GoPro LRV and THM Files: What Are They & How to Do With Them?

Are you shooting videos with your GoPro, and are you curious about the GoPro LRV and THM files on your memory card? Well, here is a guide to help you understand their purpose.

GoPro Lrv and Thm files are extra video and image files generated by the action camera, besides the mp4 videos. LRV means “low-resolution video,” while THM stands for “thumbnail,” and they are used by GoPro Quik mobile app as low-rez previews.

These files have the same file name as the mp4 video but different file extensions – LRV and THM.

GoPro LRV and THM Files

What are GoPro LRV and THM Files Used For?

LRV and THM files are temporary files used by the GoPro camera and video to provide a preview of photos and videos displayed by the GoPro mobile app.

While LRV files are used for video previews, the THM files are for photo previews. 

What is a GoPro LRV File?

GoPro LRV file is an automatically generated low-resolution video file by GoPro cameras to display video previews without loading the high-resolution video.

The size of the LRV file depends on your original GoPro video file. But it is approximately 5% of the original MPEG4 video.

LRV files are necessary during editing in GoPro Quik since it is impossible to edit full HD and 4K videos on most mobile devices.

What is a GoPro THM File?

THM extension files mean thumbnail, a small image file used by GoPro software as a photo preview. These photo files have a low resolution of 160 by 120 pixels (4×3 aspect ratio).

THM files are generated by your GoPro camera using full-resolution photos as a source.

Contrary to LVR files, THM files can be used by other digital cameras like Sony, Canon, and Olympus. It uses the JPEG format but with a different ‘THM’ extension that identifies it as a preview file.

GoPro LRV and THM Files: GoPro Action Camera

Do I Need to Save LRV and THM Files?

No, you don’t; since they are only created for temporary use, the essential files are the original MP4 files.

It is enough to save the original MP4 videos only and ignore the LRV and THM files.

Can I Delete THM and LRV Files?

Yes, you can delete THM and LRV files. You do not need them unless you use GoPro Quik app.

Please note that once THM and LRV files are deleted, the GoPro Quik app can quickly regenerate them.

When you try playing any video in the GoPro mobile app, you will get a warning that playing full-resolution video is impossible. You will be prompted to regenerate the low-rez preview by pressing the ‘Generate Video’ button.

How to Play LRV File?

The LRV is a proprietary format of GoPro, and as a result, only software built by GoPro can play LRV files as it.

But there is a trick in how you can play back LRV files without decoding them.

In essence, the LRV file is an MP4 video placed in an LVR wrapper. It means that by just changing the file extension from LRV to MP4, you transform a proprietary format into an open one without decoding the actual video.

To play LRV files, change the extension to .MP4, which will be recognized by most video players such as VLC.

How Do I Convert a THM file?

Some editing programs and image viewers support the THM image format. You can use Adobe Photoshop, MS Paint, Apple Preview, or Windows Photo Viewer to open THM files.

But if you use a program that does not support THM file format, simply change the image’s file extension from THM to JPEG.

Ultimately, you can open the THM thumbnail image in Photoshop and save it as JPEG, PNG, or GIF.

How Do I Open a THM and LRV Files?

To open LRV files, change the extension from LRV to MP4 and use any app that supports MP4 format. Remember that the video resolution will be low.

Use the same logic with the THM files. Change the extension of thumbnail image files from THM to JPEG, and you can treat them as any JPEG image.

GoPro LRV and THM Files: GoPro camera on tripod

Can I Turn Off the Generation of THM and LRV Files?

No, you can not turn off the automatic generation of THM and LRV files on your GoPro. These files are automatically generated and saved on your SD every time you record a video or take a photo using a GoPro camera.

THM and LRV take a small portion of the original video and can hardly fill your SD card storage space.

GoPro LRV and THM Files | Conclusion

The GoPro LRV and THM files are unimportant in video recording and editing. They have an essential purpose only when using GoPro Quik mobile app.

If you transfer full resolution videos from the GoPro camera directly to your computer and bypass GoPro Quik mobile app, ignore LRV and THM files.

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by Viktor Elizarov
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.

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