How to set up your ADT Pulse Cameras to record on motion

home view summary screen

How to set up your ADT Pulse Cameras to record on motion

Once you have purchased an ADT Pulse Camera and have installed it successfully, you’ll be able to view the camera live. But your ADT Pulse Cameras won’t record anything if you don’t set them up to do so.

There are three ways you can set up the cameras to record. They are the tabs across the top of your ADT Pulse Portal: Alerts, Automations, or Schedules.

home view summary screen


If you want to get an email notification with a video clip or a picture, this is the setting you would want to use. Click on Add Alert. Then choose one of the three options: when something happens, when something doesn’t happen, or when a system event happens. You can then choose a trigger, which can be the camera itself or another device on the system. Then choose if the event is motion or no motion. The next choice is always or on a schedule. Lastly, you will choose if you want a photo or video attached to the email. adt pulse alerts


This is where you will want to go if you want to set up the camera to record if there’s motion, especially if you don’t want to get an alert each time there’s a new 30 second clip. This is what I recommend to everyone when they get their ADT Pulse Cameras installed. Right now, you can have unlimited 30 second clips that stay online for 30 days.  You will set this up almost the same way. Click Add Automation, select a trigger (probably the camera), select an event (probably motion), and then you can leave it to always do it. The last part is if you wanted an automation (like if there was motion turn a light on). But you don’t need that if you just want video recording all the time. adt pulse add automation


Schedules only has an option to take a picture and not one to record a video. So it’s limited in that regard. But if you wanted to get a random photo every day between certain hours, this is the option for you. Click Add Schedule, put in a name for it, choose the time and days you want it to run, and then choose the action. This can also be used to automate lights turning on and off during a time frame. adt pulse add schedule

Those are the 3 ways you can make sure you are getting images or video recorded from your ADT Pulse Cameras to your pulse portal. That way, if something happens at your home or business and you want to go back and see the footage, you can.

  • Warren
    Posted at 11:53h, 17 January Reply

    My Pulse system doesn’t show a camera as a possible trigger. (I have 2 cams). It only lists the motion detectors and door sensors.

    • admin
      Posted at 16:43h, 28 April Reply

      Do you have the RC8021 Camera that is white or one of the other 3 cameras available?

      • Dawn
        Posted at 09:29h, 21 June Reply

        I have the white cameras that record motion but I don’t have this option either.

        • admin
          Posted at 17:06h, 22 July Reply

          Yes the white RC8021 cameras are the first and most basic ADT Pulse Camera. After that one ADT replaced it with the 8025 which can record on motion.

  • Joe
    Posted at 22:16h, 02 May Reply

    What is the reset time after recording a 30 sec clip? I.e. My wife came home from work tonight. It took her more than 30 seconds to get in the door. If she is still out there making motion should it automatically snag an additional 30 second clip?

    • admin
      Posted at 18:17h, 17 June Reply

      It means there is a message recorded. Sometimes people record the message on accident. IF you push Function (#) and then Record (1) you will record a message. IF you push function delete you will delete the message. You can play it by pushing function play. Sometimes you need to play the message before you can delete it.

    • jen
      Posted at 21:44h, 20 July Reply

      The reset (interval) time between clips is 5 minutes.

      • admin
        Posted at 17:03h, 22 July Reply

        Thank you Jennifer!

  • Richard
    Posted at 09:59h, 13 July Reply

    i have the NV412A with a analog camera can this camera be used as a trigger?

    • admin
      Posted at 17:04h, 22 July Reply

      To my knowledge it cannot be used as a trigger. You must use other inputs as triggers. It is recommended to have a DVR to record the analog cameras since a DVR can record on motion.

  • Penny
    Posted at 15:42h, 31 December Reply

    We had a power outage a few days ago and my camera has not recorded a video or image (motion) since then. I am able to manually take a picture but not video. Can someone help me with this!?! All my settings seem to be correct.

    • Zions Security Alarms
      Posted at 10:36h, 17 April Reply

      If you have the automation set up properly you could try powering down the camera and powering it back up and see if that solves it. If not call ADT And have them look from their end and maybe they can see something you are missing.

  • Tony Likar
    Posted at 09:58h, 01 January Reply

    I want to extend my video clip time of 30 seconds to a longer time. How do I go about doing this?

