How to Fix a Water Damaged GoPro Camera (6 Tips)

Has your GoPro camera stopped working after being used underwater? You may experience issues like the screen not turning on, screen flickering, touch screen not responding, or microphone not working if your GoPro camera has been water damaged.

Fix water-damaged GoPro camera

Despite GoPro’s claims that their cameras can withstand water up to 33ft (10 meters) depth, they can still get water-damaged. This can happen due to various reasons such as water leakage in the camera, extreme temperature, deep water pressure, or some other unknown reasons.

In this article, we will share plenty of useful tips that can help you to fix a water-damaged GoPro camera. We will also provide you with some alternative solutions to get your camera repaired or replaced. Furthermore, you will learn how to avoid such mishaps when using your GoPro underwater. Let’s get started!

How to get water out of your GoPro camera

As soon as you notice that water has managed to get inside your GoPro camera, do the following things immediately to prevent it from getting damaged –

Tip #1: Do not turn on your GoPro camera

There is nothing worse than turning on the camera after water damage. By doing so, the chances of your camera getting back to work are reduced. It can result in a short circuit, which will cause further damage to the internal components.

Switch off your camera

The first thing to do is to turn your GoPro camera off and remove its battery and SD card. Leave it off and don’t attempt to switch it on. You have to wait until it completely dries out of the water. Also, make sure you don’t plug it into charging.

Tip #2: Dry your camera in sunlight

Dry out water from water-damaged GoPro camera

Sunlight is the best remedy to dry a water-damaged GoPro camera. Make sure the camera is turned off and the battery has been removed. Leave all the doors open and allow the camera to dry in direct sunlight. Keep it there for a few hours and rotate it in different directions. Repeat the process until the camera is completely dry and moisture free.

Tip #3: Dry your camera in rice

As you may already know rice has the ability to absorb water and moisture. You can also dry out your GoPro camera in rice. Simply, place it inside a sealed container with uncooked rice.

Make sure to close the battery and charging doors so the rice doesn’t get inside. Leave the camera in the rice for several hours or overnight. Once you take it out, use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe away any remaining moisture.

Tip #4: Do not charge your GoPro camera

If the moisture is still inside the camera and you plug it into charging, it will do more harm than good. The moisture can cause an electric short and potentially damage the internal components. It’s best to dry the camera as much as possible before attempting to power it on.

Tip #5: Wait for 2-3 days at least

A common mistake that most people do with a water-damaged GoPro camera is turning it on before it is completely dry and moisture free. It’s tempting to check if your camera is working, but doing so could cause significant damage. To avoid that, it is best to wait until the camera is completely dry before turning it on.

Tip #6: Power on your GoPro after drying

After following all the above tips, inspect your GoPro camera carefully to check if it has any traces of moisture or water. Finally, insert the battery and power it on. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to see your camera working again without any issues.

How to repair or replace water-damaged GoPro camera

If you have tried everything to get the water out of your GoPro camera but it is still not turning on or having any other water damage issue, then the last resort is to get it repaired or replaced. Below we have discussed both possibilities –

Claim GoPro warranty

GoPro provides 1 year of replacement warranty which covers manufacturing defects and other technical issues. Since GoPro cameras are waterproof, if they get water damaged for some reason, you can claim your warranty.

GoPro camera warranty policy

Simply, contact GoPro customer support and request a callback. Tell the customer agent that your camera isn’t working. At first, they will share some troubleshooting tips like updating your camera’s software. Then they will ask you for proof of purchase and some pictures to check if your camera is under warranty and not physically damaged.

After that, an RMA (Return Merchandise Authentication) number will be generated for your case and you will be asked to send your water-damaged GoPro camera to their warehouse. Once received, they will send you a brand-new GoPro camera for free. The whole process will take around 12-15 days.

Please note that GoPro doesn’t provide repair services for cameras that are out of warranty. However, if you have a GoPro subscription, you can replace your camera under damaged camera replacement. This is a paid service so you have to pay a $100 fee.

Get your GoPro camera repaired

GoPro doesn’t have authorised repair shops where you can get your camera repaired. If your GoPro camera isn’t under warranty, you have to find a third-party GoPro repair shop. It’s very hard to find one but you can search on Google or YouTube.

Repair water-damaged GoPro camera

Once you have found the shop, go there in person and ask for the price to repair your water-damaged GoPro camera. Check the shop reviews online and go ahead only if they offer a reasonable price. Please note that your GoPro may no longer be waterproof after repair.

