Instantly turn your computer with web camera into Internet-connected motion-sensing security system.


All functions of the application are grouped according to the functions they control. Below is a list of functions, click to learn more.

Detection Schedule Recording Alarm
Mail Upload Video Input

The settings can be opened either by pressing ⌘, or using the Settings menu.

Application's Menu

You can also open the settings using the menu in the status bar.

Status Bar


This tab contains motion detection algorithm settings. “Sensitivity” is one of the most important settings. It is allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection algorithm. The detection threshold value must be large enough so that the program does not react to minor noises or slight changes in the monitored area but must be small enough not to miss actual movement. The “Motion Acvtivity” shows you an amount of movement detected in the scene. You need to note the value of “normal” background movement in the scene and move the threshold slider to be slightly to the right of this value. Any movement amount which will past the slider will trigger the alarm.

Start Delay creates a delay between the pressing of the Start button and arming the alarm. This is useful for it allows you to leave the field of surveillance before the application starts (e.g: turning off the lights) without triggering the motion detection.

“Flicker Suppression” prevents spurious activations caused by sudden contrast changes due to camera’s automatic adjustments of exposition parameters.

“Detection Area Mask” allows you to disable motion detection in certain areas of the scene. In order to this you just paint over the areas that you are not interested in. The shaded areas will not be used by motion detection algorithm. To edit the mask, you just draw in the main window with your mouse or trackpad. In order to erase a mask, you should draw holding down the Option key.

You can adjust the size of the brush to draw/erase the mask using the “Mask Editor Brush Size”. You will see immediately the effect of applying the mask if you look at the “Motion Activity” indicator and a green circle in the lower right corner of the main window.

All changes in the mask are automatically saved, but you can manually save the mask to some file using the “Save Mask” button. Similarly, you can load the mask from the file using the “Load Mask” button.

Detection Tab


In this tab you can set up a motion detection schedule. There are two types of schedules you can set: “Basic” allows you to set up repeating daily detection start and finish hours. For more control, Pro version allows you to use “Advanced Schedule” in which you can set up different times for different days of the week.

No Schedule

When this option is selected you will need to activate iSentry manually using the Start/Stop button. No scheduled motion detection will be automatically performed.

Schedule Tab. No Schedule

Basic Schedule

The motion detection will be automatically started at the set time entered in the “Start Time” field and will finish at the time entered in the “Stop Time” field. This could be used to automatically activate iSentry while you are away, such as at your office during after hours. Please note that the application must be running for the scheduled motion detection process to take place.

Schedule Tab. Basic Schedule

Advanced Schedule

“Advanced Schedule” allows you to configure a more granular motion detection schedule. For example, the screenshot below sets the following schedule: motion will be detected on Mondays 12am to midnight, Thursdays 1am to midnight and Saturdays 10am to 8pm. For each day, the Stop Time must be greater than the Start Time.

Schedule Tab. Advanced Schedule

Note that the Advanced Schedule feature is only available in Pro version.


This section contains the settings for photo or video recording after the detection of movement. Selecting “Photo Recording” will record what is happening with a sequence of photos while selecting “Video Recording” will record a video.

Recording Tab

If “Photo Recording” is selected the saved photos will be named something like “ImageN.jpeg” where N indicates the number of the photo in the sequence. Each photo will be labelled with the date that it was taken in the bottom right hand corner. The “Photo Resolution” setting allows you to adjust the resolution of the photos being taken. The “Upload Limit” setting allows you to set a restriction on the number of photos that are uploaded to the destination you selected in the Upload tab. It makes sense to set this restriction if you have limited disk space. The “Frequency” setting allows you to select how rapidly photos will be taken. To capture the details of the scene being recorded it is recommended to set the Frequency to a minimum of 5 photo/1 sec. Setting a lower frequency is only advisable if you have limited disk space. “Pre-Motion Recording” allows you to record the moments leading to the detection of movement. It is a set of photos recorded 5 seconds immediately preceding motion detection.

Now let’s examine the “Video Recording” settings. Like with “Photo Recording” you have the option of selecting the desired quality of the recorded videos with the “Video Resolution” setting. Select “Record Sound” to toggle sound recording on or off.

Note that increasing the resolution of the photo or video also increases the volume of data processed by the application. Setting the video or photo resolution too high may overload your computer and cause it to lag. This in turn may affect the quality of the photo or video or even lead to a partial loss of data. Therefore it is recommended to choose a resolution based on your computers specifications. For example, if you have a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 2 GB RAM, we do not recommend using more than 640×480 resolution. If your equipment is better this but inferior in performance to a 2 GHz Intel Core i7 and 8 GB RAM, use resolutions up to 1280×720. If your equipment is more advanced you can use the highest resolution.

There is another more versatile method for determining the optimal resolution. This method consists of selecting a video or photo resolution at which the CPU load won’t exceed 30%. You can determine the CPU usage with the application “Activity”, which is located in “/ Applications / Utilities”.

Screen dimming

When you use MacBook’s native camera you can dim your screen by Touch Bar/Functional keys on your keyboard.

Screen dimming

When you use IP camera screen will dim automatically after “Lock Screen”.


