How to Turn Off Ring Camera Recording

Smart security cameras have many benefits, but many of them use cloud-based recording which comes with some warranted privacy concerns. Even with local recording there are times when we might not want our cameras recording things.

Ring is one of the most prominent cloud-based security camera brands, and not so long ago did not provide any way to stop them recording everything they see. Sure, you could turn of notifications about those events, but they would be recorded anyway.

Thanks to ongoing pressure from privacy advocates and the general tech press, Ring has been compelled to up their software game and give more control back to us, the customers.

How to turn off ring cameras

Thanks to the upgraded Modes feature in the Ring app, we can now completely prevent a camera from recording anything in each of the modes provided. There are three of these modes; Disarmed, Home, and Away.

We can set two options on each camera device for each of these modes, so that gives us some control over when particular settings are in effect as well.

Per Camera Modes Settings

Motion Detection - This determines if a camera will be triggered by motion and record an event. By turning this off we can not only prevent those triggers, but it also now disables the camera from taking periodic snapshots for the Timeline view, so it’s effectively off. No recording, no notifications, no snapshots.

Live View - With motion detection off we can still access the live view via the Ring app or Alexa smart screens. If we don’t want anyone doing that either, we can turn this setting off as well.

With both of these settings off, the camera will not be able to stream anything at all.

Steps to turn off camera recording

Here are the specific steps to make these changes:

  1. Open the Ring app

  2. Tap the 3 lines in the top left corner to access the menu

  3. Tap Settings

  4. Tap Modes. Note: if you haven’t enabled the modes feature yet, you’ll see Enable Modes instead. This will give you the option to use default settings or customize them. Use the default settings, and then change the ones you want to using this process.

  5. Tap the mode you wish to change (Disarmed, Home, or Away)

  6. Tap the Camera you wish to turn off from the list

  7. Tap the toggle switch next to Motion Detection and Live View to turn them off

  8. Tap Save in the top right corner

Ring Settings, Modes, and Camera options screens

Shared User Access

But wait, if you’ve granted access to other people (such as members of the household), can’t they change the mode to re-enable these features?

Yes, they can. But you can prevent that by using the overarching Shared User Access toggle. This is found at the bottom of the Mode Settings page. By turning this off you can prevent anyone but the primary user from changing modes, which will leave your desired settings in place.

In Summary

While you could previously only control notifications for Ring devices, it is now possible to disable their streaming capability entirely with only a couple of settings by using the Modes feature. Of course this also disabled any notifications, so it’s not possible to prevent recording while still getting motion notifications.

This will also prevent you using the camera as a motion detector for any lighting automation you have have set up using Ring smart lights, so that’s something to keep in mind when setting up your modes.

You could always set a camera to disabled temporarily if you just want some privacy for a particular period of time, just remember to revert the settings afterwards.