Why Won’t My GoPro Turn On and How to Fix It

There is nothing more frustrating than when my GoPro doesn’t turn on right before I’m ready to go outside to film. 

If you’re facing this issue, the solution may be as simple as holding down the power button for ten seconds after removing and reinserting the camera’s battery. There are also several other reasons and fixes I’m going to show you below.

Hi, I’m Larry, an adventure lover who also happens to geek out about tech products. I’ve been using GoPros since 2014 when I got my GoPro HERO4, and I’m now using a GoPro HERO10 Black. I have faced several GoPro won’t turn on issues in the past eight years, and I’ve fixed them all by myself.

In this guide, I’ll show you all the reasons why a GoPro won’t turn on and discuss all the techniques you can try to get your camera back online.

Let’s get your GoPro turned back on!

Quick Fix Solutions for Specific GoPro Models

Find your specific GoPro model and follow the steps to fix your GoPro that won’t turn on. These quick fix solutions should solve 90% of your GoPro not turning on issues.

HERO10 Black, HERO9 Black, MAX, HERO8 Black, HERO7 Black, Fusion, HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, HERO (2018)

The following steps are for GoPro cameras with external batteries. If your GoPro has an external battery but won’t turn on, here’s how to fix it.

Step 1: Unplug your GoPro from any external power source (charging cable) and take out the SD card.

Step 2: Take out the battery, wait for 5 seconds, and then put the battery back in.

Step 3: Press the power button to see if the camera turns on. 

Step 4: If there’s no reaction, reset the camera by holding the power button down for 10 seconds. Once you release the button, don’t touch the camera for 5 seconds, and then try to turn on the camera by pressing the power button.

Step 5: If there’s still no response from your GoPro, take out the battery and connect your camera to a 5V 2A wall charger using your USB-C charging cable.

Step 6: See if the front LED flashes within 5 seconds of the camera being plugged in.

Step 7: With the battery still removed, try to turn on the camera by pressing the power button. If the camera powers on, reinsert the battery and look for the front LED to flash. The front LED should then turn on and stay on. This can take a few minutes if the battery is completely drained.

Step 8: Unplug your camera from the charger and see if the camera can turn on with only the battery inserted.

Step 9: If your camera turns on, turn the camera back off, insert the SD card, turn the camera back on, and then try to record a test video.

Step 10: If you still can’t turn on your GoPro while unplugged, continue reading the “8 common reasons why your GoPro won’t turn on” further below.

Check out this video tutorial if you have trouble following the previous steps.

HERO7 White and HERO7 Silver

The steps for fixing these two cameras are the same as the steps from the previous section. However, there is one difference. Since these cameras have unremovable batteries, ignore steps 2, 5 and 7 when I tell you to remove the battery.

8 Reasons Why Your GoPro Won’t Turn On (with Fixes)

If your GoPro still doesn’t turn on after testing the quick-fix solution, a deeper problem needs to be resolved. Let’s discuss all possible causes for why your GoPro isn’t working and how to fix them.

Reason 1: Faulty Battery

The most common reason why your GoPro won’t turn on is because of a faulty battery. This can happen when your battery is damaged or if your battery is inserted into your camera incorrectly.

How to identify a faulty GoPro battery

To check if your battery is faulty, remove the battery and insert the charging cable. Make sure you connect the charging cable to a power source.

Hold the power button for 10 seconds and see if the camera powers up. If the camera turns on, it means the battery is either out of power or broken. However, if the camera doesn’t turn on, I recommend that you try another power cable and adapter.

How to fix it

The first step is to remove your battery, wait 5 seconds, and then reinsert the battery properly. Afterwards, try to turn the camera on.

If your camera still doesn’t turn on, I recommend testing a new battery. Maybe your GoPro leaked water inside the battery compartment and destroyed the battery. 

You can ask a friend who has a GoPro if you can use their battery to test on your camera. Also, you can order a GoPro battery, test it out, and then return it if your camera still doesn’t turn on.

If your GoPro won’t turn on unless plugged in, your battery is defective, and you’ll need to purchase a new one. If the camera doesn’t turn on even with a new battery, the issue is likely unrelated to your battery.

