Without an SD card, you can't record photos or videos from your GoPro. But, when you already put a card in and the GoPro says "no SD", what then?
When your GoPro is not reading the SD card, it's usually from one of a few causes: the card is improperly formatted, the wrong type, or incorrectly inserted.
Here's how you can fix each of those issues.
Besides your GoPro and the memory card, you may need:
Double check that the SD card is inserted correctly — give it a firm push. If the card doesn't push in, try turning it the other way; it should slide in pretty easily with a gentle push. Try turning the GoPro off and inserting the card with the camera off.
Sometimes, dirt and grime can prevent an SD card from being inserted correctly. Give it a good cleaning — follow the steps in our SD ERR post.
The simplest fix is to format the card, since often incorrect formats on the card create NO SD errors. This often happens if you use the card in a different camera, but sometimes it can pop up on a new card or even on a card you've used for a while.
If your GoPro says NO SD, you can't reformat with the cam. Instead, plug the microSD into a card reader (don't have one, see below) on your computer to reformat the drive.
You may need to use the card adapter that came with your card, or if you don't have a slot on your computer, a USB card adapter. The exact steps vary a bit based on what computer you use.
For Windows: Inside This PC (or My Computer, if it's Windows 7 or earlier), right click on the drive your card represents. Choose format, then select the quick format option. If you are still experiencing issues, you can try a full format instead of the quick format option.
For Mac: Open Disk Utility (use the magnifying glass in the top right to find it if you are unsure). Select the memory card on the right panel, then choose the "Erase" column. Select the FAT format, then click erase.
GoPro cameras tend to be pretty picky about what cards they'll work with. Check and make sure your SD card is on the list of suggested cards. Check out the GoPro official site for a list of considerations.
If not, you're best bet is to get a new SD card that's on the list (for example, SanDisk Extreme microSD, verified compatibility by GoPro). Even if the card worked once before, some SD cards have inconsistent performance inside a GoPro.
Fix your card with an adjustment, reformat or compatible card? If not, some of the solutions for this kind of ERR also work for the NO SD error message, like cleaning the card contacts. Try those solutions at the SD ERR tutorial.
GoPro NO SD card errors are frustrating, but often a simple fix. A reformat will correct most issues, but you'll also need to check that the card is inserted correctly and that you are using a fully compatible memory card.
Like this tutorial? Let us know with a quick comment below!
Image credit to HazardSports
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.