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.
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.
- Is your GoPro on? If not, turn it on.
- 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.
2. Check USB Cable
You’ll want to check two details of your cable connection.
- 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.
- 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.
3. Check SD Card
Now, it’s time to inspect your SD card. Here’s what you’ll want to watch for.
- 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.
- 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 USB cable.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- About the Author
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Hey, I’m Bryan! I’m a content creator and co-founder of Storyteller Tech.
Experienced GoPro Videographer: I’ve been shooting with GoPro cameras for over 11 years. My first GoPro was the Hero3 Silver, bought for a Galapagos work trip in 2012. Today I own 20+ action cameras, including GoPro, DJI, and Insta360 cameras.
Professional Creator: Dena and I have developed video and content marketing plans for numerous international travel brands. And we also run several content businesses.