How to Format GoPro SD Card (4 ways)

In this guide, you will learn 4 easy methods and how to format GoPro SD card step by step. It also helps to get your data back if you lose any of them during this process.


By Lori / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Why Do You Need to Format GoPro SD Card?

GoPro SD cards need to be formatted for the following reasons:

1. Ensure compatibility: If you intend to use an existing SD card with a new GoPro, it becomes crucial to format the SD card to a file system compatible with the GoPro's specifications. This facilitates seamless file reading by the camera. Optimal choices for formatting are FAT32 (for cards up to 32GB) or exFAT (for cards exceeding 32GB) file systems.

2. Clear disk space: Formatting is a viable solution when an SD card carries a large amount of data and needs to free up space. If the SD card data is not important or has been backed up, you can format the card to clear the storage space.

3. Rectify errors: Storage media often encounters logical errors stemming from factors such as file system corruption or virus intrusion. Using the formatting program can effectively eliminate a series of errors on the SD card, thereby restoring the original functional state of the card.

How to Format SD Card on GoPro?

Formatting an SD card will delete all existing data. Before formatting, make sure you have backed up any important data on the SD card. Below is the procedure to format SD cards on GoPro, let's start!

🌟Tip: If you formatted your SD card and need to recover data, see the next section.

Way 1: Format SD Card in GoPro

You can format an SD card using GoPro menu.

Step 1: Turn on your GoPro and insert the SD card.

Step 2: Go to the GoPro's settings menu, click “Preference”>”Reset”> "Format SD Card" option.

Format SD Card

Step 3: Select the type of file system you want to use (FAT32 or exFAT). Then, confirm that you want to format the SD card and click “Delete

Step 4: After the card has been formatted, remove the SD card from your camera and install it on your computer.

  • The above steps are applicable to GoPro HERO 10, HERO9, HERO8 Black, HERO7 White, Black, and Silver.
  • If your GoPro is HERO5 and HERO6 Black, you can directly find "Preference" and click "Format SD Card".
  • If your GoPro is HERO4 Black or Silver, find the Setting and click "Delete" > "All/Format".

Way 2: Format GoPro SD Card on Windows

Step 1: Insert the SD card and connect your computer.

Step 2: Open the "File Explorer" on the computer and select the SD card.

Step 3: Right-click on the GoPro memory card and tap on the "Format" option. Choose the file system you want to use (FAT32 or exFAT).

Format SD Card

Step 4: Check the box next to “Quick Format” and click "Start" to begin the formatting process.

Quick Format

Way 3: Format GoPro SD Card on Mac

On a Mac, you will format your GoPro SD card using the Disk Utility app.

Step 1. Insert the SD card into your USB card reader or Mac SD card slot.

Step 2. Open Finder, click on the “Go” >“Utilities” > “Disk Utility” on the pop-up screen.

Click Utilities

Step 3. On the Disk Utility screen, locate the connected SD card in the View list, and click on “Erase”.

Step 4. Name your SD card, and choose the right file system (exFAT for SD cards over 64GB; MS-DOS (FAT) if it’s 32GB or smaller). And, click “Erase”> “Done”.

Erase SD Card

Way 4: Format SD Card Using the GoPro Quik App

You can also use the free app GoPro Quik to manage and format the SD card.

Step 1: Connect a GoPro with an SD card to GoPro Quik via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and launch the GoPro Quik app.

Step 2: Click on "Settings" > "Delete" >"Delete All Files from SD Card" in GoPro Quik.

Delete All Files

Step 3: Click the "OK" button to confirm the formatting.

Step 4: Once the formatting is done, click the "Finish" button to finish.

Can data be recovered after formatting?

The SD card can be easily formatted through the above methods, but if you do not back up important data before formatting, or accidentally click the format SD card button, valuable data will be lost.

Don’t worry, your data can be recovered after formatting the SD card, and the recoverability depends on your formatting options. If you are using the quick format method, you can use smart data recovery tools like MyRecover to recover deleted GoPro files. If you are using the full format method, then SD card data will not be recoverable.

Why can data be recovered after a quick format? Because the quick format process does not actually delete the data stored GoPro SD card. The content will be retained until the new data taking up the file's space is deleted. Please do not do the following:

  • Stop using your SD card immediately.
  • Add new files to your SD card.
  • Don’t save your recovered data to their original location.

How to Recover Data from a Formatted GoPro SD Card?

If you don’t backup data on your GoPro SD card, or unintentionally click the Format option when inserting your SD card, but find there are some important files after formatting, try powerful data recovery software like MyRecover to recover data from a GoPro SD card (Micro SD card) effortlessly.

Here are some of MyRecover's main features:

  • Recover GoPro image and video formats: JPEG, RAW (GPR), MP4, HEVC.
  • Advanced scanning method: MyRecover will scan your GoPro SD card thoroughly and automatically to locate all the recoverable files.
  • Locate lost data quickly: Filter the file type, date, or size to filter your needed files.
  • Support all brands of Micro SD cards, such as SanDisk, PNY, Samsung, Lexar, etc.
  • Excellent compatibility: Support FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, etc. and ReFS file systems, as well as Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Sever PC.

Steps to Recover Data After Formatting

Step 1. Download MyRecover on Windows, install and run it. Hover the mouse over your GoPro SD card and click Scan.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Scan D Disk

Step 2. MyRecover will automatically perform Deep Scan to display all lost pictures or videos from GoPro SD card.

Searvh ALBM Files

🌟Tip: Preview or filter pictures or videos depending on Files Type, Size, Date, etc.
  • Type: Select the file type (Images, Videos).
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, 512MB above, etc.)

Step 3. After the scan, you will see a list of pictures or videos that MyRecover found on the SD card. Select the files you want to recover and click Recover x files.

Recover ABLM Files

🌟Tip: The restore button will display the number of selected data and their total size to determine the integrity of the recovered files.

Step 4. You will then be asked to choose a location. Please choose a new location (in SD card) to avoid the recovered data from being overwritten.

Select New Location

Congratulations. Your lost data in the GoPro SD card has been recovered!

  • You can do GoPro SD card data recovery. If needed, please upgrade to the advanced editions.
  • If you are unable to recover GoPro SD card data with software or the GoPro situation is complicated, it's advisable to seek help from data recovery services such as Geek Squad. They have trained professionals and advanced equipment to handle even the most difficult data recovery cases.


In some specific cases, it is necessary to format GoPro SD card, just follow the methods above. Don't panic even when you lose all your data after accidentally formatting GoPro SD card. You can recover lost data simply by using reliable and high-end data recovery software like MyRecover.

Prevention is also very important. Regular backups and the use of reliable storage devices can reduce the risk of data loss. In the event of a disaster, you'll be able to quickly restore files from backups and get them back in no time.


1. How to Recover Data from GoPro SD Card After Formatting?

To recover data from a GoPro SD card after formatting, you can only use professional data recovery software like MyRecover.

  • Install and launch MyRecover, Select the GoPro SD card and click Start Scan.
  • Wait for the scan to complete. Next, locate the lost files you want to recover and click “Recover xxx files”.

Choose a new location to save recovered files.

2. Is it necessary to format a new SD card before using it in a GoPro?

It's a good practice to format a new SD card before using it in your GoPro. This helps ensure compatibility and removes any potential file system issues.

3. How to prevent GoPro SD card errors?

To prevent GoPro SD card errors, make sure to format a new SD card before using it with the camera. Also, please use a recommended and compatible brand of SD card for better performance.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.