GoPro live streaming: A how-to guide

Live stream from a mountaintop, at the base of a canyon — or just at your local coffee shop. With a GoPro, you can stream from anywhere with minimal gear.
GoPro live streaming

If there’s one camera that’s synonymous with an outdoorsy and adventurous lifestyle, it’s the GoPro. We have GoPro cameras to thank for countless photos and hours of amazing footage of everything from snorkeling to skydiving, from small activities to big public events.

GoPro has been super successful in their 10+ years of doing business, in part because they’re consistently rolling out new services and products.

That’s great news for streamers! GoPro streaming is a terrific way to share footage from your activities or events.

Can I live stream with a GoPro?

You can absolutely stream with a GoPro! You’ll need the GoPro app and a GoPro subscription. You’ll be able to generate a private link to share with your audience. You can also live stream directly on Twitch, YouTube or Facebook, or via RTMP URL on other sites.

Live streaming is supported on GoPro HERO7 Black and all newer models.

GoPro live streaming: The good and the bad

GoPro makes action cameras, and they excel at what they do. However, a GoPro camera can’t stream on its own, which is why you need to pair it with a smartphone that has the GoPro app on it or use a third-party platform. For mobile device users, a full GoPro streaming setup includes the camera as the source, the app as the encoder, and the smartphone as the processing computer.

The benefits of using GoPro for streaming include:

  • Great image quality. If you want to shoot outside under bright light, GoPro will provide quality footage with an awesome color balance. It also has incredible image stabilization to keep those action shots looking clean.
  • It’s small and highly portable. GoPros are smaller and lighter than regular cameras; you can easily carry one in your pocket.
  • It’s rugged and waterproof. Your phone can’t take a beating like a GoPro camera can. Plus, you can use the action camera in wet environments (sometimes even underwater).
  • The wide angle. GoPros capture a larger field of view and offer an action-cam aesthetic that people expect from adventure footage.
  • Endless wearability and mounting options. You can wear a GoPro camera for point-of-view shooting or mount it on your bike, a tripod or anywhere else.

Clearly, GoPro has some great advantages, but live streaming with one has its drawbacks, too:

  • No HDMI port on later models. Starting with the GoPro HERO9, GoPro stopped adding a micro HDMI port to the camera itself. The HERO9, 10, 11 and 12 don’t have built-in HDMI connections, and you’ll have to purchase an additional Media Mod if you want to connect your GoPro camera to your computer or a video switcher via HDMI.
  • Difficulties with video switchers. If you want to use the GoPro with a video switcher because you have more than one camera, the later models aren’t as intuitive to use. It can sometimes be a hassle switching between feeds or managing your GoPro video feed from your switcher.
  • Poor low-light performance. The older GoPro models weren’t really designed for capturing low-light footage, so live streaming at night and from indoor events with a GoPro HERO4 or earlier might affect the quality. The newer GoPro cameras, however, have a night mode that you can switch on, which improves the video quality when you have less lighting. 

How to live stream with the GoPro app

Before setting up your stream, you’ll need to do some prep work. First, install the GoPro app; it’s available for iOS and Android. Next, connect your HERO7 Black GoPro camera (or a later model) to a Wi-Fi network.

If you don’t have a Wi-Fi network, you’ll need to create a personal hotspot with your smartphone and connect your camera to it. Then, pair your camera with the GoPro app.

After you connect your camera to the internet and pair it with your app, follow these steps:

  1. Pick the platform. Open the app and scroll the options all the way to the right, past video and photo, until you get to a set up live button. You’ll see a platform icon in the lower right-hand corner — click on it to choose between Facebook Live, YouTube and Twitch.
  2. Set up the live stream. Sign in to your Facebook or YouTube account and give the GoPro app access, connect to Wi-Fi or a personal hotspot, set visibility, write a description, choose the resolution and decide whether you want to save your stream to an SD card.
  3. Go live!

