GoPro Is Frozen? Here’s how to fix it

Facing the issue of a frozen screen on any electronic device is always an unpleasant experience. And one such example which really irritates me is when I want to capture a perfect shot, and my camera freezes.

I have always been a GoPro fan. And I am sure it’s not just me in the club. Whenever you search for the best action cameras, a GoPro model will always be at the top of the list. After searching a lot and looking for reviews and recommendations, I invested in a GoPro Hero 8 around 2-3 years ago. And this baby has been a steady companion in all my adventures.

gopro hero 8

But like with any other device, my journey with this camera has not always been smooth sailing. There have been a few times when I faced the problem of a frozen GoPro camera, but being a tech enthusiast curious about learning something new every day, reaching out to customer support is always my last resort.

But what to do when your GoPro is frozen? What is the reason behind it? I have tried out multiple methods and tricks to solve this problem. Fortunately, I found some that work, which is precisely why I have come up with this guide. If you face the same issue with your GoPro or know anyone looking for effective solutions to this issue, keep reading till the end.

Which GoPro models are highly prone to freezing?

This is one widespread question I get asked very frequently. Honesty, I tried out a few GoPro models and noticed no particular pattern. If your GoPro is frozen, the model of the camera is not particularly at fault. It can happen due to multiple reasons.

The freeze-up problem can happen in any GoPro model, whether you are using one from the Hero series (eg- Hero 9, Hero 10, Hero 7, Hero 8, etc), the 360 range (eg- Fusion, MAX), or from the Session range (eg- Hero session, Hero 4 session, and Hero 5 session).

gopro models

And that is why you need to know what to do in such a scenario where your GoPro is frozen. The methods and techniques mentioned in this guide will help you overcome the problem, and I will also add a few tips to avoid it in the future.

Why is your GoPro frozen?

Before looking at the methods to fix a frozen GoPro, let us figure out the reason behind it so that you can pick the appropriate solution.

Glitches in the camera

When a glitch occurs in any electronic device, it is sometimes without any particular reason. Almost all electronic devices are prone to glitches at some point or the other. Understandably, you may think that since GoPro is a solid investment and good-quality equipment overall, it should not freeze frequently. But, it is indeed possible.

However, it is not a reason for serious concern and is relatively easy to fix.

The firmware version is outdated

You might have noticed that your phone or your PC needs to be updated every once in a while. Similarly, you must update your GoPro whenever required. GoPro regularly releases updates, including software updates, brand-new features, and other fixes. You might unknowingly be using an older software version, especially if you own an older GoPro model.

the firmware version is outdated

Using an older version of the software can make the camera highly prone to glitches, and you might notice an increased frequency too.

The SD card is damaged

All GoPro cameras need an SD card to store the images and videos. But sometimes, you could use a damaged SD card without even realizing it. One of my friends used a faulty SD card, due to which her camera faced frequent glitches.

It might also be possible that your SD card is incompatible with your GoPro camera or has been formatted incorrectly. Your camera can stop responding due to any of these problems, but it is not that difficult to solve them either.

sd card is damaged

The GoPro is overheating

I have faced this issue a couple of times. GoPro cameras are not built to tolerate extreme temperatures; your camera can stop responding if this happens. It is normal to lose track of time when you are deep into a photography session, but prolonged usage can overheat your GoPro camera, causing it to turn off randomly or freeze.

The GoPro does this to prevent causing any damage to the battery. You can consider it a defense method. Even though the overheating problem is common, it can damage the camera if it gets too severe.

The battery is damaged or faulty

Sometimes your SD card or firmware might not be the culprit behind your frozen GoPro. Your camera freezing can also be due to a dislodged or faulty battery. If you keep using an old battery and want to engage in long photography sessions, your battery will significantly strain, causing the camera to stop responding.

It is vital to keep an eye on the overall health of your camera, including the battery, to ensure you maintain the camera in good condition.

Water seeped into the camera

It is no secret that a GoPro camera is best suited for adventures, and its capability to record underwater is a major bonus. But if any water seeps inside, it can ultimately damage the internal components. There is also the danger of short circuits.

