Can You Run a GoPro HERO9, HERO8, HERO7, or HERO6 with External Power but Without an Internal Battery?

Wondering whether you can run the GoPro HERO9, HERO8, HERO7, HERO6, and HERO5 Black with external power without having the internal battery installed? Yes, you…

Yes, you can run the HERO9, HERO8 Black, HERO7 Black, and HERO6 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 when removing the battery might be a better option, especially for very long-term shooting such as timelapse.

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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 September 22, 2020 7:51 am

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  • So I've got a power bank plugged in to my GoPro, with no internal battery. I cannot seem to "control my GoPro" from my app when using an external power source. Any tips on how to fix this?

    For reference I'm a crane operator, and I'd like to mount it somewhere with a cool angle for a video time lapse. With my current settings it will only record for ~4 hours before I have to (now) manually go out and hit the button again

  • Sorry but it doesn't work for me.
    My back screen goes off when I try to record with the battery out on external power.
    I had a chat with GoPro about it who asked me to take and post a video and post it on YouTube, which I did, but nothing back after I was told my case would be esculated.
    Here's the video I did for them: I haven't hear anything from them.

    • Mark,

      Try to power something else with the external power supply then you will know if it's the power supply or the GoPro.


      • My powerbank works fine with everyting else including my iPhone, iPad, Helmet comms unit and a load of other thing, so it's not that.

        • Double check that the power supply is firmly connected. If it is then it must be a GoPro problem with the connection or something not connected to the battery power system. That's all I can think of. Anyway that the particular external power pack you have is not compatible with that particular GoPro? That's a strange problem you have.

  • My Hero7 Black cameras (2) run fine with the internal battery removed on an external battery (Nocqua 10ah) driving two USB connections. In fact, if the internal batteries are not removed, mine overheat out in the FL sunshine. The issue I ran into and have a question about is can anyone run a Hero7 Black without an internal battery but attach the 3.5mm mic adapter? I thought you could plug the external power into the USBC of the mic adapter and run just fine, but you can't it won't even power up the camera.

    • For a DIY solution, I've used a SuperSuit housing, drilling a hole in the side large enough to take a USB-C plug, sealed it up well with silicon sealer, and run it to a Pelican Case housing the battery. It's pretty cumbersome and there are potential weak links, but it's work for me in storms. There are also some off-the-shelf waterproof batteries; I have more about them here.

  • Has anyone had success using the external microphone with an external power source? If I take the internal battery out the camera will start to record and then stop within seconds. If I leave the battery in then I have to disconnect the external power supply for the ext microphone to work (note the ext microphone is selected in the preferences but there is no audio recorded).

  • 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.

  • Hi, I've just bought the Go Pro 7 Black to shoot Time Lapse. The project is over three days and I've tried with an external pack (PNY 5v 2.1 - 5,200mah) and after a couple of hours it switches off. Now I know you're going to ask which switches off the battery or camera? Well thats difficult to test as they go off together. Suffice to say the battery has loads of charge in it still. I've updated firmware and plugged into mains it has run for 18 hrs plus with no problem. My assignment has no available 13amp power, have you got any suggestions? Is it the power bank doesn't have the grunt? look forward to your thoughts.

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


    • 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...