How to Play GoPro 4K Video on Mac?

15th Apr 2019
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‘It’s a paragliding video taken with HERO3. The video doesn’t play properly with QuickTime in Mac OS 10.9. Please help!’


‘I use GoPro Hero6 black for shooting my stuff but 4K GoPro video won't play on my mac book Pro. Sound plays normally but video is only black.’


Are you also facing such problems in playing GoPro 4K video on Mac?


Read on this post to know how you can play your GoPro 4K videos properly on Mac and avoid the broken, grainy, jerky, choppy and other issues.


The jaw dropping footages of GoPro action cameras can give anyone an adrenalin rush. But when these GoPro video doesn’t play properly, it’s a real mood spoiler.


GoPro captures high quality 4K footages that follow specific format and codecs. There can be various reasons for it not playing on your Mac computer. However, the problem can be fixed with little knowhow of your GoPro footages.  


Why your GoPro 4K videos not playing on Mac?


GoPro action cameras use High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) H.265 a video compression standard to capture 4K 60p and 1080p videos in its new HERO6 and above series. While GoPro HERO5 and earlier models use H.264 codec.


Since, H.264 is compatible to all devices, thus can be easily played on Mac too. However, H.265 is a newer format, not many devices and Operating System (OS) have adopted it yet.


Newer devices with latest OS and powerful processors can only play GoPro HEVC H.265 4K videos. So, if your macOS or the media player doesn’t support HEVC, H.264 or H.265 format, your GoPro video will not play on it.


Therefore, when the GoPro videos are not playing, check if your computer or player is compatible with HEVC or not.


Which Mac computers can play GoPro 4K videos?


All macOS High Sierra computers using the A10 processor and above can play GoPro HEVC videos. Plus, the computer should be of 2016 or later make. The GoPro videos won’t play on older computers even if the OS supports HEVC.


macOS High Sierra computers supporting HEVC


  • Macbook& Macbook Pro – 2016 or newer
  • iMac & iMac Pro – 2017 and newer
  • 27-inch 5K iMac (2015-2017) 


Other than the device and OS compatibility issue, your GoPro 4K video will not play if there is some sort of corruption in the media file.


How to play GoPro 4K video on Mac


The solution lies in the cause of the video problem. Based on which, the below methods can fix the problem and make your GoPro 4K videos playable again.


Methods to play GoPro 4K video on Mac


1.     Use GoPro Quik for Desktop on Mac

2.     Convert GoPro video to a playable format

3.     Play in HEVC supporting media player

4.     Video hosting sites to view GoPro footages

5.     Fix corruption with GoPro video repair software


Method 1: Use GoPro Quik for Desktop on Mac


Install Quik for Desktop on your macOS 10.10.X or later computer. The app is a free platform offered by GoPro to view, manage, and edit your GoPro videos on computer.

Quik supports the HEVC video file types and is the easiest way to access your GoPro videos. You can avoid the issue of choppy, grainy or low image quality video after importing on Mac by playing your videos in GoPro’s Quik for Desktop.


Method 2: Convert GoPro video to a playable format


GoPro creates MP4 and HEVC video files. GoPro HERO 5 and earlier models contain MP4 H.264 codec while HERO 6 onwards models have HEVC H.265 codec.


So if your video is shot with HERO6 and later GoPro models, they may not play on Mac QuickTime Player, as it doesn’t support H.265 codec. However, if you prefer to stay with QuickTime to play your GoPro 4K videos, convert it to QuickTime readable H.264 format like AVI or MOV. You can use a secure GoPro video file converter or a video transcoder like Handbrake.


A free tool, Handbrake can convert HEVC videos from HERO7 Black and HERO6 Black camera to H.264. H.264 format is compatible with all devices.


Method 3: Play in HEVC supporting media player


Rather converting to H.264 codec, another option is to play your GoPro video in H.265 supporting player on Mac. Try to view the GoPro videos in VLC Media Player. The free and open source multimedia player supports 4K video playback. However, it will not play video files converted in GoPro Studio, as the player doesn’t support the CFHD codec of the platform.


Apart from VLC player, you can use 5KPlayer or PotPlayer for viewing GoPro footages.


Method 4: Video hosting sites to view GoPro footages


View your GoPro footages by uploading the file to a video hosting website like YouTube, Vimeo etc. The GoPro 4K video should play online as after upload, it uses the web compression. This method can play the GoPro video on any device that has a sound Internet connection and opens the website. 


Method 5: Fix corruption with GoPro video repair software


Is your GoPro video continues to play choppy, jerky, or broken in VLC, 5K player, or on the video hosting site? Is even converting the file format didn’t help?


If yes, then your GoPro 4K video has gone corrupt.


You need to fix such not playing and corrupt videos. Damaged GoPro videos are repaired by a video repair application like Stellar Repair for Video, which supports high quality 4K videos repair of action cameras.


Download the Stellar video repair tool on your Mac computer and follow the simple onscreen instructions. The video repair process is quick and easy. You can repair multiple HEVC H.264 and H.265 videos in one go, without hampering the original GoPro video quality. The software supports repair of full HD 4K MOV, MP4, AVI and many other video file formats on macOS Mojave 10.14, 10.13 High Sierra, 10.12, 10.11, 10.10, and below. Click here to know more.


Quick Recall!


1.     View in GoPro Quik for Desktop on Mac

2.     Convert GoPro video to a playable format

3.     Play in a supporting media player

4.     Play via video hosting sites

5.     Repair GoPro video with video repair software


Wrapping Up


GoPro are the amazing action cameras for capturing stunning videos while surfing, diving, paragliding and other adventurous sports. But, unable to watch your GoPro footages due to technical glitches really irks.

Nevertheless, the above methods are surely going to help you and fix GoPro 4K videos not playing on Mac.

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