night owl dvr not recording

Wondering why your Night Owl DVR not recording? Continue reading to know!

Night Owl DVR allows users to feasible set up a security system at home on their network and enables remote viewing of users by recording the footage.

However, occasionally the DVR may fail to record the footage from the cameras, which compromises home security.

Here’s why!

A number of things can prevent the Night Owl DVR from recording, such as a full disk drive, a faulty HDMI cable, or improper recording settings. The issue could also be related to a recording schedule fault or a DVR software bug. The solution is simple!

Let’s first take a look at the reasons why the Night Owl DVR is not recording!

Why Is My Night Owl Not Recording?

why my night owl dvr not recording

If your Night Owl is not recording the footage, then it is possibly due to the DVR’s inappropriate recording settings or a system bug.

However, the Night Owl records instantly as the camera detects any motion, but some inadequate detection or recording settings may cause issues!

Here are some of the causes that may cause the recording issue with Night Owl DVR:

  • Insufficient DVR Storage Space
  • Disabled Motion Detection Recording
  • Erroneous HDD 
  • Inappropriate DVR recording schedules
  • Incorrect Camera Detection Zone
  • Outdated DVR Firmware
  • Faulty HDMI cable or port

Let’s learn how you can fix your Night Owl not recording issue within quick steps:

How To Fix When Night Owl DVR Not Recording?

how to fix the nightowl dvr

If your Night Owl DVR is not recording, then it is probably all because of inadequate recording settings.

To figure out what’s wrong, all you have to do is look at every factor that directly affects your DVR. So let’s go ahead!

Solution #1 Enable Motion Detection!

Night Owl DVR recording is by default set to detection.

It’s possible that you unintentionally disabled the motion detection feature in your DVR, which is why it’s not recording even if the camera is detecting the object.

All you need to do is to re-enable the Motion Detection on your DVR for recordings.

enable the motion detection

Here is how you can enable Motion Detection in Night Owl DVR:

  1. Access the Main Menu from the DVR monitor.
  2. Go to the DVR Settings.
  3. Click on the Event.
  4. Next, go to  Motion Detect under the Detect section.
  5. Choose your DVR Channel.
  6. Remark the Enable box for motion detection recording.
  7. Click on Apply to save settings.
  8. Save settings and exit from the menu.

After enabling detection motion, your DVR will instantly record as the camera detects motion! 


Additionally, confirm that the detection zone you choose for your camera is the proper one.

It’s possible that the DVR doesn’t record because your camera zone is at a location from which nothing can move, therefore will not record.

Solution #2 Check DVR HDD Status

check hdd status

Night Owl recorder captures the footage only when there is storage space available to store the recordings.

Possibly your DVR HDD could not have enough memory to keep recordings, which would prevent more videos to get saved, therefore no more recordings.

Here is how you can check your Night Owl HDD:

  1. Go to the Main Menu from recorder TV.
  2. Tap on the Devices tab.
  3. Look for HDD, its Status, and Available Space.

It’s important to ensure that the HDD status is OK and have enough available space for recordings.

In addition, you can also delete old recordings to free up some space!

HDD Status Is NOT OK?

the hdd status not okay

If the HDD status is different from OK, it means the drive has a fault. This time, you need to format your drive.

You can easily format your HDD by selecting your HDD and then tapping on Format Hard Drive.

The formatting will permanently erase all saved recordings from the drive!

Solution #3 Reconnect DVR Cables

Night Owl DVR is connected with HDMI and a Power cable. There is a possibility that either any cable might be broken or has a fault that’s causing the issue with the DVR.

The BNC connectors on the cameras have to be connected for the recordings to reach Night Owl DVR.

  • Simply reconnect every attached cable with the DVR and with the camera!

It will help the devices to refresh and help them to communicate properly. Aside from the cables, it is also important that the DVR is properly configured in the app.

Test whether everything works okay and check whether the recordings will now appear in the DVR’s Menu.

Tip: Ensure that the DVR cable ports have no fault!

Solution #4 Inspect the Recording Schedule

inspect the recording schedule

Night Owl DVR records when its camera detects motion in a detection zone. But you can manually adjust the recording schedule as you want.

There is a possibility that your DVR has inappropriate recording settings or recording schedules causing all this fuss.

This time all you have to do is to recheck the DVR recording schedule settings, so you can adjust it if you notice anything wrong.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to DVR TV/Monitor.
  2. Login to your DVR.
  3. Right-click to navigate to the Main Menu
  4. Click on Record from the menu. 
  5. Choose your DVR channel on which you stream the camera’s live recordings.
  6. Look for REC. MODE.
  7. Select Scheduled Recording or Always on Recording option. 
  • For Scheduled recording, adjust the days and times on which DVR records.
  • For Always on recording, the DVR automatically records when it detects any motion.

Look at the other recording settings to check if everything is configured as needed for the DVR to record.

When you think everything is OK, move in front of the Night Owl camera to test whether the DVR detects and records the footage or not.

Note: If the DVR is still not recording, then simply head over to the next following solutions!

Solution #5 Update Night Owl DVR Firmware

update the firmware

If you have already tried all the above methods but the DVR is still not recording, then your Night Owl system needs to be upgraded.

Night Owl security systems cannot upgrade their firmware automatically, so you have to upgrade it manually, and it can be done in 2 minutes!

Note: Ensure that the DVR and camera are connected to a good internet connection!

Here is how you can update the Night Owl DVR firmware:

  1. Move to DVR TV/Monitor.
  2. Log in to your DVR channel.
  3. Right-click on the screen and tap on the Main Menu.
  4. Navigate to Tools > System Info.
  5. Look for the most-recent Firmware Version.
  6. Tap on the DVR to scan for a new version.
  7. As the DVR detects the available update, it automatically starts upgrading.
  8. Depending on your network speed, the DVR takes some time to update.

As the update of Night Owl system firmware completes, DVR automatically restarts and installs the updates in the camera as well.

Now your DVR will easily record as the camera detects any object when there is a movement in front of the sensor.

Note: The Night Owl DVR firmware upgrade shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes!

Solution #6 Reset Night Owl DVR

reset the night owl dvr

In case the Night Owl DVR is still not recording, then we need to perform a Factory Reset.

This is the ultimate method and will fix everything from the root and then you can start from scratch.

Sometimes devices get some anonymous virus or bug that cannot be removed by rebooting or updating, so resetting will work best when we’re there.

Alert: Keep in mind that resetting the DVR will erase all of the camera settings from the app!
how reset the night owl

Here is how you can reset your Night Owl DVR:

  1. Access the DVR Main Menu from the monitor.
  2. Look for Advanced Tab and from there go to the Maintain Tab.
  3. Tap on the Load Default option.
  4. Choose “ALL” and tap on Save.
  5. The Night Owl system will automatically reset within a couple of minutes.

After resetting, set up your Night Owl camera and DVR to your camera-compatible app and make sure to set up all the recording settings correctly.

When you’re ready, you can test.

Quick Recap:

Whenever your Night Owl stops recording, all you need to do is correctly configure the DVR recording settings, free up HDD storage space and check the wiring. Also, make sure to update the DVR firmware and in case nothing helps, perform a Factory Reset.

Wrapping Up:

In this guide, we have discussed why the Night Owl DVR not recording at all.

The final solution we get from throughout the guide is the correct configuration of DVR recording settings, DVR setup in the app, and camera setting all matter equally for DVR recording.

We hope that this guide was helpful and for more Night Owl content, check our blog!

Nicole B