How to Download GoPro Video to Mac: 4 Methods of Transferring

recover deleted gopro files

If you want to download GoPro videos to your Mac, you can use different methods. However, all methods have the potential for data loss if: (1) you’re not doing them correctly, (2) something is wrong with your equipment, or (3) something is causing data corruption (e.g., power failure).

This article is a step-by-step guide on how to download GoPro videos on your Mac using different methods as well as how to recover deleted GoPro files when some or all of your data is missing along the way.

How to transfer GoPro videos to Mac

When you connect your GoPro camera via the USB port, macOS does not allow you to access videos on Mac in place. You must either upload GoPro videos to Mac via an app or use a card reader to transfer files directly from your memory card. We’ll show you how to do each method below.

Do not remove or eject your GoPro or MicroSD card during the import process. This can lead to potential data loss.

Method 1: Connect the SD card to the Mac

If you have a card reader that fits into the ports on your Mac, the fastest way to transfer GoPro videos to Mac is to connect your SD card to your computer. You don’t even have to connect your GoPro camera directly.

Simply remove your memory card from your GoPro and connect your SD card to the Mac via a card reader. Then open Finder and select your SD card in the left sidebar. You can find your GoPro files in the DCIM folder where you can copy and paste them to one location on your computer.

GoPro SD card in Finder

Method #2: Import your GoPro videos with Image Capture App

Image Capture is a native macOS app that detects any connected device with a camera and allows the user to access and import its content. To use Image Capture with your GoPro:

Step 1.Make sure your camera is turned on and connect it to your Mac.

Step 2.Launch Image Capture (Finder > Applications).

Step 3.Select your GoPro in the left sidebar below Devices. Then select the pictures you want to transfer to your Mac and click Download.

step 4Choose a location on your Mac where you want to save your files and confirm the transfer.

By default, you can still find the downloaded items on your GoPro device. If you want to automatically delete videos after importing, click the action button (three dots) > select Delete after import/Deselect keep originals).

Image capture works well with the GoPro HERO7 Black or earlier versions, but may not work as well with newer versions.

Method #3: Broadcast your GoPro media with GoPro Quik

GoPro Quik for Desktop is a Go Pro importer and editor that allows you to edit and import GoPro videos to Mac. The basic functions are available free of charge for Windows and Mac. Note that GoPro Quik for desktop is no longer under development, but you can still use the legacy software. How to use GoPro Quik:

Step 1. Download and install GoPro Quik for Mac.

Step 2. Make sure your GoPro is powered on and connect it to your Mac with a USB cable.

Step 3. Launch GoPro Quik (Finder > Applications). Note that you need to create an account or sign in before you can use it.

step 4 Choose or change the folder where you save a copy of the files by clicking Camera import location > To edit. Then click import files (highlighted in blue) to start importing GoPro videos to Mac.

Method #4: Upload your GoPro videos to iPhoto (or photos).

iPhoto is a legacy Apple utility app for storing, viewing, and editing your photos. Although the Photos app is now a thing of the past, those using their much older Macs can still use it to import media. Here’s how:

Step 1. Turn on your GoPro camera and connect it to your Mac using the USB cable.

Step 2. Launch the iPhoto app (Finder > Applications).

Step 3. Select the videos you want to import and click Import Selected to start transferring your GoPro files to your Mac.

For newer Mac devices, you can use the Photos app to import your GoPro videos to Mac with the same steps as above.

How to Recover Files Lost During Transfer

Unexpected problems may occur during the import process. Interrupted or incomplete transfers can make your files disappear, as can virus corruption, power outages, and improper ejection. Users can also be responsible for accidental deletion or unintentional formatting.

First, stop using your memory card as soon as possible to avoid data overwriting. Then you need a tool called data recovery software to retrieve your files directly from memory card file system. For this article, we will use Disk Drill. Not only is it powerful and easy to use, but it is also an excellent tool to help you get GoPro videos on Mac as it supports all GoPro file types (including RAW). How to use it:

Disk Drill Basic for Mac does not offer free data recovery. Free software exists, but they all have their own limitations and not all support GoPro file types.

Step 1. Connect your memory card to your Mac via a card reader, then download and install Disk Drill.

Step 2. Start Disk Drill (Finder > Applications).
Disk Drill icon in Finder

Step 3. Select your SD card in the center pane (it may be labeled “Generic Storage Device” if using a card reader) and click on it Search for lost data.
Drive selection window in Disk Drill

step 4 After the scan is complete, click Review found items.
Scan results in Disk Drill

step 5 Disk Drill can retrieve many old files from your memory card, so use the search bar and sidebar to filter the scan results and find your GoPro data quickly. You can also preview your files by hovering to the right of the file names and clicking the eye button that appears.
Preview window in Disk Drill

step 6 Use the boxes in the leftmost column to select the files you want to recover. Then click recovered.
File selection window in Disk Drill

step 7 Choose a location on your computer where you want to save your files. Then click Okay to start downloading your videos from GoPro to Mac.
Disk Drill destination folder selection dialog


90% of the time, it should be easy to import videos from GoPro to Mac. However, certain issues may arise that affect the camera, your Mac, or your memory card. Your data is never 100% secure unless you back it up regularly. We highly recommend using Time Machine and/or investing in Disk Drill’s lifetime license to ensure that you never face the consequences of data loss.


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