Reason 2: Dead Battery

If your GoPro’s battery is completely drained, your GoPro won’t turn on. This may seem like a no-brainer, but maybe you left the GoPro on accidentally and the battery ran down to 0%.

How to fix it

Grab your charger and plug it into your GoPro. A red LED should turn on, which indicates that the GoPro is charging. If a red light doesn’t appear, try using a different charging cable. After charging for 10 minutes, try to turn on the camera with the charger still plugged in.

Try a different charging cable if the red LED light doesn’t come on. If your GoPro won’t turn on but has blue light flashing, this means the wireless function is turned on. The good news is that your camera has power. The bad news is that the screen won’t turn on.

I recommend resetting your camera by holding the power button down for 10 seconds. If the camera still doesn’t turn on, continue below to the next solution.

Reason 3: Defective SD Card

Your GoPro’s SD card is an essential accessory. Without it, you won’t be able to record any footage because there would not be a place to store your data.

However, SD cards can occasionally be faulty and prevent the camera from turning on. In this case, I recommend taking out the SD card and then trying to turn the camera on. If this doesn’t work, you should format your SD card to remove the potential bugs and solve the issue.

How to identify a defective GoPro SD card

I recommend removing the SD card and then pressing the power button to turn the camera on. If the camera turns on after the SD card is removed, you have a faulty SD card. If it still doesn’t turn on, move on to the next step.

How to fix it

With the SD card removed from your GoPro, insert it into your computer. Open the SD card on your computer and save all your files from the SD card onto your computer. Formatting will delete all the contents in your SD card, so it’s essential to back up your files first. 

Then, right-click on the SD card and select Format.

Once you finish formatting your SD card, insert it back into your GoPro and try to turn the camera on.

If your camera still doesn’t turn on, I recommend trying a new SD card.

Reason 4: Broken Charging Cable

GoPro cameras display a red LED light when they are charging.

How to identify a broken GoPro charging cable

Plug the charger into your GoPro and see if the red LED light turns on. 

How to fix it

If the red LED light doesn’t turn on, test out a new charger. If the red LED light turns on, but your GoPro still doesn’t turn on, continue down to the next solution.

Reason 5: Water Damage

Although GoPro cameras are waterproof, they are still vulnerable to water damage if water somehow seeps through to the inside. In most cases, water damage to the inside of the camera is irreversible, and the camera won’t ever turn on again. 

However, you can still attempt to save it. 

How to identify GoPro water damage

If your GoPro doesn’t turn on after an underwater adventure, there is a high chance of a water leak inside the camera. If you haven’t exposed the camera to any water, there is no risk of water damage.

How to fix it

Before you attempt to fix the water damaged GoPro camera, remove all the accessories and external components. This includes the battery, memory card, mods, and so forth.

The first step is to rinse the camera off with fresh water to remove the salt, chlorine, or muddy water. Then, shake as much water out of the camera as you can. The next step is to submerge the camera in dry rice.

This is a common technique that’s always recommended for people who drop their phones in water. I recommend leaving the camera in the rice for 5 days to allow the rice to soak up as much moisture as possible.

Once 5 days are over, take the GoPro out of the rice and try to turn it on. If it still doesn’t work, the camera is most likely fully broken.

Reason 6: Overheated Camera

GoPro cameras will automatically turn off if they reach a certain internal temperature. This prevents the battery and other internal components from melting and facing permanent damage.

How to identify an overheated GoPro 

If your GoPro is extremely hot to the touch and won’t turn on, it’s probably because your camera overheated. GoPros overheat when they are continuously recording for an extended period of time. Furthermore, hot weather can cause them to overheat faster.

How to fix it

I recommend recording shorter clips (1-10 mins) instead of filming consecutively for more than 30 minutes. If your camera doesn’t turn on due to overheating, you should let the GoPro cool off for 10 minutes before turning it on again.

Reason 7: Cold Weather

Similar to overheating issues, GoPros will also turn off because of cold temperatures. This is extremely frustrating if you’re recording ski or snowboard footage.

The operating temperature range of GoPro cameras is 14°F – 95°F (10°C – 35°C). Any temperatures outside of this range will cause all types of glitchy behaviors.

