When Your Ring Alarm Sensor Keeps Saying Tampered

Ring security sensors are a great choice for adding some extra protection to your home security plan. However, what do you do when those sensors start sending you false alerts?

The tamper alert is designed to let users know when someone has tried to physically damage the sensor. There are also glitches that can cause the tamer alert to go off. Getting those fixed quickly is the key to maintaining a secure smart home.

There are a few fixes to clear a Ring tamper alert that keeps going off. The first is to open the case of the sensor and then close it to make sure the tamper button is pressed. You can then try resetting the sensor by removing the battery and pressing the reset button. If all else fails, you can always try uninstalling and reinstalling your Ring app or cashing in that warranty.

Let’s find out what’s inside of Ring’s best kept security secret and how you can silence a false alarm.

What Are Ring Alarm Sensors?

You probably know about Ring from their iconic doorbell, but did you know they had a whole host of other smart home products?

The smart sensors by Ring are designed to improve the security and safety of your home. Ring makes motion sensors, contact sensors, and a freeze and flood sensor. We’ll be focusing on the first two types of sensors today because they’re the ones with the tamper alert installed.

The Ring motion sensor works exactly like you’d expect it to. This sensor detects motion and can then perform a variety of functions from turning on lights to sending you security notifications.

Front view of the Ring Motion Sensor 2nd gen
Front view of the Ring Motion Sensor 2nd gen

The Ring contact sensor comes in two parts and is designed to be placed on doors or windows. When the two parts of a contact sensor are separated, they can activate alarms, alert local law enforcement, and send you a notification.

Partially opened Ring Contact Sensor showing the Z Wave logo and pin
Partially opened Ring Contact Sensor showing the Z Wave logo and pin

The tamper urge is a feature built into these sensors. So, what does a tamper alert do anyway?

What is the Tamper Alert?

Ring sensors are designed to protect your home from intruders, burglars, and other unwanted guests. These security sensors are great at detecting motion as well as when doors and windows have been opened, but what happens when an aspiring thief tries to physically disabled your sensors?

This is where the tamper alert kicks in. Inside these Ring devices, you’ll find a small plastic post pushing down on a small button on the device’s computer chip. When the case of the device is closed, it keeps the button pressed which prevents the tamper alert from being sent.

However, when the case of the sensor is opened, the post lifts off the button, and it sends a tamper alert to your phone:

Getting various tampered errors for my Ring Alarm contact sensor
Getting various tampered errors for my Ring Alarm contact sensor

This is great in case someone is trying it to pry open your sensors to get past them, but it can be a hassle if you’re just changing batteries.

If you’re paying for Ring Protect Pro which comes with professional security monitoring, a tamper alert can even lead to the police being called. Being able to quickly fix a tamper alert on a Ring sensor such as “You Are Being Recorded” and more warnings can save you a ton of hassle. Before we go through the fixes, we’re going to look at the Ring devices that have tamper alerts.

Which Ring Devices Have Tamper Alerts?

Ring includes the tamper alert in all of its security and alarm sensors. Not every Ring device has a tamper alert because not every Ring device is necessarily built with security in mind. Ring devices often and do double duty for handling both security concerns and other tasks.

With this in mind, here are some of the Ring devices that can send tamper alerts.

  • Ring Alarm Motion Sensors
  • Ring Contact Sensor
  • Ring Outdoor Contact Sensor
  • In other words, any sensor included within a Ring Alarm kit (such as a 5 piece kit)

What Causes Ring Tamper Alerts (And How to Fix Them)

Troubleshooting frequent tamper alerts can get a little tricky. The most common causes are relatively easy to fix, but there could be more complicated issues that cause alerts to continue popping up. Let’s work through some simpler fixes first and then move down towards the tougher to tackle troubles that cause tamper alerts.

Sensor Case is Not Fully Closed

Removing the back cover of the Ring Motion Sensor
Removing the back cover of the Ring Motion Sensor

This first fix happens because the case of your contact sensor or motion sensor isn’t fully closed. The mechanism that keeps the tamper alert button pressed is physically built into the case of your sensor. If the case isn’t properly closed, the tamper sensor will continue to send you alert notifications.

The good news is that the fix is really easy.

How to Fix A Loose Sensor Case

All you need to do to fix a loose sensor case is to simply snap your case back together. However, we recommend removing your case from the wall, window, or door that it’s connected to before trying to snap it back together.

This is because the case needs to be perfectly fitted back together in order to silence the tamper alert. Taking your case off of its mounting and fully snapping a back together is the best way to ensure that the case is perfectly fit.

You can then mount your case back on the wall and the tamper alert should stop sending you notifications.

Glitches With the Tamper Button

The next fix is just a little more involved. That tamper button can be a little temperamental. If it’s not pushed down all the way, or the sensor gets jostled around, that Ring sensor could start sending tamper alerts constantly.

