Why Is My GoPro Video Choppy

If your GoPro video is choppy, it’s because your computer or phone isn’t powerful enough to process the video data. Although the actual video file is likely fine, some devices have difficulty playing back high-resolution video smoothly.

Nice to meet you, my name’s Larry. I’ve been using GoPro cameras for the past 8 years and have a wealth of experience uploading my videos to my phone and computer.

Dealing with choppy GoPro video is a common issue that millions of other users around the world and I have faced. In today’s guide, I’ll explain why your GoPro video is choppy and how you can fix it.

Let’s jump in!

How Do You Fix a Choppy GoPro Video on Computer?

A choppy GoPro video on your computer means that your computer doesn’t meet the minimum requirements needed for smooth playback. You potentially need a new GPU, CPU, or additional RAM to fix the choppiness.

However, there are a few fantastic solutions to try before you need to consider upgrading your computer. Here are four ways to fix a choppy GoPro video.

1. Transfer Videos to Your Computer’s Hard Drive

It’s vital to copy your GoPro’s videos from your microSD card to your computer’s hard drive. This means you must drag the video file from the microSD card folder onto your computer.

Playing the video directly from the microSD card may result in choppy playback. Playing the video from your computer offers more processing power and potentially smoother playback.

2. Use VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is a free video player that doesn’t use a lot of your computer’s resources. As such, your computer can focus on playing back the video without stutters and glitches. 

Once you download VLC Media Player, you can right-click your video file, select ‘Open with’ and then select ‘VLC media player’.

(Opening a video via VLC on Mac)

3. Record in a Lower Resolution

If you’re still facing choppy GoPro video, I recommend recording in a lower resolution. Choppy videos are impossible to edit, so it’s best to find the highest recording resolution that doesn’t cause choppy footage on your computer.

Record a few videos at each resolution on your GoPro and then load them onto your computer. I also recommend turning off Protune. 

Next, open each video file and look for one that has smooth playback. Once you find the winning resolution, record all of your future videos with the same one.

4. Compress Your Videos

You can also try to compress your GoPro videos in H.264 instead of HEVC (H.265). H.264 compression is suited for computers with lower specs because it’s optimized for older devices.

On your GoPro camera, open the Settings menu and find the Resolution/Frame rate settings. Then, choose a resolution that uses H.264.

These include:

  • 4K/30FPS
  • 4K/25FPS
  • 2.7K/60FPS
  • 2.7K/50FPS
  • 1080p/120FPS
  • 1080p/100FPS
  • 1080p/60FPS
  • 1080p/50FPS

Why Are My GoPro Videos Choppy on My Phone?

Similar to computers, your phone isn’t powerful enough to playback high-resolution video files. Unfortunately, this means you will face choppy GoPro videos when playing back video files that you download through the GoPro Quik app.

If this occurs, I recommend transferring the video file to your computer. Computers have more processing power than mobile phones and may be able to play the video without choppiness and stutters.

If you don’t have a computer you can transfer files to, I recommend recording with lower resolutions and finding out if the videos are still choppy on your phone. 

Then, work your way up from the lowest resolution to the highest and begin recording future videos with the highest resolution that doesn’t cause choppy videos during playback. 

How Do You Fix a Choppy GoPro Video on a Mac?

There are two ways you can fix choppy GoPro videos on your Mac.

1. Copy Videos from SD Card to Mac

Instead of playing a video file directly from your GoPro’s microSD card, transfer the file onto your Mac’s hard drive. Then, play the file directly from your Mac.

2. Convert Videos to H.264 File Format

H.264 codec videos are much more compatible than H.265 files. So another way to play 4K and other high-resolution videos on Mac is to convert the file from H.265 to H.264. I recommend downloading Handbrake to convert your video files.


Here are several common questions I get asked about choppy GoPro videos. You may have the same questions, so it’s important to cover these now.

How do I watch 4K videos on my GoPro?

You can remove the microSD card from your GoPro and insert it into a microSD card adapter. Then, insert it into your TV or computer USB port. After, play the file from your device. You can also upload the 4K video to YouTube, although it will take a few hours for the footage to process.

Why do I have choppy GoPro footage in Premiere?

If you have choppy GoPro footage in Premiere that runs smoothly on QuickTime or other media players, you must convert GoPro to Cineform to edit. You will need to create proxies on Premiere, which offer smoother playback for editing in Premiere. 

Why does my GoPro video keep freezing?

Your GoPro video keeps freezing because of old software, glitches, bad SD cards, water damage, and overheating. There are many reasons why your video is freezing, so work through each issue one by one until you find a solution for your specific camera.

Closing Thoughts

I hope you now fully understand why your GoPro video is choppy. Although the video recording itself is probably smooth, your computer or phone isn’t powerful enough to process the video’s data. This causes stutters and lags as you’re viewing the video back.

But now I’d love to hear from you: Were you able to fix the lag on your GoPro camera? Do you have any further questions you want me to answer?

Either way, drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

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