USB Drive Requirements for Recording Videos

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The ability to format and store video footage on USB drives may not be available on your vehicle depending on the date of manufacture and vehicle configuration.

Some features require you to use a USB drive (for example, Dashcam, Sentry Mode) that meet these requirements:

  • Minimum storage capacity of 64 GB. Use a USB drive with as much available storage as possible. Video footage can occupy a large amount of space.
  • A sustained write speed of at least 4 MB/s. Note that sustained write speed differs from peak write speed.
  • USB 2.0 compatible. If using a USB 3.0 drive, it must also support USB 2.0.
  • Properly formatted (either automatically or manually).
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In some market regions you can purchase recommended USB drives on

Automatically Formatting a USB Drive

Insert the USB drive into a front USB port that supports the ability to format, save, and view video footage (see Interior Electronics). and touch Controls > Safety > Format USB Drive. This automatically formats the USB drive as exFAT and creates folders for TeslaCam. The USB drive is now ready to record and save video footage.

Format USB Drive is available only when a USB drive (with one or fewer partitions) is inserted into a front USB port. Choosing Format USB Drive erases any existing content on the USB drive. Before using this feature, move any content you want to keep to a different device.

Manually Formatting a USB Drive

If Model S is unable to format the USB drive, format it using a computer:

  1. Format the USB drive as exFAT, MS-DOS FAT (for Mac), ext3, or ext4 (NTFS is currently not supported).
  2. Create a base-level folder titled TeslaCam. You can use one USB drive for Dashcam, Sentry Mode, and audio files, but you must create separate partitions or folders on the exFAT USB drive.
  3. Once formatted, insert the USB drive into the glovebox USB port (if equipped), otherwise use a front USB port in the center console. Do not use a rear USB port because they can only charge devices. It may take a few seconds for Model S to recognize the USB drive.
  4. Once recognized, ensure icons for Dashcam and Sentry Mode appear at the top of your touchscreen. Model S is now ready to record videos.
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    You may need to first enable Sentry Mode (if equipped) by touching Controls > Safety > Sentry Mode.

Viewing Video Recordings

If footage is saved, you can view the clips on a computer.

When the USB drive runs out of storage space, video footage can no longer be saved. To prevent the USB drive from getting full, regularly move saved videos to another device and delete them from the USB drive.

Viewing on a Computer

Insert the USB drive into a computer and navigate to the TeslaCam folder.

The TeslaCam folder contains these sub-folders:

  • RecentClips: Contains the last 60 minutes of recorded content.
  • SavedClips: Contains all recordings that are saved and renamed from the RecentClips folder.
  • SentryClips: Contains recordings from all Sentry Mode security events. If storage space on the USB drive becomes limited, the oldest Sentry Clips are deleted to provide space for new ones. Once deleted, you cannot retrieve them.