A home security device, such as a Ring Doorbell, only lives up to its purpose if it truly makes you feel safer in your home.
As such, getting an error message that one of the most crucial parts of the Ring Doorbell – live video footage – is unavailable is frustrating.
If you’re sure that you have all of the device’s settings correctly set up, then the cause of the lack of footage is likely something outside the device itself.
Your Ring Doorbell says “footage unavailable” because there’s an issue with the WiFi connection between the Ring and your phone. Other causes include your doorbell being incorrectly set up or being hacked.
This article will provide an in-depth explanation of why your Ring Doorbell says “no footage” and some useful solutions.
1. WiFi Connection Problems
The Ring Doorbell has multiple features, but the live stream footage triggered when someone approaches your front door is the main selling point.
When motion is detected on your porch, you can see and talk to the person through the Ring’s companion app.
The internet connection between the Ring and the app is the main weak spot that can explain why your device is giving you the “footage unavailable” error message.
How To Fix
One of the first things you can do to try and restore the internet connection is the tried and true device reset.
If you are unsure how to do so or are having problems, follow the steps listed here, though be warned that this hard reset will require reconnecting the Ring to your account.
Another option is to reset your router by unplugging it, waiting a few seconds, and then plugging it back in.
If the reset does not fix the issue, or you don’t want to go through the trouble of re-linking your Ring, then it’s time to look at the wifi connection itself.
Your WiFi may be having trouble between the Ring Doorbell and your phone or between the Ring and your internet router.
A good way to check the strength of the Wi-Fi connection to your Ring is by going to the “Devices -> Device Health -> Signal Strength” in the Ring app.
When it comes to your internet router, make sure that it isn’t behind furniture or near metal.
You want to ensure that nothing weakens the WiFi signal and prevents it from reaching your devices.
The following exercise is recommended for finding out potential WiFi blocks regarding poor video footage quality, but it won’t necessarily fix the “unavailable footage” error.
However, figuring out where the signal is having problems – and what might be blocking it – can help with connectivity problems in general:
- Bring your Ring close to where your router typically is and trigger the footage to start recording.
- Next, carry both the Ring and your smartphone on the path to where the Ring is mounted.
- If you find a section where the video begins to have problems, look around for what might be obstructing the WiFi signal from the router.
You can also consider buying a WiFi extension device to increase your internet’s range.
This article on NetSpot has a list of other options to improve the quality of your WiFi signal.
Another potential WiFi issue is your router being bogged down with multiple other devices.
If there is a pattern to when you receive the “footage unavailable” error, check what else in your house might be interrupting the signal at that time.
Computers, gaming systems, and other electronic devices that connect to the internet are all potential culprits.
You’ll also want to make sure that your router is password-protected to prevent other people from tapping into your WiFi.
2. Check Your Ring Doorbell’s Set-Up
If the WiFi signal doesn’t appear to be the problem, then you should double-check the overall Ring setup.
You should make sure that your Ring has the most recent update available and check that your subscription plan hasn’t run out.
Without an active plan, your Ring Doorbell will not work, and this includes providing video footage.
How To Fix
Log into your phone’s app store to check the most recent version of the Ring app.
If your Ring app has not been updated, try uninstalling and reinstalling the app – that will download the current version on the app store.
If you need to double-check your Ring subscription plan, look under the “Protection Plan” status.
3. Your Ring Might Have Been Hacked
Although this is the most unlikely possibility, there was a 2020 class-action lawsuit claiming that the Ring’s security wasn’t strong enough and that hackers had gained control of their Ring devices.
Since then, the company has added an extra layer of security.
You can read more details about the case in this article on Safewise.
How To Fix
As with your other devices, you should ensure that a strong password protects your Ring Doorbell.
If you think there is a chance that someone else is messing with your Ring Doorbell because of suspicious sounds or voices through the communication feature or your password has changed, change your password as soon as possible.
However, the Ring Doorbell will send a message to the app when it starts to record something, alongside a red light on the device itself.
This light ensures you always know when video footage is being recorded.
Again, a hacked device is at the bottom of potential issues.
When you have frustrating errors with your Ring Doorbell, such as the “footage unavailable” message, the main culprit is normally a weak or interrupted WiFi connection.
This can be between the Ring Doorbell and either your smartphone or your router.
If it’s not your internet connection, then make sure your Ring, app and Ring plan are all up to date.
Reliable video footage is a pillar of the Ring Doorbell’s security functions, so ensure that everything is in place for it to work properly.