GoPro cameras won a lot of hearts by being portable and robust companions for active people.
Many mountain bikers or other extreme sports fans use GoPro cameras to document their adventures. And then they get back home and see ... a choppy video!
Do not rush to throw your camera furiously out of the window. Instead, take a deep breath and have a look over the following solutions to fix your broken GoPro video.
Although GoPro cameras revolutionized the way we make videos, they keep causing some headaches from time to time. Below are the most common GoPro problems and solutions to them.
Error 1. GoPro choppy video playback
Choppy, glitchy, jerky, lagging, broken: this type of problem has many names. Your video plays smoothly for a few seconds. Then it freezes. The video can even play without interruptions but flicker or have distorted visuals. It can also have out-of-sync or missing sound.
So, your video looks like someone cruelly chopped it.
Solution 1. Always copy videos to your computer first
Playing your scenes back directly on the camera can make your GoPro footage choppy. That is a general problem for all video cameras. You should always copy the files from your SD card to your laptop, desktop, or tablet hard drive and then play them back.
Solution 2. Check and upgrade your PC's system requirements
It can happen that your PC just does not meet the minimum system requirements for playing high-resolution videos.
For lower resolution videos (1080p 30fps and lower), your PC needs at least 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processors and 4 GB RAM. For higher resolution videos (1080p 60fps and higher), be ready to have at least 3.0-3.7 GHz Ivy Bridge processors, 4 GB RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphic card or comparable at your disposal.
Check on Windows:
Check on Mac:
To solve this problem, you can buy a new internal graphic card. It will boost your machine's capacity to process videos.
Unfortunately, many devices lack the slot or won't allow inserting the card for some other reason. An external graphic processing unit, also known as eGPU, comes in handy here. It does the same thing, but you connect it with a cable.
Solution 3. Make the video file shrink: change resolution, compress or reduce meta-data
Sometimes your PC can digest the video but fails to display its content. In this case, change the video output by reducing the resolution.
Compression is more than changing the resolution. It reduces the number of bits, the smallest units of information. You do it in your video player.
Instead of compressing your broken GoPro video thereafter, start recording your videos in a lower resolution. You will also have to give up using the Protune feature. Shooting with Protune allows you to perform a little video editing later. But if you do not plan to do it, just turn Protune off.
Finally, those having a HERO6 and newer can reset the recording codec .
Error 2. GoPro Studio fails to import videos
Two scenarios are possible:
- You clicked "Import files," but nothing was added to your project.
- Your files were added, but you see the "Unable to play file: File may be corrupted or in an unsupported format" error message.
Solutions 1 to 7 will deal with the first problem; solutions 8 and 9 with the second.
Solution 1. Copy videos from the SD card
As already mentioned, save your video files to an internal or external hard drive. Do not import them directly from the camera SD card.
Also, you should not rename your files before transferring them into a secure hard drive. That can have a negative influence over the importing process.
Solution 2. Run all Windows updates.
If your Windows have any pending updates, that can block your file import. Go to the Updates center, grab your coffee, and wait for them to be completed.
Solution 3. Change non-English file names before importing
Any files with a file name not in the English language won't be imported into GoPro Studio. The application cannot handle them.
Solution 4. Only import into the right Step
GoPro Studio has three workspaces, or Steps: "View & Trim," "Edit," and "Export." Please keep in mind that the .MP4 files can only be imported into the first Step. On the contrary, .AVI and .MOV videos can be imported into the second Step. .AVI and .MOV files are the result of converting the .MP4 videos into GoPro Cineform.
Solution 5. Check if the videos are corrupted
Use a video player to check if they can be opened at all. Look into the second part of this article to find out about the most powerful video repair application.
Solution 6. Create a new project
Sometimes it helps just to start your GoPro Studio project from scratch. Create a new project and try to import the files again.
Solution 7. Import only to GoPro Studio
If you have a Mac and import your video files into one of its native applications, they won't be processed by GoPro Studio anymore. Both iPhoto and iMovie modify the files. After that, GoPro Studio fails to recognize them as GoPro footage.
Solution 8. Updating your graphic card drivers
You need to download the drivers from the manufacturer's website and install them. You can also go to the Windows Device Manager and let it check for the drivers' updates. (Irrelevant for macOS.)
Solution 9. Check your graphics card's compatibility with GoPro
Some graphic cards do not work with GoPro Studio. You can use an eGPU to help your PC to import the footage.
Error 3. GoPro SD card error or GoPro No SD error
Your camera can throw three of the error messages related to the SD card:
- "SD ERR"
- "SD ERROR"
- "NO SD"
The first two are indicators of the same problem. Use solutions 1 to 3 to get rid of it. Use solutions 4 and 5 to deal with the "NO SD" error message.
Solution 1. Check if the card is properly inserted
It may sound exaggerated, but you probably did not use enough power to insert the card into the camera. It lacks a contact point and is not recognized by the latter.
Solution 2. Delete All/Format card from the camera settings
Go to the camera settings, then click on the trash icon, and select "Delete All/Format." It will erase all the files on the card. But it will also clear it from anything that could cause the error message.
Solution 3. Use a recommended card
GoPro offers a list of recommended cards. They should definitely work well with your GoPro camera. Other models or manufacturers may experience compatibility problems. The camera output and the SD card do not always fit together.
Solution 4. Format card with a GoPro App
You can use the solution if you see the "SD ERR" message too, but it is a must for handling the "NO SD" error. You should use the official GoPro App to format your card.
After you've finished, insert the card again. Very probably, you will see the "SD ERR" or "SD ERROR" message then. Go through the solutions 1 to 3 to fix it.
Solution 5. Use a secondary card
If nothing from above helps, try another card.