In order to fix this, we’re going to need to reset the tamper button.

How to Fix Glitches With the Tamper Button

Resetting this button is pretty easy.

The first thing you’re going to need to do is open up the case of your Ring sensor. You can see a battery connected to a small circuit board. The first step is to remove that battery.

The batteries inside a Ring Motion Sensor with the back cover removed
The batteries inside a Ring Motion Sensor with the back cover removed

Next things get a little more tricky. You need to find the tamper button on the small circuit board inside your Ring device. It should be a small black button located somewhere near the antenna. Your owner’s manual outlines the specific location of the tamper button for the make and model of your device.

Now you want to press and hold the tamper button down while you reinsert the battery. It’s very important that the button is held down while the new battery is inserted. This will physically reset the tamper button and should eliminate any additional notifications once the case is fully closed.

You Need to Factory Reset Your Sensor

The process for resetting Ring’s sensor alarms is almost identical to the process we just did for fixing a glitch with the tamper button. We’re going to follow all of those same steps, but add a new one for older Ring devices. We’re also going to have a second set of instructions for resetting second-generation Ring sensor alarms.

Here’s a step-by-step for factory resetting a first generation Ring sensor.

  1. Remove the cover from the sensor
  2. Remove the battery
  3. Press and hold the tamper button
  4. While still holding the tamper button, reinsert the battery
  5. Hold the LED button until it stops flashing
  6. Replace the sensor cover

Starting a factory on the second generation of Ring sensor alarms is a little different. It’s not necessarily easier or more difficult, Ring just added a specific button we can press to reset the device.

  1. Remove the cover of your Ring sensor
  2. Locate the reset button
  3. Press the reset button using a safety pin or the reset button tool that came with your device
  4. Hold the button until the light flashes green
  5. Continue holding the button until the LED light turns red
  6. Replace the cover

Your device should now be good to reconnect to your app without that constant tamper alert.

Ring Outdoor Gate Sensor Screwed too Tightly

There’s an issue that is specific to the Ring outdoor gate sensor. Ring introduced this sensor due to popular demand from individuals who wanted to secure not just the doors and windows of their homes, but also outdoor gates and other locations like their sheds.

These sensors are weather resistant and designed to stand up to what the outdoors can throw at them.

You can install a Ring outdoor gate sensor with the same double-sided tape that you could use on an indoor sensor. However, many people choose to use the included screws and mounting brackets to install their outdoor gate sensors. The trick is that screwing your Ring sensor into tightly can slightly warp its case which causes the tamper alert alarm to go off.

How to Fix a Ring Outdoor Gate Sensor

In order to fix a Ring outdoor gate sensor that’s been screwed down too tightly, the first thing you need to do is unscrew it from its mounting. This will remove any tension that’s been applied to the sensor’s case and allow the tamper alert to clear.

You can then screw the Ring outdoor sensor back into its former position. Just to make sure to not screw it in too tightly this time in order to avoid more false tamper alerts.

Glitches In the Ring App

The next problem we have to tackle isn’t necessarily in the sensor itself. The Ring app can also come with its own host of bugs and glitches that can cause tamper alerts to continue going off. Plenty of users have reported that trying to fix the sensor itself didn’t work, but when they uninstalled and reinstalled the Ring app, the tamper alerts went away.

The event history of my Ring Alarm showing a few tampered errors
The event history of my Ring Alarm showing a few tampered errors

This could involve problems with how the Ring app has installed its local files or whether or not it’s maintaining updates from the Ring server. Giving your app a fresh install should clear any glitches including constant tamper alerts.

How to Fix Ring App Glitches

This process might be a little time consuming, but it should clear out any glitches in your Ring app. All you need to do is uninstall the Ring app from your phone and then download it again from the App Store, Google Play, or wherever you usually download your apps from.

Once you have your fresh Ring app installed, you’re going to have to redo some setup. However, you won’t have any pesky errors to deal with.

Faulty Sensors

This is the last potential problem we’re going to look at. There is a chance that your Ring sensor has a factory defect that causes the tamper alert to continually go off. Because your Ring sensor has a physical button inside that needs to be pressed in order to prevent this alert, it’s fairly common for there to be factory flaws that cause this issue.

There’s only two ways to fix a faulty Ring sensor.

How to Fix Faulty Ring Sensors

Fixing a Ring sensor that has a faulty tamper alert either involves:

  • Returning it to the retailer you originally purchased the sensor from
  • Using your Ring warranty

The warranty on Ring’s security products allows you to exchange them for working models. The extended warranty that comes with Ring Protect Plus and Pro is a great service to take advantage of if you’re already looking for these extra home security features.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

Leave a Comment