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How to Use GoPro as Dash Camera

In this article, we’ll teach you how to set up a GoPro as a dash cam. But there are some disadvantages to be aware of in terms of battery life and features. Everything you need to know is covered below. Enjoy!

How to set up your GoPro as a dash cam

The gist is to mount your GoPro, plug it in, and then configure it for continuous recording. Here are the detailed steps to get your GoPro running like a dedicated dash cam.

  1. Gather the equipment. You need the GoPro camera, an SD card with ample space, a suitable mount, and a USB cable for power (probably USB-A to USB-C).
  2. Mount the GoPro. Your GoPro might have come with a mount, such as an adhesive mount, but you can get a separate mount if you wish. The adhesive mount is good if you want to mount the camera to your dash, but for a better view of the road, you might prefer the GoPro Hero Suction Cup mount that you can attach to your windshield.A GoPro attached to a suction cup
  3. Position the camera. Adjust the camera angle and position to capture exactly what you want. Ensure that the lens is clean and unobstructed for clear footage. This can be tricky, but because GoPros run off a battery, you can get this just right before you deal with the cable in the next step.
  4. Plug it in. Your car most likely has a USB port. Using the USB cable you prepared, attach the USB-C end into your GoPro and the other end into your car’s cigarette lighter. You can access the GoPro’s USB port through its battery compartment. Check out this short video for a demonstration using the GoPro Hero 11.
  5. Configure the camera. You’ll want to set up continuous recording via the loop recording option, if it’s available on your model. Looping video allows older footage to be erased when necessary to make room for newer recordings. Here’s a video that describes how to configure looping. Also adjust resolution, frame rate, and other settings according to your preferences and storage capacity.
  6. Test the setup. Before hitting the road, test your GoPro dash cam setup to make sure the camera has a clear view of the road and that it starts recording automatically and captures the desired video quality. Monitor the footage occasionally to ensure the camera is functioning properly.

Advantages and disadvantages of having your GoPro as a dash cam

It’s a simple process to make a GoPro dash cam, and there are plenty of reasons you might decide to do this. However, there are also a few downsides that might make you think twice about this setup and opt instead for one of the many dedicated dash cams that are available.


  • Small size: GoPro cameras take up very little space. This means they’re a great dashcam choice for any vehicle and you won’t need to worry that it gets in your way of the road.
  • Portability: Unlike dedicated dash cams, a GoPro camera can be detached from its dashcam setup and used outside your vehicle. After all, that is it’s primary purpose. It’s therefore super ideal for a road trip.
  • Mount-ready: GoPro cameras often come with a curved adhesive mount, so they’re already primed for mimicking a dash cam.
  • High-quality video: Known for their high video resolution, a GoPro is the perfect solution for capturing high-quality video even in the various lighting conditions you’re bound to pass through while driving. If you have one with an ultra-wide angle lens, you’ll see a huge portion of the road.
  • Simple file transfers: The GoPro app is much easier to use than other dashcam apps I’ve used. Many dash cams are difficult to use when it comes time to actually use the captured video (the companion apps are usually clunky and not user friendly).


  • Short battery life: A dedicated dash cam is always plugged in, while a GoPro is meant to be moved around. This means the battery power isn’t designed for all-day use. Unless you’re taking short trips and you don’t mind recharging all the time, you will need external power.
  • Manual recording: While most dashcams have automatic recording that starts immediately after your car starts, that’s not the way a GoPro works. Instead, you’ll need to press the record button before every drive.
  • Higher cost: GoPros are great, don’t get me wrong. But because they’re not meant to be used exclusively for dash cam purposes, they are quite a bit more expensive than a regular dash cam.
  • Small temperature range: Some GoPros can’t withstand extreme temperatures. For example, with the HERO10 Black, both the front and rear displays will shut off when the camera detects a temperature of 32F/0C or lower. On other models, image stabilization will shut off during freezing temperatures.
  • No automatic loop recording: While some dash cams automatically loop record, some GoPros require you to manually manage storage space to make room for new recordings.

Should I use a GoPro as a dash cam?

Using a GoPro as a dash cam is a good idea because it records high-quality video and is easy to carry around. You can put it on your windshield like a regular dash cam, without it being too noticeable.

The best thing about a GoPro is that it records really good video. It captures clear and detailed footage, which is important if something happens while you’re driving. Besides using it as a dash cam, you can also use it for other things like recording fun activities on your travels.

But there are a couple of things to think about. GoPros cost more than regular dash cams. Even though they can do more things, you have to decide if it’s worth the extra money. These cameras also need to be charged a lot because they’re not made to record for a long time. Also, they might not work as well in really hot or really cold weather.

Using a GoPro as a dash cam is a fine idea if you want something small that records great video. But, you have to think about the cost, how often you’ll need to charge it, and if the weather might be a problem.


Q: Can you use a GoPro as a bike dash cam?

Yes. You can mount your GoPro on the center of the handlebars with attachments like the Handlebar / Seatpost / Pole Mount from GoPro. Or, Chin Mounts is useful for a helmet GoPro mount.

Q: What can I use instead of a dash camera?

If you don’t have a GoPro, another option is to turn your phone into a dashcam. We have a list of the best camera apps for Android that would be perfect for this.

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