Confused About SD vs. Cloud Storage

I am a bit confused as to how the rolling 14-day cloud storage works. When I initially set up my camera I was unable to access any clips via the app until I inserted an SD card. Now with an SD card installed I can few clips in the notifications section. Looked through the FAQ but didn’t see this explained.

Question #1 - Am I viewing these clips locally from the SD card or from the cloud?
Question #2 - Is the camera recording to both the SD card and cloud simultaneously?
Question #3 - Do the video clips recorded locally to the SD card need to manually be purged or does it loop record when space is full?
Question #4 - Is there any way to view the cloud storage or is the notifications section of the app the only place to see recorded clips?

Thank you.


Cloud storage and uSD card storage are different settings. Cloud storage does NOT require an SD card. Let’s see if I get this right.

  1. For each camera, if you select settings (while watching that particular camera), one of the options is “Alert Settings”. On that screen there are settings for motion / sound / alarm detection and at the bottom the “Motion Detection Zone” which lets you define a rectangular area where detection takes place. This controls what gets sent to the cloud. There is a global setting for notifications being pushed to your phone which is in the notifications area under Settings.

  2. Under the camera settings select “Advanced Settings” and then “Local Storage”. On that screen you can select what gets recorded to the uSD card. Note BTW that the Local Settings changed a few days ago with a new release of the application. Prior to a few days ago, the local storage settings were on the “Advanced Settings” screen rather than a separate screen. This last statement is true for the iOS application, and may not be the case for Android - speculation on my part since the iOS version was updated a few days ago and I understand the Android version has not caught up yet.

  3. No, they do not need to be purged. When the uSD card is filled, it will automatically delete the oldest files. You can also format the card while it is in the camera - which would of course erase everything.

  4. At this time, the notifications sections of the application is the only way to view the cloud stored clips. There are LOTS of requests to change that.

Thank you for the fast response!

It was odd that I could not view any clips prior to inserting an SD card. It appears the cloud recording wasn’t working. The option is set to record locally to SD and now I can view clips. If I can view clips through the app while I am away from home when it is set to record to SD then that must mean I am creating a connection to my home and pulling it from the camera directly IP and not viewing them from the cloud correct?

Yes it would be nice to live-stream/view clips from my work laptop instead of through the app always.

I can’t explain the view clips issue prior to plugging in a uSD card.

Yes, if you are selecting a camera from the “Devices” page in the app, and selecting “View Playback”, you are getting recorded data from your camera at that time. That means that if you’re at a remote location and your internet is down, it wont work. If you are in the “Notifications” page in the app, you are getting that from the cloud.

“If you are in the “Notifications” page in the app, you are getting that from the cloud.”

Ok well I am actually pulling the clips from ‘Notifications’ and not ‘View Playback’ even though it is set to record to SD. There is also recorded video in the ‘View Playback’ page. Does this mean it is recording locally and copying clips to the cloud as well?

If you have local storage set to record continuously (as I do), the “View Playback” section will hopefully have continuous recording. If you have local storage set for motion events only, it will record to the SD card only when it detects motion. Assuming that you have motion alerts set to upload to the cloud, then yes, you will have notifications available on the app from the cloud via the Notifications section, AND also via View Playback from the uSD card.
I have never had my local storage set for motion effects only, so I can’t tell you from personal experience what it looks like. From your screen captures, I assume that the top part is from the Notifications page, and the bottom part is from “View Playback” (as that is what I would expect it to look like with non-continuous recording).

Does the motion “zone” trigger cloud events and sd card events? Or does the SD card just do the whole frame and no zone?

Actually I don’t know as I have never used motion events for uSD card storage. I recall reading here on the forum that Motion trigger for uSD card recording is full screen, but don’t know if that’s right…

How long does it record to the SD card when set to Record Events Only?

What determines the length of the recording on the SD when set to Record Events Only? Is it the length of the motion event, like someone coming to the door to make a delivery and leaving?

Mine is only recording 12 seconds to the SD card when it detects motion, like coming to the door, not the entire event, when the person leaves.

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In what screen of the Wyze App are you viewing the 12 videos?

If it is notifications, then those are from the cloud, but in my experience, when you view them, it really downloads them to the phone.

If you want to view what was recorded on the SD, these are 1 minute videos. You see then under the specific camera, under view playback.

If saves any minute that had motion detected. So if there is 12 seconds of motion that starts at 55 seconds into the minute, it will save 2 one minute segments on the SD card.

Read the other posts in this topic.

Also, see the following thread.

