Setting up new system. Motion detector in house and one in detached garage. Keypads in both. Want to arm door and motion in garage, windows and doors only in house (most of the time). Figure armed away with bypass on house motion will work. (House motion will only be armed when truly away). How can I disable a single motion sensor (not all)? Can I put aluminum foil over it to block reception so alarm doesn’t see it (or something like that?) I want to be able to force it into a bypass state most of the time - except when not in house or garage. Motion and door armed in garage as default, doors and windows only on house as default. Thanks!

Reply posted to add “email me when someone replies.” Hope it covers the topic, else please reply to THIS message. Thanks!

Hi @mlw2. With the Ring Alarm, you are able to select how sensors react when in a certain Mode. You can do this by opening the Ring app and selecting- Menu > Devices > Alarm Base Station > (Motion Detector) > Mode Settings. Once there, you will see Away and Home modes. You can then toggle them to be monitored or ignored when in a particular mode. I would not recommend putting anything over the sensors to obstruct its view, as this may cause the device to falsely detect motion and cause your Ring Alarm to go off. I hope this helps!


Hello @mlw2 ,

To ‘piggy-back’ on the great advice that @Tom_Ring already wrote, here are some other things for you to consider.

You have 3 Alarm Mode in the upper portion of your phone’s Ring App, which are “Disarmed”, “Home”, and “Away”.

" Disarmed" is as it is logically named; Disarmed so no alarm. So as the Contact & Motion Sensors (which are always ON, unless you remove the batteries) are using “Z-Wave” frequency to communicate to the Alarm Base Station, and the Base Station will not trigger the siren, nor contact “Professional Monitoring” (if you have the Ring Protect Plan “Plus”). Of course there is always an exception: Fire Response. For example, if you have the _“First Alert Z-Wave Smoke/CO Alarm” _which uses Z-Wave to ‘talk’ to the Base Station, it will make the Base Station summon the Fire Department even in Disarmed Mode.

" Home" Mode and " Away" Mode are the two armed modes, where the Base Station can be set to allow the sensors to trigger the alarm. Typically people have their " Home" armed Alarm mode with their Contact (Door and Window) sensors enabled so they can trigger the alarm while you are inside (at home and kind of forming a “protective barrier” from the outside) and have their inside home motion sensor Not enabled in " Home" Alarm Mode (so your movement inside the house will not result in the alarm siren sounding when that house motion sensor detects you moving about inside). But when nobody is in the house and all gone away, then typically people set their " Away" Alarm Mode so all Contact AND Motion sensors enabled to detect when an Intruder gets inside, and trigger the Alarm Base Station to siren.

It is the same for both Armed Modes of “Home” and “Away.” Any sensor toggled right-ward to enabled (ON) can trigger the Base Station to siren the alarm. Any sensor toggled left-ward to disable (OFF) will still Z-Wave communicate to the Base Station when their status changes, but the Base Station will not use them to trigger the alarm in either Armed Mode.

In your case, you want the ‘default mode’ to be the “protective barrier” for the home and your garage, with your house motion detector not enabled, and with your garage motion detector enabled. Easy-Peasy! Use Home mode (what you were calling the ‘default mode’) that you want to use the most while you are home.

Go to your Main Menu (the 3 horizontal line Icon, upper-left-corner of DashBoard > Settings > Modes > Home > Sensors > now toggle right (blue enabled) every house Door and Window Contact sensor (to form that _‘protective barrier’ _ for your home) and leave your house Motion Sensor toggle left (not enabled). Additionally, toggle right (enable) on the Garage Door Contact sensor **and ** toggle right (enabled) your garage Motion sensor too. And then remember to click “Save” (upper right corner) before you exit this page.

Now for when nobody is at home and everyone is away, so either:

  • Back arrow (small blue arrow, upper-left-corner) twice if you are still on the Home Sensor page to get to end up on the Mode Setting page again (that displays the 3 alarm modes). Or . . .
  • Go to your Main Menu (the 3 horizontal line Icon, upper-left-corner of DashBoard > Settings > Modes, and you are again on the Mode Setting page.

On this Mode Setting page> select Away this time> Sensors > now toggle right on every Contact and Motion sensor, because nobody is around and all are away and you want to detect an Intruder to trigger the alarm > and click “Save” (upper right corner).

This ‘toggling’ enables you to tailor which sensors become capable (enabled) to trigger the Alarm Base Station to alarm sound the siren. Another example to think about is, suppose you have multiple motion sensors, with some downstairs and some upstairs. You would typically want all of them enabled in the Away mode. But you could also set Home mode enable on just the downstairs motion sensors, if you arm Home Mode at night to sleep and remain upstairs! You can then use either an upstairs keypad or your phone’s App to switch to Disarmed mode prior to going downstairs, OR once the “Countdown beeping” for your set entry/exit delay starts, as your movement trips the downstairs motion sensors as you travel to get to the downstairs keypad. There are plenty of personal situations and detection goals that are different for everyone, so you can enable or disable the sensor ability to trigger the alarm.