I have to say this is the worst-case scenario and does not typically happen. If it is minor water damage, it is possible to save the camera. But if the damage is severe, you may need to reach out for professional help.

When you purchase a GoPro camera, make sure to read the specifications in detail. You will typically find its waterproof capacity on the manual itself. Remember to stick to the rules, so you do not damage your GoPro.

How to fix a GoPro when it’s frozen?

Now we come to the most crucial section of the article. By now, you are aware of the potential reasons that can cause your GoPro to freeze. But how will you fix your GoPro camera if any such situation occurs?

Below are some of my tried and tested methods that I swear by. Once you figure out why the freeze-up, you can choose the most appropriate solution. So let’s get right into it.

Perform a power cycle

When my go pro freezes, a power cycle is usually the first solution I turn to. For those unaware of the term ‘power cycle’, it means turning off your camera and then turning it back on. I have seen it solving the frozen issue most of the time, and you can give it a try. Here are the steps to perform a power cycle on your GoPro camera-

1. Locate the Mode/Power button on your GoPro camera, and press and hold it for at least 3-5 seconds to turn it off.

power button on your gopro camera

2. Eject the battery and wait a few minutes before inserting it again.

eject the battery

3. Now turn on your GoPro camera by pressing the same Power button again.

turn on your gopro camera

That’s it! Power cycling the camera is one of the most straightforward solutions you can try, and it is very effective at the same time. It especially comes in handy during situations when you face random glitches in your GoPro camera.

Reset the GoPro camera

If a simple power cycle process does not work and the problem still exists, you can try to reset your GoPro camera. It is a slightly elevated version of the power cycle method, but resetting your camera means that all the files on it will get deleted too. Hence, it is crucial to ensure you have backed up your files before resetting the camera to its factory settings.

The process of resetting a GoPro camera is similar irrespective of the model you use. But there are just minute differences you must know beforehand.

The general method is to press the Mode/Power button for at least 10 seconds. Once you do this, your GoPro camera should restart without any change in settings. However, if you use a GoPro Hero session or a GoPro Hero 4 session, you must locate the top shutter button of the camera. Once located, you need to press and hold it for at least 10 seconds to reset the camera.

I have seen that this method almost always solves the issue. But if your GoPro is still frozen, you can try ejecting the batteries and inserting them back again. After this, you can perform the reset function again to eliminate the glitch properly.

Format the SD card or install a new one

If you figured out that the faulty SD card is the culprit, this solution is for you. You can try formatting the SD card to fix the frozen issue. Back up your files beforehand because this process will delete all the images and videos on the card.

Here are the steps for formatting your SD card-

1. Grab your memory card and insert it into the SD card reader of your PC.

grab your memory card

2. You will see the SD card icon on your PC screen. Right-click on it, and select the ‘Format‘ among the options present in the dropdown menu.

3. Select the ‘FAT32‘ file system, after which you will see a pop-up asking you to start the process. Click on ‘Start‘ to begin the formatting.

4. You can remove the card once the process is over and re-insert it into your GoPro.

However, if formatting the SD card does not solve the problem, it may be possible that your SD card is incompatible with your GoPro camera. In that case, I would recommend getting a replacement.

Get a fresh card, remove the old one, and replace it with this new purchase. Always check the compatibility of the SD card and whether it matches your camera specifications.

Update the GoPro firmware

It is never a good idea to run outdated software on your GoPro camera, as it will only invite more problems. I will comment using the latest version and maintain a regular schedule to check for updates so that you do not miss any. Using the proper firmware can solve a lot of issues, including freezing. And it not only solves them but also helps to avoid them in the future.

You can use the GoPro Quik app to run the update or do it manually by downloading a file. I suggest the application method as it is much more convenient, and the app automatically installs the new version when necessary.

If you already have the GoPro Quik app, you can simply connect your camera to your phone via the application and run the update.

However, if you do not have the application, here are the steps you can follow.

1. Link your GoPro camera to your PC using a USB cable.

2. Now visit the official GoPro website, and download the GoPro Quik application. A desktop version is also available.

3. Once the download is complete, launch the application. The instructions to update your camera’s firmware will be on the application itself. You can simply follow the instructions to complete the task.