Use this tab if you wish to sound an audio alarm upon the detection of movement. This function could be useful to frighten a possible intruder and to alert you of an intrusion. Use the Play Alarm Sound checkbox to turn the alarm sound function on or off. Alarm Delay allows for a delay between the movement detection and the initial alarm sound. Alarm volume regulates the intensity of the volume of the alarm. Finally, you have the option of choosing from the list of different alarm melodies provided.

Alarm Tab


Here you can control the electronic notifications sent by iSentry upon the detection of movement by the application. The “Use Mail Notification” checkbox can be used to activate or deactivate the notification function. Enter your email address into “To:” text field. Press “SMTP Settings” button to edit SMTP settings for your email account.

It is also possible to label the iSentry notifications in the field labeled “Subject” and to input a custom message in the “Message” field.

Tick the “Attach a Snapshot” checkbox to attach an image in which the motion was first detected. Note that this feature is only available in the Pro version.

The dialog for entering information about SMTP settings for your email account looks like this:

Once you have configured your email settings, you can test them by clicking “Send Test Message” button. iSentry will attempt to send a test email, and will report any problems it encounters.

Email settings if you are using Gmail

  • Username: Your Gmail address
  • Password: Your Gmail password
  • Server Address:
  • Server Port: 587
  • Use TLS (Secure Mail): Yes

A problem you may run into is that Google’s security settings do not allow third party apps to send messages via SMTP through their servers unless you explicitly allow this. You have two options here:

  • Use App password
  • Enable ‘Less secure apps’ option
Use App password
  1. Go to your Google Account.
  2. Verify that 2-Step Verification is set up for your account.
  3. On the left navigation panel, choose Security.
  4. On the “Signing in to Google” panel, choose App Passwords.
  5. At the bottom, choose Select app and choose the app you’re using.
  6. Choose Select device and choose the device you’re using.
  7. Choose Generate.
  8. Follow the instructions to enter the App Password. The App Password is the 16-character code in the yellow bar on your device.
  9. Choose Done.
  10. Enter App Password in iSentry email settings

You can find more info here.

Enable ‘Less secure apps’
  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. Navigate to the Less secure apps page.
  3. Toggle to turn this feature ‘ON’.
  4. Wait for some time for Google to update this setting.
  5. Try sending test message again.

You can find more info here here.

Email settings if you are using iCloud

  • Username: Your full iCloud email address including your name and An example is
  • Password: An app-specific iCloud Mail password.
  • Server Address:
  • Server Port: 587
  • Use TLS (Secure Mail): Yes
How to generate an app-specific password
  • Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
  • Verify that Two-Factor Verification is on.
  • In the Security section, click Generate Password below App-Specific Passwords.
  • Follow the steps on your screen.
  • After you generate your app-specific password, enter or paste it into the Password field of the iSentry email settings.

You can find more info here.

Email settings if you are using Comcast/xfinity

  • Username: Comcast username
  • Password: Comcast password
  • Server Address:
  • Server Port: 587
  • Use TLS (Secure Mail): Yes

You can find more info here.


Here you can set up where you save your photos or video files. From the Services list, you can select one out of the following destinations: iPhoto, Hard Drive.

Upload Tab


This is a local destination: the files are stored on your computer. In order to use this destination, iPhoto must be installed on your computer. The process of exporting begins after you stop the alarm. All files generated by the iSentry application will be exported into special albums in the iPhoto application. In iPhoto there will be two albums: iSentry photo and iSentry video.

Hard drive

This is also a local destination. You can select any folder on your hard drive using the Browse button. Files will appear in the selected folder immediately as they are recorded. The Documents folder of the current user is used by default. It is advisable to select a folder for the saved files that is synchronized with a cloud storage service such as Dropbox. This way your files will be saved locally on your computer as well as remotely with the cloud storage service.

Video Input

In this tab you have a list of video input devices that are connected to your computer or added using “Add IP Camera” feature. For example, Built-in iSight cameras, USB cameras, IP cameras. Please click here to get more information about recommended cameras. Note that support of IP cameras is only available in iSentry Pro, the paid version of iSentry. You can select any camera from this list. If you connect or disconnect a USB web camera, it should immediately appear or disappear from the list without needing to restart the application.

Video Input Tab

After pressing “Add IP Camera” a dialog window will appear in which you can specify all the necessary information needed to add the IP camera.

Add IP Camera Dialog

The URL (which is the address of the IP camera) is a mandatory field. Currently, iSentry Pro only supports MJPEG video transmitted over HTTP protocol. Therefore, in most cases the URL should have the following form: http://host:port/video.cgi. For example,


If the port is not specified then 80 will be used as default port.

User/Password fields are mandatory in case the IP camera requires authentication.

Name is an optional field. You can use it to give the IP camera a meaningful name. For example, you can name the camera which is located at your workplace “Work”. If you skip this field then “host:port” will be used as the default name. An example would be “localhost:81”.

In order to delete one or more IP cameras you should press “Manage IP Cameras” button. After pressing the button, a dialog window will be shown which will allow you to select unneeded IP cameras and delete them.

Manage IP Cameras Dialog

The application does not allow you to select audio input devices directly. However, you can go to System Preferences -> Sound -> Input tab and change the audio device there.

Note that currently, audio recording is not available if IP camera is selected.