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How Tesla Dashcam Works

Instead of installing an expensive supplemental dashcam system, you can utilize the cameras built into your AP 2.5 or higher Tesla vehicle as a dashcam system that is ready to use on delivery…well, almost. Read on to learn more.

What is Dashcam?

Tesla Dashcam is a feature that has been around since the advent of software V9.0. It allows owners to utilize the front, left, and right cameras to record events that take place during a driving session. It uses the existing Autopilot cameras and a properly formatted USB drive, saving the last hour of footage automatically.

How do I start using Dashcam?

You will need AP 2.5 hardware vehicle or later to use Dashcam (essentially all Tesla vehicles after September 2017). If you meet that criteria, you will then need a properly formatted USB drive which gets inserted into one of the two front USB ports.

Once a camera icon with a red dot appears, Dashcam is up and running.

What does it record?

Dashcam is always recording the front, left, and right cameras when the car is on. It will save the most recent hour of footage in a folder on the drive called RecentClips. That hour of footage continuously overwrites to minimize space usage.

If you tap the camera icon, it will save the last ten minutes of footage in one minute clips to the SavedClips folder on the USB drive.

How do I view the Dashcam footage?

Safely remove the USB Drive from your Tesla (tap and hold the camera icon until it turns gray). Plug the drive into your computer or device of choice. On a Mac, Quicktime will play the files without issue. On a PC, VLC Player is the best option.

Folders and files are saved chronologically using a date/time naming convention.

Should I delete footage from the drive?

Yes, every so often you will want to delete and/or transfer the footage off the drive to make room for additional clips. The frequency of deletions depends on your drive size and how often you save footage or use Sentry Mode.

Since Tesla software v10, the RecentClips and SentryClips overwrite themselves when the drive becomes full.


  1. Great article, but with one fault: the dashcam feature requires AP 2.5 and will not work with AP 2.0.

    1. Great catch – definitely an oversight! Thanks so much. It has been updated.

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