the glass can trigger false alerts.

Editor’s pick: 10 Best SmartThings Compatible Cameras (Honest Guide)