How To Delete CCTV Footage

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CCTV or Closed-Circuit Television are recordings from an array of security cameras designed to keep track of your surroundings. You can use these to understand what happens around your home, office, or business, protect your valuables from criminals, or capture some of your precious memories.

However, you cannot store all your surveillance camera recordings because you probably have limited memory. To save your videos, you may be using your PC, an SD card, cloud, or DVR/NVR devices, all of which have memory limitations.

Check out our guide below to delete your old CCTV recordings and free up space for new videos.

Can You Delete the CCTV Footage?

Once you fill up your memory, you may want to remove the old recordings to make space for new events, and you can delete your CCTV footage using various methods presented below. Your preferred method will depend on your memory type and where you store your footage.

Can You Delete Individual Recordings?

Being able to delete individual recordings will depend on the type of surveillance camera you use and the method of deletion. For example, you cannot delete individual videos using Reolink cameras and their official app, but you can use Hikvision cameras.

However, you can use your SD card (if included) to select individual videos you want to delete or delete these recordings directly from your cloud storage, depending on how your camera saves the recordings.

If you want to delete a video with a specific timestamp, we are sorry to say that you cannot do it. You can only delete footage from a certain date but cannot choose a video within the footage.

Why Delete CCTV Recording Footage

how to delete cctv recording

Since your surveillance cameras take videos of your private or professional environment, you may want to ensure that no one can access and view them. It’s especially important to delete your videos if you are storing them in a virtual environment, such as a cloud, to ensure cyber protection for your valuables.

Moreover, if you are a business owner, some regulations may require you to delete videos frequently, so you should read about your country’s laws to ensure you don’t endanger yourself.

One of the main reasons you may want to delete footage is simply to free up memory from your camera. If the memory is full, the camera may produce poor-quality CCTV recordings. To avoid this, you should frequently clean up your space.

How To Delete CCTV Footage From a PC

Deleting CCTV footage from your PC may be the easiest, most efficient option. You can control your footage and preview the items before you move them to the trash bin. To delete items using your PC, you should first connect your surveillance camera to your PC and follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open your camera’s files when you connect your device;
  • Step 2: Find the file containing the recordings you want to delete;
  • Step 3: Select the recordings you want to delete, right-click on the items, and hit Delete.
how to delete cctv footage from a pc

Once you delete your recordings, they will go to your Recycle Bin. You can return to view the deleted items to ensure you don’t delete the needed recordings. After that, right-click on the bin, and select Empty Bin to delete the files permanently.

empty the deleted cctv footage

How To Delete CCTV Recording From an SD Card

Some surveillance cameras come with SD cards for easier maintenance and footage control. If you wish to delete some of your recordings, you must first locate and remove the SD card from your camera device and connect it to your PC. Then, follow these steps to remove unwanted videos:

  • Step 1: When you connect the SD card, click on the card’s information;
  • Step 2: Select Format to view your files;
  • Step 3: Select the files you want to delete, right-click on them, and press Delete.
deleting footage from an sd card

Depending on your camera type, you can access your SD card’s content online and delete footage without removing the card from your device. For this method, you must know your camera’s IP address, username, and password.

If you do, you can go to your camera’s app, type in the information, and select the items you want to delete.

How To Delete DVR/NVR Security Camera Footage

If you choose to store your CCTV footage on your DVR/NVR, you can easily delete and control your videos by following the guide below:

  • Step 1: Connect your DVR/NVR to your monitor using a VGA or HDMI cable;
  • Step 2: Sign into your account;
  • Step 3: Click on Settings>Storage;
  • Step 4: Format your disk to remove all footage from your DVR/NVR.
how to delete recording from cctv dvr

By using this method, you can only delete all footage; you cannot choose to save some crucial videos. Thus, we recommend backing up your favorite CCTV footage before you dive into the deletion process.

How To Delete CCTV Camera Recording From the Cloud

If you have an IP camera, you can use the cloud to store, control and view your recordings whenever you find it convenient. Using a cloud is one of the most reliable options for keeping your videos protected and easy to access.

However, your cloud storage may fill up before all the methods above, so it is essential to clean it occasionally. Here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1: Open your cloud app and log into your account;
  • Step 2: Go to your Recording List (the name will depend on the type of camera and app you have);
  • Step 3: Select the items you want to delete and hit the Delete icon.

The process may differ depending on your camera and cloud. If you have trouble navigating the cloud, you can always contact the support team of your camera manufacturer.

What if I Accidentally Delete CCTV Footage?

Since you cannot delete timestamp videos, you may accidentally eliminate some of your favorite memories without hoping to get them back. Imagine that your surveillance camera caught your child’s first steps or your proposal, and now the video is gone forever.

Alternatively, imagine that the only proof of robbery you have is the footage at the front desk, and you accidentally click delete while freeing up memory space. You may feel helpless and defeated in these scenarios, but there is a solution.

You no longer have to worry since you can use advanced recovery platforms to retrieve deleted CCTV footage. There are various tools available on the market that will do the trick, but you should find one that can handle surveillance cameras. With these advanced tools, you will get your footage back rather quickly.


You may use a surveillance camera to protect your property and valuables from threats. If so, you may wonder how you can make room for new recordings and delete some unnecessary videos your camera stores. We have presented some methods you can use to delete all the videos you don’t need, depending on where you store the CCTV recordings.

However, you may accidentally delete some of your favorite videos in the process. If this is the case, you can use Recoverit to quickly retrieve your CCTV recordings in a few simple steps.