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GoPro Not Showing Up On Mac: 6 Ways to Recognize GoPro

Connecting your GoPro to a Mac usually goes smoothly. But sometimes, it won’t show up. Here’s what to do if your Mac won’t recognize your GoPro camera.

To troubleshoot GoPro not showing up on Mac, check these details: Is your GoPro on? Check USB cable connection and integrity. Check SD card for damage and that it’s properly seated. Try another USB port and connection method. If this all fails, try connecting your GoPro to another computer.

With these steps, you can identify why your GoPro isn’t showing up on your Mac. And then, you can fix the issue.

GoPro Not Showing Up on Mac

Why should you trust me? In our home/office, our Apple products include MacBook Pro, iPads, and iPhones (along with Apple watches and AirPods). And we own more than a dozen GoPro cameras. And have been GoPro users for 11+ years.

Here’s how to make your GoPro show up on your Mac.

GoPro Not Showing Up On Mac

Ensure you have the correct USB cable and/or SD card reader/adapter to troubleshoot this issue. What you need will depend on your MacBook model.

1. Is Your GoPro On?

GoPro cameras don’t function like a memory stick. To access the files, you’ll have to turn on the camera.

  1. Is your GoPro on? If not, turn it on.
  2. Is your GoPro now showing on your Mac? If not, proceed to step two.

This solution works if you connect your camera with a USB cable to your computer. GoPro cameras require power to display and transfer photos and videos to your MacBook.

Most GoPro models will display a red light when connected to a computer’s USB port.

gopro red light

2. Check USB Cable

You’ll want to check two details of your cable connection.

  1. Is your cable damaged? A kinked cable or torn housing can affect data transfer. If your cable is damaged, swap it with a fresh cable and see if it fixes the problem.
  2. Is your cable well connected to your USB port? Ensure the cable is securely seated in your Mac and GoPro USB-C ports. Watch for loose connections – this might indicate a damaged cable or USB port. Either can cause your GoPro to not show up on your Mac.

Does your Mac recognize your GoPro camera now? If not, proceed to the next step.

mac not recognizing gopro usb
A damaged or poorly inserted USB cable can cause your Mac not to recognize a GoPro

3. Check SD Card

Now, it’s time to inspect your SD card. Here’s what you’ll want to watch for.

  1. Is your card in the reader? I know this is obvious, but humor me. Check that your card is in the reader or in your camera. If it hasn’t happened to you, it probably will.
  2. Is it properly installed? If the card isn’t properly seated, it can’t be read. I recommend removing the card and reinserting it, to ensure that it is well seating in the port. This applies when using a USB reader or when directly connecting your GoPro via a USB cable.
  3. Look for visible damage. When you remove the card, check for damage: dirt, warping, residue, or any other structural flaws. These things can prevent a good connection and your Mac from accessing the GoPro footage.
inspect sd card
Inspect your SD card for visible damage

4. Try Another USB Port

If you’re Mac still doesn’t recognize your GoPro, it’s time to insert your cable (or card reader) into another USB port.

Because ports can be damaged, sometimes the easiest fix is to swap to another one. If you’re like me, you might use the same port for all connections. This means that it gets all the wear and tear.

I’ve had success with this fix over the years.

5. Try Another Connection Method

If one connection method keeps failing, try another one.

My preferred method of uploading GoPro footage is with the SD card. This eliminates variables like cables and the GoPro itself.

The more you can reduce variables, the easier it is to identify the problem.

sd card reader on mac
My microSD card in an Anker card reader.

6. Try Another Computer: Mac or Windows

If all else fails, why not try to connect your GoPro to a different computer? This can help to narrow down what is causing the problem.

If you can connect your GoPro to another computer, you’ll know the problem is with your Mac, not your camera, SD card, or cables.

mac not recognizing gopro
Troubleshooting a Mac that isn’t recognizing GoPro footage

Don’t Forget to Format Your Card

After you upload your GoPro footage, don’t forget to format your card before shooting again. And while it might seem like it, deleting isn’t the same as formatting your card.

Here’s how to format your GoPro SD card.

Your Turn

How did the troubleshooting go for you? Were you able to get your Mac to recognize your GoPro? I would love to hear – along with any tips for when a GoPro won’t show up on Mac computers.