Selecting and Formatting a USB Flash Drive

Dashcam and Sentry Mode use the exterior cameras to record and save video in your vehicle. You must format and insert a properly formatted USB flash drive into your vehicle to save video recordings. Refer to the Owner's Manual for more information on how to operate dashcam and Sentry Mode.

Vehicle Requirements

Dashcam is available on the following vehicles:

  • All Model 3 vehicles.
  • All Model Y vehicles.
  • All Cybertruck vehicles.
  • All Model S and X built after approximately August 1, 2017.
  • Version 9 (version 2018.39.1 or higher) software downloaded.

Sentry Mode is available on the following vehicles:

  • All Model 3 vehicles.
  • All Model Y vehicles.
  • All Cybertruck vehicles.
  • All Model S and X built after approximately October 1, 2016.*
  • Version 9 (version 2018.39.1 or higher) software downloaded.

*Vehicles built before approximately August 1, 2017 can use Sentry Mode but are currently unable to store video onto flash drives.

USB Drive Requirements for Recording Videos

Some features require you to use a USB drive (for example, Dashcam, Sentry Mode) that meet these requirements:

  • Minimum storage capacity of 64 GB. Use a USB drive with as much available storage as possible. Video files can be very large.
  • A sustained write speed of at least 4 MB/s. Note that sustained write speed differs from peak write speed.
  • USB 2.0 compatible. If using a USB 3.0 drive, it must also support USB 2.0.
  • Properly formatted (described below).
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In some market regions you can purchase recommended USB drives on

Automatically Formatting a USB Drive

Insert the USB drive into a front USB port and touch Controls > Safety > Format USB Drive. This automatically formats the USB drive as exFAT and creates a folder for TeslaCam. The USB drive is now ready to record and save video footage.

Format USB Drive is available only when a USB drive (with no more than one partition) is inserted into a front USB port. Choosing Format USB Drive erases any existing content on the USB drive—before using this feature, move any content you want to keep to a different device.

Manually Formatting a USB Drive

If Cybertruck is unable to format the USB drive, format it using a computer:

  1. Format the USB drive as exFAT, MS-DOS FAT (for Mac), ext3, or ext4 (NTFS is currently not supported).
  2. Create a root-level folder titled TeslaCam. You can use one USB drive for Dashcam, Sentry Mode, and audio files, but you must create separate partitions for each folder on an exFAT USB drive.
  3. Once formatted, insert the USB drive into the glovebox USB port (if equipped), otherwise use a front USB port in the center console. Do not use a rear USB port because they can be used only to charge devices. It may take a few seconds for Cybertruck to recognize the USB drive.
  4. Once recognized, ensure icons for Dashcam and Sentry Mode are available when you touch Controls. Cybertruck is now ready to record videos.
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    You may need to first enable Sentry Mode (if equipped) by touching Controls > Sentry.

Viewing Video Recordings

If footage is saved, you can view the clips on the touchscreen (if available) or a computer.

When the USB drive runs out of storage space, new video footage overwrites the previous footage. To prevent the USB drive from getting full, regularly move saved videos to another device and delete them from the USB drive.

When enabled, Dashcam and Sentry Mode footage is recorded in cycles. Footage is continuously overwritten unless you save it. You must save your desired footage to view it, otherwise the footage is erased and overwritten. Four videos are recorded for each saved clip, one from each camera (front, rear, left, and right).

Viewing on the Touchscreen

You can view recorded footage on the touchscreen when Cybertruck is in Park. Touch the Dashcam icon located in the app launcher, or the Dashcam icon on the Controls screen. Touch the menu icon in the top corner of the screen. The tabs display a list of all video clips, organized by location and timestamp. Pause, rewind, fast forward, and delete clips as needed.

Navigate to Controls > Safety > Delete Dashcam Clips to delete all Dashcam and Sentry Mode footage.

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Dashcam recording pauses when you launch the Viewer.
Viewing on a Computer

Insert the USB drive into a computer and navigate to the TeslaCam folder.

The TeslaCam folder contains sub-folders:

  • Saved Clips: Contains all recordings that are saved using Dashcam.
  • Sentry Clips: Contains recordings from all Sentry Mode security events. If storage space on the USB drive becomes limited, the oldest Sentry Clips are deleted to provide space for new ones. Once deleted, you cannot retrieve them.

Understanding Error Messages

When you insert your USB flash drive into one of the vehicle's USB ports, an error message may appear if your flash drive cannot correctly store videos in a way that is compatible with your vehicle. Follow the suggestions below for assistance with some common issues:

  • The USB drive is not accessible by Dashcam- This message shows when the vehicle detects that your flash drive is corrupted, resulting in your vehicle being unable to write data on it. Try connecting the flash drive to a computer and reformatting it. You can also use your operating system's checkdisk utility (for Windows) or disk utility (for Mac) to repair it. This error is not related to your flash drive’s write speed.
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    Linux users should format the flash drive to ext3 or ext4. This increases the chance of your flash drive being able to fix itself to use with dashcam.
  • Dashcam is unable to write- This message shows when your USB flash drive is full. Use a personal computer to move the files from the Saved Clips or Sentry Clips folders to another storage device. Remove other files that are not in the TeslaCam folder and ensure that the files are removed from the flash drive by emptying the Recycle Bin or Trash can (some operating systems only move files to Trash when you delete them from the Recycle Bin, which does not allow the space required to be reclaimed).
  • The USB drive write speed is too slow for Dashcam- Dashcam requires a USB flash drive that can sustainably write data onto your flash drive for long periods of time. Use a flash drive that has a minimum sustained write speed of 4MB/s. Some flash drives note the peak write speed, so ensure the sustained write speed also fits the requirements for your vehicle.

If the above suggestions do not resolve the issue and error messages persist, contact Tesla Service.