Can You Run a GoPro HERO6 or HERO7 Black with External Power but Without an Internal Battery?

Wondering whether you can run the GoPro HERO7, HERO6, and HERO5 Black with external power without having the internal battery installed? Yes, you can.

Yes, you can run both the HERO6 Black and HERO7 Black with external power. Same with the HERO5 Black and HERO (2018). If you’re powering the camera from an external source via the USB-C cable, whether that’s a wall adapter, USB powerbrick, computer, or car adapter, you can remove the internal battery and run the camera via external power. The camera will continue to work normally.

An advantage of leaving the internal battery in place is as a safety net in case the external power stops flowing. Without the internal battery, the moment that the AC power stops, the camera will turn off. It won’t turn back on automatically when the power source is restored. With the internal battery installed, it will switch over seamlessly. But there are times where removing the battery might be a better option, especially for very long-term shooting such as timelapse.

External Power Indicator

Usually, when you connect external power you’ll get the charging battery indicator. Without any internal battery to charge, though, there’s a different icon on the front screen. It looks like this:

On the HERO5 Black, HERO (2018), and HERO6 Black, you get the same icon in the top right-hand corner of the back screen as well. On the HERO7 Black, you get a small “No Batt” message next to a red battery icon with a cross in it.

More GoPro Tips & Tricks:

This post was last modified on February 21, 2019 10:39 am

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  • I am not able to control my Hero 7 via wifi when I have a power bank plugged into my hero 7. When talking to support they said most power banks are not compatible to allow this function. Is there anybody out there that knows what power bank will allow me to operate via wifi when plugged in

    • Did they give you any spec information for what to look for? I've just now tested with a HERO7 Black and 9 different external batteries. With and without GoPro internal battery installed. With both GoPro Smart Remote and GoPro Mobile app. All are working as expected for me. Different brand and spec external batteries. A few from Anker, a couple from Photive, and others from RAVPower, Unifun, Zendure, and FosPower.

  • Curious if a similar procedure would work with the Hero7 SILVER. I realize the battery is internal and cannot be removed in this model, but curious if an external USB-c power bank could be my solution to a much longer filming time on the silver model. If not, I guess I'll have to splurge on the black.

    • My main goal is to have recording available throughout a 4 to 5 hour mountain bike event, not necessarily record throughout the entire event but potentially through 75% of it. From the replies, it appears I can do this with my Anker 26800 power brick and a usb-c cable.

    • Yes. You obviously can't remove the battery, but you can power it with external power via the USB port while filming. And because the internal battery remains inside and connected, it gives you some buffer to switch out the external power supply if you want to swap it for a new external battery (I mention this because with the main topic of this post--running the camera without an internal battery--the recording stops immediately if you disconnect the external power source). It won't charge the internal battery while you're actually filming--you have to stop recording to do that.

      • David -- you write that it won't charge the internal battery if it's connected to an A/C source or external battery. That is not my experience.

        I've found just the opposite. External batteries DO charge the internal battery, even while recording, until the internal battery until it is full,, and then it keeps it topped off by periodically sending more juice to it. Of course, that only applies to an actual A/C power source, or an "always on" external battery -- otherwise the external battery turns off once the camera is topped off and full and the power would run down until the camera is fully discharged (e.g. stops recording).

        • Interesting. That's not what I'm seeing. I just tried it with a HERO7 Black and HERO7 Silver with external USB powerbricks and an AC charger. I'm not seeing the battery charge while recording video or time-lapse video--only between shots when shooting time-lapse photo. The manual is also pretty explicit: "RECORDING WHEN PLUGGED INTO A POWER SOURCE: . . . Even though your camera is plugged in, the battery will not charge during recording. It will start charging when you stop recording. You cannot record while charging with a computer." I'd be curious to know what combination of camera model, video mode, and power source you're using.

  • Where can I get an external power bank for my GoPro Hero 7 Black that will fit in my shirt pocket?

    Tom

    • It doesn't have to be designed specifically for GoPros--any USB external battery should work. A very small one I've found to work well is this one. Or there's a slightly higher capacity variation like this one that's a little bigger but still fits in a pocket. There are also significantly slimmer versions that are often marketed as phone power backup batteries.

  • This begs the question, what is the max length of video that can be saved on the internal card? At varying resolutions of course...

