Restore Permanently Deleted iMovie Project on macOS

Summary: Accidentally lost a critical iMovie project on your macOS? Read this blog to learn some easy ways to restore deleted iMovie project on your macOS Big Sur or other earlier versions. For a sure-shot recovery, you can simply download Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac and recover your data in a few simple steps.

Restore Permanently Deleted iMovie Project on macOS

Table of Contents

  1. Overview of iMovie
  2. iMovie Project Recovery
  3. Free Recover iMovie Project Using Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition
  4. Repair Corrupt iMovie Videos
  5. Conclusion

Overview of iMovie

iMovie is an easy-to-use video editing app provided in macOS that adds extra-special effects to your video clips and helps you create movies. With iMovie, you can create incredible Hollywood blockbuster-style trailers, splendid movies with pictures, music, and video clips. You can easily add clips from libraries, add extra-special effects, and share them on the go. Also, you can shoot high-definition videos on your iPhone and edit them with iMovie. Simply put, iMovie lets you create creative movies where you direct each scene.

So, what if you can’t cast Robert Downey Jr., you can be the hero of your movies. So, what if you can’t win the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Editing, you can win the hearts of your loved ones with a video collage or photomontage created with iMovie. You can easily create professional-looking movie clips and slideshows with iMovie and turn your video clips into magic.

Meanwhile, you can edit your video and photo clips umpteen times to get the desired iMovie project; but, things can go wrong. For example, you might accidentally delete the iMovie project, or the iMovie application may crash, and so forth. So, you might lose your valuable iMovie project. Don’t worry! You can recover your deleted or lost iMovie project using the methods shared next.

iMovie Project Recovery

a. Restore from Trash

Files deleted from MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini move to Trash from where you can restore them readily. So, to restore deleted iMovie project, follow the steps shared next:

  • Open Trash from Dock.
  • Locate and select the deleted iMovie project.
  • Secondary-click the project and choose Put Back.
Put Back To
  • Or else, drag the project and drop it to the iMovie project folder.

Note: When the “empty trash after 30 days” feature is enabled, deleted files reside in Trash for that specific time, after which they are removed from there. Also, when you empty your Trash, the deleted iMovie projects are removed permanently.

Also Read: Recover Deleted Files after Emptying Trash on macOS

b. Restore from iMovie Library

iMovie projects are saved in the folder named iMovie Library, which is present in the Movies folder. When the deleted iMovie project is not in the Trash folder, you can restore it from the iMovie Library. The restoration steps are as follows:

  • Click Desktop to make Finder the active window.
  • From the Menu bar, navigate to Go > Home.
  • Navigate to Movies > iMovie Library.
  • If the required iMovie project is present, double-click the project to open.

When you don’t find the iMovie project in the iMovie Library folder, look for other methods to restore deleted iMovie project.

c. Restore from iMovie Backups

iMovie backs up iMovie projects in the iMovie Backups folder, which is deep inside your Library folder. Follow the given methods to restore deleted iMovie projects:

  • Open Finder, then navigate to Go > Go to Folder.
  • Type the following path in the text box and click Go to access iMovie Backups.

Go/Home/Library/Containers/ Backups

  • Click the recent iMovie project that you deleted. iMovie opens, and the project can be found in the project browser library.

If the deleted iMovie project is not available in the iMovie Backups, the following methods can be helpful.

d. Restore from Time Machine

Backing up your Mac frequently using Time Machine can be a savior in critical data loss situations. You can restore the permanently deleted iMovie projects using the backup medium when you have an up-to-date Time Machine backup. The restoration steps are shared next:

  • Ensure your Time Machine backup drive is connected to your Mac.
  • Click the Time Machine icon from the Menu bar and select Enter Time Machine.
  • Access the backup folder and browse the deleted iMovie project.
iMovie Project
  • Please select the required project and click Restore to get it back to the correct folder.

In the absence of backup, use the best Mac file recovery software to salvage your lost iMovie Project.

Free Recover iMovie Project using Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition

When none of the above methods work, use Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac software to recover your lost or deleted iMovie projects effectively. The software’s user-friendly interface, scanning progress, and manageable process give it an upper hand over other methods. To recover iMovie projects, follow the steps given below:

Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac
  • In the Select Location screen, select Macintosh HD, the startup disk where the iMovie projects are saved. Turn on the Deep Scan toggle switch, then click Scan.
Select location
  • When the scan completes, click the Deleted List tab from the sidebar and find all the deleted iMovie projects. Select the required ones and click Recover.
Recover imovie files from the Mac drive
  • Specify a different volume on your Mac or an external hard drive, then click Save to save all the iMovie projects.

Repair Corrupt iMovie Videos

Sometimes, after recovering the lost iMovie project, you may find a few iMovie videos unplayable due to corruption. You should upgrade your free software to the premium edition in such a situation, which features video repair capability.

Follow the steps to fix corrupt iMovie videos:

  • Launch the upgraded Stellar Data Recovery Premium for Mac software.
  • From the software interface, navigate to More Tools > Repair Video.
  • In the Stellar Repair for Video interface, click Add File to add corrupt iMovie videos.
  • After adding all the iMovie videos, click Repair to fix them.
  • After the repair, play the revived iMovie videos to verify them.

The premium software has plenty more to offer. Besides the video repair capability, you have seen above, you can use the premium software to recover unlimited data, repair photos, monitor drive, clone or image a hard drive, etc. The software is macOS Big Sur compatible and supports other earlier versions too.


We have packed a list of different methods on how to recover deleted iMovie project. And, when the situation gets complex, free data recovery software for mac i.e. Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac makes the process well controlled by recovering up to 1 GB of your amazing iMovie video clips.

If any recovered iMovie video files are corrupt, upgrade the free software to premium edition to get unlimited data recovery capability and repair the damaged videos quickly. The software mends various video file formats, including MP4, M4V, 3G2, 3GP, and F4V.

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