How to Delete Camera Recordings From Hikvision Recorder (NVR or DVR)

Recorders hold all your camera’s footage, but maybe you don’t want some footage in there. In this article, we will break down the process of how to delete camera recordings from Hikvision recorders (DVR/NVR).

Immensely popular in the market, the Hikvision cameras and recorders are affordable and extremely high quality. Whether you are a house or business owner, you can benefit from investing in these security devices.

Their high-performance level and price range make for a great security system, regardless of whether you get OEM or regular versions. When choosing your system, you will have to decide between a DVR and an NVR recorder.

A DVR recorder uses coaxial cables to connect to HD cameras, which only work with analog cameras. On the other hand, NVR recorders strictly work with IP cameras.

Nevertheless, both use hard drives to store footage for long periods of time. The more hard drives you have, and the more capacity for storage they hold, the overall more footage they will retain.

But what if the hard drives fill up? What if the storage fills up? Well, the hard drive will start recording the oldest footage. To avoid this, you can delete camera recordings from Hikvision recorders that serve no purpose. 

A good rule of thumb is to download and save all the footage you need, and you can delete the rest if you wish to. Whether you want to delete one clip or your entire hard drive, this article will teach you how.

Hikvision NVR

Steps to delete camera recordings from Hikvision recorders

The instructions below will cover how to delete footage from both kinds of recorders, DVRs, and NVRs, as well as IP cameras, OEM Hikvision brand cameras, and cloud storage services.

Understanding how it records

Thanks to Hikvision, there is no need to delete any old videos manually; instead, you can simply allow the footage to record over itself in a loop-like manner.

This feature is commonly seen in cameras, especially known and popular brands. The loop feature saves the newest footage by deleting the oldest footage in order to make space.

It continues to do this over and over nonstop. The longevity of the footage, whether a week or a month, will solely depend on how much storage you have.

The loop cycle is continuous, and the footage will cyclically record over itself. Some recorders can store up to a week of footage, while others can go longer, such as 60 days.

But why is this important? Well, because if anything happens, such as a robbery, and you have video footage of it as evidence, you should download it and save it as soon as possible.

Suppose your hard drive can only hold a week of footage; that footage will be gone the following week. Therefore, you should be cautious when utilizing the loop mode, as it will erase all your old and possibly important footage.

Nevertheless, if you need to manually delete some footage, that too can be done. Regardless of why you should always make sure you only delete footage that you own and have rightful access to.

How to know how long your recorder saves footage.

As previously mentioned, it is crucial to know how long you have before your oldest footage disappears and new videos save over it. The average amount of days for most cameras is around 15 days or so. 

However, keep in mind that factors like the number of hard drives, storage space, and amount of footage recorded can lower or increase the number of days.

To have a rough idea of how many days your recorder can store before looping your footage, enter your recorder’s interface and access the “Playback” feature to see old video footage.

Now you can scroll and find the oldest video by their dates. For instance, if the date is December 20th and the last recorded footage is December 10th, then you know you have roughly ten days of footage saved.

Keep in mind that most cameras do not record 24/7 but instead only save footage when there is movement in front of the camera. Therefore, the number of days may alter depending on how much movement there is.

If you want to know exactly how many days of videos are stored in your recorders, go to the Playback section of your recorder and see the calendar.

Delete camera recordings from Hikvision recorders

Start by connecting your recorder (DVR/NVR) to a monitor or TV with the use of a VGA or HDMI cable. Open the admin screen and use your credentials, username and password, to log in to the interface.

Open the “Main Menu” by right-clicking and locating the “Disk Management” or “HDD” option in the menu. Now, you should be able to see all the hard drives that are in your recorder. 

Choose the hard drive you want to wipe, and choose the “Format” setting to start erasing all videos currently stored in that hard drive. You may also see an option named “Initialization” or “Init,” which performs the same process as formatting does.

Hikvision DVR Menu HDD Init

Hikvision DVR Format HDD

After you have waited, the formatting should finish and alert you by displaying a message on the screen. The recorder will continue to save footage as expected, following any and all previously set configurations.

You do not need to change any settings or modify anything, as formatting the hard drive should not affect anything. It is simply erasing all footage and thus making more space for footage to be saved.

Careful Deleting

It is essential to be careful with what you delete. If the footage is incriminating and then later discovered, it might create a lot of issues for the person who deleted it.

Therefore, never delete footage that is not yours. Furthermore, all footage that is erased can be retrieved using unique methods. Much like your phone, when you erase pictures, they move to a “Recently deleted” folder. The same applies to your recorder and your footage.

Prior to erasing, make sure you save, name, and download all needed footage. We also recommend making a copy or saving it to the cloud to avoid losing it if the computer is damaged.

Moreover, once you delete it, you will not be able to “undo” the mistake and will be forced to go through a process to retrieve it. This process is not always free and can cost you, so be careful where you click!

Deleting individual video recordings from Hikvision devices

Though deleting individual videos can be a great feature, it is only available in some modules. In some kinds of Hikvision devices, you will have to format and wipe the entire hard drive to get rid of the footage.

But before you delete camera recordings from Hikvision recorders by wiping the hard drive clean, check if you can delete individual clips by opening the Playback section of the DVR/NVR.

Once there, find your camera and open up its files. On the screen, you should locate a gear icon called “File Management,” at the bottom near the timeline. 

After clicking on it, other options should appear. There should be an option called “Export” on the right side of the screen. Along with it should be a “delete” button. Remember, this will only show up if your model allows individual file deletion.

If your model is equipped with this feature, then you can go ahead and select the files you wish to get rid of, then click on “Delete.” However, if you truly want to delete a footage clip and your model does not support the feature, then you have another option.

It is possible to delete individual camera recordings by removing the hard drive and linking it to a computer to manually delete individual videos. Once you finish deleting your wanted files, you can place the hard drive back into your Hikvision recorder.

Is it possible for others to delete my footage?

Absolutely! You can’t ever be too careful. It is crucial to regularly log out of your account, use a safe network and keep your unit stored away safely.

To gain access to the settings, you will need to log in with your credentials (inputting your username and password.) Unless someone gains access to your account, they should not be able to format a hard drive. This goes for anyone logged in as a guest or user but not an admin.

A thief might think ahead and steal your hard drive or, in some cases, your entire recorder. If they succeed, they will have all the video evidence of them stealing it unless your recording is saved on the cloud.

Exposed wires can be an easy way to alert thieves in which direction they should be heading. It would be best if you also protect yourself against any malware or bugs that may give hackers an easy way in, so always keep your recorders up to date on the latest firmware.

Final Thoughts

You can always manually delete camera recordings from Hikvision recorders if you so wish to, but know that you don’t have to. You can also format entire hard drives and make them brand new.

Before starting this process, save the footage you need and store it in a safe location, making a copy and uploading it to the cloud. 

In addition, always remember to check how long you have before the footage begins to record the newer videos over the oldest videos. Plenty of people have lost vital footage because of this silly mistake. Do not let that be you. Be aware of how long you have between a new and an old video.

Lastly, be cautious of where you store your hard drive because if your footage is not backed up to the cloud and someone takes your recorder, the footage will go along with it.