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Can GoPro Record While Charging? Smart Hacks to Extend Your Camera’s Runtime

Can GoPro Record While Charging?

This is a complete guide on how to use your tiny device while charging.

Battery life has always been an issue with most GoPro products. Now, that’s not too much of a problem anymore because you can already record videos while charging it. You may charge with or without a battery, plugged to an outlet, or with a power bank.

In this post, we will talk about:

If you are ready to take longer videos with your action camera, then this post is definitely for you. Let’s get rolling!

Can You Use a GoPro While Charging?

While this brand boasts a lot about high-end features, there is one thing about the products that will make you do a double-take (considering the price-quality ratio) – the battery life.

Even with the latest Hero models, the gear’s operating time can last an average of 2 hours under normal use. If you record with the highest resolution, then you can expect the power to drain faster.

(Sometimes your GoPro can overheat and needs cooling, so keep that in mind).

The good news is that you can now use these devices while charging. Although not applicable for older models, Hero 6 and above will allow you to do this. That simply means more runtime and videos!


How to know if GoPro is recording?

This one’s tricky. When charging, most folks see the display and assume it wouldn’t charge while recording; when in fact it DOES charge while recording EVEN if it doesn’t show.

How To Use GoPro While Charging

A standard battery pack is a basic way to power up an action camera, and it can sometimes be frustrating how they drain like water. But what if I tell you that you can actually do something that can help prolong that dreadful runtime? Well, say no more!

Here are some awesome ways on how you can use a GoPro without worrying too much about its operating time on a battery:

  • Power cable + outlet + battery

If you are indoors and would want to record super long videos like time lapse, then this would be your best bet. Well, that’s considering your power source is stable, which I believe in most areas are. 

Here, you basically just use the gear while it is plugged into a wall charger. Even if your battery is almost drained, you can turn it on and continue recording like normal.

What happens here is that the action cam will use the direct power source to capture the videos, but the battery in itself is probably not “charging”. Or if it is, it’s rather very slow that you don’t get a full charge after two hours’ worth of plugging in and recording at the same time.

READ ALSO: Can You Take GoPro Batteries on a Plane?

So, charging a GoPro during time lapse is never gonna be a problem. Your cable should be long enough for the gear to still have the best view of the scene to be recorded. Or you can use an extension wire if necessary.

  • Power cable + power bank + battery

Many of you are probably wondering if it works with an outlet, would it also work using the standard power banks for mobile phones? Well, surprisingly, it does!

A 10,000mAh pack can power up a GoPro just fine, even with a drained battery. But, you should expect it to shut down once the power bank itself loses power. So might as well prepare a backup if you are planning to do more than 4 hours’ worth of recording. 

  • Cable + outlet only

Now, the first two options were understandable because the camera’s battery is still in place. But what if it isn’t? Would it still work?

The good news is, it will! This is definitely true for newer GoPro models like the Hero 7 up to 10 (usually the Black product lines). It will display some sort of a charging plug on the screen while you record with the gear. 

  • Cable + power bank only

For this one, I understand many of you will be skeptical. Can GoPro charge really charge with a power bank? Hey, as long as the bank’s got charge, why not? It is still possible since the gear doesn’t require that much power as laptops do.

Other guides you might enjoy reading:

Why Use External Power for GoPro?

True, there are several benefits of using your action camera with an external power source, but that doesn’t come without drawbacks. Read on to find out whether you’d better invest in a spare battery pack or continue using your gear while charging.

The Good Stuff:

  • It successfully extends the runtime of your device
  • No more worrying about cut videos due to battery drain
  • The action camera becomes lighter and easier to hold for longer periods
  • When using a power bank, it becomes more portable plus you get more recording time
  • Great for long time lapse video (some manage to do a 12-hour footage)

The Setbacks:

  • No more waterproofing capabilities (wall chargers & portable batteries are not waterproof)
  • Without the battery in the device, it can shut down if the external power goes off
  • Your gear won’t really “charge” while recording, but you can use it nonetheless

By the way, below are the most popular models with the best battery life so far:



Reasons to Get It

1. GoPro Hero 9

One of the latest & greatest models

  • detachable lens

  • 20MP resolution

  • 5K shooting mode

  • dual screens (front & rear)

2. GoPro Hero 7

Best cheapest alternative today

  • good price-quality ratio

  • 720p livestream feature

  • Hypersmooth video mode

  • robust build (land & water)

3. GoPro Max

The 360º camera that vloggers love

  • 3 cameras in one!

  • unbreakable stabilization

  • top 360 & stereo audio

  • for future YouTube stars

==> The Ultimate Guide to Your GoPro: Beginner to Expert (Video)

Final Thoughts

It’s good to know that there are ways to prolong the GoPro battery life and recording time with external power, plugged to an outlet, and those are great as a backup plan for longer videos.

(Oh, and by the way you may also charge your GoPro in a car.)

If you are planning to do a long time lapse with this tiny device, might as well get the battery out and just use an external power source to avoid interruption. This will also prevent it from overheating since there will be more airflow inside without the battery.


I’d like to hear from YOU:

  • Have you ever tried using GoPro while plugged into a charger?
  • How long was your device on with the external power source?
  • Were there no interruptions in between footage?
  • Can you recommend the best GoPro power bank options?

Share your experiences below!

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