After a long day of shooting with your GoPro camera, you plug it into your computer to transfer all your photos and videos. Strangely, upon connecting it, you notice that the GoPro isn’t being detected. Suddenly, you’re left puzzled by what could be causing this.
Before you start to panic, there are solutions available that you can implement to fix this. In this article, we’ll go over the various reasons why your GoPro is not showing up on PC and how you can resolve the issue.
Possible Reasons Why a Computer Won’t Recognize a GoPro
There are lots of potential reasons why your GoPro is not showing up on PC. Some of them are easier to fix than others. Let’s take a brief look at some common reasons why your GoPro is not recognized by the PC:
- 🔧 Corrupted or outdated drivers – Any hardware that connects to your computer requires drivers. Drivers enable your hardware to communicate with each other. Without them, your GoPro may not be recognized by the computer.
- 🔌 Faulty hardware – If your GoPro is not connecting to a PC, it could be the result of a faulty SD card reader, cable, or port. A faulty component can break down communication entirely.
- 👎 File system corruption – When your file system becomes corrupted, you won’t be able to access the data on your SD card. In some cases, your computer may not pick up the SD card at all.
- 📷 Incorrect settings – If your computer won’t recognize the GoPro, make sure your GoPro has been configured to be read as a storage device by your computer.
If you want to avoid formatting the GoPro SD card to resolve the problem, try some of the fixes we’ve listed next.
How to Make a GoPro Show up on a Computer
To quench the frustration caused by your GoPro not showing up on the computer, here is a list of methods you can use to make it visible and accessible once again.
Check SD Card
Do a visual inspection of the SD card. Look for any damage to the plastic housing and connectors. Make sure the connectors don’t have a thin film of dust or dirt over them to ensure they made proper contact. If your SD card has come into contact with water, leave it to dry completely before attempting to test it.
Connect SD Card Directly
Instead of connecting your GoPro to the computer, try removing the SD card inside and connecting it to the computer directly either through a port or SD card reader. Doing so eliminates the chances that your GoPro is the problem and allows you to confirm if the problem is with the SD card itself.
Try Another Port
The USB port you’re using could be faulty. When choosing a USB port, use a port that’s connected directly to your motherboard. On desktop computers, these are generally the ports on the back panel. Using one of these ports is best because the ports on your computer case may be faulty.
Change USB Cable
Nearly all of our devices use some sort of USB cable. Not all USB cables are of the same quality. The fault could sit with the USB cable, especially if the GoPro is USB connected but not showing up or it only appears intermittently. Cheaper cables, made from low-quality materials, are less reliable and may be damaged inside. Test this theory by connecting the GoPro with another USB cable.
Try Another Computer
If you’ve tested the SD card, USB port, and USB cable, then the issue could be your computer. This is especially true if the GoPro charges but won’t connect to the computer. A virus or security setting could prevent your GoPro from being read. Connecting it to another computer will help determine if this is the case.
Update or Reinstall the Drivers
Drivers enable your hardware to talk to one another. Without drivers, Windows won’t recognize your SD card and you won’t be able to open any of the media on it. If your GoPro USB drivers are outdated or corrupted, they may be unusable.
These instructions will guide you through updating your GoPro drivers on Windows 10, or refreshing them if they’re corrupted:
Check Windows Updates
Your computer may be missing critical Windows updates. Windows regularly release updates that fix problems and keep essential hardware drivers up-to-date. Therefore, missing updates could be the reason why your GoPro doesn’t show up on your PC.
Here’s how you can check for updates:
The classic restart can be all you need to fix the issue of your PC not recognizing the GoPro. Restarting also helps by finishing the installation of any updates you may have previously downloaded.
When your computer is shut down normally, it doesn’t shut down completely. Instead, it does what’s called a hybrid shutdown. This allows for faster boot times. To ensure your computer does a full shutdown, make sure you click the Restart option instead of shutting it down and powering it back on. Choosing Restart forces a full shutdown while it restarts.
Check Connection Mode on the Camera
Your GoPro isn’t always going to automatically connect as a storage device when you connect it to your computer. You must make sure the correct connection mode is chosen if you want to view your data.
Follow these instructions to make sure the right connection mode is chosen (this was performed on a GoPro HERO8 Black):
The last method you can try is using a Windows troubleshooter. Even if your GoPro drivers are up-to-date and all of your hardware is functioning properly, there are some issues that are difficult to find. Windows comes with a bunch of useful troubleshooters that are designed to tackle specific problems.
These instructions will guide you through using a troubleshooter if your computer doesn’t recognize GoPro:
How to Recover Files Lost From a GoPro Camera
If you’ve successfully fixed the issue but some of your files are missing as a result of the previous damage, you can get those files back using data recovery software, like Disk Drill. Disk Drill can scan your SD card for the data that was once there and restore it for you. But, you must act as quickly as you can for your best chance of a successful recovery.
To recover files from your GoPro SD card, follow these steps: