How to Charge GoPro Remote Controls

There are three different GoPro-branded remote controls available for their cameras, but they don’t all charge the same way or use the same cable.

Charging GoPro Remotes
Text & Photos By David Coleman
Last Revised & Updated:

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There are four different GoPro-branded remote controls 1:

  • The Remote
  • Smart Remote
  • Remo
  • WiFi Remote

They all have built-in rechargeable lithium batteries (that aren’t removable or swappable), but they don’t all charge the same way or use the same cable.

They can all use the same kinds of power supplies that output 5V / 1A: standard wall adapters, DC car chargers with USB output, and portable powerbanks. But you have to make sure you have the right charging cable–they don’t all use the same cable, and two of the three use a specialized, dedicated cable.

So here’s a quick rundown for charging the various GoPro remotes.

Charging The Remote

The Remote is GoPro’s newest remote. It was released in December 2020 specifically for the HERO10 Black, HERO9 Black, HERO8 Black, and MAX. It won’t work on earlier models.

GoPro The Remote
  • Bluetooth Low Energy improves the battery life of both The Remote and the camera that it's connected to...
  • Large high-resolution screen makes it easy to check camera status

Unlike some of the older GoPro remotes, The Remote has a standardized charging method using a USB-C cable. This is much more convenient than constantly keeping track of a dedicated charging attachment (which I’ve always managed to misplace). So you can use any standard USB-C cable (The Remote also comes with one) and any standard USB power source.

The USB-C charging port is on the bottom of the remote. It’s covered by a rubberized port door to keep water out.

Charging the GoPro Smart Remote & GoPro Wi-Fi Remote

The GoPro Smart Remote was the previous remote for GoPro cameras. For cameras such as the HERO7 Black or HERO6 Black, it’s the best option. That’s because it offers a number of advantages over the older, and now discontinued, Wi-Fi Remote. But they look similar and charge in the same way with the same kind of cable.

GoPro Smart Remote
  • Complete camera control: delivers full remote control of all Camera Functions, including shutter, on/off...
  • Long-range remote control: control your camera from distances of up to 600ft (180M) in optimal...

The Smart Remote doesn’t use a standard USB cable. Instead, it uses a specialized connection that inserts into the remote. It looks a bit like a key.

When you buy the remotes, one of these special charging cables is included, but if you’ve lost it or need another, you have a choice of getting the GoPro-branded one or going with an after-market version (they’re often less expensive).

GoPro Charging Cable (for Smart Remote + Wi-Fi Remote) (GoPro Official...
  • Power your Wi-Fi Remote with this charging cable
  • Plugs into any USB charging device.
Nechkitter USB Charger Charge Cable Cord Smart Wireless WiFi Remote Wi-Fi...
  • Power your Wi-Fi Remote with this charging cable.
  • Directly connected this line with phone chargers, computers and any other USB charging Length: approx....

Another novel approach that some aftermarket brands have taken is to add a Smart Remote dock onto their GoPro battery charging docks. Here’s an example. It’s a neat, consolidated solution that cuts out the need for a separate USB cable.

There is a bit of a trick to inserting and removing the USB cable from the Smart Remote (and also the Wifi Remote), and that is that there’s a locking mechanism with the switch on the back of the remote. So make sure to slide the switch before trying to pull the cable out. And make sure it clicks back into place to give a secure connection.

While the remote is charging, you’ll see a “Remote Battery” message on the small LCD screen with an animated charging icon.

Charging the GoPro Remo Remote

The Remo is GoPro’s voice-activated remote. It’s a discontinued model now, but you can still find them around the place.

The Remo has some advantages over the Smart Remote–especially the voice-control feature, and it’s also waterproof–but in my experience, it also has some reliability and usability issues that are related to its Bluetooth-only wireless transmission (ie. it doesn’t use wifi). So I don’t usually recommend it unless the voice-control feature is essential.

GoPro Remo Remote
  • Control your HERO6 Black or HERO5 camera from up to 33ft (10m) away.
  • Easy-to-remember commands let you start and stop video recording, snap photos, switch between capture...

The Remo’s main control is a large shutter button. But it only works with some Black edition cameras, such as the HERO5, HERO6, and HERO7 Black (it doesn’t work with the HERO7 Silver, HERO7 White, or HERO (2018) because those cameras don’t offer the ability to connect a remote).

It uses a cable with a USB-C plug. It comes with one; if you’ve lost it or need another, standard USB-C cables like this one work fine.

The USB-C port is on the side of the remote, covered by a small rubber door to seal it against water.

When the remote is charging, there’s a small red LED that lights up in one corner. The red light should stay on constantly (ie. not flashing) while it’s charging. It’ll change to a solid green when it’s fully charged.

Other Alternatives

I’m focusing here on the official GoPro remotes. But there are various other aftermarket remote controls for GoPro cameras put out by third-party manufacturers and brands. Their charging methods and cables vary by specific model, so check with each one’s instruction manual for its requirements. Most use some kind of USB, often either micro-USB or USB-C.

  1. Technically, there’s a fifth type of GoPro remote: the controller for the short-lived Karma Drone project. But that’s a different kind of product and not one I’m covering here.[]

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Text & Photos by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here.

I've been shooting with GoPros for years, starting with the HD HERO, and have owned and used just about every model since. More »