Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In this movie, I want to show you a technique for completely moving an iMovie project from one Mac to another. This can be useful if, say, you're on vacation and start editing an iMovie project on your MacBook and then want to finish working on the project on your iMac when you get home. This requires that you move both your events containing the footage for your project and the project file itself. Now, we've already looked at how to move and store your events onto a separate drive back in chapter 4. So if you just need to know how to do that, you can go back and watch that movie. Again, what I am going to show you here is how to move both your event footage and project through an entirely different Mac.
To do this, you're going to need an external drive that's formatted for Macs. Now, most drives that you buy in stores or online come formatted for Windows. And if you look here in iMovie in my Event Library, and I do have it set to be showing my drives that are connected to my Mac, I have a drive here called PICODRIVE that iMovie detects. But notice it has this little warning icon next to it, and that indicates that I can't use that drive right now because it's currently formatted for Windows. But you can easily reformat any drive for Macs. Just connect the drive to your Mac, and then go into your Applications folder, go to Utilities, and then open up Disk Utility. And this isn't just for formatting drives to use for iMovie.
You can come into Disk Utility anytime you need to erase or format a drive for any purpose. Once you're in Disk Utility, select the drive, in this case there is my PICODRIVE. Now what we see here is the drive itself and the partition that's currently on the drive. It doesn't matter which one of these you choose, just as long as you're choosing the right drive. You don't want to accidentally erase one of your other drives. So with the drive selected, go over to the Erase tab. For the Format you'll notice it's currently formatted MS-DOS (FAT32). That's a Windows format. I want to select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
Give the drive a name of your choice-- I'll just call it PicoDrive again--and then click Erase. Now realize that this does completely erase the drive, so make sure there's nothing on the drive that you need to keep. If you're sure, click Erase, and the Disk Utility will reformat your drive. It only takes a moment, and it's back, and now if I go back to iMovie, there's PicoDrive, and now it's ready to use. Notice there is no warning sign next to it anymore. All right, so how do we move our project, now that we have an external drive hooked up? First, we're going to go to our projects in our Project Library, and you can see in our Project Library we also have different hard drives that are attached to the Mac.
So far I have been working with all my projects on Drive A, which is my main drive. Your drive is probably called Macintosh HD or something like that. So here in my Project Library, I'm just going to select the project I want to move. In this case, I'll just use the Snap to Beat project since it's only 17 seconds long. And then I'm going to drag this to my external drive, the PicoDrive down here. But I'm going to hold down the Command key, or the Apple key, on my keyboard as I'm dragging. If you don't hold down the Command key while you're doing this, you're actually just going to copy the project. But now if I hold down Command, you'll notice that little Plus symbol goes away, which indicates that I'm copying, and now I'm actually going to move it.
So I am going to drag that on top of the PicoDrive, release, and now I see this dialog box telling me that the clips used in this project are not all on the disc I'm dragging the project to. In fact, none of them are, in this case. So now I have the opportunity to just move the project or move the project and its events. Since I want to work on an entirely different Mac, I'll need to copy the project and its events to get everything I need onto my external drive. So I'll click Move projects and Events.
So now, iMovie is copying everything to my external drive. Depending on how much footage you are moving, this could take up several minutes. Okay, now it's done. Now, something very important that I want to point out here. So we can see that the Snap to Beat project is now on the PicoDrive, my external drive. It's no longer on my Drive A because we did choose to move it and not copy it. But also notice down here in my Events Library. My Surfing Clips which are being used on that Snap to Beat project have also been moved to the PicoDrive drive just like I asked.
They are no longer here on my hard drive. Now this can be an issue because all these other projects here are using that same footage. So if you're moving a project to an external drive, but that project shares footage with other projects from the same library, then you will want to just copy that project and not move it by holding down Command like I showed you before. So if I want to make sure that the other projects can still find that event footage, I should copy that footage back to my Macintosh hard drive before I eject my PicoDrive here. So I would do that, as we know, simply by grabbing Surfing Clips and dragging that up to the hard drive. And when you see the Plus symbol, you know that I am making a copy in this case.
But ideally, you wouldn't want to have to do this. Again, if you have projects that share the same footage and you're only moving one of the projects, then choose to copy that to your external drive and not move it. In the interest of saving time, I am not going to bother making that copy right now. I'll have to go back and do that later. But as you can see right now, my project and its associated footage are on the PicoDrive. So at this point, I could quit iMovie--I could also quit Disk Utility--and then I could eject my external drive and connect it to my other Mac, the Mac that I want to move the project to. And then on the other Mac, I would fire up iMovie, and iMovie would automatically detect that drive and any projects on the drive, and then I could either work with them directly from the external drive, or more likely, I would want to move that project onto my other Mac's hard drive, and again we can do that simply by grabbing the project, dragging it onto the drive on your Mac.
Again, we can choose to copy it or move it. I'll choose to move it in this case. Since I'm actually using the same library, I can kill two birds with one stone here, and again we can choose to move just the project or the project and the events. And of course, I'm going to move the project and the events because I want to move the entire thing onto my hard drive. And at that point, my project and its events are completely moved to my other Mac, and I can continue working on that project and editing it and sharing it directly from that Mac.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
110 Video lessons · 48207 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 10847 Viewers
350 Video lessons · 100095 Viewers
79 Video lessons · 13777 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.