Skip to Content

How to Download GoPro Videos to Mac (6 Ways to transfer)

How to Download GoPro Videos to Mac (6 Ways to transfer)

Are you looking for an easy way to download your GoPro videos to your Mac? With the right tools, it can be a breeze!

The easiest way to download GoPro videos to a Mac is by using an app, USB cable, SD card reader, or GoPro cloud service. All of these methods require some effort, but they will simplify the process.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps of downloading GoPro videos to your Mac.

We’ll also provide some tips and tricks for making sure that your video recordings are transferred quickly and safely. Let’s dive in.

Related: How to Download a Youtube Video with VLC (Windows & Mac)

Key Takeaways

How to download and transfer GoPro Videos to Mac

How to download and transfer GoPro Videos to Mac 6 options and steps

There are several ways to download and transfer videos from a GoPro to Mac, including using a SD card reader (or Port), a USB cable and the Image Capture app, the Quik app, the GoPro cloud service, Wi-Fi with NetSpot, and iPhoto for older MacBooks.

Each method has its own advantages and may be more suitable for certain users based on their specific needs and preferences.

Related: 21 Best Video Players for Mac (Free & Paid) 4K, HDR

Regardless of the method chosen, the goal is to transfer the videos from the GoPro camera to the MacBook for further editing, storing, and viewing. I’ll cover each method in detail to make this process effortless.

Option 1: Use a SD card reader or SD card port on your MacBook to transfer files.

SD Card reader go pro video file transfer pro tip

The best way for downloading and transferring GoPro videos to your Mac is by using SD card reader or the SD card port on your device. This transfer option is incredibly fast and reliable, with some models of MacBooks already having a SD card port available.

To do this, simply remove the SD card from the GoPro, then insert it into the SD Card reader or SD port on your MacBook. From here, you can transfer the files by copy and pasting into a folder of your choice on your Mac.

Important: See the largest Micro SD Cards (You’ll want a large sized memory card because video takes up a lot of space – I recommend 500gb or 1gb if you have a lot of videos or 4K quality videos. however, In many cases 256 will work just fine.

If your Mac doesn’t have a SD port built-in, don’t fret – because adapters like this USB-C to MicroSD will allow you to take the microSD card out of your GoPro camera, insert it into the adapter, then allow your Mac to have the files transfer over via copy and paste.

You’ll need to open the ‘finder’ app on Mac and look under ‘locations’ to find the folder that the SD Card has your GoPro videos under.

The SD Card route is one of the most straight forward, fastest transfer methods are some of most straight forward options for safely downloading videos from your GoPro cameras onto your Mac devices.

Option 2: Transfer files using a USB cable and the default app on your MacBook (Image Capture)

Transfer files using a USB cable and the default app on your MacBook Image Capture

To import files from your GoPro, connect it to your MacBook with a USB cable and use Image Capture, GoPro Quik, iPhoto, or Photos.

Transferring your GoPro files to your Mac is easy with a USB cable and the Image Capture App because it’s the default app on your Macbook.

With Image Capture, you can connect your GoPro to your machine and select the items you wish to download from the left sidebar under Devices. All that’s left is to choose where you want the photos and videos stored on your Mac and hit Download.

Once downloaded, you can leave the videos intact on your device or have them deleted automatically upon import. It’s a fast, simple way to get all of your shots off of your GoPro and onto your computer!

Also see the 7 Best MacBooks for Photoshop & Photo Editing

Image Capture works great with older HERO models, but may not be as robust with newer releases of the product.

Option 3: Use the Quik app for GoPro to transfer files via USB (legacy software)

QUIK APP good app for youre using a usb cable to transfer

This is a free legacy software that provides basic editing features. You can use the Quik app for GoPro to transfer files via USB. This free legacy software provides basic editing features and is easy to use.

Simply download and install the GoPro Quik for Mac, make sure your GoPro is on and connect it with a USB cable, and launch the app

Once that’s done, log in with your GoPro account username and password to access all of your photos and videos. Finally, you can easily find them in your Movies folder once they have been imported.

Here’s a step by step process to make it easier:

  1. Start by downloading and installing the GoPro Quik app for Mac.
  2. Ensure that your GoPro camera is turned on
  3. Next, connect it to your MacBook using a USB cable.
  4. Launch the GoPro Quik app, which can be found in Finder > Applications.
  5. Find the Camera Import Location, then select Edit. From here you can choose the folder to save to. Once you’ve selected the folder, click the “Import files” button (highlighted in blue) to begin importing your GoPro videos to your MacBook.

Note: You’ll be required to create a GoPro account.

Option 4: Use the GoPro cloud service to transfer files.

