A camera is only as good as the card inside it -- seeing "SD ERR" pop-up on the LCD screen is a common problem for GoPro users. It doesn't matter if you're using a Hero 5, Hero 4, or Hero 3. These errors are frustrating at the very least and at most could even corrupt your video files.
So what's the deal with that GoPro SD card error? There are a number of things that could cause this, and thankfully, most of them are an easy fix.
Here are four of the most common ones, and how to fix those SD ERRs on a GoPro.
Depending on the nature of the card error, you may not need anything besides your GoPro to fix the problem. Other errors may need a bit more in the way of materials to correct, such as:
One of the most common reasons for an SD card error on a GoPro is from simply not using one of the recommended cards. SD cards have two speed ratings, one for reading or accessing the information and another for writing or recording the information.
The higher the video quality is, the faster the SD card speed needs to be. If the speed of the memory card can't keep up with the large GoPro video files, you'll see that SD ERR on the screen.
GoPros need a Class 10 microSD card, which is one of the fastest options. But, not all Class 10 cards are the same, different brands may have a slower read or write speed than another. That means you could see an SD card error even with a class ten card.
Sometimes, these issues can occur even after you've used the card a few times. Sound like that could be your problem? It's an easy fix:
Sometimes, those errors are a result of an improper format, not the speed of the card you purchased. Often, this type of error occurs after you have used the same SD card in another camera.
This is a simple fix, with one catch: Make sure you save any files that are on the SD card to your computer, because you will lose the files on your card when you follow these steps.
Alternative: Formatting the SD card on the GoPro is the best option because the card is formatted specifically for use with the GoPro. But, if your are seeing a NO SD instead of an SD ERR, you likely can't even try to format the card with the GoPro. If that's what you are experiencing, follow the steps for formatting the card with a computer detailed in the guide to fixing a NO SD issue on the GoPro.
Some errors can be fixed with a firmware or software update. A firmware issue is more likely to be the cause if you are using a newer SD card with an older GoPro version. Firmware updates can also solve a number of other common GoPro issues. To conduct a firmware update, you'll need to connect the GoPro to the computer or use a blank SD card, depending on the GoPro model that you own.
The exact steps to update your firmware vary based on what GoPro you own, so use these links to locate the firmware download as well as the instructions for installing:
Sometimes, micro SD cards that have worked for months and even years with a GoPro suddenly stop performing and that SD ERR pops up on the screen. Often, the issue is that dust or a film buildup that occurs over time has simply stopped the camera and card from communicating with each other. Thankfully, the solution is simple and inexpensive.
Tried all the options but still getting an SD card error with your GoPro? Try replacing the SD card with a verified one, like SanDisk Extreme (recommended by GoPro). Then, if you still see the error, you know there's an issue with the GoPro itself and not the card, and can work with GoPro directly for a solution.
GoPro SD errors can be frustrating, but they can often be fixed with a minimal investment, if any at all. Checking your card speed, formatting the card, updating the GoPro firmware and cleaning the card connection are all simple DIY fixes.
Enjoy this tutorial? Share with us in the comments section below on which solution fixed your card error.
Image courtesy to Baz
Hillary K. Grigonis is both a tech writer and photographer. As a reviewer for Digital Camera HQ, she gets hands-on experience with dozens of different cameras and camcorders every year. She owns both a GoPro and a few Nikons and she’s lost without without her iPhone.