When you insert a GoPro’s memory card into your PC/Mac, do you see some additional files alongside the actual .MP4 video files? GoPros with new firmware has mysterious files with the same names as their videos but different file extensions.
GoPro LRV and THM files are video and image files generated by the action camera, which are used by GoPro Quik mobile app as low-rez previews.
Don’t worry; these files are automatically created by your GoPro and exist only for video previewing and thumbnail purposes.
What are GoPro LRV and THM Files Used For?
GoPro LRV and THM files are used for storing data and sharing it between the GoPro app and a user’s computer. These files are typically associated with videos recorded by GoPro cameras, though some models may also be used for photos, depending on what camera you own.
LRV stands for “Low-Resolution Video,” while THM stands for “High-Definition Movie.”
These files are typically stored on your GoPro camera’s memory or microSD card. GoPro LRV and THM files are temporary files that allow a preview of photos and videos displayed by the GoPro mobile app.
What is a GoPro THM File?
The THM extension is a thumbnail image file used by GoPro software as a preview for photos.
These images have low resolution, 160 by 120 pixels (4×3 aspect ratio). The THM format is used by your GoPro camera, which generates it using full-resolution photos as a source.
Contrary to LRV files, THM files can be used by other digital cameras like Sony, Canon, and Olympus. They are JPEG files with a different extension (‘THM’) that identifies them as preview files.
The creation of these files will make the display faster and more responsive. It also implies that the camera’s processor won’t have to recreate them from scratch every time.
What is a GoPro LRV File?
A GoPro LRV file is a low-resolution video file generated by GoPro cameras to display video previews without loading the high-resolution video.
The length and quality of your original GoPro video file influence the size of the LRV file. However, it is approximately 5% of the original MPEG4 video file size, so it takes up much less space than the original.
Due to the large size of GoPro Quik’s files, LRV files are crucial for editing high-quality videos on mobile devices.
LRV files contain a lower-quality version of your video at a greatly reduced size, which helps to save space on your device. The GoPro app is referring to these when it says it’s playing back a low-resolution version of the video in the blue warning at the top.
Can I play a GoPro LRV File?
Unfortunately, .LRV files are not recognized or supported by most PC/Mac video players or mobile apps, except for Quik (or the GoPro Studio).
Most apps can’t play the LRV file extension directly, so you won’t be able to see what it looks like. However, if you rename the file extension to .MP4, you’ll be able to view it in programs like Windows Media Player or VLC.
Note: If you change the file type, make sure you give the file a new name. The low-resolution version may overwrite if it’s the same as the original high-resolution MP4 file.
After changing the file type to mp4, you can share this video version on social media or by email to save data. Keep in mind that the video resolution will be 240p, and if upload speed isn’t an issue, it’s best to upload the original file and let YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/etc., compress it themselves.
How to Play an LRV File?
GoPro’s proprietary LRV format is only compatible with software that GoPro develops, making it impossible for other companies to enter the market. But there is a way to play back LRV files without decoding them.
The LRV file is essentially an MP4 video wrapped in an LVR wrapper. By changing the extension from LRV to MP4, you can convert a proprietary format into an open one without actually decoding the video.
If you want to play LRV files on your computer, change the file’s extension to .MP4, allowing most video players, such as VLC, to recognize them.
Can I Delete .THM and .LRV Files On My GoPro?
The quick answer is that you do not need to delete these files. Because they are an essential part of the GoPro ecosystem, as the GoPro app and Quik software can only provide you smooth and fast user experience with the help of these two files, it allows you to preview your video at a smaller resolution before exporting it in high resolution.
If you are only planning to watch your GoPro footage on your computer or edit it with software like Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro, the.LRV and.THM files may not be necessary. In this case, you can deal with high-resolution.MP4 files because your PC can play or edit them.
Can I Disable The Creation Of .THM and .LRV Files?
GoPro does not allow you to disable the automatic creation of .THM and .LRV files. These files are automatically generated and saved on your SD card every time you shoot a video with your GoPro, making it difficult to manage storage space. These files are much smaller than the original video, so they will not fill up your SD card.
But if you still want to turn off automatic production .THM and .LRV files, unfortunately, it does not provide that option.
Note: If you want to avoid clutter, it’s best to sort files by type on your PC and delete the .LRV and .THM files. However, doing so will affect playback on your smartphone or GoPro.
If you try to play a video on the Quik app after deleting its corresponding .LRV and .THM files, your phone will notify you that the video is not playable and prompt you to create a proxy file that can be played.
Which GoPro Models Use THM and LRV Files?
You need to know which GoPro models use THM and LRV files to convert your GoPro videos to other formats. The latest GoPro models can use the LRV and THM file types, but not all of them.
Here are the current and previous GoPro models generate.THM and.LRV video files:
- Hero7: White, Silver, and Black
- Hero8: Black
- Hero (2018)
- Hero6: Black
- Hero4 Black & Silver
- Hero5 Black
- Hero5 Session
Do I Need to Save .LRV and .THM Files?
No, you don’t need to convert the MP4 files to LRV files because they are only used temporarily, and the original MP4 files will suffice. You can save time by saving the original MP4 files instead of keeping the LRV and THM files.
How To Compress Large GoPro Files?
Follow the steps given to compress the large GoPro video files:
- Use its free-of-cost video editing app.
- Log in to Clipchamp or create a free account to compress GoPro video files.
- Select your GoPro footage from the files you want to compress by clicking Convert my video.
- Your video can be optimized for Web, Windows, Mobile, or Animation.
- Choose a Resolution or stick with the current one.
- Choose a file format and a quality level.
- Video from a GoPro camera is compressed.
- Save the GoPro video that has been compressed.
The GoPro LRV and THM files are unnecessary in video recording and editing unless users plan to use the GoPro Quik mobile app. If you ignore the GoPro Quik mobile app when transferring full-resolution videos from the GoPro camera to your computer, you will need to ignore LRV and THM files.