Do you have unanswered questions about how to view dash cam footage without all the extra hassle? We cover this and much more in our simple-to-follow 7 step guide.
We’ll cover topics like how to view the footage on an iPhone, a TV, and even in a Tesla. You’ll find answers to your burning questions and learn some helpful tips and tricks along the way.
By the end of our guide, you’ll be able to effortlessly look through the available footage from your dashcam, saving you time and money along the way!
Let’s get into the guide!
Table of Contents
How to View Dash Cam Footage – Everything You Need to Know!
Here’s where we’ll break down this topic into smaller bites. We’ll start by looking at how to view the footage on different devices and the general principle to follow.
You’ll also find some pointers along the way that’ll make this whole process easier.
Let’s take a look!
P.S. Here are some of the best places to mount your dash cam for best results in different situations.
How to View Dash Cam Footage in 7 Quick Steps
Here are the 7 steps you should follow to view the footage saved onto the Micro SD card. These steps apply to dashcams that use SD cards (but the steps will also work for those that record to a hard drive).
Step 1 – Remove the SD Card from the Dash Cam
There should be a little slot on the side of the dashcam where the SD card is inserted. Most modern dash cams only take Micro-SD cards.
To remove the card, you’ll need to push on the card until you hear the release click. You can then pull the card out of the slot.
Step 2 – Put the Micro-SD Card into an SD Card Adapter
Most PCs don’t have slots for Micro-SD cards. You’ll need to buy an SD-card adapter. They’re easy to find and are cheap.
Insert the Micro-SD card into the card adapter. You should hear some kind of subtle click when the card is in place.
Step 3 – Insert the SD-Card Adapter into Your PC
Find your PC or laptop’s SD-card slot. This is a thin slot that should be on the sides of your laptop. If you’re using a PC, it might be underneath (all-in-one PC) or at the back on some PCs.
Insert the card, making sure that the little white arrow on the card is on the upward-facing side, and pointing towards the slot. Insert the card until it settles in its place.
Step 4 – Locate the Card on Your PC
Here are the steps to follow to find the SD card on a Windows computer:
- Open file explorer
- Click on This PC
- Scroll down to Devices and Drivers
- Click on the SD-Card Driver from the available options
- Hit Enter to open the SD-Card
Step 5 – Locate the Video Files
You should see all the recorded and stored video files as soon as you open the SD-card. There are other options, but they depend on the dashcam you have.
There might be a list of folders organized according to the date they were recorded.
So long as you can find all the video folders, then you’re good to go.
You can view the videos here if you’d want, but I’d suggest moving them across to your PC or external hard drive for safekeeping. It’ll also help you free up space on the memory card.
Step 6 – Copy the Video Files Across to Your PC
Follow these steps:
- Create a new folder on your desktop for the video files
- To do this, just right-click, hover over the New option, and click on Folder
- Return to the SD-Card window
- Select all the videos you want to copy across to your computer
- Copy the videos (right-click and select Copy or hold Ctrl and C)
- Navigate to the new folder you’ve just created and paste the video files (right-click and select Paste or hold Ctrl and V)
The files will then copy across to the new folder. You can rename and reorganize the folder as you wish.
Step 7 – View to Video Footage
Use any media player that supports the format of the video files to view them. I’d suggest renaming the video files by date or location for easier access in the future.
Now that your footage is safely stored on your PC or hard drive, you can go and delete all footage you’ve already copied across.
How to Recover Dash Cam Footage
Some software can recover deleted footage. Not all of them are free, so choose wisely.
I’ve used a program called Recuva to retrieve accidentally deleted footage from an SD card and a flash drive.
It’s worth pointing out that these recovery apps only work if you haven’t re-written data to the card. Make sure that you use the program immediately after deleting the footage, and don’t use the same card for recording until you’ve done so.
How Long Do Dash Cameras Record For?
This depends on whether or not the cam is battery-powered; and how much storage space there is on the SD card.
Higher-resolution recording (1080p and above) will use more space and therefore give you less recording time.
How Many Hours Can 16GB Hold?
You’ll get around 2 hours of recorded footage on a 16GB SD card. This is if you’re recording at 1080p at 30fps. If you’re recording in higher resolution or higher fps, then you should expect less than 2 hours.
How Many Hours Can 32GB Hold?
You’ll run less of a risk of losing your oldest footage when it’s automatically deleted to make space for newer footage.
How Does a Dash Cam Work?
Most dash cams run on the electrical system of the vehicle and will automatically turn on when you switch on the ignition.
Dashcams have a unit that houses the camera and SD card. As soon as the ignition is switched on, the dashcam will start recording to the SD card.
They use Micro-SD cards most dash cams can handle at least a 64GB card.
The oldest footage is deleted when space is needed for the current recording. This means you’ll need to copy and clear the content of the card when it starts to fill up – or it will be deleted.
You can also get some dash cams that are battery powered and can record without needing the car to be running.
If you want to learn how to install and set up a dash cam correctly, here’s an excellent read to give you all the info you’ll need.
Well done for taking the time to plan and prepare. Knowing the basics is important and it will help you choose a better dash cam – and get the results you’re looking for.
Now that you know how to view dashcam footage, you won’t be at risk of losing essential footage that could save you a lot of time and money!