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How to email images from your Axis network camera when motion is detected

We get asked this a lot as it’s one of the most popular features of network cameras when purchased with home security in mind. It’s fair to say that every camera we sell supports the function of image transfer based on a triggered alarm but this guide will focus on how to set this up, step-by-step, in your Axis network camera.

Supported Cameras

I’m using an Axis 231D+ but this guide will work equally well across all Axis camera models with recent firmware.

Let’s Get Started

I shall assume that your Axis network camera is configured and you are viewing the camera locally on your network.

Step 1: Logging In

Log in to your camera using your administrator username and password and click the ‘setup’ link at the top right.

Step 2: Email setup

First setup your email account details in the camera.

In the setup menu click ‘System Options’. This will open a sub-menu. From the sub-menu select ‘Network’ which will open another sub-menu. From this menu select ‘SMTP (email)’ and you will see the following screen:

SMTP details screen

In the ‘Primary email server’ dialogue input your email SMTP address. You can find these from your favourite email program. Just look at your account settings for the SMTP address.

Normally you can get away without using authentication settings so only input your password details if you find it doesn’t work without them.

Enter a ‘From email address’ in the box provided. This would be an address that the email would look like it came from.

Don’t forget to test your email settings by inputting an address in the box and sending a test message.

Once you have a successful test your email is configured in the camera, move onto the next stage.

Step 3: Event Setup

In the setup menu down the left hand side click ‘Event Configuration’. This will open up a sub-menu below. From the sub-menu select ‘Event Types’.

Step 4: Adding the Event

An ‘Event’ is the terminology used for an action which will trigger either an image to be transfered or a simple email notifying you of activity. Of course the type of activity triggered is based on the type of event we set up. This time we’re going to set up a Motion Detection event.

On the Event Type screen click the ‘Add triggered…’ button to add a triggered event:

Event Type Screen

Step 5: Configuring a Motion Detection Event

Name: This can be anything. It’s best to put something meaningful in here so you can remember what the event was for when you look at it at a later date. For now I will put ‘motion_event’.

Priority: Simple priority drop-down box. This will come into affect if you have many events, for now leave at ‘normal’.

Respond to Trigger…

Here you can schedule your event to only work on certain days or during a certain part of the day. For now I will leave as ‘Always’ so the event is always active.

Triggered by…

This drop-down box allows you to select your event trigger type. I will selection ‘Motion Detection’ from the list.

When Triggered…

This is the main part of the event and where you configure what will happen when the camera detects motion.

I will check the box marked ‘Upload Images’. You will see more entries associated with this event type appear:

Select upload type

You can upload images by HTTP, FTP or Email. I will select ‘Email’ from the drop-down box.

When doing so email options appear. You must select a destination email address (or multiple addresses using semi-colons to separate addresses). A subject header and message body can also be added.

You can also limit the number of images sent in every email here. I will leave the default value of 10.


You can select how many seconds before the event occured and how many seconds you wish to record after the event in the next two sections. You can also adjust the frequency of images per second. I will choose 2 seconds pre-trigger and 2 seconds post-trigger at 1 frame per second. Feel free to adjust these settings to suit.

Continue image upload (unbuffered)

This section allows the event to continue recording while the event is still active or for a pre-determined time after the event has been triggered. This allows you to continue to record while the camera still detection motion. I will set this to continue to record as long as the camera detects motion meaning that whatever has triggered the motion will continue to be recorded until it is no longer detected.

Base file name

This is the name of the file which will be saved per image. I will leave as the default name of ‘image.jpg’ and set a ‘date/time’ suffix so that each of my images will have a unique name.

Event specific image settings

You can select image settings specific to recording, independant of the live view settings. So, for example you can view your live stream at a compression setting of 60% so it streams a little quicker but you can set your recording to 30% compression to get a higher quality recorded image. I haven’t adjusted them in this example.


Click ‘ok’ to save your event. It should look something like this:

Event Setup Configuration

That’s your event set up. Now walk past the camera a few times pulling silly faces and check your email for the results.

Any questions about this guide please leave a comment.

Published on September 2nd, 2007 by Greg

8 Responses to “How to email images from your Axis network camera when motion is detected”

  1. Greg says:

    Not as far as I'm aware. Are you having problems setting up more than one server? or setting up more than one event?

  2. Jan says:

    On 241S it does not seem possible to set up two (or more) events which trigger (FTP upload) on motion detection.

    Only works fine, but canno upload to two or more ftp servers (which the second and subsequent events could be made to do). Is that a known limitation?

  3. Greg says:

    Try checking your DNS server settings in the camera. If they are not set or are incorrect then the camera will not be able to translate your SMTP server address. You will get appropriate DNS server settings from your ISP.

  4. TimBPH says:

    Have just installed the Axis 207W – all working fine with secure access over internet. My problem is with the event email settings – can’t send a test email – sfter a few minutes I get a “SMTP timeout” error – I am using the correct SMTP server address (smtp.bri.people.net.au) on port 25. Any help appreciated!

  5. guay says:

    Is possible with other cameras? Which?

  6. guay says:

    I have a IP cam 213PTZ Axis

  7. Greg says:


    It may be possible to limit the number of detections from the camera but I'm not sure you can eliminate them completely as it would defeat the point of the motion detection.

    If you let me know the model of camera you have I will look into it.

  8. guay says:

    Is possible configure a trigger event in order that send once an email? Only the first time.

    By example. I capture a event with motion detect when someone open the door, but only the first (8:00 to 9:00 am), but the following events in this schedule(8:00 to 9:00) not.

    Is possible? How?