Where are iMovie Files Stored on Mac?

You can usually find all your iMovie projects in a library file labeled ‘iMovie Library’ in the Movies window. However, in case you can’t find it or are using an older version of iMovie, there are some other points you need to keep in mind too.

Hi, I’m Devansh. Having been a cinephile for many years, I’ve often dabbled with iMovie to create some of my own short films. Although it’s very user-friendly, it can be hard to keep track of your files when you’re lost in the flow of creativity.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the steps on how you can locate your valuable iMovie projects on your Mac computer; then I’ll also talk about what you can do in case you cannot find them. After that, I’ll answer some questions you might want to check out too.

Whether you believe that you’ve created the next cinematic masterpiece or a cute family film but can’t find it on your Mac, I’m here to help you out!

How to Locate iMovie Projects on Mac

One thing to remember is that iMovie is similar to Photos in that it develops a central ‘library’ file that contains your iMovie projects as well as various files you use within each one, like music and sound effects. These are the steps to access this file.

First, go to your home screen. On the Menu bar at the upper-left side of the screen, click on the Go pull-down menu and select Home.

Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + H. This is the window you’ll see.

Once here, double-click on the Movies folder, and you’ll get these two files. If you’ve installed some other video-related tools like 4K Video Downloader, they’ll appear here too.

From here, you can access it directly and see each project and all of its assets! However, try to be mindful of not transferring, deleting, or renaming files without any prior thought, as you might end up corrupting your movie by mistake.

What to Do If You Can’t Find Your iMovie Project on Mac?

If by following the above steps you still can’t find your iMovie project, there could be some other reasons. It could be that your project was deleted by mistake or corrupted by a software bug.

However, the best thing to do is to just backup your projects while you still have access to them. You have two main options for this: a cloud storage service or an external drive.

Since iMovie projects are generally pretty big in size and cloud storage space tends to be expensive, it’s not an efficient option. Instead, you might want to opt for a backup external drive.

To do this, you need a USB Thunderbolt-enabled drive with APFS. Avoid using SD cards, USB thumb drives, or even network-shared drives. Once you have the right drive on hand, follow the above steps to get to the iMovie Library. When you’re at that window, do this.

  • Drag the ‘iMovie Library’ file to your external drive of choice.
  • After it has been transferred, double-click that file on your external drive to open it using iMovie.
  • An error might appear at this point asking if you want to give iMovie access to the removable drive. Just click OK.

You’re done! Now, try to update the copy on the drive every week or so. That way, the chances of you losing track of any project ever again dwindles down.

FAQs

I’ve given you the easiest way of locating iMovie files on your Mac. However, there might be some unanswered questions in your mind that you’re still curious about, so here are three of the most common ones.

How to Scan Mac for Duplicate iMovie Video Files?

Clearing up useless duplicate files is a great way to free up some space. You can do it manually, but there are also some useful utilities out there for this purpose, like Gemini 2, Disk Drill, and Duplicate File Finder Remover. Of course, these work for all kinds of files rather than just iMovie videos.

Is Autosave Enabled in iMovie?

Yes! As you’re working on your project, iMovie automatically saves your progress every few minutes. This frees you up from the responsibility of saving it yourself, although you should still maintain that habit just in case. Keep in mind, iMovie autosaves the data in the iMovie Library file by default as I showed you before.

How to Find iMovie Files for Older Application Versions?

You might not know this, but older versions of iMovie actually store their files differently compared to the current version. There are separate folders based on file type: clips are stored in iMovie Events, shared files in iMovie Sharing, and complete projects in iMovie Projects. So, to find your projects, the process is the same as mentioned before. Just go directly for iMovie Projects.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article helped you find your iMovie files! To clarify, you can find your files in a library file labeled iMovie Library in the Movies window. Unless you’ve changed the file location by choice, that is where it all will be.

Of course, once you gain access to your files and projects, you can do anything you want and create your personal masterpiece!

Are there any other ways of finding iMovie files to your knowledge? Share your answer with me in the comments!

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