How to Use Your iPhone as a Security Camera: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Use Your iPhone as a Security Camera: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Luca Fanicchia

In an era dominated by smartphones, it’s remarkable how these devices can transform our lives in multifaceted ways. Beyond communication and entertainment, your iPhone can be repurposed as a security camera, offering a cost-effective solution to enhance your home or office security. This guide will walk you through the process of converting your trusty iPhone into a vigilant guardian for your surroundings.

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Transforming Your iPhone

Step 1: Choose the Right iPhone

Before you can turn your iPhone into a security camera, you need to select the right device for the task. It doesn’t need to be the latest model; older iPhones can work perfectly well. What’s crucial is that the chosen iPhone is in good working condition and has a functional camera.

Step 2: Install a Security Camera App

To begin, head over to the App Store and download a reputable security camera app. There are several excellent options available, such as Manything, Alfred, or Presence. After installation, follow the app’s setup instructions.

Step 3: Set Up Your iPhone Camera

Upon launching the app, you may be required to create an account or sign in. Subsequently, you’ll need to configure your iPhone’s camera settings. The app typically guides you through this process, including granting necessary permissions for accessing the camera and microphone.

Step 4: Position Your iPhone

Strategically place your iPhone in a location that provides a clear view of the area you want to monitor. Stability is key, so consider using a tripod or a secure surface to keep your iPhone steady.

Step 5: Configure Motion Detection

Most security camera apps offer motion detection features, allowing your iPhone to record or send alerts when it senses movement within its field of view. Activate this function and adjust sensitivity settings to your preference.

Step 6: Enable Remote Viewing

One of the key advantages of using your iPhone as a security camera is the ability to monitor your space remotely. Ensure your iPhone is connected to a stable Wi-Fi network. Then, use another device like your current iPhone, iPad, or computer to access the live feed or view recorded footage through the app.

Step 7: Set Up Alerts and Notifications

Customize the app to send you notifications when motion is detected or other events occur. Real-time alerts will allow you to respond promptly to any suspicious activity.

Step 8: Store and Review Footage

Depending on your chosen app, you may have options for storing recorded footage. Some apps offer cloud storage, while others allow you to save videos directly to your iPhone. Set up your storage preferences and regularly review recorded footage for security purposes.

Step 9: Ensure Power Supply

As your iPhone will operate as a security camera continuously, it’s crucial to maintain a reliable power source. Keep it connected to a charger or utilize an external battery pack to ensure uninterrupted surveillance.

Step 10: Maintain Privacy and Legal Considerations

Before utilizing your iPhone as a security camera, familiarize yourself with privacy and legal regulations in your area. Ensure compliance with laws regarding video surveillance to protect the privacy rights of others.

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How to Utilize Your New iPhone Camera

Once you’ve successfully transformed your old iPhone into a security camera, you may wonder how to make the most of this versatile setup. Here are several methods and scenarios in which you can employ your new iPhone camera:

Home Security

The primary purpose of repurposing your iPhone as a security camera is to enhance your home security. Use it to monitor entry points, hallways, or other vulnerable areas of your home. Set up alerts to notify you of any unexpected movements.

Pet Monitoring

Keep an eye on your beloved pets when you’re away. Ensure they are safe, comfortable, and not causing any mischief. You can even talk to them through the two-way audio feature available in many security camera apps.

Baby Monitor

Convert your iPhone into a baby monitor for real-time monitoring of your infant’s crib. Most security camera apps offer sound and motion detection, allowing you to receive alerts if your baby wakes up or needs attention.

Outdoor Surveillance

Place your iPhone camera near your front door, backyard, or driveway to monitor outdoor spaces. This is particularly useful for tracking deliveries, visitors, or potential security threats.

Vacation Watch

When you’re on vacation, use your iPhone camera to keep an eye on your home. Check for any unexpected activity and have peace of mind knowing you can respond promptly to any issues.

Remote Office Surveillance

If you have a home office, you can use your iPhone camera as a security camera to monitor it when you’re not around. This can be valuable for protecting sensitive work materials.

Garage and Workshop Security

Keep your garage, workshop, or storage areas secure by positioning your iPhone camera to capture any unauthorized access or theft.

