Watching The Ring Video Doorbell on [Computer, Laptop, or Smartphone]

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite pastimes is sitting down and quickly running through the motion events that have occurred on my Ring Video Doorbell. Most of the time I use my smartphone, but from time to time, I will use my desktop.

To answer the original question “can you watch Ring line on the computer,” the answer is yes, you are able to watch Ring live on your Apple or Windows computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Ring has created apps for the App Store, Google Play, and Windows store that enables you to watch live and recorded events on your computer.

Continue reading to learn how to watch live events, when you should watch live events when you shouldn’t watch live events and where you can download the app for your computer.

Who Can Watch Ring Live on the Computer?

The Ring Video Doorbell has two types of users: the account owner, and shared users. The account owner has full access to the Ring app and doorbell. The owner can make any and all changes including:

  • Changing the motion setting
  • Changing the ring tones
  • Turn alerts on and off

Shared users have a much more limited capability within the app. According to Rings’ app, shared users “can control Ring Alarm and access your choice of Ring devices, using the Ring app.”

Basically, this means shared users can’t make critical adjustments to your Ring settings. It is best practice to give everyone else including your spouse) a shared user level of permission. Never give another user the username and password for the owner account.

Anyone that is listed as an owner or shared user has access to view the Ring video Doorbell live on their computer. The Ring app must be installed on each individual computer for a user/ owner to view live and recorded.

In addition, Ring also has a website video doorbell owners can log into, but you are not able to view live events in this platform. You are only able to view recorded events, purchase new products, and pay your bill.

How Does Live Viewing Work on My Computer?

Live viewing works just like the mobile app. For this example, I will use the iMac version. Please note, that the Windows and Android app versions may differ slightly.

To view your Ring Video Doorbell live follow the below steps:

  • Download the app (more on that later)
  • Open the app
  • Login with the username and password
  • And close (not exit) the app

From here you have two options: live viewing by choice, or live viewing my notification. I will discuss both options below.

Live Viewing by Notifications

Since the app is closed, it will remain working in the background, which is the key ingredient for live viewing to work. Notifications work in two ways: push and ‘instant live.” Let’s discuss these two options now.

Push Notifications

Push notifications occur when you are outside of the app, working on something else. For example, if you are editing a YouTube video, you will be using the entire screen. When motion is detected, a notification will appear at the top right of your screen. The notification will look like the notifications you receive on your locked mobile device.

The notification will say “motion detected at your front door.”

When you see this notification, you have the option to click it, or ignore it and continue working. If you click the notification, it will take you to a live view of your video doorbell.

Note: this is the same process as if someone pushes the doorbell button.

‘Instant Live’

Note: I call this instant live because I don’t have a better name for it.

Instant live occurs when you have the app open, but you are doing something else. Again, I will be using the iMac as an example of the process.

Let’s say I’ve just returned from work and I’m looking at events that have occurred today. I’m watching an event in which a fox runs across my front lawn. Suddenly, a school bus stops to let kids off the bus. When this happens, why Ring live video feed will open in the middle of the screen. In one instant, I am watching a live viewing of my video doorbell.

This is the same as when you are in your mobile app. The only difference is the mobile app will ask you if you want to view the in-progress event, in this case, you have the option to view or ignore the event.

What are the Benefits of Watching Ring Live on Your Computer?

The biggest benefit of watching the Ring live on your computer is the larger screen. When using the mobile app, everything looks smaller and is difficult to see. However, when I use my 27-inch screen, I can see every detail of the recording.

Also, another benefit of watching the Ring live on your computer is the higher resolution. Sometimes smartphones reduce the resolution, making it difficult to see what is happening. If you have a 4K monitor, you will be able to see everything crystal clear.

The final benefit to watching the Ring live on your computer is you will save your smartphones battery life. Watching live videos consumes a lot of battery life from both your mobile phone and your video doorbell. You can extend the batteries length by watching live events on your computer.

When Should I Watch Ring Live on My Computer?

This will vary by person, what I like to watch Ring live when I’m doing something that doesn’t require an intense amount of focus. For example, if I’m watching a YouTube video, it is nice to have the ring working in the background.

