So you have a shiny new GoPro and a new SD card that’s fast enough. Formatting your SD card is a good first step as you’re setting your camera up for the first time. It’s also something you’ll want to do regularly after you’ve offloaded your photos and videos and want to free up space again on the memory card for new shooting.
Despite it being a pretty fundamental function, and there are some variations between models in how to do it, GoPro product manuals don’t explain how to do it. I get quite a few questions about it, so here’s a rundown of how to do it in recent GoPro models.
It’s always a good idea to format memory cards in the camera. You can, technically, do it in a computer, but doing it in the camera reduces the chances of something being not quite right and makes sure that the filesystem is set up exactly how the camera wants it. That’s true not just of GoPros but of any camera.
Using On-Camera Menus
On some models you can use the camera’s on-board menu to format. It’s quick, easy, and saves you having to connect to the mobile app.
- Insert the card into the camera and turn it on.
- Open the menu on the back screen (side button).
- Go to Preferences.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom to “Format SD Card”. Tap on that.
- Choose Delete.
HERO5 Session, HERO Session, HERO4 Session
There’s no way to format the SD card using the camera’s on-board menu options. You have to use the Capture app.
GoPro HERO4 Black, HERO4 Silver
- Go to Settings
- Scroll down to Delete (trash can icon if using the small front screen)
- Choose All/Format
- Choose Delete
Using Capture App
This works with all of the GoPro models that have WiFi.
- Connect the camera to the Capture app
- Go into Settings
Scroll down to the Delete Section
- Choose Delete All Files from SD Card