The GoPro red light can mean your camera is working well. Or it could be the red light of death. Here are the 5 things you need to know – plus how to fix the related errors.
There are a number of reasons your GoPro will display a red light. It usually indicates that it is working correctly (charging or filming). But sometimes the GoPro red light indicates an issue with the battery, camera, or SD card.
This guide is part of our series: How to Use Your GoPro Camera
1. GoPro Red Light: Charging and Filming
While a red light might seem concerning, GoPro cameras also use a flashing red light to indicate that things are working correctly.
Your GoPro will display a red light in these settings.
- Taking Photos: Front status light blinks
- Recording Video: Front status light blinks
- Charging Battery: Front status light blinks
You can disable the LED lights. See point number 4 below.
2. GoPro Red Light: Error Indicator
The red status light on your GoPro can indicate an issue with the battery, camera, or SD card.
Here are the guides you need when troubleshooting these errors.
- Reset Your GoPro: Follow this guide for five ways to reset your GoPro
- Battery problem: Follow these seven things to fix GoPro charging issues.
- SD Card Problem: Here are five ways to format your SD card. And here’s how to fix a No SD card error.
If you’re still having trouble, you should check this guide: 10 Ways to Fix a GoPro That Won’t Turn On
3. Red Light Stays On When Fully Charged
Sometimes a glitch will cause the red indicator light to remain on, even after the battery is fully charged.
This problem has occurred on newer models, including the Hero11 Black. This error occurs when charging the battery inside the camera.
- First, you’ll want to disconnect the camera from an external power source.
- Then remove the battery. This should reset the camera.
- After reinserting the battery, try to power on the camera.
If the camera doesn’t work normally, try the following fixes.
- How to Fix: Update Firmware. Sometimes a firmware update is all that’s needed to fix a glitch like this.
- How to Fix: Check your batteries. Try another battery if you have one.
4. Turn Off the GoPro Red Light
To be a little more stealthy in your filming, you can turn off the red light. While filming, a red light will flash on the front display. While this is helpful to know that you’re filming, it might also be distracting.
Disable LED Lights on GoPro Hero12/11/10/9 Black
Here’s how to turn off LEDs, including the red light on the 3 newest GoPro models: Hero12 Black, Hero11 Black, Hero10 Black, and Hero9 Black.
- Swipe down, then swipe left and tap Preferences (Settings)
- Scroll to General > LEDS
- Select All Off (or Front Off Only)
Here is a step-by-step video to help you see how to disable flashing red lights on your GoPro.
Related: How to Turn Off GoPro Beep
5. GoPro Red Light of Death (Red Light Lock Up)
If you insert a freshly charged battery, sometimes the red light will come on and remain solid. This is most common in the older GoPro Hero3 and Hero4 models.
It seems that external chargers can cause a glitch between the battery and your GoPro.
Fix the Red Light Lockup: 4 Steps
The warmth seems to be part of the fix – I heard it explained that the heat generated affects the circuit board and helps reset it.
For this to work, the battery and camera need to heat up during charging, then fully cool down.
- To fix this problem, insert your charging cable into the camera. The front red light should come on.
- Then insert the battery and charge for 2.5 hours. The battery should become quite warm.
- Next, remove the battery and allow it to cool. This should take about 90 minutes.
- Once the battery has cooled, re-insert in your GoPro and turn it on. Your camera should power up correctly without the solid red light on the back.
This solution has helped many GoPro users fix their locked-up cameras with this method. If this didn’t work for you, the following video recommends trying this repeated times.
Here’s a helpful thread of other users with this problem.
And here’s what a flashing blue light on your GoPro means.
How did it go for you? Do you have a red light showing on your GoPro for another reason? I would love to hear what’s working for you.
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines is co-founder and blogger on Storyteller Tech. We cover action cameras and outdoor photography with a focus on GoPro cameras.
He is a travel blogger at Storyteller.Travel and co-founder of Storyteller Media, a company he started with his wife, Dena.