How to Connect GoPro to Your Mac

How to Copy your Videos from a GoPro to a Mac With Ease

Image of a GoPro camera



Connecting a GoPro to your Mac for editing, sharing, or saving isn't super complicated.

The GoPro Camera is one of the most popular action video cameras on the market. Of course, the tiny camera isn’t limited to only death-defying, adrenaline-pumping shots. In fact, you can use these little marvels to film just about anything.

Let’s take a look at three different ways you can transfer those files from camera to desktop.

GoPro and Mac Versions

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

The SD Card Method

This is, by far, the easiest method of copying files from the GoPro to your Mac. The one caveat to this method is that you’ll need to purchase a micro SD card reader. If you have a Mac that only includes USB C ports, you’ll need to purchase a micro SD card reader that can connect via USB C.

Here’s how you work with this method:

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

  2. Pop the SD card out.

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

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

  5. Open the Finder app.

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

    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 you want to copy the files to.

  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).

    Screenshot of pasting items with Finder.
  12. Your files are copied.

After you’ve copied the files, make sure to eject the SD card from your Mac (before removing the reader).

Image Capture

The Mac operating system has a piece of pre-installed software that gives you access to your GoPro. What you need for this method is 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 your GoPro and then plug the cable into one of your Mac’s USB C ports.

  2. Turn the GoPro on.

  3. Click the Launchpad app on your dock, type image into the search field, and then click 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 (from the Import To drop-down) and click Import All.

    Screenshot of importing videos with Image Capture.
  6. Allow the import to complete.

  7. Close Image Capture and unplug your GoPro from the Mac.

GoPro Quick

GoPro has their own solution, called Quick | Desktop. The free software is installed in the same fashion you install any app on the Mac (just download the file and double-click to begin the installation process).

Using Quck | Desktop does require a free GoPro account, so make sure you sign up before using the software.

Once installed, follow these steps to import your files from the GoPro:

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

  2. Click the LaunchPad on your Dock.

  3. Type quick and click on the GoPro Quick launcher.

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

  5. Click IMPORT FILES.

    Screenshot of importing files with Quick | Desktop.
  6. Allow the import to complete.

Once the import is complete, you’ll find the files in your Movies folder, ready to be used. Close Quick | Desktop and unplug your GoPro from the Mac.

Time to Make Magic

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