How to fix it

The best plan of action is to keep the camera and batteries warm until the very last minute before you want to use them. Furthermore, place them back into warmth whenever you get the chance. I also recommend swapping cold batteries frequently with fresh warm ones.

You can also purchase dive housing for the GoPro and place hand warmers inside the casing.

Reason 8: Unspecified GoPro Glitch

Unspecified GoPro glitches occur when there is no rhyme or reason to why your GoPro won’t turn on or charge.

You can fix these GoPro glitches by following the quick-fix solution for your specific GoPro model above.

What if My GoPro Still Doesn’t Turn On?

If you have tried all the solutions so far without any luck, your camera probably needs to be repaired by a professional or replaced by GoPro.

GoPro has a fantastic replacement policy if your camera is still under warranty. If your camera isn’t covered by warranty, GoPro will still offer guidance on how to fix your camera’s issue.

FAQs

Here are a few additional questions you may have about why your GoPro won’t turn on. I’ll briefly answer them below.

Why won’t my GoPro screen turn on?

If your GoPro is turned on but shows a black LCD screen, there are a few solutions I recommend. First, open the GoPro app and change the slider for Brightness. Maybe your brightness got set to 0. Secondly, take out the battery and SD card and then connect your GoPro to a wall outlet.

If your screen still doesn’t turn on, contact GoPro support.

What does a red light on a GoPro mean?

A red light on your GoPro has two meanings. The first reason the red light turns on is when your GoPro is connected to an external power source. This means that your camera is charging.

The second reason the red light comes on is to indicate a low battery status, an issue with the SD card, or another internal hardware problem. This is called the Red Light of Death in the GoPro community. 

If your GoPro has a red light turned on and isn’t plugged into a charger, try holding the power and shutter buttons down for a few seconds at the same time. This usually solves the issue for me.

If the red light keeps appearing, you may need to replace your SD card, battery, or get your camera repaired.

Why won’t my GoPro won’t turn on after update?

You most likely updated your GoPro incorrectly. Since your GoPro was working fine before the update, I recommend updating your GoPro again.

Go to GoPro’s product update page and download the correct update for your specific camera model. Then, copy the file into your camera’s SD card. Insert the SD card into your camera and hold the power button until the camera starts. The update should begin automatically. 

How do I revive a dead GoPro?

The best way to revive a GoPro is to follow the steps in this guide. Start with the quick-fix solution for your specific GoPro model. If it doesn’t work, continue through the 8 common GoPro not turning on reasons and fixes.

Why won’t GoPro turn on unless plugged in?

This means that your battery is either broken or inserted incorrectly. First, I recommend taking out the battery and then reinserting it in the proper position. If this doesn’t solve the issue, you should buy a new battery and throw away your old one.

Closing Thoughts

I hope you were able to get your GoPro back on and running. A simple reset usually solves the problem unless you have faulty accessories in your SD card or battery.

Before you go, I’d love to hear from you: What type of videos do you record with your GoPro? Which GoPro model do you have?

Either way, let me know by dropping a quick comment down below.

I’m heading to Hawaii next week and am excited to get some shots of the beautiful marine life when I’m there!

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  • tim morris

    I have a hero 8 black and I record fishing videos. I am not sure how but I guess my little buddy(gopro) got wet while on my head and now it is dead and won’t turn on . I have tried everything.. So is it just a paper weight now? it is less then a year old.

    Reply
    • Larry Li

      Hi Tim! Sorry to hear about your GoPro. If you tried the steps for solving water damage, it’s likely your GoPro is completely broken. If your GoPro is still under warranty, I recommend reaching out to GoPro for a replacement. If you don’t have a warranty, you can still contact GoPro to see if they can repair the camera. Although the GoPro HERO8 Black is waterproof, it sounds like water somehow leaked through the battery compartment and damaged the internal components.

      Reply
  • Ronnie Engelhardt

    I’ve tried all of these steps so far. I think it’s the glitch in the software.

    Reply
    • Larry Li

      Hi Ronnie! Were you able to find a solution to turn on your GoPro?

      Reply