How To Download Videos From a GoPro

GoPro cameras are ubiquitous in adventure sports. Everyone wants to capture their most exciting moments, scariest experiences, the lovely scenery wherever they are and anything else that happens. But how do you get the video from the camera onto your computer? This tutorial will show you how to download videos from a GoPro.

How To Download Videos From a GoPro

I use a GoPro Hero4 for mountain biking and road cycling. It’s small, light and very robust. I use it both for recording the experience but also recording close passes on the road, any trouble I get from drivers and any negativity as well as the good stuff. I prefer using the footage for good though and have many hours of trail riding and Strava segments on my computer.

I’m not the only one to do this. GoPro cameras sell in their millions and everyone I know who does any kind of adventure sport has one, or a camera of some kind. The saying ‘video or it didn’t happen’ is still alive and well even if nobody actually says it anymore!

So how to you get the footage from the camera onto a computer?

Downloading videos from a GoPro

The GoPro camera comes with its own software called Quik. It’s a decent app that can download your footage and perform some basic edits to make you look better. It’s free for camera owners and makes short work of cutting, editing, adding effects and then sharing them.

You don’t have to use the software but it is pretty good so there is no real reason not to.

To download videos using Quik, do this:

  1. Connect your camera to your computer using USB.
  2. Turn on the camera and Quick will automatically load.
  3. Select the Import To location in the app.
  4. Select Import Files.

Once you set a download location the app will take care of the rest. It will copy across the video and then open up into the media library so you can watch or edit as you see fit. It copies the video, not transfers it so keep an eye on your SD card space so you don’t run out mid-trip!

You don’t have to use Quik is you don’t want to. There are other ways to download videos from your GoPro. You can use an SD card reader or use Windows Explorer (Or Mac) to transfer files.

Using an SD card reader to download videos from your GoPro depends on you having a reader on a laptop, computer or standalone device. If you do, remove the SD card from your GoPro and insert it into the card reader. Open the memory on your device, navigate to the DCIM folder and there are your videos.

You can do much the same thing with Windows Explorer or Mac. I use Windows 10 so I’ll describe that.

  1. Connect your GoPro to your computer using USB.
  2. Select the camera in Windows Explorer once detected.
  3. Select the DCIM folder and select a video file.
  4. Either drag and drop to copy or Ctrl + C or Ctrl + X to move it.

You can also set the default behavior the first time you connect your GoPro to your Windows computer. It will ask you what you want it to do when you connect the GoPro to your computer. Your usual options are to import media, open the device or do nothing.

Download GoPro videos to your phone

You can also download GoPro videos to your phone if you want to. I have done this a couple of times when I forgot to clear out the SD card and almost ran out of space while on the trail. You will need Quik for Mobile or the GoPro App for this to work though. I use the GoPro App.

  1. Connect the camera to your phone using a mini USB cable.
  2. Let the phone detect the GoPro and load the app.
  3. Use the app to transfer videos to your phone.

As far as I know, there is no sync feature so any copying or moving has to be done manually. The GoPro App will pick up all the videos on the camera and let you view or copy them across. You can then view them on the GoPro Album the app created when you installed it.

The GoPro app is available for both Android and iOS and works mostly the same on each.

The GoPro software is pretty good at what it does and offers most of the basic editing functions you need. It isn’t your only option though and whether you use Windows or Mac, you can view, cut, copy and paste videos the same as you would any other file format.

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