Video Repair

Most Common iMovie Won’t Export Errors with Solution

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    Summary: The blog highlights some of the common errors associated with exporting iMovie videos along with their respective solutions. Here’s a software solution you can use to fix such export errors.

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    iMovie won’t let me save or export my finished project. Every time I try to export an error message appears Video Rendering Error-50. Please help fix this export error.’

    iMovie is a free video editing application developed by Apple that lets you create your own cinematic movies and storyboards. It lets you crop and rotate video clips, add video transition, and modify & enhance color settings of the video clips. While this app offers lots of amazing features to users, there have been reports regarding various errors encountered while using the app. One of these problems is your iMovie app unable to export the video be it on your Mac system or in MP4 file format, etc.

    In this blog, we are going to walk you through the most common iMovie export errors and different methods to fix them.

    List of Common iMovie Won’t Export Errors and their Solutions

    Video Error 1: iMovie Won’t Export Error on Mac

    There could be many reasons why iMovie won’t export errors on Mac, such as not having enough disk space for creating video files or permission issues on Mac, etc.

    iMovie Won’t Export Error on Mac

    To fix the issue of iMovie Won’t Export on Mac, make sure there is enough disk space on the selected internal or external hard drive. While using the external hard drive, ensure that the file system of the drives is Apple File System (APFS) or Mac OS Extended (HSF+), as iMovie doesn’t write files on the NTFS file system. To avoid this file system permission issue, first, try exporting the iMovie video to the boot drive and then copy it from Finder on Mac to an external hard drive.

    You can even export your iMovie to iTunes and then copy it to an external HDD. However, if you are using macOS Catalina 10:15 or later version, sharing iMovie to iTunes is no longer supported.

    For more solutions, please read How to Fix iMovie Won’t Export Error on Mac.

    Video Error 2: iMovie Not Exporting to MP4

    MP4 is a digital multimedia container format used for storing audio, video, and other data, such as subtitles and images. You can even export iMovie in MP4 format, however witnessing errors while exporting is common. The issue of iMovie not exporting to MP4 arises when an incorrect video quality option is selected in the Settings.

    To export iMovie to an MP4 file, choose the most suitable video quality from Low, Medium, or High in the video quality setting.  

    Video Error 3: iMovie Won’t Export the Full Movie      

    ‘My movie is of total 22 minutes but iMovie exports only 18 minutes. Why?’

    This is a query posted on Apple Forum. This ‘iMovie not exporting full movie’ error can occur due to the presence of a corrupted clip in the iMovie project.

    iMovie Won’t Export the Full Movie

    To fix this error, you can copy-paste all the video clips into a new iMovie project and then try exporting it. You can even look for the corrupted clip in the project and replace it with another clip. Or just repair the corrupted video clip using a professional video repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Video.

    Video Error 4: iMovie Not Exporting to 1080p/4K Video

    The resolution of the exported iMovie video depends on the quality of the very first clip imported to the project. For example, if you have imported the first clip in 720p and the succeeding  clips in 1080 p, then the final movie will be exported in 720p. Moreover, you cannot make any changes in the settings if the first clip is of low resolution as the higher resolutions (1080p and 4K) will be grayed out or unavailable.

    iMovie Not Exporting to 1080p/4K Video

    This exporting error in iMovie can be fixed by putting a video with a higher resolution, such as 1920 x 1080 as the first clip in your iMovie project. Then you could export this iMovie project to 4K or 1080p.

    Video Error 5: iMovie won’t export error: ‘RenderFrameAt Returned’

    iMovie export errors ‘RenderFrameAt Returned’ and ‘RequestFrameAt Returned’ indicate that there is a problem with a specific frame of the rendered iMovie video. To know which specific frame it is, just play the exported video, and the duration where it stopped is the corrupted frame. Sometimes, format incompatibility and video file corruption can also cause this error.

    iMovie error: ‘RequestFrameAt Returned’

    To fix this iMovie export error, go back to the project and remove or replace the corrupted video clip and try to export it again. Often, updating or reinstalling the iMovie or deleting iMovie Preferences and copy-pasting all the video clips in a new project can be helpful to resolve the issue

    Moreover, make sure video files used in a project are compatible with iMovie. To fix the corrupted video files used in iMovie projects, use a video repair software like Stellar Repair for Video.