Use the GoPro cloud service to transfer files

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to download your GoPro videos to your Mac, then Auto Upload is the perfect solution. (it’s automatic)

This is also known as GoPro Quik Auto high videos.

It automatically uploads your footage to the cloud and creates a highlight video that will be sent straight to your phone – ready to share with your friends! GoPro Subscribers also have access to some advanced editing tools like the Speed Tool, Premium filters and themes, and GoPro Originals Music.

Plus, with an Auto Highlight Video feature that automatically generates tailored highlights for you, it’s no wonder GoPro has become the go-to platform for capturing memories!

When you transfer a video from your phone or Mac to the Quik app, it will upload to the cloud, but a local copy will also be stored within the app. Over time, the storage of your video recordings within the app can accumulate to take up multiple gigabytes, or even 100 gigabytes or more of your devices storage.

So, after moving the video to the cloud, it’s important to remember to delete it from the Quik app to free up space. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to simply “move” the video to the cloud, as it requires making a copy of it first.

The GoPro cloud feature offers several methods of access, including from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. This way you can access your action camera’s content from almost any device.

This includes a discussion of whether a GoPro membership and the GoPro cloud is worth the monthly or yearly cost of $60 for the year or not.

Option 5: Transfer files using Wi-Fi with NetSpot

Option 5 Transfer files using Wi Fi with NetSpot

NetSpot is a Mac app that is designed for those who have more technical knowledge. This isn’t the easiest method, but it does work if you’re out of options.

It is a comprehensive app for wireless connection management, including Wi-Fi analysis and troubleshooting.

NetSpot can be used for visualizing, managing, troubleshooting, auditing, planning, and deploying wireless networks – yet also doubles as a way to transfer and download files via Wi-Fi (Which most modern GoPro models have)

As a last resort option, it is possible to use NetSpot to transfer videos to a MacBook over Wi-Fi by enabling Wi-Fi on the GoPro camera and putting it in “app mode.”

After this you can connect it to the same network and enter the SSID and password you had set up.

After this, connect it to the camera and you’re ready to transfer.

Option 6: Upload files using iPhoto for older MacBooks

Upload files using iPhoto for older MacBooks.

iPhoto is a retired photo management app that still works on older MacBooks.

If you’re using an older MacBook to download your GoPro videos, the best option is to use iPhoto. This retired app still works on Mac devices and provides a convenient way to import media with just a few steps.

Your GoPro camera needs to be turned on and connected to your Mac via a USB cable. After that, launch iPhoto and select the videos you want to import. Finally, click ‘Import Selected’, and transfer your entire GoPro library over!

For newer mac devices, don’t worry! You can also use the Photos app for importing your GoPro videos in the same easy steps.

So no matter how old your mac device is – getting all those precious moments stored up on videoshould be an easy task with iPhoto on Mac.

Easiest way to view GoPro content on a MacBook

The easiest way to view GoPro content on MacBook is by using a USB cable to connect the GoPro to your MacBook and using the built-in “Image Capture” app.

Alternatively, if upload speed is your concern, you can use an adapter to connect the microSD card to your MacBook and then download, and finally view the files in Finder.

For those who have a GoPro that can connect to the internet or the GoPro Quik app, uploading the content to the GoPro Cloud is an option, however, you need a yearly subscription to do so.

The simplest solution is to purchase a USB-C (male) to Micro-SD (female) adapter, making it easy to view and upload content to your MacBook.

How to minimize the potential for dataloss when downloading gopro videos to Mac

All methods mentioned in this post carry the risk of data loss if they are not executed properly, if there is an issue with your equipment, or if an event like a power outage leads to data corruption.

Even some Micro SD cards could eventually become corrupted.

Related: 5 Best Micro SD Card for 4K video recording

Retrieving deleted GoPro video files from your Mac is possible with the right software. Fortunately, Disk Drill offers an easy-to-use data recovery tool that can help you recover files on any Mac computer. While this tool can be used to retrieve files on any memory card, it’s especially helpful for recovering GoPro videos from Mac computers.

Using Disk Drill is simple and straightforward – just connect your device via a USB cable and launch the software. The software will quickly scan your memory card for lost or deleted GoPro videos, allowing you to select which ones you want to restore. With Disk Drill’s advanced algorithms, you’re sure to get your lost GoPro videos back with minimal hassle.

Also see: How to cut & trim videos on VLC

Previewing GoPro MPEG4 files on Quicktime doesn’t work properly

A known issue with downloading GoPro videos to a Mac is that QuickTime doesn’t properly preview GoPro MPEG4 files (they run in slow motion), even on iPhone.

