Android: How to get OG time lapse off my phone and onto my computer

I’ve done several time lapses on my Wyze cams, including the OG cams. When the time lapse is done, then I have connected to the same wifi network, then gone to the album for that camera, to the time lapse section, and tapped the grey generic time lapse thumbnail for each time lapse. This downloads the time lapse to my phone, someplace (it takes a long time). I can then play the time lapse from the wyze camera album option.

This works fine for all the camera models I have (V2, V3, Pan Cam V2, Pan Cam V3 and OG cam).

I now want to get the time lapse video off my phone onto my computer hard drives.

I am using Android, so using my USB data cable, I plug the phone into my computer USB port, and open the “phone” device.

For my V2, V3 Pan Cam V2 and Pan Cam v3, I can browse the DCIM folder structure on the phone internal storage and find the video files for the time lapse, and copy them to my computer. There is separate folder for each time lapse, buried down a few levels, eventually in a folder with a name that matches the camera mac address, then a separate folder for each time lapse from that camera, with a pic and video folder, containing a thumbnail and the time lapse video itself.

But for the OG cams, the time lapse files are not stored anywhere in the DCIM folder (I’ve searched both the built in storage, and the phone’s SD card storage).

The wyze support site says to save them once you have downloaded them. In the Wyze app, go to where you can play the time lapse, then tap the share icon, then pick “Save” (something like that), to save it to your phone. When I do that, there is no “save” item, but pretty much every other app on my phone is listed, including ones I never use that came pre-insalled (Messages, Alexa, Google Upload to Photos, Bixby Vision, AAA, Pocket, Facebook, Bluetooth, Google Drive, Email, Google Meet, …), but the File Explorer apps (My Files, ES File Explorer, …) are not listed. And them to another cloud service using something like Messages, Email, google drive, etc, is not practical for 1.5 GB files, even if I did have accounts with some of those services.

I just want to find the time lapse files on the phone now that they have been downloaded in the wyze app, and copy them off locally like I can do with the other wyze camera models.

I did a global search of the internal and phone’s SD card file structure, and one time, I found them in the “Android > data > com.hualai > Files > Movies > DCIM > wyze > gpid_<16 digits> > Timelapse > GW_GC1_” folder.

But the latest time lapse files from the last few days are not there or anywhere else, on the internal storage or the phone SD card, yet I have downloaded them to the “album” in the wyze app, and I can play them from the wyze camera album for the specific OG cameras with no problem.

So where are they, and how can I get them off the phone and onto my computer where I have TBs of storage?

My OG cams are on firmware 1.0.63 (which the release notes show as the latest version), and my Android Wyze app is 2.41.0(200), which was just released yesterday (today?). And I am on Android 10.

I’m stuck.

One option is to use the share and select email and email them to yourself.

I have a file management app that adds itself to the share menu that allows me to direct any share to save to the phone drive or mounted SD. So I am able to use the Share menu to save it.

But, you were on the right track with the Android > data > com.hualai > Files > Movies > DCIM > wyze > gpid_<16 digits> > Timelapse > GW_GC1_” folder.

Just make sure whatever file management tool you are using has admin rights to search and see those files. Because it is in the Android folder, it is a protected folder.

I just ran a short time lapse on my OG S. This is a screenshot from my file management app (X-Plore)

Beyond finding it though, this is really something Wyze needs to fix. The Time Lapse needs to be saved to the Root DCIM folder, not hidden in a protected folder.

I’ve been taking notes on where the wyze app stores the various time lapse, picture and video files for the various camera models, so thanks for the confirmation on my findings so far.

Emailing 2GB time lapse files is not just inconvenient and impractical, but most email services won’t accept anything over about 20-25 MB, so that is not even an option.

Yep, that’s where I found the first 3 time lapse videos, was in that android data folder location.

But I was connecting and browsing the phone storage using Windows File Explorer on my computer to get the files while the phone was connected to my computer, and I was not using an Android file explorer app on my phone at the time. When I did this on the weekend, apparently Windows had the permissions needed to access and see the files then, because that is how I got the first 3 time lapse files off for the 2 OG cams that I have.

Since I’m not actually using an Android file explorer on my phone, then I’m not even sure how to grant or deny permissions to Windows to access those folders. I can still see all other “Android > data” folders from Windows. That is where I get the flight logs for my drone, is buried deep down in the Android folder of the drone app.

From Windows, I can still see the “temp” folder in that location (as shown in your screen shot), but there are no GW_GC1_… folders there now, but they were there for both OG cams on the weekend.

On a whim, I launched the Android file explorer app on my phone, and drilled down into the android data folder, and I can see the new time lapse files!

Maybe its time to reboot Windows.

Connecting my phone to Windows does not show up as a conventional removable drive like a flash drive or external USB drive (there is no “eject” available), so maybe there is something odd about how Windows deals with the phone, that has cached some prior view of the contents. Once it is time for work, I’ll check it again on Windows to see if it is there now, or if there is a cache flush option.

That raises another related question…

I am removing the time lapse files for all my wyze cam models from the phone internal storage - it only takes a number of those 1-1.5 GB time lapse files to fill it up (even with 64GB internal storage), and since I’ve discovered the joys of time lapse, I’m going overboard with this lately.

When I do, the wyze app still shows that a time lapse file is available for the various cameras, but shows the generic grey “download” thumbnail for the time lapse as it did before I downloaded them the first time. This makes sense, because the time lapse video files are no longer in the phone storage, so the app thinks it needs to be downloaded again. And I can download them again, and go through the whole download process again just like before.

But now that I have already downloaded and moved the time lapse files to external storage on my server, is there way (in the wyze app) to “delete” the time lapse videos so that the wyze app and the cameras don’t keep thinking there is a time lapse available for download?

And will the time lapse files continue to take up space on the camera SD card forever? Or do I need to pull the SD cards from the cameras and start deleting files form the SD cards on my computer?

The SD cards in my cameras have already been in use for months (in some cases), so the wyze app shows that there are only a few GBs of space left. But I’ve created enough time lapse files on these that should have exceeded the empty space, so how can it keep creating more time lapse files with hardly any free space left? Is it deleting my oldest continuous recording files as it needs space for time lapse files?

I did have an SD card that went bad and the camera reported no card present, so I replaced it and I was able to salvage the old card contents.

Browsing the card contents on my computer, I have found that there are time lapse files in folders like “time_lapse > time_Task_1679331376” on the card, each with a file called record.h264 that contains the time lapse videos. I’m not sure what codec they use, but I’ve been able to play them (with kodi). So they are there, and they do take up a lot of space.

So many questions in my mind.

Yes. I think your windows file browser might be the weakest link and doesn’t much like the Android way of the world.

Another option may be an OTG thumb drive or SD Card Adapter to copy the file over from the phone to the drive using the Android File Browser.

Excellent question! I wish I had an excellent answer. I am going to run this question up the flagpole behind the curtain to see if I can get the Wizard to respond.

Thanks - I don’t want my excitement for creating time lapses now, to permanently reduce the continuous recording capacity by taking up space months later.

I hope the answer is not to pull the cards out, and deleted the locally stored time lapse files in certain directories.

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Be advised there is a new recording behavior with the OG camera when doing a timelapse.
You now need to have enough free space on the SD card before initiating a TL. If not you will get a warning “Not Enough SD Card Storage” and will need to delete and/or reformat the card to free up space. This is unique to the OG camera and has not been the case with any other Wyze camera to date. I have all my cameras set to continuous record and the TL will just write over older recordings to get what ever space it needs.
Just another example of Wyze giving us new features and taking away others it would appear.