7 Common GoPro SD Card Errors and Fixes

Several potential issues could cause your SD card error. However, the best way to fix your SD card error is to format your GoPro SD card.

gopro sd error

Hi, it’s lovely to meet you! My name is Larry, and I’m a GoPro fanatic with over 8 years of experience using GoPro cameras. Unfortunately, I’ve faced my share fair of SD card issues, but luckily, I’ve found solutions for each one.

In today’s in-depth guide, I’m going to cover every potential cause and fix of your GoPro SD card error.

Keep reading to find out more!

What You’ll Need to Fix Your GoPro SD Card Error

Depending on the nature of the card error, you may not need anything besides your GoPro to fix the problem. 

Other errors may need a bit more in the way of materials to correct, such as:

  • A computer
  • Isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush
  • A can of compressed air
  • SD card slot cleaner
  • A new microSD card (verified compatibility by GoPro)

GoPro SD Card Error #1: “SD ERR” or “SD ERROR”

If you’re facing either an “SD ERR” or “SD ERROR” message on your GoPro’s LCD screen, your camera can’t communicate with your SD card.

Here’s how to fix it:

Step 1: Ensure your SD card is fully inserted into your camera and facing the right direction. 

Step 2: Turn on your GoPro. Enter the settings menu and choose the trash can icon to Delete All/Format your GoPro’s microSD card. However, formatting your SD card removes all of your files. So import all your files to your computer before formatting the SD card.

Step 3: If you still see the error message, your SD card probably can’t keep up with the GoPro’s output. In this case, try using a different SD card from GoPro’s recommended list.

GoPro SD Card Error #2: “NO SD”

A “NO SD” message means that your camera doesn’t recognize your SD card. 

Here’s how you can fix this problem:

Step 1: Make sure your SD card is correctly inserted into your camera. 

Step 2: Power on your GoPro. If you still see the “NO SD” error message, you’ll need to format your SD card using your computer. Check out the How to Format GoPro SD Card With Computer section under GoPro SD Card Error #5 further on in this guide. 

Step 3: After formatting your SD card, reinsert it back into your GoPro and power it on. If the error persists, there could be a problem with your camera recognizing SD cards or with your SD card itself. 

Step 4: If available, insert a different SD card into your GoPro to see if the error message appears. This will help you narrow down where the issue stems from.

GoPro SD Card Error #3: Insufficient SD Card Read and Write Speeds

One of the most common reasons for an SD card error on a GoPro is that you’re not using one of the recommended cards. SD cards have two speed ratings, one for reading or accessing the information and another for writing or recording the information.

The higher the video quality is, the faster the SD card speed needs to be. If the speed of the memory card can’t keep up with the large GoPro video files, you’ll see the “SD ERR” warning message on your GoPro’s LCD screen.

GoPros need a Class 10 microSD card, which is one of the fastest options. However, not all Class 10 cards are the same, different brands may have a slower read or write speed than others. That means you could see an SD card error even with a class 10 microSD card.

Sometimes, these issues can occur even after you’ve used the card a few times. Sound like that could be your problem? It’s an easy fix:

Step 1: Check your card to see if it is among GoPro’s recommended cards for your model by using this chart on the official GoPro website. If you don’t see your current card on the list, proceed to step two. If you see the card on the list and GoPro says it’s compatible with your version, this isn’t the cause of the issue, so try the next fix.

Step 2: Get a recommended SD card. Sure, buying a new card and one that’s fast enough for the GoPro may not be a free fix, but it’s a much better alternative than potentially corrupting your videos which could happen if you don’t use the right card.

GoPro SD Card Error #4: SD Card Not Properly Formatted

Sometimes, SD card errors result from an improper format, not the speed of the card you purchased. Often, this type of error occurs after you have used the same SD card in another camera.

This is a simple fix, with one catch: Make sure you save any files that are on the SD card to your computer because you will lose the files on your card when you follow these steps.

How to Format SD Card With GoPro

Step 1: Transfer any files that are on the card over to your computer. You’ll lose these files, so this step is essential if you have videos you want to save on the micro SD card.

Step 2: Format your SD card using the GoPro. With the SD card inserted into your GoPro and the camera on, enter the setup menu by pressing the front power button until you see the gear icon on the front LCD screen.

Step 3: Press the top button to select the setup menu. Next, navigate down to the format option. You can do this by pressing the front button until you see the trashcan icon selected.

Step 4: Once the trashcan button is highlighted, press the top button once to select that option.

Step 5: Select the “ALL/Format” option by pressing the front power button until you see it highlighted, and then press the top button.

Step 6: Navigate to the “delete” option by pressing the front power button until it’s highlighted, then press the top button to select.

Step 7: Wait for the screen to indicate that the card has been reformatted. Turn the camera off, then back on, the screen should now show “00”, indicating that there are no images on the card. To ensure that the card is properly formatted, take a test photo or short video.

Note: if you happened to reformat the card but didn’t transfer the files, try using data recovery software, and if you’re lucky, you might be able to retrieve your videos.