Sometimes the camera is to blame. There is little you can do except opening a support case.
Error 4. GoPro camera freezes
Imagine that you suddenly cannot move around inside the camera's menu. It seems to be frozen and not responding. You can try one of the few quick fixes.
Solution 1. Hard reboot
Use the "MODE" or "SHUTTER" (for older HERO models) to reset your camera. Hold it for 10 seconds. If it does not work, try to put the battery out of the camera and then insert it again.
You should disconnect your camera from anything like WiFi, GPS, or even BacPac before using this method.
Solution 2. Updating the camera software
It can happen that you simply missed a software update. Usually, your GoPro App will inform you about a new release. If you ignored the message or did not have time for it, now you have to install the updates. Connect your GoPro App to the internet, your camera to the WiFi, and let the App do the job.
Solution 3. Format the SD card
As for the previous type of error, this method helps to revive the frozen camera.
Solution 4. Only use SD cards from the recommended list
SD cards can have unrepairable issues, so it is better to use one recommended by GoPro.
Error 5. GoPro videos are not playing on my computer
Not everybody wants to use GoPro Studio to edit videos. You may be as well satisfied with what you'd shoot and just directly watch it. But your PC won't play the video files. Why is that?
GoPro footage shot in 4K resolution often becomes a headache. Another popular reason is a corrupt video file—a few tips to overcome them all.
Solution 1. Using a proper player
Many players may be incompatible with the codec, with the former being a result of high resolution.
But the 4K resolution alone can make your video software complain and refuse to play GoPro footage. VLC player should handle both problems.
Solution 2. Convert with the GoPro Studio first
Before playing your videos in a common video player, import them into the GoPro Studio. Then convert to the .AVI or .MOV format. You need the last one for the Windows Media Player.
After the videos are converted, you can reduce the output resolution in your player in addition to these measures.
Solution 3. Resolving graphics card issues with an eGPU
Like in the two previous cases, your outdated graphics card may fail to process high-resolution videos. It makes you think your GoPro footage is broken, but it is actually not.
Try to connect an eGPU to solve the problem.
Solution 4. Upgrade your RAM
Your hardware may be unable to handle the videos. A strong sign of it is that you can open the audio but see no visuals. Not only the graphics card plays a role, but the RAM, too.
4K resolution is a professional level and requires professional video editing hardware.
Solution 5. Repair a corrupted video file
Start with checking if this is the case with your files. Play it in a video player, and if nothing happens-go to the next part of this article.
Solution 1: Repair corrupted GoPro videos online for free
Sometimes the reason is that your GoPro video is corrupted. Repair it online with Wondershare Repairit Online for free, no download, no registration, and takes seconds to finish! The online version can repair over 10 video formats and 150 videos per week in a quick and safe way.
Step 1. Select your corrupted GoPro video
Pick up the file from your file manager
Step 2. Start uploading it
Upload it. The repair will begin automatically.
Step 3. Wait for the recovery to be completed
The blue bar will show the progress.
Step 4. Save your video
Save the repaired video on your PC. Done!
Solution 2: Repair corrupted GoPro videos on your pc
If you have exhausted all of the offered methods, you still have a chance. If your GoPro footage is choppy or corrupted, Wondershare Repairit - Video Repair is your last resort. It can recover 15 formats of video from any camera.
The main features of Repairit - Video Repair:
Repair damaged videos with all levels of corruption, such as video not playing, video no sound, out-of-sync video or audio, playback errors, header corruption, flickering video, missing video codec, etc.
Repair videos of diverse formats, including MOV, MP4, M2TS, MKV, MTS, 3GP, AVI, FLV, MXF, KLV, INSV, M4V, WMV, MPEG, ASF, etc.
Repair damaged or corrupted videos caused by video compression, system crash, video format change, etc.
Repair critically damaged or corrupted videos available on SD cards, mobile phones, cameras, USB flash drives, etc.
Repairit has a quick and advanced scanning mode. You can use either depending on the level of corruption the video file has undergone.
Compatible with Windows PC, Mac OS, and supports PC to mobile transferring/sharing.
Step 1. Upload problematic videos
Click the "Add" button or anywhere inside the area above. Alternatively, drag the files from your file manager and drop in the middle of the Repairit upload interface.
Step 2. Scan uploaded videos
Let the Repairit display the file information. Have a look over the data to check if it makes any sense to you.
Step 3. Start repairing your videos
Use the "Repair" button in the lower right corner to initiate the process.
Step 4. Preview the result
Play each of the repaired videos to ensure that all issues were successfully resolved.
Step 5. Add sample video
If the repair went smoothly, you can leave this step and proceed to step 7.
If not, you will see the message offering you an advanced repair.
In this case, Repairit needs an example of a not corrupted video that you've made with the same camera. It also should be in the same format as your damaged video.
Select and add such a file into the application.
Step 6. Proceed with advanced repair
Repairit will run an automatic check to make sure the previous step has helped.
If you see a positive report, hit the "Repair" button and wait till you see the "OK" message.
Step 7. Save videos
You are finished and can save your repaired videos. Repairit will prompt you to select a file path like this:
Choose a destination and hit "Save." That's it!
The Bottom Line
You did a hard job shooting your outdoor adventures. The bigger is the disappointment to see the footage ruined.
Quite a few reasons can make your playback choppy. Most of the time, your end device fails to deal with the high-resolution GoPro videos. You will need to upgrade your hardware or use an external extension.
Software applications other than GoPro Studio can corrupt your video during the file import. SD card problems are not rare.
If you've got jerky videos, don't get sad. There are enough methods to fix this problem; the simplest one is to use Wondershare Repairit.
* Some of the above codec formats may need to be supported by system.