GoPro Hero3 and the iPad

The GoPro Hero3 supports 64GB SD (SDXC) cards.  64GB SD cards come formatted with the exFAT format.  This works great with the GoPro Hero 3 until you want to connect the Hero3 to an iPad as the iPad doesn’t support exFAT yet.  You’ll get a message like “Contents Unavailable.  The connected storage media may be damaged” or “Contents not Available.  Cannot read the connected storage media.”

The solution to this is to use MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition to format the SD card with FAT32.  However, when formatting the card with FAT32, you need to set the cluster size to 32KB, otherwise when you try to use the card with the GoPro you’ll get the error message “SD ERR”.

There’s two ways to connect the Hero3 to an iPad:

  • Take the SD  card out of the GoPro and insert the SD card into the iPad’s SD Card Camera Reader cable / Camera Kit
  • Plug the USB port of the GoPro into the iPad’s USB Camera Reader cable / Camera Kit

If you’re going down the USB cable route, you’ll probably get the error message “Cannot Use Device.  The connected USB device requires too much power.”  You can fix this by placing a powered USB2 hub between the iPad and the GoPro.  Doing this makes the GoPro draw its power from the hub instead of the iPad.


  1. Brilliant! Formatting the card as you described did the trick. Initially, I thought I had made a horrible mistake. I used Partition Magic to create the partition, but forgot to format it afterwards. Of course, the camera couldn’t read the SDcard and dutifully reported “SD ERROR.” Plugging in the camera to the laptop did no good because the camera couldn’t read the card. The solution was to power off the camera, take the SDcard out, turn on the camera, plug it in to the laptop, and then pop the SDcard back in. Only then was I able to use Partition Magic to properly partition and format the card. Afterwards, the camera recognized the card and I snapped a few pictures. Then I removed the SDcard and popped it in to the SD Card Camera Reader. I then plugged the SDCCR into iPad, and could view the pictures I had just taken.

    Thank you for taking the time to post this “fix.”

    Now . . . Any idea how we can view videos on the iPad in this fashion? When I take a video and view the contents of the SDcard with the iPad, all I see are photos.

  2. I run into the same problem and formatted the SD-card in FAT32, which is very easy to do with the HD-tool in my Mac. Unfortunately formatting the SD-card in FAT32 causes another problem: Everytime I power on the GoPro, it will overwrite the previously stored files and will start saving them as no. 1 and by that delete the previeous no. 1-file.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *