If you’ve ever wondered about those curious LRV and THM files created by your GoPro, this is the guide for you.
GoPro action cameras create additional files on the memory card in conjunction with the regular mp4 files.
They have the same filename but use a different extension: .lrv and .thm.
THM and LRV files are both used by GoPro Quik mobile app.
In this guide, we’ll answer all the most frequently asked questions surrounding the two file types so you can be confident in how you handle the output from your GoPro.
Table of Contents
What are GoPro LRV and THM Files For?
When you shoot videos with GoPro cameras, you may notice that it saves three different files for each video on the GoPro’s memory card.
This happens with some GoPro models such as the Fusion, HD Hero2, Hero3, Hero3+, and Black Hero 5,6,7 and 8. It also depends on the software you have installed and the resolution you have on the camera settings.
The MP4 file (or MPEG 4 video) is an HD video file. It’s the content you created with your GoPro camera (compare GoPros) – you should never delete these files unless you want to eliminate the video.
Then, there are the GoPro LRV and THM files, which are the source of much confusion, especially for newcomers to the GoPro ecosystem.
THM files and LRV files are both temporary utility files that provide a preview version to be displayed on the GoPro app.
The GoPro LRV is a video file, and the THM is a photo. You can delete them without worrying about losing content from your original video file.
What is a THM File on GoPro?
THM stands for thumbnail. The GoPro THM file is a small image file. The photo is 160 x 120 pixels, and it’s displayed on the GoPro apps to identify each video.
When you’re scrolling down the GoPro Quick app, you see a thumbnail image that represents the video so that you can identify it and know which one you want to choose or playback. These thumbnails are the THM files.
What is an LRV File on GoPro?
LRV stands for Low-Resolution Video files. When you playback a video on the GoPro mobile app, you’ll see this low-res video because it’s lighter – it doesn’t mean that you didn’t record a high-resolution one.
Playback in-camera also uses the LRV files.
By doing this, you’ll be saving data if you’re not connected to a WiFi network. Also, it will make the playback faster and smoother because there’s less computing power required to play lower resolution videos.
How do I open a THM and LRV file?
You can open both a THM and LRV file using the GoPro mobile applications called GoPro Quick. That’s because these file formats are created specifically for them.
However, there are ways to open them on other apps and programs that you may not know about.
To open LRV files (low-resolution files), simply rename them, changing the file extension LRV to MP4.
MP4 is a common file extension that’s widely compatible to open video files with most programs and apps. Remember that it’s not just about changing the file extension, though – you have to rename it. Otherwise, you’ll overwrite the original high-resolution video files.
Alternatively, you can save them with the same name but on a different folder location.
If you decide to do this, just be careful not to get confused and do your editing process on a low-resolution video – you can always check the file size to make sure you’re opening the right one.
THM files that visually represent the video as a thumbnail image are more compatible with third-party software. For example, Windows Photo Viewer, Apple Preview Adobe Photoshop, etc., can open this file format.
Can I delete THM and LRV files?
Yes, the LRV and THM are extra files created by the GoPro camera to use with the GoPro app. If you need to, you can always create LRV files again.
You can do this using the GoPro app. Just try to playback one of the MP4 files – this will give you an error message “Playback Not Supported”.
Underneath the message, there will be a button “Generate Video”. Tap on it to create a new proxy version. Keep in mind that new proxy files are saved directly on your phone.
However, LRV and THM files hardly take up any storage space – so, you should ask yourself if deleting them is worth it.
How do I convert a THM file?
There are a couple of ways to convert THM files. You can open them on software that supports it – such as Photoshop or Apple Preview, and save them as new file types.
If you don’t have a program that supports THM files, then you can change the file type by typing a new file extension with the Rename option of your file browser.
How do I convert THM to JPG?
You can just rename it and replace the .thm extension with .jpg, or you can open it with photo editing software that supports THM files and save it as a JPG.
As you can see, even if LRV and THM files are not essential for the recording and editing process, they do have a purpose.
While HD video is stored in MP4 files, LRV files are better for streaming and are also helpful to send your videos via email.
As for the thumbnails, they are helpful to identify your videos instead of trying to remember a cryptic file name generated by your camera GoPro when you shot the video.
Whether you decide to keep them or not, I hope this article clears out your doubts about LRV and THM files!
If you have any further questions, just drop a message in the comments section.