Tesla Sentry Mode & Sentry Mode Events

If you have any kind of Tesla, then you have Sentry mode. Tesla’s version of a built-in security system that uses the vehicle’s outside cameras.

Sentry mode uses the three front-facing, two side, and rear cameras to monitor your vehicle for any events that seem suspicious.

Sentry Mode Events

A Tesla Sentry Mode Event is any kind of action or event that triggers Sentry Mode to save a video of the cameras from your car. This could be just someone walking past, or someone damaging your Tesla.

There are two types of events that trigger sentry mode

  • someone walking near or passed your Tesla
  • any kind of bump detected by the car (attempted break-in, keying, collision, window broken)

The first kind of Sentry Mode event, which is nearby motion, triggers a sentry event warning.

The second kind of event is more serious and triggers the car’s alarm which includes a repeating tone and some fun music, albeit it very loud.

Where Are Sentry Mode Events Saved?

Sentry Mode Events are only saved if you have the appropriate USB stick or memory card inserted into your Tesla (See more on that below). You can then view a Sentry Mode Event video on your screen or via your phone as it occurs using the new live Sentry Mode.

How To View Sentry Mode Events?

You can view any Sentry Mode Events on the screen of your car. Once you are inside your car you will see a Sentry Mode Event Report alert (as shown below) on the screen. Simply tap on that and you can start reviewing the latest event footage on the screen.

Sentry Mode Event Report
Sentry Mode Event Report

You can also access the dashcam video and sentry mode events via the View Dashcam on the top of your screen.

  • Tap the Dashcam Icon
  • Launch Viewer
Launch Sentry Mode Viewer
Launch Sentry Mode Viewer

Sentry Mode Live Camera View

Tesla updated Sentry Mode to allow Live Viewing of the cameras in the vehicle in the software release 2021.36.8 late in 2021. This allows you to remotely view the cameras in your Tesla via the Tesla App on your phone.

You not only need the above software update, but also to update your Tesla App to 4.2.1 or higher

The Premium Connectivity package from Tesla (for $10 a month) is also required to transmit the data via the mobile network.

Then, you need to enable Live View in the Safety & Security settings as shown below.

Click View Live Camera via Mobile App

View Sentry cameras live via mobile app

Note: Initially this is only available on the iPhone version of the App.

How To Format A Tesla USB Drive For Sentry Mode

Tesla has stated that you need the following specifications for the USB to be used in Sentry Mode:

  • At least 64 GB (more is better)
  • A sustained write speed of at least 4 MB/s (differs from “peak” or fastest write speed – check specs of your USB)
  • USB 2.0 compatible

Tesla offers a 128G USB Drive that you can insert into your center console.

How To Format Your Sentry Mode USB Drive

Unfortunately, you need to specifically prepare your USB drive to be used with Tesla Sentry Mode.

In order to use the USB drive you can format it when it is inserted in the console USB by

  • opening Safety & Security on your screen
  • scroll down to Dashcam
  • hit the Format Drive button
how to format a sentry mode USB drive Tesla
How to format a Sentry Mode USB drive in your Tesla

Or, if you want to format it on your computer, do the following:

  • Format the drive with FAT32 or exFat (for software version 2020.12 or later)
  • Create a folder on the drive called TeslaCam

The formatting done by your Tesla does the above two steps for you.

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