  • mike reeves
    Posted at 07:50h, 20 February Reply

    I have three adt pulse dome cameras and just got two adt 8021 indoor cameras . One won’t install just has a flashing power light network is solid and there idea pushable button above the lenses that is solid green as well. The one installed and has great video but will not record. I’m now re installing the ” usable ” camera to see if I can get it to trigger off my other cameras and record . Any advice on this issue besides throw them away

    • Zions Security Alarms
      Posted at 10:17h, 17 April Reply

      You could try doing a factory reset on the camera that is giving you trouble. Factory reseting and trying again and again is the best solution. Hope that helps

  • Natalie
    Posted at 15:37h, 04 April Reply

    I have an alert and automation set up for my camera but when I get one and I go to either the Pulse app or the portal from my laptop/desktop there are no videos or clips available. Any idea on how to fix this?

    • Zions Security Alarms
      Posted at 10:08h, 17 April Reply

      Make sure there is an automation set to record if there is motion. It usually can record one clip every 5 minutes

  • Darlene
    Posted at 07:07h, 17 April Reply

    I have a camera that is set up to capture clips with motion. It was working fine until about two weeks ago. It stopped recording video clips. I checked the settings and they have not changed. I am able to see live footage. How do I get the camera to record video clips?

    • Zions Security Alarms
      Posted at 10:08h, 17 April Reply

      Is it an ADT Pulse Camera? I would call ADT and have them look at it if so.

  • Dan Mitchell Sr
    Posted at 19:56h, 26 April Reply

    Hello, Is it possible to limit where in the camera’s view that will trigger the recording of video clips, like a grid system? Also, is the system recording at all times or only when triggered? I can see the series of 30 second clips. I get a great number of nuisance clips from cars at a nearby intersection.

    • Zions Security Alarms
      Posted at 11:14h, 24 May Reply

      Great question, right now there is no way to mask areas to ignore or to trigger motion. So the cameras might record lots of 30 second clips when you do not want them to. If you remove notifications it wont be as annoying since you will not get an email or text notification every time. There are more expensive camera systems that we can help you with that have this feature, but the ADT Pulse Cameras do not have it and I do not think they will anytime soon.

  • Shane p
    Posted at 09:16h, 29 May Reply

    How do I delete previous 30 seconds clips

    • admin2
      Posted at 09:17h, 26 October Reply

      You can delete clips by logging into the ADT Pulse Portal and looking at your clips, but they will automatically delete after 30 days. Also, deleting them does not mean you will be able to hold more clips or have longer recording times. The ADT Pulse Cameras can only record one 30 second clip every 5 minutes.

  • C.b
    Posted at 18:38h, 04 August Reply

    What is the distance the outdoor camera can record with motion detection

    • Zions Security Alarms
      Posted at 15:10h, 07 September Reply

      Around 50ft

  • Meredith
    Posted at 19:28h, 27 November Reply

    Can you record longer then 30 seconds?

  • A Williams
    Posted at 06:01h, 06 January Reply

    My camera is not capturing when a car comes in the driveway or someone is walking up the walkway. The camera captures these two places live but not on motion clips. What can be the cause of this?

    • admin2
      Posted at 16:25h, 08 January Reply

      Can you go to the contact us part of our website and send me the type of ADT Pulse Camera you have and I can help you with this

  • Becky wanick
    Posted at 11:32h, 11 May Reply

    So if I pull in the driveway and it takes me more than 30 seconds to get out of the car… and then I am gun point….. the clip will show the car coming into the driveway… but the system will be “re-setting” during the robbery? Is that correct?

    • admin2
      Posted at 10:01h, 13 May Reply

      That would be correct if you have ADT Pulse Cameras. The new ADT Command and Control is an improvement as it only have a 30 second downtime between clips. IP cameras and an NVR are the best solution for this.

    Posted at 09:55h, 18 August Reply

    How can I recover clips that I won’t to keep that went off after 30 days I need that clips for court reasons thy delete them self after 30day how can I recover them I need them

    • admin2
      Posted at 10:39h, 12 September Reply

      You can ask ADT, but I do not think there is a way. You could set up your cameras to email all clips to a new email account and they can store there forever.

  • Tawnee McAleese
    Posted at 19:04h, 23 September Reply

    I can see live feed I can not see any recordings. I have no idea what’s up. Just installed today

    • admin2
      Posted at 15:37h, 27 September Reply

      Make sure you set up a rule to record when there is motion, then you can test it very easily by walking in front of the camera

  • Jason
    Posted at 02:50h, 06 August Reply

    I have 3 oc835 outdoor cams. If 1 detects motion and records it’s 30 second clips and notifies me with a text and is now on its 5 minutes down time will my other 2 cameras still respond to motion and record their 30 second clips durning camera 1’s down time?

    • Kelsey McCallister
      Posted at 14:41h, 17 August Reply

      All the cameras work independently of the others. If they’re all in different locations and catch different moments of motions, then their clips and downtime will start when they are triggered. However, if you have them all in one place and they all catch the same moment of motion then you’ll have 3 clips of the same moment in time with the same downtime following.

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