How to Connect GoPro to Your Mac

How to copy your videos from a GoPro to a Mac with ease

The GoPro camera is one of the most popular action video cameras on the market. The tiny camera isn't limited to death-defying, adrenaline-pumping shots. You can use these little marvels to film just about anything. Connecting a GoPro to your Mac for editing, sharing, or saving isn't super complicated.

Here are three ways you can transfer files from your GoPro to the Mac desktop.

Information is this article applies to Macs running macOS Catalina (10.15) through OS X Lion (10.7).

Transfer GoPro Files Using an SD Card

The easiest method of copying files from the GoPro to your Mac is to use an SD card. The caveat to this method is that you need to buy a micro SD card reader. If you have a Mac that has only USB-C ports, you need to purchase a micro SD card reader that can connect via USB-C.

Here's how this method works:

  1. Open the bottom door on the GoPro to give you access to the SD card.

  2. Pop out the SD card.

    Image of the GoPro Hero 5 SD card access.
  3. Insert the SD card into the slot on the reader.

    Image of inserting an SD card into a reader.
  4. Connect the SD card reader to your Mac.

  5. Open the Finder.

  6. Click Untitled in the left navigation pane. If the SD card has a name other than Untitled, click it.

    Screenshot of the SD card as seen in Finder.
  7. Double-click the folder named DCIM and then double-click the folder named 101GOPRO.

  8. Two-finger tap (or right-click if using a mouse) any file you want to copy. To select more than one file, click and hold the Command key while selecting the files you want to copy.

  9. Two-finger tap one of the selected files and click Copy X Items, where X is the number of files selected.

    Screenshot of copying files in Finder.
  10. In the Finder app, navigate to the location where you want to copy the files.

  11. Two-finger tap (or right-click if using a mouse) and select Paste X Items, where X is the number of items to be pasted. The files are copied to the Mac.

    Screenshot of pasting items with Finder.
  12. Eject the SD card from the Mac before removing the reader.

Transfer GoPro Files Using Image Capture

The Mac operating system includes Image Capture, a piece of software that gives you access to the GoPro. You need a USB-C cable to connect the GoPro to the Mac. Here's how to make this happen:

  1. Plug the USB-C cable into the USB-C port of the GoPro and then plug the cable into one of the Mac's USB-C ports.

  2. Turn on the GoPro.

  3. Open Image Capture by clicking on it in the Applications folder or by clicking the Launchpad app on the Dock, typing "image" into the search field, and then clicking Image Capture.

    Screenshot of opening the Image Capture application.
  4. Click the name of your GoPro in the left navigation window.

  5. Select the folder to house the imported files from the Import To drop-down menu and click Import All.

    Screenshot of importing videos with Image Capture.
  6. After the import is complete, close Image Capture and unplug the GoPro from the Mac.

Transfer GoPro Files With GoPro Quik

GoPro has its own solution called Quik. The free software is installed in the same way you install any app on the Mac—download the file and double-click to begin the installation process.

Using Quik requires a free GoPro account, so sign up before launching the software.

After it is installed, follow these steps to import the files from the GoPro:

  1. Plug your GoPro camera into your Mac and turn on the camera.

  2. Click the LaunchPad on the Dock.

  3. Type "quik" and click on the GoPro Quik launcher.

    Screenshot of opening the GoPro Quick application.
  4. Log in with your GoPro account username and password.

  5. Click IMPORT FILES and wait for the import to complete.

    Screenshot of importing files with Quick | Desktop.

When the import is complete, you can find the files in the Movies folder, ready to be used. Close Quik and unplug the GoPro from the Mac.

Time to Make Magic

You now have the files copied from the GoPro camera to your Mac. Open those files in your editor of choice to make video magic.

GoPro and Mac Versions

For this article, we used a GoPro Hero 5 Black edition and a MacBook Pro 2016.