To ensure that these videos are downloaded and can be viewed properly, I recommend copying them from the SD card directly onto your computer.

Related: 7 Fastest MicroSD Cards (256GB, 512GB, 1TB) – Speed test

This way you can verify that the files have been copied cleanly before deleting them off of your card — it’s an extra step, but it’s worth it for a smooth viewing experience.

With this method, you won’t need to upload the video to the cloud first, only for it to then be downloaded back onto your computer.

Dates on GoPro when transferring are displayed in the wrong format

Using an SD card reader is the best way to make sure that your GoPro videos download to your Mac or Windows device in the correct date and time format.

While there can be many reasons why this may not happen when using other methods, an SD card reader reliably ensures that all the dates stay in order. This is a well known solution among GoPro user communities since it eliminates any guesswork on their part.

Also see:7 Best Budget Tablets with a Good Camera

With an SD card reader, you know that you can trust it to always get your videos downloaded accurately with all the right dates. So if you’re looking for a reliable method of downloading GoPro videos to your Mac or Windows devices, then look no further than a Micro SD.


How can I get my Mac to recognize my GoPro Device

If you’re having trouble downloading your GoPro videos to your Mac, don’t worry – there are a few simple steps you can take that can help fix this connection issue.

  • To start off, try reactivating the hardware settings of your camera, as it may be the cause of the issue.
  • Restarting your Mac is always a good idea too, as sometimes it just needs a refresh.
  • Lastly, you can try formatting the SD card in case it has been corrupted due to any existing errors. With these methods, you should be able to download your video and view it in no time at all!

Is it possible to connect GoPro via Bluetooth?

Can you connect GoPro cameras via Bluetooth? Yes, many GoPro models allow for both WiFi & Bluetooth technologies.

Related: See the different types of technology and how they work.

If you want to take advantage of this connection, you can use the ToothFairy app.

This app allows you to access all of your device’s Bluetooth devices in one clean and customizable menu bar with just one click.

You can easily connect, disconnect, switch between devices, and view their information rather than having to search for each device’s specifications manually.

All in all, it’s definitely possible to connect your GoPro camera with Bluetooth, but it will take some effort and knowledge to utilize it for most GoPro users.

What is a GoPro?

A GoPro is a type of action camera that is specifically designed for digital video recording and capturing high-quality photos during extreme sports and outdoor activities. It is known for its rugged, waterproof, and mountable design, as well as its various filming accessories, such as camera stabilizers, which help to provide image stabilization.

Modern GoPro models are capable of underwater photography thanks to their waterproof technology, which can be submerged to 16 feet or deeper depending on the model.

Camera drones are also available to take the GoPro to new heights, with GPS tracking providing location and path data for those adventurous enough to fly. All of these features make the GoPro a popular choice among athletes, extreme sport pros, adventurers, and content creators looking to capture unique footage of their activities. 

How is GoPro different from other video equipment for Mac?

How is GoPro different from other video equipment for Mac? A GoPro camera has several advantages over traditional video equipment, particularly when it comes to portability and durability. A GoPro is small and lightweight, making it easy to transport and use in a variety of settings. In contrast, traditional video equipment such as a camera, tripod, lighting, lenses, and boom mic can be bulky and require a lot of setup time.

View: While a GoPro camera has a limited field of view compared to a traditional camera with lenses, its image quality is still impressive. However, a GoPro lacks the zoom capability of a traditional camera.

Audio: In terms of sound quality, a GoPro has a built-in microphone, but it may not be as high quality as a separate boom mic or audio recorder.

Related: How to record on VLC

Advanced camera features: While a traditional camera may require additional equipment such as wireless receivers and video capture cards, a GoPro can be used on its own. If necessary, a GoPro can also be mounted on various surfaces thanks to its versatile mounting options.

GoPro can be used with editing software and a green screen to create professional-looking videos. However, for more advanced projects or special effects, traditional video equipment may still be necessary depending on the project.

A GoPro is a powerful tool for capturing high-quality video and audio in a portable and durable package. While it may not replace traditional video equipment for more complex projects, it is an dependable option for those who need to capture footage on the go.

Bottom Line

Downloading GoPro videos to a Mac can be done using transfer methods such as SD card reader, USB cable, and Quik app.

Older Macs may require additional adapters or legacy software such as iPhoto, while newer ones may have an SD card port available.

GoPro cloud is a premium, subscription feature that also gives users the option of accessing their videos from anywhere after they upload it to the cloud.

In conclusion, downloading and importing GoPro videos to a Mac is a straightforward process with a few different options, the best one being SD card transfer because its the quickest with the least room for error.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