Why is My GoPro Frozen and How to Fix It

You can unfreeze your GoPro by restarting your camera, updating the firmware, installing a new SD card, or letting it cool down if it’s overheated.

Hi, my name is Larry. I’m a self-proclaimed GoPro fanatic and have been obsessed with these lovely action cameras since 2014. I’ve gone through my share fair of GoPro freezing issues but have been able to completely eliminate them on my GoPro HERO10 Black.

In today’s guide, I’ll explain why your GoPro is frozen and how to unfreeze it in a few quick steps.

Keep reading to unfreeze your GoPro!

Why is my GoPro Screen Frozen?

There are five common reasons that cause GoPros to freeze randomly. We’ll examine each of the five reasons in this section and discuss how to unfreeze your GoPro afterward.

Here are five reasons why your GoPro isn’t working:

1. Unexplainable Camera Glitch

Electronics are prone to random and unexplainable glitches from time to time. For example, even high-quality devices like GoPro cameras can freeze up for no apparent reason. This is the most common reason for GoPro freezes, and it’s easy to fix. I’ll explain how to fix it in the following section.

2. Outdated Firmware Version

Similar to your smartphone and computer, you need to update your GoPro’s software whenever GoPro releases a new version. Old and out-of-date software is vulnerable to glitches that may cause your GoPro camera to freeze.

3. Faulty SD Card

Another common reason that causes GoPros to freeze is a faulty microSD card. Whenever an SD card is glitched, damaged, or formatted incorrectly, it can cause your GoPro screen to freeze up and stop responding.

4. GoPro Camera Overheating

Although GoPro cameras are built for action and durability, they can’t withstand extreme temperatures. An overheated GoPro will freeze up or even turn off to prevent the battery from getting damaged.

5. Water Damage

Despite being waterproof, water may have somehow leaked inside your GoPro and caused damage to its internal components. This is the worst-case scenario for why your GoPro is frozen, and also the least common. 

How Do I Unfreeze My GoPro?

Now that you understand why your GoPro is frozen, it’s time to unfreeze your camera and get your show back on the road. 

1. Reset Your GoPro Camera

As I mentioned earlier, the majority of GoPro freezes are caused by unexplainable glitches and errors. When this occurs, all you need to do is reset your GoPro.

But how do I reset my GoPro?

Press and hold the Mode (Power) button down for 10 seconds. This restarts your camera without changing any settings. If you own a HERO Session or HERO4 Session, press and hold the top shutter button for 10 seconds. 

If a technical glitch causes your GoPro to freeze, resetting your GoPro will get your camera working again. However, if this doesn’t unfreeze your GoPro, you should remove the battery and reinsert it. Once your GoPro is on again, I recommend resetting it just to ensure the glitch is gone. 

2. Update Your GoPro Firmware

If you’re running old software on your GoPro, I highly recommend updating it to the latest version. Using the latest firmware solves current freezing issues and prevents them from happening again in the future.

You can update your GoPro firmware using the GoPro Quik app or through a manual file download and transfer from your computer to your SD card. Check out my How to Update GoPro Firmware guide to upgrade your GoPro to the latest software.

I recommend using the GoPro Quik mobile app because it automatically detects when your camera’s firmware is updated and automatically installs the new version.

3. Install a New SD Card

Faulty SD cards cause all sorts of technical glitches and errors in GoPros. For this reason, it’s important to use an SD card that’s compatible with GoPro cameras. Check out GoPro’s Official SD Card List to learn which SD card is compatible with your specific GoPro model. 

Once you have a new SD card, remove your old one and insert the new one. Your GoPro should now run smoothly without any freezing. If you’re unable to purchase a new SD card, you can format your current SD card using your computer. However, this erases all the contents and footage on your SD card, so save your files first.

4. Let Your GoPro Cool Down

GoPro cameras can overheat if you:

  • Film indoors without any airflow
  • Film outside in extremely hot temperatures 
  • Record using high-resolution video quality
  • Record long and continuous clips 

If any of these situations occur and your GoPro freezes, let your camera cool off by taking it out of the sun and into a cooler environment. Once the battery reaches a safe temperature, your GoPro should unfreeze, and you can use it again.

5. Dry Your GoPro

If you recently took your GoPro to the ocean or a swimming pool and it started freezing, water may have gotten inside the camera. As I mentioned earlier, this is the worst-case scenario because water and an electronic device’s internal components don’t mix well. 

In this situation, I recommend:

  1. Remove the battery, SD card, and any additional mounts
  2. Gently shake the water out of the camera
  3. Put your GoPro camera in dry rice for a few days

If your GoPro is still frozen after a few days, it will likely need to be repaired or replaced.

What Do I Do If My GoPro is Still Frozen?

If your GoPro camera is still frozen after working through the techniques above, I recommend contacting GoPro support.

GoPro’s warranty policy may cover your GoPro, and they may offer a replacement. GoPro warranty policy covers products against manufacturing defects for one year from the original date of purchase. 

Which GoPro Camera Models Freeze Up?

Every GoPro camera model can freeze up and stop working. This includes the newer models in the HERO10 Black, HERO9 Black, HERO8 Black, HERO7 Black, and MAX. Older models are also affected, including the HERO6 Black, HERO5, Black, HERO4 Black/Silver, and the Fusion. 

For this reason, it’s important to learn how to unfreeze your GoPro camera because disaster can strike at any time. So keep the techniques in this guide in mind if your GoPro ever freezes again in the future. 

FAQs

At this point, your GoPro should be unfrozen and back in action. However, let’s answer a few common questions, so you’re more prepared if your GoPro freezes again in the future.

Why is my GoPro not working?

If your GoPro isn’t turning on or not working, it may be because of a faulty battery or SD card. I recommend taking out your battery and connecting it with the USB-C cable to a stable power source like a wall outlet. This allows you to see if your battery is causing the issue or not. 

My GoPro video freezes but audio continues?

If your GoPro video freezes but the audio continues, it’s typically caused by a faulty SD card or battery or an outdated firmware version. You should update your GoPro’s software and insert a new battery and SD card.

How do I force restart my GoPro?

You can force restart your GoPro by pressing and holding the power button down for 10 seconds. This restarts your GoPro without changing your settings. You can also perform a factory reset by navigating to your GoPro’s Preferences menu and choosing Factory Reset. However, factory resets change your settings back to the camera defaults. 

Closing Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed my guide on why is my GoPro frozen and how to unfreeze it. Your camera should be fully working now, and you should understand how to unfreeze your camera if problems arise in the future.

But now I’d love to hear from you. Which method from today’s guide worked for you, and which GoPro model do you have? What type of content do you record with your GoPro camera?

Let me know by dropping a quick note in the comments section below!

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