Other things to consider:

For you house doors that are your main entry/exit ways, designate their “Placement” settings as a “Main Door” (you can have as many 'Main Door" placements as you wish). Since you said you are planning on placing a keypad in the garage, you will also need to set the garage’s door Contact sensor as a “Main Door” too (not Secondary Door or Window).

  • Contact Sensor Placement Settings

  • To set a Door Contact sensor’s “Placement”: Main Menu > Devices > Alarm Base Station > select the Contact sensor on the appropriate door > select the blue ‘gear’ icon, upper-right-corner > Placement > select appropriate setting > Save (upper right corner).

Similarly, any motion sensor that can ‘see’ and detect motion from these primary “Main Doors” as you enter/exit, they need their “Placement” to be set as “Entryway”, to prevent immediate siren as you come in.

  • To set a Motion sensor’s “Placement”: Main Menu > Devices > Alarm Base Station > select the motion sensor that could detect motion during entry/exit from a Main Door > select the blue ‘gear’ icon, upper-right-corner > Placement > select “Entryway” > Save (upper right corner).

Besides here in the ‘peer-to-peer’ Community forum, there is tons of additional online information on the RIng Support/Help pages:

I hope you find this information also useful :slight_smile:


Thank you Tom.


Thank you Boone. GREAT STUFF!

I think I get it. Will really need to set it up and play with it to fully explore this but great to hear there is a way to make this work. (I am waiting for current tenant to vacate to get in. Alarm is next up after internet!)

I have to say I am a bit spoiled. I used to install wired alarms from the (now defunct) I would send them a description of how I wanted it to operate and they would walk me through the rather cryptic codes to set it up. This experience is a bit similar - just need to read and follow along! Of course the other systems allowed Zones - that is what I am trying to emulate here. The twist is I want motion armed when out of house but not when working in garage or when exiting house to go to garage to leave garage and premises in vehicle. Return is sort of the reverse scenario. I want maximum protection (door and motion in garage / doors, windows and motion in house) as quickly as possible with reasonable delays for proper functioning. Thinking motion delay can be much shorter on house than garage. Not concerned about motion at night on house or multiple floors - most activity will be on ground floor.

Is it possible to arm and disarm from the app? That should make garage OHD use better.

Also, not clear on if I have to toggle the motion settings every time (coming and going) or if this can be more automated. Macros or something possible? Alexa?

Thanks again!


My pleasure @mlw2 ! I’m always learning more from here, and I enjoy ‘paying ir back’ whenever I can help others too. :slight_smile:

Yes, I think once you get to play with it, it will make more sense and be much easier to understand. And you’d be surprised at the great ideas you can find here, where other “Ring Neighbors” have encountered something and figured a way to make it happen. It’s cool sharing everyone’s collective mind. :slight_smile:

Ah, you used to install wired alarms before? Neat. My dad used to work for a big alarm companies for installing/maintaining business and home alarm systems too. And I never forget in the 60’s and 70’s, when I would help him sometimes on home installations. I hated how my dad would always make me pull wires through spider-infested crawl-spaces or hot cramped attics! And remember the lost art of applying or repairing window-breakage foil around the big windows using liquid varnish? You hardly ever now see that foil border on store windows anymore, as the world moves towards higher-tech methods.

Yes, many alarm systems still are set up in Zones , but Ring has moved toward tailored Modes. But what you are talking about is similar to some requests for an additional Mode, like a “Disarmed”, “Home 1” and “Home 2” and “Away” for something like that for a total of 4 Modes. So that you could have a “Home 1” tailored setup and then have another quick Mode button “Home 2” that has already been setup up for another combination of Contact and Motion Sensors, for another “Home” Mode, which I think is a cool idea!

Although there are several regular forum posts already (like here in the Ring Alarm forum) about this additional “Home” Mode, the Feature Request Board forum is where Ring Team look to see what people might want. And the more “Thumbs Up” Kudo votes they see there will better get their attention, increasing the chances of them providing that request. You should add your Kudo vote, if you like the requesting author’s idea (add you “Thumbs Up” Kudo vote on the left side of the author’s starting post), to help get the attention of the Ring Teams on the links below (these are similar requests for an additional mode , and I’ve probably missed quite a few others):

Submitted by TheAmazingDento :

Submitted by Riveter :

Submitted by Fredman701 :

With an additional Home mode, then you could pre-toggle enable sensors two additional ways for when you are _home _to satisfy any ‘twist’ you want for your “reverse scenario.”

