Sentry Mode

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Depending on market region, vehicle configuration, options purchased, and software version, your vehicle may not be equipped with Sentry Mode or the features may not operate exactly as described. It is your sole responsibility to consult and comply with all local regulations and property restrictions regarding the use of cameras.

When enabled, your vehicle's cameras and sensors (if equipped) remain powered on and ready to record suspicious activity around your vehicle when Model S is locked and in Park. Think of Sentry Mode as an intelligent vehicle security system that alerts you when it detects possible threats nearby.

If a threat is detected, Sentry Mode pulses the headlights, sounds the alarm, and displays a message on the touchscreen indicating that the cameras may be recording to inform individuals outside of the vehicle. You will receive an alert on your phone through the mobile app and footage of the event is saved to USB drive (if installed).

Sentry Mode is disabled by default. You can use voice commands or the Tesla mobile app to easily enable or disable Sentry Mode. To enable Sentry Mode using voice commands, say "Keep Tesla safe," "Keep my car safe," "Sentry on," or "Enable Sentry" (see Voice Commands).

Sentry Mode requires your Battery to be at least 20% charged. If the Battery falls below 20%, Sentry Mode turns off and the mobile app sends you a notification. Power consumption may increase when Sentry Mode is active.

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When Sentry Mode is enabled, the Security Alarm settings (Controls > Safety > Security Alarm) are not available.
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Do not rely on Sentry Mode to protect Model S from all possible security threats. Sentry Mode uses many factors to determine whether to activate the security alarm. All impacts may not be detected and the alarm may not activate in all situations. While it may help deter some threats, no security system can prevent all attacks.

How to Use Sentry Mode (Camera + App)

  1. Sentry Mode requires a properly formatted USB drive inserted in your vehicle's USB port (Tesla recommends using the glovebox USB port, if equipped) to store and retrieve footage. Vehicles manufactured from approximately 2020 are equipped with a pre-formatted USB drive in the glove box. There are two ways to format the USB drive:
    • Insert the USB drive into the USB port and navigate to Controls > Safety > Format USB Drive. Your vehicle automatically formats the USB drive for you.
    • Format the USB drive on a computer

    See USB Drive Requirements for Recording Videos for more information.

  2. Insert the USB drive into the vehicle's USB port.
  3. With your vehicle in Park, enable Dashcam by navigating to Controls > Safety > Dashcam.
  4. Touch Controls > Safety > Sentry Mode > On. Once enabled, the Sentry Mode icon on the status bar turns red.
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    Rear camera recordings are available only on vehicles manufactured after approximately February 2018.

    When enabled, Sentry Mode is idle, ready to sound the alarm and save a recording of the security event if triggered. See Viewing Video Recordings for information on viewing footage.

  5. To manually enable/disable Sentry Mode until the next drive, touch the Sentry Mode icon in Controls. Sentry Mode is Off when the icon is no longer red.
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    Turn Sentry Mode Off in Controls > Safety > Sentry Mode to disable for more than one drive cycle.

How to Use Sentry Mode (App Only)

When Sentry mode is enabled and a security event is detected but without a USB drive plugged into a USB port, your vehicle alerts you through the mobile app, without any camera recordings.

Sentry Mode Settings

  • Exclude specific locations

    In Controls > Safety > Sentry Mode, you can determine if you want Sentry Mode to not enable in certain locations (see Home, Work, and Favorite Destinations for more information):

    • Exclude Home: Sentry Mode does not automatically enable at the location set as Home in your Favorites list.
    • Exclude Work: Sentry Mode does not automatically enable at the location set as Work in your Favorites list.
    • Exclude Favorites: Sentry Mode does not automatically enable at any location in your Favorites list.
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      To recognize a location listed as Home, Work, or a Favorite, Model S must be parked within approximately 500 meters of the saved location.

    To set up your Home or Work location, touch Navigate > Set Home/Set Work. To set up a Favorite, touch the star when viewing an address on the map. Manually turning Sentry Mode on or off using the touchscreen or the mobile app overrides your Home, Work, or Favorite exclusion preferences until the next time you drive.

  • Set Camera-Based Detection

    When Camera-Based Detection is enabled, Sentry Mode uses the vehicle’s external cameras in addition to vehicle sensors to detect a security event while parked. If disabled, your vehicle only saves clips to the USB drive if a physical threat is detected. To adjust, touch Controls > Safety > Sentry Mode > Camera-Based Detection.

See Viewing Video Recordings for more information on viewing Sentry Mode footage.
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When the internal storage reaches full capacity, new recordings from Alert and Alarm events overwrite the older recordings.