Allow your GoPro to cool down

What if your GoPro is frozen due to overheating? In that case, the best option is to let the camera cool down. It is a straightforward method, but you will need a little patience.

Sometimes overheating can happen if you shoot outdoors in a location with poor air circulation. It can even happen when the temperature outside is too high, or you have been recording using high-quality resolution for a continuous period.

The camera freezes as a method to shield itself from any damage. But if it happens, try to place the camera in a cool atmosphere and take it out of the sun. Let it reach an average temperature, and you can even accelerate the process by placing it in an air-conditioned room or car.

place the camera in a cool atmosphere

Wait for a few minutes before turning on the camera again. You can even perform a power cycle to solve the issue.

Let the camera dry in case of water damage

Water damage is usually severe, and you must handle your camera cautiously. Even though a GoPro camera is waterproof, it can sometimes freeze if water gets into it. This can happen in scenarios like taking your camera to the pool or the beach.

Electronic components and water are never a good combination; the best option here is to let your camera dry completely. Leave it in the open air, and remove the SD card and battery to help it dry quickly.

Try to shake your camera gently to let the water out. And there is another viral method I have seen but not tried yet. You can try storing your camera in dry rice for a couple of days to eliminate the moisture.

If you notice that your GoPro camera is still frozen, it is better to take it to a professional repair center or get it replaced. The chances of your GoPro camera recovering are somewhat challenging in this scenario, especially if it gets wet from salt water.

Reach out to customer support

Well, this is your last resort if your GoPro is frozen and none of the above methods work. I will recommend reaching out to the GoPro support team in this case. You can get a replacement if your device falls under the warranty policy. Typically, the brand offers a one-year warranty from the purchase date on the camera against manufacturing defects.

Tips to prevent your GoPro from getting frozen in the future

You now know the different methods to fix your GoPro camera when it freezes. But if it starts happening frequently, it can be frustrating. Here are some preventive measures you can undertake to avoid the freezing problem in the future.

  • Always keep the firmware updated, as it can impact the performance of your camera.
  • Ensure your GoPro camera does not experience any significant impact that can harm the internal components and lead to freezing.
  • If you plan long photography sessions, I recommend formatting the SD card beforehand to experience smooth functioning and have a fresh storage option.
  • Keep your GoPro camera away from water as much as possible. Double-check the gaskets and doors to ensure the water can’t enter if you decide to get it wet. Do not forget to rinse the camera at the end of the day. This will help eliminate excess dirt and salt and eliminate debris.
  • Use good-quality SD cards instead of those suspiciously cheap ones. It is better for the camera’s overall health, and there are fewer chances of the SD card being faulty.
  • Do not expose your camera to direct sunlight for extended periods.
  • Choose a location with better airflow so your camera gets to breathe to avoid overheating, which can lead to freeze-ups.
  • Try to record shorter videos and reduce the resolution and video quality while capturing anything.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide has helped to understand what to do when your GoPro is frozen. And it’s not just about the correct method to solve the issue. It is also about figuring out the reason behind the freezing camera.

Investing in a camera like GoPro is major, and it does not feel good when it starts freezing randomly. However, some things are not explainable, and it is impossible to predict when your camera freezes.

The best you can do is to be prepared and take precautionary measures to avoid it as much as possible. I hope this situation does not arise for you, but if it does, I am sure one of the methods really works, and your camera will be back to functioning normally.

FAQs

How do I unfreeze my GoPro?

The most effective method to try when your GoPro is frozen is to reset the camera by pressing and holding the Mode button or the top shutter button, depending on the model you are using. You can also try to go for a power cycle initially.

How do you force a GoPro to turn off?

You must press the Mode button for at least two seconds, after which you will hear 3 beeping sounds, and a red LED light blinks three times. Your GoPro camera will shut down after this.

Why did my GoPro 9 freeze?

There are multiple potential reasons behind your GoPro 9 freezing. It can be due to a random glitch, battery issue, SD card issue, outdated firmware, etc.

Does the GoPro 10 freeze?

Yes, the GoPro 10 is also prone to freezing at times. Almost all models of the GoPro brand can freeze sometimes, but the actual issue is when it starts happening frequently.