USB Drive Requirements for Recording Videos

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
For some vehicles manufactured after approximately November 1, 2021, the center console USB ports may only support charging devices. Tesla recommends using the USB port inside the glove box for all other functions.
Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
The ability to format, and view video footage on, USB drives may not be available on your vehicle depending on date of manufacture and vehicle configuration.

Some features on your Model 3 requires the use of a USB drive (for example, Dashcam, Sentry Mode and Track Mode, if equipped) 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 (described below).
Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
In some market regions you can purchase recommended USB drives on http://www.tesla.com.

Automatically Formatting a USB Drive

Insert the USB drive into a front USB port and touch Controls > Safety > Format USB Drive. This automatically formats the USB drive as exFAT and creates a folder for TeslaCam and TeslaTrackMode (if equipped). 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 3 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 and for use with Track Mode (if equipped), the USB drive must contain a base-level folder called TeslaTrackMode. You can use one USB drive for Dashcam, Sentry Mode, Track Mode (if equipped),, and audio files, but you must create separate partitions for each folder on an exFAT USB drive.
  3. Once formatted, insert the USB drive into a front (or glovebox, if equipped) USB port. Do not use a rear USB port because they are only for charging devices. It may take a few seconds for the vehicle to recognize the USB drive.
  4. Once recognized, ensure icons for Dashcam and Sentry Mode are available when you touch Controls. Your vehicle is now ready to record videos.
    Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
    Note
    You may need to first enable Sentry Mode (if equipped) by touching Controls > Sentry.

Viewing Video Recordings

If footage is saved, you can view the clips on the touchscreen or 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 the Touchscreen

You can view recorded footage on the touchscreen when Model 3 is in Park. Touch the Dashcam icon located in the app launcher or the Dashcam icon on the Controls screen. Touch the menu icon in the top corner of the screen. The tabs display a list of all video clips, organized by location and timestamp. Pause, rewind, fast forward, and delete clips as needed.

Navigate to Controls > Safety > Delete Dashcam Clips to delete all Dashcam and Sentry Mode footage.

Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
Note
Dashcam recording pauses when you launch the Viewer.

Viewing on a Computer

Insert the USB drive into a computer and navigate to the TeslaCam or TeslaTrackMode (if equipped) folder.

The TeslaCam folder contains sub-folders:

  • Saved Clips: Contains all recordings that are saved using Dashcam.
  • Sentry Clips: Contains camera 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.