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How to view Tesla Model Y Dashcam footage - A Full Guide

Credit Tesla: Model Y

The Model Y comes with a built-in dashcam feature that allows you as owner to always access your car if you want to. Tesla makes the use of the feature very easy as you just have to have the Tesla Mobile App installed. We will discuss how you can view Tesla Dashcam footage and what you have to be aware of when it comes to data protection.

The Model Y comes with an intelligent vehicle security system that gives many criminals a big surprise. If you own a Tesla you might have seen sentry clips that show how people scratch random Tesla vehicles thinking they will never be caught.

Accessing and Viewing Model Y Dashcam Footage

Credit Tesla: Model Y

As mentioned the Model Y comes with a built-in dashcam that allows you to record and save videos in a storage space inside the car. The sentry videos can be saved or deleted. In case you record videos that show incidents that involve your car directly you can save recordings and use them to report the damage to the police.

We will discuss now the steps you need to take to view your Model Y footage if you need it. Keep in mind that recording footage might be legal in some countries and others not.

Please inform yourself based on the local laws in your country. The Tesla Mobile App usually adapts to local differences but you as an owner have to do your homework too.

Launching the Dashcam Viewer

Credit Tesla: Model Y

To access the dashcam viewer, you need to have a USB drive inserted into one of the front USB ports in your Model Y. Once inserted manually touch "Controls" on the bottom left of the screen, followed by "Safety," and then "Dashcam." From there, you can select "Launch Viewer" to access the dashcam viewer.

Navigating the Dashcam Viewer UI

The dashcam viewer has a user-friendly interface that allows you to view and manage the saved dashcam clips. The UI displays four videos simultaneously - the front, rear, left, and right cameras.

You can use the playback controls to play, pause, rewind, and fast-forward the videos. Additionally, you can toggle between the four camera angles to get a better view of the footage.

Saving and Sharing Dashcam Clips

Credit Tesla: ModelY

If you come across an incident that you want to save or share, you can easily do so using the dashcam viewer. Simply tap the "Save" button to save the clip to your USB drive. You can also tap the "Share" button to share the clip via email or social media.

It is worth noting that the dashcam footage is saved in a loop, meaning that the oldest footage is automatically overwritten by the newest footage as the internal storage is limited. Therefore, if you want to keep a specific clip, make sure to save it before it gets overwritten.

Once you have saved the sentry mode records you you can remove the USB drive from the front USB port and use the footage to claim your damage. Even though it might be fun to use the footage from the live camera feed for other private reasons we don't suggest doing that.

Especially in the European Union with its strict data protection laws you should be very careful. The vehicle's external cameras also cover people on camera who most likely are not aware of your recordings and most of the time don't want to be on.

The use of footage of the vehicle's surroundings should be strictly limited for a security alarm or damage that happened to your car or any other notable event.

Model Y Dashcam Settings

Credit Tesla: Model Y

Understanding Dashcam Functionality

Before setting up Dashcam, it's important to understand how it works. The feature records footage from the front, rear, and side cameras and saves it to a USB drive.

The footage is saved in one-minute increments and can be accessed through the camera icon on the touchscreen display. You will only see the most recent ten minutes.

USB Drive Requirements

To use Dashcam, you'll need a USB drive with a minimum capacity of 64GB. The USB drive should be formatted to FAT32, exFAT, or NTFS file system.

Tesla recommends using a high-endurance USB drive for better performance and longevity. With this, you can ensure a minimum storage capacity and properly formatted sentry mode clips.

Installing the USB Drive in Your Model Y

Credit Tesla: Model Y

Once you have a compatible USB drive, insert the USB into one of the USB ports in your Model Y. The USB ports are located in the front and rear of the vehicle. Once the USB drive is inserted, a notification will appear on the touchscreen display prompting you to format the drive for Dashcam.

After formatting the USB drive, you can enable Dashcam by touching Controls > Safety > Dashcam. From there, you can choose how and when footage is saved. You can choose between:

  • Auto: Dashcam automatically saves a recording to the USB drive when Model Y detects a safety-critical event, such as a collision or airbag deployment.

  • On-Demand: Dashcams keep a recording when you tap the camera icon on the touchscreen display.

  • Sentry Mode: Dashcam saves a recording when Sentry Mode is activated. Sentry Mode is a security feature that uses the vehicle's cameras to monitor its surroundings.

Note that Dashcam functionality may vary depending on the software version installed on your Model Y. Be sure to keep your vehicle's software up to date to ensure optimal performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Credit Tesla: ModelY

How can I access the dashcam footage from my Tesla Model Y?

To access the dashcam footage from your Tesla Model Y, you can simply insert a USB drive into one of the USB ports in your vehicle. Once inserted, the car will automatically detect and enable the feature. You can access the footage by going to Controls > Safety > Dashcam on the car's touchscreen display.

What steps are needed to download dashcam videos from a Tesla to a smartphone?

To download dashcam videos from a Tesla to a smartphone, you will need to remove the USB drive from the car and insert it into a computer.

From there, you can transfer the videos to your smartphone using a USB cable or by uploading them to a cloud storage service and downloading them onto your phone. If you do this and the footage is not saved locally anymore but on your phone keep in mind all regulations regarding data protection.

Where is the USB port located for Tesla Model Y dashcam storage?

Credit Tesla: Model Y

The USB ports for Tesla Model Y dashcam storage are located in the front console of the vehicle. There are two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports available for use. Keep in mind that you need a properly formatted USB drive that has the requirements mentioned in this Guide above.

Can I turn off the dashcam recording feature in my Tesla Model Y, and if so, how?

Yes, you can turn off the dashcam recording feature in your Tesla Model Y. To do so, go to Controls > Safety > Dashcam on the car's touchscreen display, and toggle the feature off. If you want to use the feature again you just have to enable sentry mode in the settings.

Is it possible to retrieve past dashcam footage from a Tesla vehicle?

Yes, it is possible to retrieve past dashcam footage from a Tesla vehicle. The footage is saved on the USB drive and can be accessed by inserting it into a computer and opening the folder labeled "Tesla Cam." Keep in mind that there might be many sub-folders most likely sorted by date.

Do Tesla vehicles, including the Model Y, record continuously with their cameras?

Tesla vehicles, including the Model Y, do not record continuously with their cameras. The cameras are only activated when notable events occur, such as a collision or when the Sentry Mode is activated, which you can view later on by pressing the Sentry Mode icon and going to the discussed sections discussed above.

You can use the Dashcam icon and the sentry mode settings to adjust the feature as you like. The Dashcam App (Tesla Mobile App) allows you to what your car or receive a security alarm if you like. This helps you to stay safe at a location you don't know.


This Model Y safety feature allows you to record video footage and stay safe. Use the sentry mode footage wisely and only for your protection and defense. If you do enjoy our Guide and you want to learn more about other topics don't hesitate to check out the following Blog Post we have written.

We are looking forward to having you back on E-Car-Review and don't hesitate to rate your EV and share your experience.

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