Also, you should use the Ring live on your computer when you are expecting a guest. For example, if I’m working from home, and I expect pizza delivered, I will have the app open, so I can be at the door when the food arrives.

You could also watch the ring app live on your computer if there have been notifications about problems occurring in the neighborhood. For example, if kids are walking around the neighborhood smashing pumpkins, watch the live view to stop them, or at least yell at them.

When Shouldn’t I Watch Ring Live on My Computer?

Like the section above, this will very by person, but I don’t like the Ring app during the following situations:

  • I’m meeting with a client
  • I’m writing a blog post
  • I’m recording a YouTube video
  • I’m editing a YouTube video

Let’s take a moment to discuss these situations.

Meeting with a Client

If I’m meeting with a client, regardless if it’s in person or over the phone, I can’t have the app open. I will get distracted every time. When the notification pops up on the screen, I have to look, even if I know what’s happening outside.

Looking at the notification causes me to pause my more important thought process. If I’m in the middle of a sentence, I stop taking, even if it’s for a second, to see what the notification says.

This isn’t limited to Ring, all notifications I receive distraction me.

Writing a Blog Post

One of the worst things that can happened to me when I’m writing is to lose my train of thought. Like the example above, a notification is just distracting enough that I will lose my current thought process. Once I lose the process, It takes me a minute or two to get back to it. Often, I will delete the sentence I was working on, and try to think of something else.

Recording a YouTube Video

Currently, I’ve made over 40 YouTube videos, and in half of them, you see me pause. This usually occurs because I’ve received a push notification from somewhere. When this happens, I stop, quickly read the notification, try to regather my thoughts and move on.

Also, the notification appears on the YouTube video if I’m doing a screencast. I feel it’s a bit unprofessional when this happens. It’s like when someone’s phone rings when your in a movie theater, just distracting!

Editing a YouTube Video

This isn’t as distracting as much as it takes away from computing resources. Because the video editor consumes a lot memory, anything else running at the same time really slows down my computer. Usually, I have the editor, my YouTube channel, a website called Canva, and music streaming all at the same time. Anything else will slow down my computer, making all processes take longer to complete and submit.

Why You Shouldn’t Watch the Ring Live on Your Computer?

While watching the ring live on your computer, thee are a few drawbacks. In this section, I will discuss the biggest drawback.

You shouldn’t watch the Ring live because it is a drain on your resources. Watching the Ring Video Doorbell live will drain your doorbells battery, consume data, and take resources away from your computer. Let’s discuss these resources in the next section.

Video Doorbell Battery

If your Ring Video Doorbell is battery powered (you can ignore this section if your doorbell is connected to the existing electrical or ethernet cable) you battery will drain quickly. These doorbells are designed for short recordings (30 seconds) and not designed to consistently watch them live. If you decide to do this, know that you will need to recharge the battery shortly.

Consume Data

In addition to consuming data, you video doorbell is consuming data on your local network. This is especially important if you are on a metered plan. Live video doorbells work by sending and receiving data using your home WIFI. Keeping this connection open can slow down your interne connection for you and everyone that is using in the home. Only keep it open if you need to.

Consuming Computing Power

Finally, keeping the connection open can slow down your computer. If you are doing something like video editing and you have the connection open, you will notice a slow down on how your computer performs. You will notice that everything takes longer to complete, which is the worst possible scenario if you are trying to meet a deadline.

It can be Distracting

The final reason you shouldn’t watch the Ring live on your computer is it is distracting. If you have it open, you will be tempted to look and see what’s going on. There have been countless times when I’ve stopped what I was working on, just to see who keeps circling the block.


To conclude, yes, you can watch the Ring live on your computer. The process is as easy as downloading the app from Ring’s website, entering your username and password. Once you configure your motion settings you will be able to watch all day and night.

As I mentioned, there are some benefits and drawbacks to watching the Ring video doorbell live. These benefits include watching on a bigger screen and not using your phone’s battery.

However, there are a few drawbacks as well. Those drawbacks include lower battery life, greater bandwidth consumption, and greater usage of computer resources.

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