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Cisco Meraki

Video Retention


If you have a lot of MV cameras to configure, consider using Quality and retention profiles and APIs to configure your settings.


MV cloud archival support is an additional option available to license to extend and back-up video footage. 


Determining estimated retention time

To check the estimated retention time of a specific camera, please follow these steps:

  1. From the Meraki Dashboard, navigate to Cameras > Monitor > Cameras. Select a camera

  2. Go to the Settings tab and navigate to Quality and Retention.

  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the estimated retention time.


Along with the estimated retention time, suggestions for improving the retention time of your video are also listed. Cloud archival support is available to further improve your retention time to up to 180 days.



Motion-based retention

By default, a Meraki security camera will record footage continuously 24/7. In some situations, only motion events are required to be recorded and stored for review. Motion-based retention covers this requirement and improves the video retention capabilities of the camera. You are able to toggle between different Motion Detector versions. Read more here.

How motion-based retention works

Industry standard motion-based recording is never considered 100% effective and some missed events are expected. To combat this, when motion-based retention is enabled, the footage will continue to be recorded on a 24/7 basis. This provides a three-day buffer period in which any events containing limited motion (e.g. <5% total scene coverage), events in low light conditions (e.g. at night time), or events with far-away objects can still be reviewed for significant events. After this three-day safety net, the camera trims footage based on its index of motion events.

Enabling motion-based retention

  1. Go to Camera > Monitor > Cameras. Select a camera.

  2. Go to the Settings tab and select the Quality and Retention tab

  3. From here, select Yes for Enable motion-based retention?  

  4. If you want to exclude certain areas and only record motion on select areas of interest, select Yes for  Enable areas of interest?

  5. Draw the areas in which you want to record motion. In this example, we only want to record when motion is detected in this walkway in the middle.


Once motion-based retention is selected, a graph will display the hours of motion per day for the camera over the previous week. An estimated retention period will be displayed as well. If your camera is being plugged in for the first time, the estimate will be based on averages from all active Meraki cameras.


When selecting the More information option, an interactive graph will be displayed showcasing more detailed information regarding how motion-based retention works as well as potential retention rates.


Motion-based retention in low-light conditions

To optimize the performance of motion-based retention in poor lighting conditions, it is highly recommended that customers use an external, high power IR source. This provides greater illumination of the scene and allows for the more precise identification of motion events. Cisco Meraki can recommend RayTec, who have a wide range of PoE IR lighting for almost all deployments.

Video quality

The video quality of recorded footage can be altered to further increase the estimated video retention time. The MV12, MV22 and MV72 all have three modes for video quality which are as follows:

  • Standard - 1024 kbps at 8 fps

  • Enhanced - 1562 kbps at 15 fps

  • High -  3138 kbps at 20 fps


There are two modes of video quality for MV21 and MV71, Standard Quality and Enhanced Quality. Standard Quality will capture 720p videos at 535 kbps/8 fps. Enhanced Quality will capture 720p videos at 765 kbps/15fps. The recording modes available are continuous, scheduled and motion-based retention. When the video quality is increased, the maximum retention time will decrease.

Setting a maximum retention time

It is possible to set a maximum retention period for each individual camera. To do this, please complete the following steps:

  1. Go to Camera > Monitor > Cameras. Select a camera.

  2. Go to the Settings tab and select the Quality and Retention tab

  3. From here, select the dropdown menu under When should this camera delete footage?

Footage will be recorded and deleted in the same way as before, on a first-in-first-out basis, up until the maximum retention time.


Disabling video retention (live video only)

In certain scenarios, recording any historical footage is disallowed. To enable "live video only" mode, apply a recording schedule that disables recording 24/7.

This will disable the creation of motion metadata. Motion heatmaps will not generate for live video only cameras. 

Deleting video from the camera

When camera nears full capacity of the internal storage, it will start deleting the oldest video stored. To delete all video at once from the camera, simply remove the camera from its network. This can done by selecting a camera under Camera > Monitor > Cameras and clicking the move or remove option.

Delete Footage.png

Note: When changing Quality and retention settings, there is a brief interruption in recorded video due to the cameras internal recording services applying the new settings.