    Video Error 6: iMovie not Exporting to YouTube

    YouTube is a popular online video-sharing platform. Many Mac users prefer to export their edited iMovie videos to this platform. However, some users have reported that they cannot export iMovie videos to YouTube. This can be because the video you want to export is longer than 15 minutes or there is some problem with the compressor iMovie uses to compress and export videos. Often, iMovie’s video format is not compatible with YouTube, which can be the reason for failed export.

    iMovie not Exporting to YouTube

    If your YouTube is verified, you can easily export a video longer than 15 min to YouTube. To fix the issue of format incompatibility, convert all the video clips used in the project to one common video file format. You can even uninstall and reinstall the iMovie application to see if the error is fixed or not.

    Video Error 7: iMovie Export Audio Out of Sync

    iMovie audio sync error while exporting videos occurs when you are using video clips shot from different cameras and audio with different video formats in a project. Moreover, if original video clips have different codecs and frame rates, they may render your video slightly differently.

    It’s best to have uniformity in the codecs, frame rates, and file formats to avoid out-of-sync audio and video in iMovie. You can convert all your video clips to one particular format using Handbrake: an open-source video converter tool to impart some uniformity.

    Video Error 8: iMovie Video Rendering Error 10004

    The video renders frame failed error code 10004 may appear when you are trying to export the iMovie project. It occurs when one or more video clips used in the project are corrupted or have any problems.

    iMovie video rendering error -10004

    To fix this you can try to skim through the iMovie project slowly to see any anomalies like glitches or flashes in the video. Then replace that clip or try repairing the corrupted video clip by using video repair software. For more information, go to Fix iMovie Video Rendering Error 10004.

    Video Error 9: iMovie Export Error 10008

    iMovie video rendering error 10008 can occur when you merge video clips of different file formats or incomplete import or change in the disk location of the video clip.

    iMovie video rendering error - 10008

    To resolve this video rendering error, repair the video file corruption, reduce the resolution of the video, and ensure all video clips are of the same file format. To know more, read How to Fix iMovie Video Rendering Error 10008?

    Video Error 10: iMovie Video Rendering Error – 50

    It is a corruption issue in the iMovie project, such as corrupt font, title, or video clips.

    iMovie video rendering error -50

    To fix the corrupt titles and fonts, try to change the fonts of the title and credit section. For corrupt video clips, use Stellar Repair for Video for fixing them.

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    Bottom Line

    That’s all for the most common iMovie export problems and their solutions. If you find any other ‘iMovie won’t export errors other than the ones mentioned above, please let us know in the comment section.


    1. How to upload iMovie to YouTube?

    Follow these steps to upload or export iMovie to YouTube:
    – Open iMovie and double-click the project you want to export to YouTube in the Project Viewer.
    – Click the Export icon and choose YouTube.
    – On the YouTube window, enter your YouTube account, Title, Description, and Tags. Select the Category and a Privacy option.
    – Click Next to upload the iMovie video.
    – Read the Terms of Service and click Publish.

    2. Why is my iMovie file not compatible with QuickTime?

    If QuickTime Player couldn’t open iMovie video, it can be due to corruption in video files, the app doesn’t support the file’s format or there is an issue with the video codec.

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    About The Author

    Vishakha Singh linkdin

    Vishakha Singh is a Senior Writer at Stellar Data Recovery with half a decade of experience in writing content in diverse verticals. She's a tech enthusiast who loves creating photo/video recovery & repair tutorials. Vishakha also specializes in writing full-blown iPhone and Android guides.

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