If you want to live stream to a platform using RTMP, you’ll need to:

  1. Find and copy the platform’s RTMP URL. You’ll usually find it in the streaming options on your platform of choice.
  2. Paste the RTMP URL into the GoPro app. From the app, select RTMP instead of Facebook Live or YouTube. You’ll see a field for entering the URL and the stream key. Make sure the URL ends with a “/” after you’ve pasted it.
  3. Copy the stream key. You’ll find it at the same place on your platform as the RTMP URL.
  4. Paste the stream key into the GoPro app. Paste it right after the “/” following the URL, no spaces needed.

You should now have the URL and the key in a single line. And that’s all there is to it — you’re ready to stream to the website of your choice!

How to use your GoPro as a webcam for live streaming

You can live stream with a GoPro as a webcam on macOS and Windows using the models HERO12/11/10/9/8 Black. All you need to start live streaming is your GoPro camera, a microSD card reader, a USB-C cable (usually comes with the camera) and your computer. Let’s dive into a quick tutorial:

  1. Set up your point of view with the GoPro mounts. Every existing GoPro mount is compatible with all GoPro cameras, so you can get creative and come up with new and interesting angles.
  2. Download and install the latest firmware and software for your HERO8 or HERO9 Black. You can learn how to do it in the official guide. After the installation is completed, a GoPro icon should appear in your status bar.
  3. Connect your GoPro cam via the USB-C cable. A blue dot should appear on the GoPro icon, confirming the cam is successfully connected and set to Webcam Mode. Select your GoPro as your default camera for live streaming. Go to the GoPro app and choose the Show Preview option to check that everything’s working properly.

How to live stream using the Live4 app

If you have a GoPro HERO7 Black or earlier, you can’t benefit from the live streaming feature. Even the company’s best-selling camera, the HERO5 Black, doesn’t have native live streaming support. To go live with the earlier models, you’ll need a third-party application.

The Live4 app supports GoPro cameras all the way back to the HERO3 White. The only exceptions are the HERO 2014, which doesn’t have Wi-Fi, and the Fusion, which isn’t supported yet.

To live stream from GoPro to Facebook Live using the Live4 app, you need to:

  • Sign in to your Facebook account from the Live4 app.
  • Turn your camera’s Wi-Fi on and connect your smartphone to it.
  • Go back to the Live4 app and tap the Let’s get started button.

You’re all set to start broadcasting. You’ll see a preview of the camera and a big red button you’ll need to press when you want to start streaming. Just be mindful that this method of GoPro live streaming uses your cellular data. As of July 2021, the app only supports streaming to Facebook Live. But Live4 and Restream have partnered up to let you multistream with your GoPro. Not only can you stream to several other websites, you can also stream to them at the same time. When you multistream, you can always be live on the platforms your audiences like to use.


Can a GoPro live stream to a computer?

It’s possible to stream to a PC or Mac. You’ll get the best results by using a cable and a capture device, such as a microSD card.

Which GoPro cameras can live stream?

GoPro models HERO12, HERO11, HERO10, HERO9, HERO8, HERO7 Black and GoPro MAX support live streaming with the GoPro app. To stream with earlier models, like the popular HERO5, you’ll need a third-party app like Live4.

Can I use a GoPro as a webcam?

You can connect GoPro models HERO12/11/10/9/8 Black to your computer and use them as webcams. All you need is your GoPro, a microSD card reader, a USB-C cable (usually comes with the camera) and your computer.

Which platforms can I stream to from a GoPro?

The GoPro app supports direct streaming on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch, as well as other sites via RTMP URL. Using a third-party app like Live4 with Restream may open up additional options, especially if you’re using an older GoPro model.

Let’s wrap up

GoPro cameras have a lot to offer for people who want to showcase their outdoorsy lifestyles. The addition of live streaming to GoPro’s offerings has been very welcome. The drawback is that only some models support it — but the Live4 app can help with that problem. Thanks to the collaboration with Restream, you can also live stream from your GoPro camera to many other websites, simultaneously. Let the adventures begin!

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