Sentry Mode

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Note
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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Note
Software updates cannot be installed when Sentry Mode is turned on.
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CAUTION
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 in the Controls tab turns red.

    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 silence the security alarm and audio system when the alarm is triggered, navigate to Controls > Safety > Disable Sentry Sounds. When enabled, Sentry Mode still sends a notification through the mobile app and saves the last 10 minutes footage.
  6. 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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      Note
      To recognize a location listed as Home, Work, or a Favorite, Model S must be parked within approximately 1,640 feet (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.

  • View Live Camera
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    Note
    View Live Camera requires premium connectivity and version 4.2.1 (or newer) of the Tesla mobile app is installed on a phone that has been paired as a key to Model S.

    When Sentry Mode is enabled, use the mobile app to remotely view the area surrounding Model S as seen through the exterior cameras. To enable, touch Controls > Safety > Sentry Mode > View Live Camera via Mobile App on the touchscreen to see what Sentry Mode records in real-time. Ensure there are no occupants in the vehicle and all doors are locked. Then navigate to Safety > Sentry Mode > View Live Camera in the mobile app.

    When View Live Camera is actively in use, Model S periodically flashes its exterior lights and displays a message on the touchscreen to notify others that the area surrounding the vehicle is being viewed through the cameras.

    View Live Camera is limited to approximately one hour (or 15 minutes for some regions) of cumulative usage per day.

    If Model S is equipped with a pedestrian warning speaker (see Pedestrian Warning System), you can press and hold the microphone button on the mobile app to transmit your voice through this speaker.

    You can also enable Dog Mode at the same time and switch the live camera view to see through the interior camera on the mobile app. See Keep Climate On, Dog, and Camp for more information.
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    Note
    If Dog and Sentry are enabled at the same time, Sentry defaults to Disable Sentry Sounds to protect your pet.
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    Note
    Video quality can vary depending on network connectivity. No audio is captured.
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    Note
    The live camera feed is fully encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla.
See Viewing Video Recordings for more information on viewing Sentry Mode footage.
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Note
When the internal storage reaches full capacity, new recordings from Alert and Alarm events overwrite the older recordings.