How to Troubleshoot Infrared Motion Sensor Issues for Ring Stick Up Cam and Video Doorbell

Understanding Heat Detection

Ring Video Doorbells and Stick Up Cams function by sensing motion. These motion sensors are triggered by heat detection, and the Ring app allows you to control how large of a heat signature the device picks up.

Go to the Motion Settings section of the Ring app, and open up the Zones and Range tab to adjust the sensitivity of these sensors and to select the areas you want to monitor.

Adjusting and testing the range and sensitivity of the sensors can resolve many common issues associated with Ring Motion Alerts, such as:

  • Getting too many Motion Alerts
  • Motion sensors picking up cars
  • Sensors aren’t picking up people
  • Getting no motion detection at all
  • Motion Alerts are delayed
  • Getting false Motion Alerts

Use the guide below for tips on troubleshooting these issues.

Getting Too Many Motion Alerts

If you’re receiving too many Motion Alerts, you may have to adjust the Smart Alert setting within the Ring app. Go to the Motion Settings section of the Ring app, and open up the Smart Alert tab to customize these settings. Within the Smart Alert tab, you’ll see three options; these control the frequency at which you receive Motion Alerts.

Light: This option decreases the frequency of Motion Alerts, and it also helps preserve the battery on your Ring device. Select this option if your device gets too many alerts.

Standard: This is our recommended setting. Select this for normal performance.

Frequent: This option lets you receive as many Motion Alerts as possible. This is only recommended for hardwired doorbells, since it drains your battery life more than the previous two options.

Motion Sensors Are Picking Up Cars

Cars can give off large heat signatures, which may cause them to trigger unwanted Motion Alerts as they pass by your home. Here are some tips to eliminate these alerts.

  • In the Motion Settings section of the Ring app, open up the Zones and Range tab. Here you can adjust the sensitivity of your motion sensors. We recommend keeping the sensitivity slider between the halfway mark (15 feet) and the middle of the outermost rim of the grid (about 25 feet). Then go back to your Motion Settings, and open up the Smart Alert tab. Set your Smart Alert setting to Light, then test the device by triggering a Motion Alert. While this may not totally eliminate unwanted alerts, it should reduce them substantially.
  • If your Ring Doorbell is not hardwired, and you have an adjacent wall by your front door, try removing the device and remounting it on the wall that doesn’t face the street. By changing the camera’s viewpoint, you can help reduce unwanted alerts triggered by passing cars.
  • The same can be done to alleviate similar issues with Stick Up Cam. Simply change the angle and/or location of your Stick Up Cam to prevent unwanted alerts triggered by cars.

Motion Sensors Aren’t Picking Up People

If your Ring device doesn’t capture motion from people, first check your Motion Alerts settings. Open up your Device Settings within the Ring app. For Ring Video Doorbell, you’ll see two buttons, one for Ring Alerts and another for Motion Alerts; for Stick Up Cam, you'll only see the button for Motion Alerts. Make sure the Motion Alerts button is set to the blue “On” position to activate these alerts.

If your Motion Alerts are activated, but your device is still not capturing people, try extending the sensitivity and range of your Motion Zones. This should trigger better responses to human-shaped heat signatures. 

Getting No Motion Alerts At All

This is a common issue, and the majority of the time, it’s caused by Motion Alerts being disabled on your Ring app. Simply open up your Device Settings within the Ring app, and make sure the button for Motion Alerts is set to the blue “On” position.

Motion Alerts Are Delayed

Motion Alerts can sometimes be delayed, which can cause your device to only capture motion from people as they walk away or if they’re very close. There are a few ways to resolve this issue.

  • Many times, this issue is caused by only having the innermost circle selected in the Zones and Range section of the Ring app. Adjust the sensitivity of your Motion Zones by extending the range to the middle circle (about 15 feet). Then test your device by triggering the motion sensors to see if you receive timely Motion Alerts.
  • If you have six or more steps leading up to your front door, your Ring Doorbell may have trouble picking up motion that occurs at ground level. In this instance, adjust the mounting angle of your device to pick up motion at the lower level. This can be done by experimenting with washers as you mount your device. Try placing two thin washers behind each of the top screws on your mounting bracket; this will allow the device to face slightly downward. Simply add more washers to achieve your desired angle.
  • If your alerts are still delayed, it may be caused by poor Wi-Fi bandwidth. While connected to your home Wi-Fi on your smartphone, tablet or PC, use to perform a speed test. Two Mbps upload speed is recommended for the best streaming performance. After performing the test inside your home, test your speed at the location where your Ring Doorbell or Stick Up Cam is mounted. If your upload speed outside is significantly slower than the speed you get inside, you may need a Wi-Fi extender to increase its performance. See this tutorial for guidance on connecting your Ring device to a Wi-Fi extender.

Receiving False Motion Alerts

If you’re receiving Motion Alerts when no one is around, your device is most likely picking up motion from nearby objects. Keep in mind that the camera on your Ring device features a wide-angle lens, so it may be picking up objects that you wouldn’t think are in the way of your Motion Zones.

  • Check the surroundings of your Ring device. For example, some everyday items in your yard or porch can give off motion and trigger alerts, such as windmills, wind chimes, flags, tassels, etc. Use the Zones and Range section of the Ring app to disable the zone where these objects are located.
  • While it’s not very common, certain bushes can absorb a lot of heat and trigger Motion Alerts as they sway in the wind. Just like the tip above, simply disable the zone where these bushes are located to eliminate these unwanted alerts.



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