So your GoPro froze up and isn’t responding? That’s super frustrating. In this post, you’ll learn what causes GoPro freezes – and 5 specific ways to fix a freeze in just a few minutes.
Why is My GoPro Frozen? 5 Reasons
There are five reasons that your GoPro camera might freeze up. They include inexplicable glitches, old software, bad SD cards, overheating, and water damage.
Here’s more about each reason your GoPro might stop responding.
- Camera Glitch: Sometimes electronics just glitch out – even good ones (like your GoPro). This is likely the most common reason for a freeze-up. And it’s also the easiest thing to fix. More on this in the following section.
- Outdated Camera Software: Just like your computer and phone, the software on your GoPro needs to be updated periodically. Sometimes software updates add new features – other times, they fix glitches that can cause a camera to freeze.
- Bad SD Card: Your SD card could be damaged, glitchy, or formatted for another camera. Any of these could cause your GoPro to freeze up and stop the action.
- Overheating: If you manage to overheat your GoPro, it will stop and become non-responsive. While it might be surprising that overheating your camera can cause it to freeze, we aren’t talking about your camera’s temperature. Here’s more about how to cool your hot camera.
- Water Problems: A failed gasket, open port, or taking it deeper than rated can allow water inside the camera body. And it will quickly cause your camera to act in weird and scary ways. GoPro cameras are waterproof, but they have their limits.
Which GoPro Models Can Freeze Up?
These problems can arise in every GoPro model – from the Hero line (Hero11 Black, Hero10 Black, Hero9 Black, Hero8 Black, Hero7 Black, Silver White, Hero6 Black, Hero5 Black, Hero4 Black and Silver), the Session line (Hero5 Session, Hero Session, and Hero4 Session), and the 360 line (Fusion and MAX).
The following methods for fixing a frozen camera also apply to all current and past GoPro models.
How Do I Unfreeze My GoPro?
Before getting started, GoPro recommends turning off the following features: Connections, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Voice Control. I guess you should do that if you can, but if your camera is frozen, I’m not sure how.
They also recommend removing any BacPac attachments. Of course, for any of these methods to work, you’ll need to ensure that your camera has a charged battery.
I recommend working through the methods in this order. It’s quite possible that the first method will fix your problem, and you’ll be back to shooting in one minute or less.
- Camera Glitch? Reset Your Camera: Press and hold the MODE button for 10 seconds. This will restart your camera, without changing any settings. (For the Hero Session and Hero4 Session, press and hold the top Shutter button instead.) If this doesn’t work, you can remove and reinsert the battery.
- Old Software? Update Camera Firmware: Pair your camera to your phone via the GoPro app and run the update. It’s simple and necessary. Even if it doesn’t fix this glitch, it will help your avoid future glitches and freezes.
- Bad SD Card? Insert New SD Card: This is a common culprit for causing GoPro cameras to go non-responsive. To fix this, remove the card and insert another one. Make sure that it meets the specs for your camera model. Here’s how to tell which GoPro model you have. Or you could connect your current SD card to your computer, upload your footage, and then format the card.
- Camera Overheating? Allow Camera to Cool: This is a simple fix – you’ll just need a little time. To accelerate the process, you should bring the camera out of the sun. Putting it in an air-conditioned car or house will bring the temperature down quickly so you can get back to shooting.
- Water Problems? You’ll Need to Dry Your GoPro: This is the problem you don’t want. If you’ve tried all the other methods – and they didn’t work – I might have bad news for you. Electronics don’t recover well from water damage. Especially if it was salt or chlorinated water. That being said, some users have had success drying their wet GoPro.
Avoiding GoPro Freeze Ups
While it would be great to prevent any future camera freezing, it’s bound to happen again.
There are a few things you can do to prevent some of the common causes of a GoPro not responding. Here are a few preventative things you can do to reduce GoPro freeze-ups.
- Keep your camera firmware updated: Keep an eye on your GoPro app for notifications of new software updates. You’ll have to pair your camera to your phone to see these notifications.
- Always format your SD card before shooting: It’s easy. If you need a refresher, here’s how to format your SD card (for Windows 10, Mac, in-camera, and even CMD).
- Protect your GoPro from water: Always check the doors and gaskets before entering a wet environment. Rinse your camera at the end of every day. This keeps salt, dust, and other debris from affecting the integrity of your gaskets.
More reading: GoPro won’t turn on? Try these 10 things
Which method worked for you? Did I miss a cause of GoPro freezes? Please join us in the comments!
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines is co-founder and blogger on GudPixel. We cover action cameras and outdoor photography with a focus on GoPro cameras.
He is a travel blogger at Storyteller.Travel and co-founder of Storyteller Media, a company he started with his wife, Dena.