Thank you. I figured it out. The app is saving 1-minute events to the SD card and I can view it via the Playback option.

I think WYZE needs to explain how things work and where they are stored a little better.

Ideally, all videos should be accessible under the Notification section in a single timeline, cloud, and local videos. Maybe they can differentiate the two by color or icon. But it would be nice to see all videos in one place rather than go to two different places in the app.


It has been explained many times here on the forum.
As for your suggestion that everything be accessible from one place, that sort of makes sense IF you only have motion events saved to the uSD card. Even in that case, what would be the point of having every event listed twice (once from the cloud and one from the uSD card)? If you have continuous recording on the uSD card, that does not make sense at all (since it is NOT notifications of events), and the current “View Playback” makes far more sense.

Sorry, I feel like #2 posted by OP is not explicitly answered and I sort of got the answer through the various post.

Can someone confirm that even though I have an SD card and regardless if it’s alert or continuous, the video is simultaneously being recorded to both the SD card AND to the cloud?

The reason I really want to know is that what if someone breaks in, notices the camera, decides to also unplug and steal the camera. In that scenario, if it only records to the SD card, what’s the use? The card is gone unless the video was simultaneously uploaded to the cloud up until it was unplugged.

Appreciate it if anyone can confirm or validate.

Thanks in advance.

Let me give you the long explanation for (Record Events Only):

The camera has two buffers constantly being written alternating between A & B or odd minute & even minute, whenever an event triggers if you have the camera set on Motion detection and have a SD card installed this is what happens, the camera sends the first 12 seconds of the alert to the cloud and then flags the minute in the buffer that contains the alert to be written to the card, if the camera keeps detecting the alert is triggered then the next buffer minute also gets written to the card and this can go on for minutes or hours as long as there is movement in front of the camera, meanwhile after the camera sends the original alert video to the cloud it pauses for 5 minutes, if movement continues then it will send another 12 seconds and pause again for 5 minutes.

Going back to the buffers, if no movement is detected during any given minute it gets erased the next time the camera writes to the buffer alternating between the two buffers.

Now to your question if the camera gets stolen you better pray the crook’s face was captured during the original or subsequent 12 seconds of cloud recording, just remember you only paid $19.99 for the camera so the FREE 12 seconds every 5 minutes is a bonus that other companies charge a monthly fee for cloud storage. For instance my $149 Arlo camera gives me FREE 7 day storage but limited to 1 GIG if I waste that 1 GIG recording false alerts there will not be any time left to record the crook.

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I got it! Thank you so much for the explanation! That makes sense.

I guess in other words, the cam will only store 12 seconds every 5 minutes in the cloud. BTW, how’d you get it for $20? I paid $30 each!

I have a Kodak cam too (also sold as Minion cams) and after testing Wyze vs Kodak and based on what you said, there are some plus and minuses with each and I think having both would probably cover each other.

I don’t like the fact that Wyze cam can only give us 12 secs in the cloud for every 5 minutes (though kept for 14 days). That’s where my Kodak/Minion cam is a bit better because it uploads if there is motion about 5 minutes clips continuously to the cloud. However, my Kodak only gives me 1 day cloud storage for free. I wouldn’t mind if Wyze sacrificed a few days or a week if I can get longer than 12 secs clips in the cloud. It’s nice to record to an SD card but in most cases, unless you have the camera hidden, I’d say most crooks would probably take the camera with them.

I DO like Wyze app so much better, it has so many more features, and the motion sensing capabilities is better. The size and design is way better as well.

In any case, thank you so much!


I’m on the same boat, I like the versatility of the WYZECAM but still rely on my Arlo for and when there is a break in and want to make sure at least a 1 GIG video goes to the cloud (the Arlo Q doesn’t have capability to record to SD Card).

I have the Arlo in the OFF position but tied to my Smarthings Hub so I don’t waste that precious 1 GIG FREE cloud storage on nonsense, if the door sensors or the motion sensors detect an intruder then the Hub sends a command to the Arlo to turn ON and if the camera detects motion to start recording, it does it in 2 minute increments up to the 1 GIG FREE cloud storage, the camera captures a clear view of the front and rear door.

Are you running any UPS battery as backup power? I keep thinking that all the crooks these day have to do is cut the power. Speaking of which, I think I should at least lock the power panel outside. LOL

The Smarthings Hub has its own 10 hour power backup, my cable modem and WiFi router are connected to APC battery back up for alarm and phone notification when we are not home, the cameras are not on power backup but my electrical panel is inside the house, you need to make things as hard as possible so the crook hopefully hits the house next door.