If the price is too high and it isn’t worth your money, there is a secret trick that you can use. Get a GoPro subscription from a different email address that you haven’t used on the GoPro website previously and then apply for a damaged camera replacement.

Important Tip: Do not attempt to factory reset your GoPro camera if it is water damaged. This will render it non-functional and you won’t be able to get it back to recording video if it is currently doing so.

How to know if your GoPro has been water damaged

Here are some signs that confirms your GoPro camera has been water damaged –

  • The camera isn’t turning on after you used it underwater.
  • The screen is flickering or showing glitches.
  • The microphone isn’t working or no audio is recording.
  • There are traces of moisture inside the screen or lens.
  • There are water droplets or moisture inside the battery or charging compartment.

How to avoid getting your GoPro damaged underwater

Here are a few precautionary steps that you can take to avoid getting your GoPro camera damaged before going to use it underwater –

1. Check if all camera doors are closed

It is important to take the necessary precautions to protect the camera from water damage. This includes making sure the camera is securely sealed and that all connections are not exposed to water. Additionally, it is important to regularly check for signs of wear and tear on the camera to ensure it is in good condition.

2. Don’t use your GoPro too deep into the water

GoPro camera should not be used for deep-sea diving. It is only waterproof up to 33ft (10m) depth. The camera’s waterproof rating may not be enough to withstand the pressure of the deep sea. Additionally, the camera can be damaged by sand and other particles present in the water.

3. Use underwater protective case

Even though GoPro cameras are waterproof, it is still recommended that you use a housing case when taking pictures or videos underwater to protect your camera from water damage.

GoPro protective casing for underwater usage

GoPro used to provide a protective case with its previous generation cameras but as the latest models are waterproof even without a protective housing, it is no longer provided in the packaging box.

However, you can buy a third-party waterproof case from Amazon or any other online e-commerce store. GoPro also provides a protective housing as an accessory for its cameras that extends the waterproofing capabilities to 196ft (60m).

4. Check the water temperature

Using your GoPro camera in extreme temperatures can also cause it to freeze or malfunction. If you plan to take your GoPro camera underwater, you should check the water’s temperature first. Ensure the water is at normal temperature, not too cold or hot.

Frequently asked questions

Does the GoPro warranty cover water damage?

GoPro doesn’t cover a warranty against water housing leaks or any damage resulting from user resealing errors. Any damage caused by misuse, accident, or normal wear and tear is not entertained. You can claim the GoPro warranty for your water-damaged camera by stating that it is not working due to some unknown issue.

How deep can you dive with a GoPro camera underwater?

GoPro cameras are waterproof up to 33 feet (10 meters). However, if you use the correct waterproof housing, they can be taken to depths of 200 feet (60 meters). As you dive deeper, the more pressure it puts on your camera, which increases the chance of leakage and damage.

Can you dry your GoPro camera with a hair dryer?

It is not recommended to dry a GoPro camera with a hair dryer as the heat can potentially damage the sensitive components inside the device. Instead, use a clean microfiber cloth to carefully wipe away any moisture and allow the camera to air-dry.

Can a water-damaged GoPro be fixed?

Yes, it is possible to fix a water-damaged GoPro but only if it gets treated in the right way. Do not power it on and take the battery out immediately. It is important to dry it off as soon as possible to avoid damage. You can place your camera in sunlight or a bowl of uncooked rice overnight.

What happens if my GoPro gets wet?

If your GoPro gets wet after being used underwater, it can cause water damage to your camera. As a result, your GoPro may malfunction or stop working altogether. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you thoroughly dry your GoPro after use.

Final words

There have been several reports of GoPro cameras malfunctioning after being submerged in water. If the same has happened with your camera, try our tips to get the water out of it immediately.

We hope this article has been helpful to fix your water-damaged GoPro camera. In case you are unable to fix it, there are other options available to get your camera repaired. You can also claim GoPro warranty and replace your camera for free.

In this article, we have also shared some tips to keep your GoPro safe whenever you use it underwater. If you have any questions in your mind, let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out other interesting articles on our website related to GoPro.

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About the author

Vivek Chaudhary Author
Tech writer & founder @Geek Instructor • Vivek Chaudhary is an experienced tech blogger who has been writing about technology for more than ten years. He's written over 1500 articles covering various tech topics. Vivek is passionate about sharing his expertise to help others. Beyond the digital realm, he enjoys traveling and creating videos on YouTube.

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