What to do if Windows 10/11 won’t play GoPro videos

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Sometimes GoPro videos won’t work, and in this guide, we’ll answer why won’t your GoPlay videos play on your computer.
  • To fix the problems with GoPro videos, it’s advised to use video editing software to edit and fix them.
  • Keep in mind that 4K videos won’t work properly on lower-end PCs, so check your hardware.
  • If GoPro videos are not playing on the computer, you might have to convert them to lower resolution or use a different media player.
Fix Windows 10 won’t play GoPro videos

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GoPro is a high-resolution camera that can record 4K video. After recording footage, many GoPro users will transfer videos to their desktops or laptops so they can play the clips with Windows 10 media players.

However, Windows 10 media players don’t always play the GoPro videos for some users. These are a few resolutions for fixing GoPro videos that don’t playback in Windows 10.

How can I fix GoPro video issues?

1. Use Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro takes center stage for many video editors these days and not only. Believe it or not, it does much more than high-quality audio and video editing.

If Windows 10 simply refuses to play GoPro videos, Adobe Premiere Pro can be a lifesaver. Downloading the free version is incredibly easy, and then all you have to do it is to open the video file in it.

Don’t hesitate to export it to another popular format on your computer and open it in a player at your choice.

On top of easily solving your problem, chances are you’ll find Premiere far from overwhelming even if you’re a newbie, yet packed with every single option and setting you imagine.

And if you’re still not convinced, remember that it integrates with other Adobe products that you already use daily.

Other great features:

  • Performance improvements
  • Support for wide array of formats and devices
  • Precise trimming
  • Support for animations and video effects
Adobe Premiere Pro

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Adobe Premiere Pro is world’s best video editing software that can easily open and edit GoPro videos.

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2. Check your system specifications

  1. Click the Type here to search button on the Windows 10 taskbar to open the search box.
  2. Enter system info in the search box and click System Information to open the window shown directly below.
    system information why won't my gopro videos play on my computer

GoPro users record their videos at the highest 4K resolution, which is exactly why GoPro videos are not playing on computer for some users.

GoPro users need higher specification laptops and desktops to play their 4K videos in Windows. Media software doesn’t play 4K videos for users with PCs that don’t meet these minimum system requirements for 4K:

  • Video RAM: One GB
  • RAM: Eight GB
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 quad-core or Intel Xeon E5 at minimum
  • GPU: Any GPU higher than GeForce GTX 650 Ti, AMD A10-7800 APU, Intel HD Graphics 5000, and AMD Radeon HD 7000.

Some users will probably need to upgrade their laptops and desktops to play 4K GoPro videos. Users can check their system specs via the System Info window.

3. Play the GoPro Video with a Media Player that supports HEVC

Hevc player why won't my gopro videos play on my computer

If you’re wondering how to play GoPro 4K video on a PC, you will need a media player that supports HEVC.

Windows Media Player doesn’t play 4K videos without the Media Player Codec Pack. 5K Player, KMPlayer, and VLC are three of the best media players for 4K clips. So, install one of those media players.

4. Open the Video Playback Troubleshooter

  1. Open Cortana by clicking the Type here to search button on the taskbar.
  2. Input ‘troubleshoot’ in the search box.
  3. Select Troubleshoot to open the Settings app as in the shot below.
  4. Select Video Playback and click Run the troubleshooter.
  5. Then go through the troubleshooter’s suggested resolutions if it provides any.

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The Video Playback troubleshooter in Windows 10 can fix video playback issues. Therefore, that troubleshooter might come in handy if GoPro videos are not playing on computer.

5. Convert the GoPro Video to a lower resolution format

convert gopro video why won't my gopro videos play on my computer
  1. Click the Download Handbrake 1.2.0 button on Handbrake’s website to save the setup wizard to a folder.
  2. Open Handbrake’s installer to add the video optimizer to Windows 10.
  3. Press the Open Source button.
  4. Click File to select a 4K GoPro clip to convert to an alternative 1080p resolution.
  5. Click General on the Presets sidebar on the right of Handbrake’s window.
  6. Then select the Fast 1080p30 preset to convert the video to an MP4 clip with 1080 resolution.
  7. Press the Browse button to choose an output folder to save the video to.
  8. Then press the Start Encode button.

Those users who can’t play 4K GoPro videos in Windows 10 can convert them to 1080p clips with Handbrake.

That will probably ensure the videos’ resolutions aren’t too high for a desktop or laptop, but users can also convert their GoPro clips to ones with resolutions lower than 720p.

If you want to play GoPro 4K video on PC, converting it to a lower resolution with Handbrake might be the best option, especially if you’re using a lower-end PC.

6. Fix corrupted GoPro video files

fix go pro videos why won't my gopro videos play on my computer

If GoPro videos are not playing on your computer, it’s possible that the videos got corrupted during the recording process.

GoPro video files can get corrupted when the camera unexpectedly shuts down. Thus, some users might need to fix a corrupted a GoPro video.

GoPro cameras display SOS repair icons that highlight corrupted files. Place the SD card that includes the video which doesn’t play within the camera.

Then the camera might display an SOS signal on its LCD display when switched on. If so, press any button when you see the repair icon to fix a corrupted file.

7. Free up RAM and disk storage

  1. To close third-party software, right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Then select superfluous third-party software listed under Apps on the Process tab.
  3. Click the End task button to close selected software.
  4. To free up disk space, enter ‘disk cleaner’ in Cortana’s search box. Then click Disk Clean-up to open the window shown below.
  5. Select the C: drive, and click the OK button.
  6. Select the Temporary files and Recycle Bin checkboxes. Users can also select some of the other checkboxes to free up more HDD space.
  7. Then press the OK button.

Windows 10 media players usually don’t play GoPro clips because their 4K resolutions are too high. Converting the videos to lower resolution formats will usually ensure playback.

However, some users might need to free up RAM and hard drive storage (for 4K playback) or repair corrupted GoPro videos.

4K GoPro videos also hog a lot of system resources in Windows 10. Thus, some users might need to free up RAM and hard drive space (for virtual memory) to ensure there is sufficient space to play their 4K footage.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Your system specifications or the lack of RAM and disk storage may prevent you from playing GoPro videos. For more potential causes and quick fixes, check out this detailed guide.

  • Playing videos from your SD card often leads to choppy playback, so don’t hesitate to copy your videos to your computer’s external hard drive first.

  • To transfer videos, plug your GoPro camera into the computer, then turn the camera on. The GoPro app should detect it right away, so hit the Import files button.

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