  • I tried to take out the battery and power the hero 7 directly using ac adapter. then I have problem controlling the device through the gopro app. the device can be turned on but whenever I started video recording, the connection failed immediately and also the recording stopped. and I can no longer connect to the device through the app unless to switch off the ac power supply and on again. does that mean if I need to remote control the device I must have the battery inside the device ? do u have this problem also ?

    • You're not alone. Searching the GoPro forums you will realize that it is a common problem with the Hero7 stopping recording randomly on its own. GoPro support will remind you to use only certified SD cards and have you re-flash the firmware (which is silly.. really it is!).

      End-users have found success by disabling auto-low-light and possibly the auto-rotation feature. Ultimately, it seems that some units are more prone to lock-ups and stopping on their own, than others -- if possible and necessary, RMA return the unit for another and keep repeating that until you get one which is reliable and won't stop on you like that. (this is the wisdom I gleamed from hours of reading tonight)

    • I haven't run into that issue, and I tested it just now. It's working normally for me with a HERO7 Black. I've removed the battery, connected the camera to external power, and can do all of the usual functions through the mobile app like record video and take photos, etc. The connection is stable for me--it's not disconnecting. So basically I'm not running into anything different that would be due to the battery being removed. I'm using an H7 Black with firmware v.01.70.00 and the GoPro mobile app running on an iPhone. I'm able to shoot as normal in modes like 4K60 w/HyperSmooth, etc.

      So the functionality is there. I'm not sure where to start with troubleshooting why it's not working for you aside from the usual things like current firmware, healthy and fast memory card, etc. Other possibilities might be a low-throughput AC adapter or faulty UBS-C cable. Beyond that, I'm not sure what could be causing it.

      • I had the same problem yesterday even with internal battery installed and trying to use external battery. Using App just shutdown all recording. I had success with this before. Not sure what changed. Maybe a bad cable.
        I had no problems when un-hooking external battery.

  • Tried connecting a power brink to my Hero 7 Black with the internal battery still installed, hoping the external battery would power it when the internal failed, but it did not.

    It seems odd to remove the internal battery completely just to use the camera for more than an hour or so, but I'm glad the option is available.

    • It should work with the internal battery still installed, but the behavior in that case doesn't bypass the internal battery--it keeps topping up the internal battery. But when you say the internal battery failed, do you mean due to a fault in the battery simply running out of juice? If the latter, the normal behavior is for the external battery to run out first, because that's what's topping up the internal battery. If it's a fault, I can see how that would interrupt the normal behavior since it wouldn't bypass the battery.

      • I thought it was odd as well, but the battery just ran out and was never topped off. I used it again last night without the internal battery installed and connected to the brick and it worked fine.

        This is a good solution for me since I can use that battery in my other camera. Still, I wonder if it would top off the battery in my 6 Black...I'll have to try.

  • Can a gopro (any model) be set to turn on when USB power is applied (assuming battery is not installed)?

    Can the newer models be set to automatically connect to wifi upon powering on?

    • Not as far as I'm aware--at least, not without something like the hacked firmware that CamDo uses for their time-lapse setups on the HERO4 models. I don't recall that particular firmware script providing that functionality--I'm just pointing to it as an indicator that it is possible to trigger the power on/off system externally.

      You can have the cameras ready to receive the wifi connection, but the connection is initiated and controlled on the phone or computer side of things. By default, the camera can't itself connect to a wifi network or router. I've heard of people trying to jury rig setups with routers running DD-WRT or using a Raspberry Pi, but I don't know how successful it is or what's possible with them.

  • Hi there,

    Can you recommend an external power cable to plug the Hero6 into mains power?

    Thank you!

    • A USB-C cable with any standard USB wall charger should work just fine to power it and charge at standard speed. If you're looking to take advantage of fast charging, you'll need a higher-output USB-C charger like GoPro's Supercharger. You can find more options here. (That post is focused on the HERO5 models, but it applies equally to the HERO6.)

      • I use my iPhone wall charger and gopro cable and it works fine.
        Also, I run my gopro 4 black off of an I/o gear power bank/charger. I take the battery out of the gopro then
        attach the gopro cable to the I/o gear power brick.
        It will run it for hours or it my case until the 64 gb card fills up in just over 4 hours. That is recording on 720p. After it is finished I disconnect the I/o gear brick, put the gopro battery back in the gopro and that is all there is to it. I don't see the need for a battery eliminator cable since my card fills up way before the need for any longer recording time than the I/o gear brick will furnish power to it. PS: You can also use wifi and the lcd tough screen at the same time.

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