Ring device owners encounter a common error notification: This footage is unavailable.
Many potential reasons exist for why these blanks occur.
Understanding the possibilities allows you to troubleshoot the problem and prevent these lapses from happening.
Here are 5 reasons why your Ring camera footage is unavailable:
- Your other appliances are interrupting the WiFi signal.
- Your router is too far away from the device.
- You need to set up the Snapshot Capture feature.
- You don’t have an active subscription plan.
- Your security system was hacked.
The Footage Unavailable error notification is a common source of frustration for Ring owners. Let’s review the possibilities for this so you can ensure your home security system is running smoothly.
1. Your Other Appliances Are Interrupting the WiFi Signal
Can running your microwave impact the Ring device’s ability to record?
Using a microwave oven and other household appliances can affect the quality of your WiFi connection. An overburdened WiFi network can limit the ability of the Ring device to record and upload video.
If you see Footage Unavailable notifications for specific blocks of time, these notifications indicate that the WiFi signal was low. A common cause of weakened WiFi signals includes interference from microwaves and other electronic devices within the home.
You may also wonder: Can too many devices crash a router?
How Can You Determine if Appliances Are at Fault?
You can determine if your appliances are at fault by first tracking patterns. Make notes of what time slots on your Ring device show the Footage Unavailable error notice.
Does this notice occur around mealtime every day? Is this error report popping up at night when you turn on your child’s baby monitor?
What Can You Do?
You can switch to a 5GHz WiFi frequency, which is a common approach to circumnavigating signal interference. While older Ring devices only offer 2.4GHz connectivity, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 can use 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.
2. Your Router Is Too Far Away From the Device
Another cause for lapses in video footage is too great a distance from the router to the Ring device.
While a 5 GHz channel is ideal for avoiding interference from household appliances, this band speed experiences significant limitations in the signal distance.
A 2.4 GHz frequency often has a range of about 400 feet (122 meters), while a 5 GHz frequency is much more limited, maxing at closer to 200 feet (61 meters).
How Can You Determine if Your Router Is Too Far Away?
Received signal strength indication (RSSI) measures the signal strength at a certain location.
In the “Device Health” option for your Ring device, you can view the RSSI value.
You can look at the RSSI number to determine if your router is too far away as this may contribute to why your Ring camera footage is unavailable. RSSI numbers range from 0 to -99, with zero indicating the strongest signal possible. The ideal range for the best results with your device is 0 to -60.
You might see an RSSI of -90 during the Footage Unavailable blanks. This low RSSI number indicates that too short a signal range is to blame.
What Can You Do?
What you can do is purchase WiFi extenders to boost the connection, as recommended by Ring. Unlike the Ring Chime, though, the Ring Chime Pro offers a built-in WiFi booster, so you might have to go for that instead.
If you already own a Ring device and want an affordable WiFi extender as an add-on, the TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender (RE220) from Amazon.com can extend WiFi coverage by more than one thousand feet (304.8 meters). This WiFi extender is compatible with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
3. You Need To Set Up the Snapshot Capture Feature
Ring devices work by recording motion-triggered events.
By turning on the Snapshot Capture feature, you enable your Ring monitoring system to take pictures at intervals and store these pictures in the cloud as part of your Event Timeline.
The Snapshot Capture feature can take a still picture every 30 seconds or take photos on an hourly basis.
If the Ring device goes offline, it will still take pictures at the set timeline points and store them for when the device is back online.
How You Can Use the Snapshot Capture Feature To Prevent Footage Unavailable Blanks
The Snapshot Capture feature on Ring offers a proactive way to prevent lapses in the footage.
Ring devices do not offer 24/7 video recording. At times, the Motion Sensor might not pick up on movement and fail to record the presence of a visitor at your front door.
What Can You Do?
You can set the Snapshot Capture feature through your Ring mobile app. Access the Device Settings on your device and tap on the Snapshot Capture option. Frequent snapshots allow you to work around the video-recording limitations, ensuring you have a continuous stream of media on your Event Timeline.
Many people choose to use multiple cameras for their home security systems. You may benefit from including a 24/7 surveillance camera in addition to your Ring device.
The Panasonic HomeHawk Window Home Monitoring Camera on Amazon.com offers 24/7 recording capabilities.
Check out: 13 Steps to Installing a Ring Peephole Camera (No Peephole)
4. You Don’t Have an Active Subscription Plan
The Footage Unavailable message can occur when you do not have an active Ring Protect Plan.
Subscription options include the Basic and Plus Plans:
- The Basic Plan activates video recording for a single device.
- The Plus Plan is applicable if you have multiple home devices.
Without a plan, you will receive notifications about motion detection, but the Ring devices will not save the recorded videos.
How You Can View Your Current Subscription Status
To view your current plan status, you can use the Ring mobile app or a laptop computer.
For the mobile app:
- Log in and tap on the three lines near the Ring logo.
- Tap on the My Plan section.
You should then see the name of your plan listed.
- Log in to your account.
- Click on the My Plan option on the left sidebar
You should be able to see your current subscription here.
What Can You Do?
You can enroll in a subscription plan to allow your devices to save and share motion-activated video recordings. If you are seeing Footage Unavailable notifications and you are not currently a subscribed member, determine whether Ring’s Basic or Plus plan is appropriate for you.
5. Your Security System Was Hacked
In recent years, some people have questioned the safety of Ring devices. Several families have filed lawsuits after hackers allegedly accessed the home security system.
Is criminal activity a much less likely scenario than WiFi issues?
Does this mean you should write off the possibility of someone accessing your Ring device?
Think of all the YouTube compilations of attempted package thieves caught on Ring devices:
A tech-savvy burglar would benefit from clearing all the evidence of the crime and leaving behind only a Footage Unavailable blank.
What Can You Do?
An essential part of ensuring network security is setting a strong password.
If you use a weak password like “password” or “1234,” nefarious individuals can easily guess the word or the series of numbers and access your security system.
Instead, you can use a password generator to create a secure password for your security system. This randomly selected password will provide a solid barrier to keep hackers from accessing your Ring recording devices
Read next: Can You Use Alexa Show as a Security Camera? 3 Facts