Alternative: Formatting the SD card on the GoPro is the best option because the card is formatted specifically for use with the GoPro. But, if you are seeing a NO SD instead of an SD ERR, you likely can’t even try to format the card with the GoPro. If that’s what you are experiencing, follow the steps below for formatting the card with a computer.

How to Format GoPro SD Card With Computer

Step 1: Insert the SD card into your computer using an SD card reader.

Step 2: Save the SD card’s files onto your computer if you’d like. Formatting your SD card deletes all of your saved files, so make sure to back them up beforehand.

Step 3: Open your computer’s File Explorer and find your SD card. Then, right-click on your SD card and press Format

Step 4: In the Format menu, choose the correct File System. It should be set to FAT32 for 32GB SD cards or lower. It should be set to EXFAT for 64GB or bigger SD cards.

Step 5: Make sure Quick Format is selected. Then, press start. You have successfully formatted your SD card.

GoPro SD Card Error #5: Outdated Firmware

Some errors can be fixed with a firmware or software update. A firmware issue is more likely to be the cause if you are using a newer SD card with an older GoPro version. Firmware updates can also solve a number of other common GoPro issues. 

To conduct a firmware update, you’ll need to connect the GoPro to the computer or use a blank SD card, depending on your own GoPro model. Check out my guide on how to update GoPro firmware. The easiest way to update your GoPro firmware is with the GoPro Quik mobile app.

If you want to update your GoPro manually, use this link to locate the firmware download as well as the instructions for installing:

  • HERO10
  • HERO9
  • MAX
  • HERO9
  • HERO7
  • Fusion
  • HERO6
  • HERO5
  • HERO4
  • HERO4 Session
  • HERO+ LCD
  • HERO+
  • GoPro HERO
  • HERO3+
  • HERO3
  • HD HERO2
  • Original HD HERO

GoPro SD Card Error #6: Dust Interfering With Connection

Sometimes, microSD cards that have worked for months and even years with a GoPro suddenly stop performing, and that “SD ERR” pops up on the screen. 

Often, the issue is that dust or a film buildup that occurs over time has simply stopped the camera and card from communicating with each other. Thankfully, the solution is simple and inexpensive.

Step 1: Start by cleaning the contacts, or the metal pieces of the micro SD card. Take a toothbrush (an old one that has been cleaned or a new one) and wet the bristles with isopropyl alcohol. Then, use the wet brush to scrub off the contacts. Finally, wipe dry with a towel. If you still see the dust of film on the metal contacts, repeat the process.

Step 2: Once the memory card is dry, put it back in the GoPro. If the card error is gone, you don’t need to continue with the next steps.

Step 3: If cleaning the memory card didn’t help, it’s possible the card slot within the GoPro itself is dirty. First, use a can of compressed air to remove any dust or dirt that may have gotten inside. Don’t blow inside the moisture from your breath can cause more harm than good.

Step 4: If the can of compressed air and the memory card cleaning didn’t work, there are also a few dedicated tools designed to clean the tiny space of an SD card slot. Try inserting an SD card cleaner like this one.

Tried all the options but still getting an SD card error with your GoPro? 

Try replacing the SD card with a verified one, like SanDisk Extreme microSDXC Card with Adapter. Then, if you still see the error, you know there’s an issue with the GoPro itself and not the card, and can work with GoPro directly for a solution.

GoPro SD Card Error #7: Faulty GoPro Settings

If you’re still facing an SD card error, the last solution is to reset your GoPro settings. You can reset your GoPro to factory settings by turning on your GoPro and going to Preferences > Reset > Reset Defaults.

All of your photo and recording settings will be set back to their default settings. For this reason, it’s important to note down your settings if you can’t memorize them. 

If you have an older GoPro, there are different instructions on how to reset your GoPro. Follow this guide on the official GoPro website if you have a HERO4 or older.

FAQs

If you have additional questions about GoPro SD card errors, I’ve answered some of the most common questions for you. 

How do I recover my GoPro SD card error?

You can recover your GoPro SD card error by following the steps outlined in this guide. I recommend removing your SD card and making sure there’s no dust on your SD card or inside your SD card slot. Then, reinsert the SD card properly. If you still have an SD card error, you should format your SD card.

How do I clean the SD card slot on my GoPro?

Grab an old toothbrush and isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Wet the toothbrush’s bristles with the alcohol and gently scrub the metal contacts of your SD card. Then, wipe the SD card dry with a towel. Next, use a can of compressed air to eliminate the dust inside your SD card slot.

How do I recover deleted GoPro files?

You may be able to recover deleted GoPro files. First, download a data recovery software and insert your SD card into your computer with an SD card reader. Open the recovery software and find your SD card within the software. Then, run the software to see if it can recover your deleted GoPro files. 

Closing Thoughts

GoPro SD errors can be frustrating, but they can often be fixed with minimal investment, if any at all. Checking your card speed, formatting the card, updating the GoPro firmware, and cleaning the card connection are all simple DIY fixes.

But now I’d love to hear from you! Which solution from today’s guide solved your GoPro SD card error? Got any more questions about GoPro SD cards? Either way, let me know in the comment section down below.

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  • Cory Hallett

    THANK YOU!! This is amazing. I actually thought that my footage was erased when I saw “SD Card error”. This post is very helpful.

    Reply