Detection Is Not Working On TP-Link Camera

Updated 03-22-2024 14:22:00 PM 48488
This Article Applies to: 


The Detection feature in a TP-Link camera allows it to identify and capture changes in the environment, such as a person walking by, a vehicle passing, or any alteration within its field of view. Once motion is detected, the camera can trigger various actions based on your settings, such as sending an alert, a notification, beginning recording video footage, etc.

There are two main detection types. The first employs pixel changes and AI motion algorithms to detect motion, primarily used by most cameras that are powered via a wired power adapter.

The second type uses technology known as PIR motion sensors. These sensors activate and are alerted by sensing body heat and infrared energy. Battery-powered cameras often integrate an additional motion sensor, which, upon detecting a change in heat, activates the camera and further utilizes AI algorithms for recognition.

Issues with detection are usually associated with the installation and configuration of the camera and/or involve the sensitivity settings within the app and the configuration of detection areas. If the detection feature is not set up correctly in the app, it may not function as intended for your specific scenario. Other factors, including the camera's installation location, height, and angle, can also contribute to this issue.

If the detection feature of your TP-Link camera is not working as expected, we suggest the following:

1. Check network quality.

Make sure the Internet connection is stable. You can check the network connection quality for the camera by following the steps in our FAQ: How to check and improve the network connection stability of Tapo & Kasa smart devices in the Tapo App?

2. Confirm that the camera’s firmware and app (Tapo or Kasa) are both up-to-date.

3. Ensure the detection types are enabled and optimally configured to suit your needs.

The Tapo C420 is used as an example in this case.

  1. Open the Tapo app, tap your camera on the Home page


  1. Go to the Cameras tab, tap Manage on your camera to enter the camera’s Live View page.
  2. Tap the gear-shaped icon at the top-right corner to enter the Device Settings page.
  3. Tap Detection and enable/configure the Detection Types that are optimally suited for your monitoring needs.

(Note: Different camera models have different Detection Types.)

4. Adjust the Sensitivity and Choose Activity zones.

In this example, we use the Tapo C420’s Motion Detection type settings. If no activity zones have been assigned, the entire view of the camera will be treated as a Detection Zone.

1) [For battery-powered camera models only] Navigate to the camera’s Device Settings → Detection page to configure its Wake-up Sensitivity. Higher sensitivity results in longer detection distance, prompter wake-up, and more recordings; however, will result in reduced battery life.

2) Tap the Motion Detection type to change its settings.

5. Adjust the camera position and angle.

The position and angle of the camera also play a crucial role in achieving optimal performance from the detection feature. After ensuring that the detection settings are correctly set, checking, and optimizing the position of the camera should be the next step.

Using a battery-powered camera as an example:

1) If you mount the camera on the wall, please mount your camera at an appropriate angle so that the anticipated movement goes across (not towards) the lens’ field of view to optimally trigger motion detection.

2) If placing the camera on a table, please avoid placing it behind glass, as it will block the battery-powered camera’s motion sensor and render it unable to detect motion.

6. Make sure there is enough movement within the camera’s view.

If your camera is installed in a location with limited movement, or not enough to reach the sensitivity threshold, the camera won't trigger detection. You can move in front of the camera at different distances to check the distance that the camera can detect an event.

If you have completed all the above steps and are still encountering difficulty with detection, please contact TP-Link support for further troubleshooting.


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