As for “reasonable arming delays”, most people generally setup their entry/exit time depays for only 30-seconds. Once the system is armed, other than “Entryway” motion detectors or “Main Door” Contact sensors, any other sensor will immediately trigger the alarm to sound.

You’re thinking motion delay can be much shorter on house than garage? LOL, again you’re not alone!

Although I personally think 30-seconds is a fine compromise for different situations or scenarios, because with a few extra sensors who’s “Placement” in not “Main-door” or “Entryway” (Secondary-Door, or window, or Room) those sensors will still immediately trigger the alarm even when you enter during the entry delay countdown!

Oh yes, it IS possible to arm and disarm from the Ring App! I find I rarely use my two keypads anymore, because we’ve become such high-tech creatures that you rarely find me without carrying my cellphone. LOL So yeah, if you’re like me with your phone always with you, you wouldn’t need a keypad in your garage. But, also the extra garage Keypad as a ‘backup’ has the added benefit of the Police, Fire, and Medical Response team buttons within close reach (if you have the Professional Monitoring with Ring Protect Plan “Plus”), with the added “Panic Button” feature (pressing the “X” and “Check-Mark” keys simultaneously). But other people are content to just have their cellphones on their night-stand, to use the App’s red SOS button Panic feature (the red-shield icon with the “Exclamation point” in it).

You could also mix Generation 1 and Generation 2 devices, cameras, and keypads too (they are all compatible with the Ring Alarm system), so you could buy the cheaper Gen1 keypad for your garage too.

If or when you consider expanding your Ring Alarm system, this link contains great money saving discounts!

Currently yes, you have to manually select the Alarm Modes of “Disarmed”, “Home”, and “Away” on your keypad or phone’s Ring App. You would like it automated? Again, you are not alone! LOL (so numerous requests, here’s just a few from the Feature Request Board )

But I’m old, and still ‘old-school’ so I prefer selecting my Alarm Modes manually.

So, you are waiting for current tenant to vacate to get in, and set up your Ring Alarm? Cool. Welcome to the club as a new “Ring Neighbors”! As you wait, there is plenty of online information here in this Ring Community, and online at Ring Support/help pages:

Enjoy! :slight_smile:

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Thanks again Boone.

LOTS to chew on!

Just did a few alarms as a handyman but zones were great!

So likely scenario is leave house, lock doors with maximum alarm coverage for house. Go to detached garage entering via service door. If I spend so time loading tools, etc. I don’t want house vulnerable. Then I need to leave via OHD and arm garage and/or rearm house. Once I get a Genie Belt Drive WiFi opener installed I should be able to just use OHD as entry door. More to come. Thanks for all!



FINALLY got everything up and running! (Failed Spectrum self-install during “intermittent outage”, issue with needing to call to get old tenant’s account canceled - was told it would just happen)… then Ring wouldn’t pair or reset. Had to let backup battery battery die - took about 3 days!

So setup as you suggested - pretty intuitive. Thanks.


To leave and secure house so I can work in garage, can I:

  1. Toggle house motion sensor ON

  2. Toggle garage motion AND door sensors

  3. Set to Armed Home?

Then when done in garage set alarm away and secure all?

Then just need to switch back when back home.

Is there a better way to do that?

Thanks again!

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@mlw2 wrote:

FINALLY got everything up and running! (Failed Spectrum self-install during “intermittent outage”, issue with needing to call to get old tenant’s account canceled - was told it would just happen)… then Ring wouldn’t pair or reset. Had to let backup battery battery die - took about 3 days!

So setup as you suggested - pretty intuitive. Thanks.

Thanks again!

Hi @mlw2 ,

Wonderful to hear that you finally got it all set up and working! Great news! :slight_smile:

For your question:

  • To leave and secure house so I can work in garage, can I:
  1. Toggle house motion sensor ON
  2. Toggle garage motion AND door sensors

Yes , you can do that in your arm Alarm Modes (Home or Away).

For your other question:

  • Set to Armed Home?
    Then when done in garage set alarm away and secure all?
    Then just need to switch back when back home.

Yes , you can do that too.

For your last question:

  • Is there a better way to do that?

Ah, well, as we talked about, it would be cool if you had an extra armed mode, like a “Home1” and a “Home2”, but there isn’t that yet (to have “Disarmed”, “Home1”, “Home2”, and “Away”). With only two armed modes of Home and Away, sounds like the easiest is the way that makes you do the least amount of toggling, like:

  • Setting "Home"mode with surrounding house Contact sensors all enabled, house Motion sensors disabled, and all garage sensors enabled. And then with Away Mode with every (both house and garage) sensors enabled. Then when you are in the garage working, disable just the two garage sensors of the “Away” mode, and then activate the Away Mode.

I know it’s not ideal, if you want a full armed mode while your in the garage. Hopefully one day Ring will add an extra armed mode that will allow you better flexibility to custom set it the way you prefer.


1 Like