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Camera Not Showing Up on PC? (All Brands) 6 Ways to Make it Recognize

So it’s time to upload your footage, but your camera won’t show up on your computer? In this post, you’ll learn how to fix problems with your computer not recognizing your camera. Follow them in sequence for the fastest, least intrusive results.

When a computer won’t recognize your camera, it is likely one of just a few problems. They include faults with power, memory cards, cables, USB ports, or missing drivers. Most often, you’ll be able to get your camera to show up on your pc by trying just one of these methods.

Solutions affect the following brands: GoPro, Canon, DJI, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Akaso, Panasonic.

camera not showing up on pc

Computer Doesn’t Recognize Camera? 6 Quick Solutions

If you’re struggling to upload your photos and videos, this post will help.

These fixes aren’t complicated. Follow these tips in order, and you’ll quickly get your computer to recognize your camera. And then you can avoid having this problem again.

If you’re familiar with the basic methods of connecting a camera to a PC or Mac, then you’re ready to begin troubleshooting.

Let’s get started!

1. Hit the Power Button

For your computer to see your camera, it must be turned on. This is the most common reason a computer won’t recognize your camera.

Brands affected: GoPro, Canon, DJI, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Akaso, Panasonic

Before you try any other tips on the list, take a minute and make sure that your camera is turned on. How to tell it is on? Look for the back screen to give details, like camera settings, viewfinder, or another message.

When connecting your camera via USB cable, your camera requires power to both display and transfer files to your computer.

my computer wont recognize my camera
GoPro Hero10, connected by USB, but not powered on

2. Check Your SD Card

It’s worth taking a minute to check your memory card. If it is damaged, missing, or improperly installed it won’t be able to be viewed by your computer.

Here are some things to watch for with your SD Card:

  • It is there? If your computer can’t see your files, it could be because they aren’t in your camera. Trust me, this can happen.
  • Is it damaged? Quickly check for visible damage, like dirt and dust, moisture, salt, or warping. If possible, try to wipe off or softly blow the dust off. If it has more than just minor damage, be careful about inserting into your computer.
  • Is it properly seated? Check that the memory card is correctly installed in your camera. Sometimes the SD card will be inserted, but not clicked into place. If it isn’t correctly seated, it can’t be read or recognized by your computer.

Brands affected: GoPro, Canon, DJI, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Akaso, Panasonic

3. Check Your USB Cable

There are a couple of things you should be looking for.

  1. Check USB Cable Connection: Is your USB cable connected to your computer? And is the same one connected to your camera? If there are a few cables on your desk, it’s possible to connect one cable to your camera and a different one to the computer.
  2. Check USB Cable Condition: Sometimes, USB cables can get pretty beat up. A solid kink, broken wire casing, or damaged USB connector can limit, or even prevent a good data link to your computer.

Brands affected: GoPro, Canon, DJI, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Akaso, Panasonic

If you discover that your cable is loose or damaged, you might consider picking up a replacement cable.

It’s always a great idea to have a few extra cables. You can toss one in your gear bag, keep another one on your desk, or maybe an extra in case of damage. They are cheap and having extras can avoid the frustration of a damaged or lost cable.

Which cable do you need?

  • USB-C: Connector looks like a narrow oval. Commonly used on many action cameras. You’ll find this connector port on the new GoPro and DJI cameras (Action 2 and drones). I like these USB-C cables by UGreen.
  • Micro-USB: Connector looks like a narrow letter “d”. Commonly used on most consumer cameras. You’ll find this on Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony cameras. We’ve had good success with these Amazon Basics micro-USB cables.
computer doesnt recognize camera
GoPro Hero10 and DJI Action 2 cameras, both with USB-C ports

If you are unsure which cable you need, it’s worth checking your manual or another guide.

Here’s our full guide to GoPro charging cables.

4. Check Your USB Port (Try Another Port)

If your USB cable looks fine, you should next check the USB port on your computer.

If the cable seems to seat well but doesn’t connect, you should just move the USB cable to another USB port.

Over time, USB ports can become temperamental. Sometimes that means they won’t connect at all – other times, they’ll connect, disconnect, then reconnect again. This can happen if the cable gets bumped or sometimes for no reason.

Once you determine that a port is problematic, just skip it and use another port on your computer.

This is a simple fix.

computer doesn't recognize camera usb
USB ports on top of my desktop computer. If the top access port doesn’t work, try USB ports from the back of the tower.

5. Try Another Computer

If you can’t get a conclusive result from another port, you can also try another computer and see if it will recognize your camera.

If you don’t have another at home, try one at work or drop by a friend’s house. If it will work on the second computer, then it will give a starting point in troubleshooting why it won’t work on yours.

6. Try an SD Card Reader

If you’ve tried the previous four methods and still can’t get your computer to recognize your camera, it’s time to try something new.

This method removed your camera and USB cable from the equation.

  1. Remove your SD card from your camera.
  2. Insert it into an SD card reader (either an internal or external card reader)
  3. Insert the card reader into the computer
  4. Open Window’s File Explorer (press Window Key + E) or Mac’s Finder (press Option+Command+Space).
  5. Now you should see your SD card. You can open the DCIM folder and upload your footage to your computer.

This is a great solution for problems with your camera or USB cable because it bypasses both of them.

If this method doesn’t work, likely your SD card is damaged or corrupted.

windows does not recognize camera

To fix a corrupted SD card, you can format it. And while that might fix the corrupted file structure, you’ll LOSE all your footage. Proceed with caution.

windows not detecting camera

Common Questions

Here are some camera brand-specific resources for getting them recognized by your computer.

Fix Computer Not Recognizing Canon PowerShot

Some Canon cameras (including PowerShot SX70 HS) aren’t recognized by Windows PC computers.

To fix the problem, Canon Customer Service recommended removing the camera from Device Manager. Once it’s removed, reconnect to see if it will correctly display the camera.

Sony Camera Not Recognized via USB Connection

If your Sony camera won’t show on your computer, here are a few things to know.

First: check that you’re using a data cable. Some cables will only charge and not support data transfer. Sony recommends only purchasing and using Sony-supplied cables.

Sony also recommends checking the camera settings.

  • USB Connection: MENU →  (Setup) → USB Connection → Mass Storage
  • USB LUN Setting: MENU →  (Setup) → USB LUN Setting → Multi

GoPro Not Recognized by Your Computer?

There are a number of reasons that your computer might not recognize your GoPro.

Here are five steps to getting your GoPro to show on your PC.

Your Turn

Did you get your computer to recognize your camera? What was the problem? Have an additional tip to share? Please post it below to help other readers!