Property Surveillance

If you own a second property, like a cabin or vacation home, set up your iPhone camera as a cost-effective way to monitor the premises when you’re not there.

Natural Disaster Monitoring

In areas prone to natural disasters, such as floods or wildfires, your iPhone camera can serve as an additional tool to assess the situation remotely and make informed decisions about your property’s safety.

Wildlife Observation

If you’re a nature enthusiast, use your iPhone camera to capture wildlife activity in your backyard or in natural surroundings. Some security camera apps even allow you to save snapshots or videos of interesting wildlife encounters.

Monitor Package Deliveries

Keep an eye on package deliveries to ensure they are received promptly and not stolen from your doorstep. You can even use your iPhone camera to document the delivery process.

Event Recording

Record special events, gatherings, or parties using your iPhone camera. It can serve as a secondary recording device, capturing candid moments and providing an additional perspective.

Time-Lapse Recording

Create captivating time-lapse videos by setting up your iPhone camera to capture the changing scenery, weather, or construction projects over an extended period.

Incorporating your newly repurposed iPhone camera into these scenarios can significantly enhance your convenience, security, and overall quality of life. The flexibility and accessibility of smartphone-based surveillance make it a valuable addition to your daily routines and peace of mind.

By adapting your iPhone for these various purposes, you maximize the utility of your old device and make the most out of its capabilities. Whether it’s safeguarding your home or capturing memorable moments, your iPhone can be a reliable and versatile tool.

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Additional Uses for Old Phones

  • Media Center Remote Control: Transform your old phone into a dedicated remote control for your smart TV, streaming devices, or home theater system. Many apps are available that turn your smartphone into a versatile remote, allowing you to easily manage your entertainment setup.
  • Dedicated Music Player: If you love music, convert your old phone into a dedicated music player. Load it up with your favorite tunes, connect it to a speaker, and enjoy your music library without draining the battery of your current device.
  • Navigation and GPS: Old smartphones can still be excellent navigation tools. Download offline maps and GPS apps, and keep your old phone in your car as a backup navigation system, especially when traveling to areas with limited cell coverage.
  • E-Reader: Turn your old phone into a dedicated e-reader. Install e-book apps like Kindle or iBooks, and you’ll have a lightweight device perfect for reading digital books, magazines, and articles.
  • Home Automation Hub: Transform your old phone into a smart home automation hub. Many smart home apps allow you to control lights, thermostats, security cameras, and more. Having a dedicated device for this purpose can be convenient.

More Uses

  • Digital Photo Frame: Display your favorite photos or a slideshow of memories on your old phone’s screen. There are apps available that turn your phone into a digital photo frame, adding a touch of nostalgia to your living space.
  • Emergency Backup: Keep an old phone charged and ready as an emergency backup device. It can be a lifesaver in situations where your primary phone runs out of battery or gets damaged.
  • Portable Gaming Device: Load your old phone with your favorite mobile games, and it becomes a dedicated gaming device. You can even connect a game controller for a console-like experience.
  • Kitchen Assistant: Mount your old phone in the kitchen to display recipes, cooking timers, and measurement conversions. It’s a handy tool for cooking and baking enthusiasts.
  • Child’s First Device: Repurpose your old phone as a safe and supervised device for a child. You can set up parental controls and limit access to age-appropriate apps and content.
  • Donate or Recycle: If you have no use for your old phone, consider donating it to a charity or recycling it responsibly. Many organizations collect old electronics for refurbishing or recycling to reduce electronic waste.


Repurposing your old iPhone as a security camera is a practical and budget-friendly way to boost your security measures. By following these steps and selecting the right app, you can effortlessly transform your iPhone into a reliable surveillance tool, helping safeguard your property and loved ones. Regularly monitor battery life and storage capacity to ensure seamless and uninterrupted monitoring. Stay vigilant, stay secure!

Technology continues to offer innovative solutions to everyday challenges. Using your iPhone as a security camera is a testament to the versatility of modern smartphones. By leveraging the capabilities of your trusted device, you can gain peace of mind and enhance the security of your personal or professional space. So, don’t let that old iPhone gather dust – put it to good use and keep a watchful eye on what matters most to you.