Previous 1 2 Next 28 Replies Latest reply: Aug 30, 2015 3:40 PM by BaGrumpus
katelovesmeirl Level 1 (0 points)

I have already reached out in this community with a question i asked silmular to this one last night... but no replies. I had made a movie in imovie... butwhen i tried to export it a little sign appeared on my screen saying 'UNABLE TO EXPORT MOVIE:The movie could not be exported because an error occurred. (-50)'


After many efforts to try my best to work around this... i decided that i would scrap it... delete the video and start all over again trying my best to make sure i don't do anything that i think could cause an error. I did that today... took me about 3 hours in total to make this video (all over again). First i clicked export and a sign appeared saying something along the lines of: 'Quit iMovie and restart it. Not enough memory.'  So i quit imovie... found a usb i had sitting around and put as many movies and images i could onto it to make some room... even though according to my macbook pro info i have loads of room! So  did this... and also deleted hundreds of clips i had in the movie folder. After i did all of that i tried to export via quicktime once again... and still got the ERROR -50 sign appear on the screen.


I am reallly frustrated... never had this issue before. No idea why it is happening and no idea how to fix it! If you ahve the slightest idea on how you think i might be able to fix this... please leave a reply. You never know.. your info could fix it!!


Many Thanks in advance

MacBook Pro (15-inch Early 2011)
  • AeroQ Level 2 (210 points)

    Error -50 stands for incorrect export parameter.

    Try different export format, bit rate, or resolution.


    See also:




  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 (19,450 points)



    Error -50   paramErr  Error in user parameter list


    Can there be any external hard disks - if so How is/are it/they formatted ?

    Must be Mac OS Extended (hfs) if used for Video.


    UNIX/DOS/FAT32/Mac OS Exchange - works for most but not for VIDEO.


    What this means in Your situation is above me.

    • free space on internal boot hard disk? How much ?



    • in what format ? .jpg, .bmp, .tif, else ?



    • from where/what format ? iTunes, .avi, .mp3, .aiff, else ?


    Did You try to trash the "" file ?


    Many users has not observed that there are TWO libraries.

    • Library - at root level

    • Library - in user/account folder - THIS IS THE ONE to look into (invisibly in Mac OS X.7.x)


    from Luke Burns


    I fixed the problem.. but it was very, very strange. I had a very long section for credits and set the line spacing to 1.0.. for some reason this caused it. I removed it, and it worked fine. I put it back, and I couldn't preview or play the video.


    I don't know why that could cause that big of a problem, but it did..


    Yours Bengt W

  • Didorx Level 1 (0 points)

    I've had the same issue last night when putting a project together for work. I had been working on it for days (evenings) and was up until 2AM finishing it off... ended up with a really good movie. But then I was absolutely gutted when I realised I could not convert it in to a movie clip due to this error -50 !


    After quite a bit of time looking online for a solution (did not find one, even that I went through dozens of forums etc) I decided to see if I could get around it myself. In the end... it turned out to be quite simple. All it was.. was one single video I had in my project that had some sort of issue with it. All I had to do was find it and delete / replace it. Here's how I've done it:


    On the Projects Library, I right clicked on my project and choose "Duplicate Project". This created an exact copy which I could play with to try to find the root of the problem, without losing the original.


    I then opened the project copy and deleted one of the videos... then tried to Finalise it. It didn't work... so I deleted another one... tried to Finalise it... did not work... after doing this 4 or 5 times (deleting one by one) I managed to get my project to start Finalising!


    So, I knew that last video I deleted was the one creating a problem... so I cancel the Finalise Project I had just started (as it was an incomplete project because I had deleted a whole load of videos from it)... then went back to my original/full project... deleted the one I knew was an issue and kept all others. I then did a few tweaks to compensate for the deleted video... clicked Finalise Project... and it worked!!!


    I hope all this makes sense... it might be a bit of an effort but its certainly worth it.


    Hope you can recover yours from the Trash and fix it !

    Good luck...



  • AlibooDM Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same problem with a big project which used lots of time stretching. I attempted lots of solutions suggested on various forums, including creating more space, deleting the imovie cache, deleting plists, attempting exports in different formats, but nothing worked.


    I also tried a similar technique to Didorx - made a test project and tried the different clips seperately to attempt to determine which was causing the problem. All clips exported fine.


    In one forum a teacher had discovered (probably through a trial error like us) that the issue was caused by clips that were less than 1.5 seconds in length. I noticed that one of my clips was 1.6 seconds long, so I edited the project to remove this clip, and voila, it exported.


    No idea why iMovie doesn't like short clips, but I suggest you edit/remove any clips shorter than 2 seconds and see if this works!

  • eenymeny Level 1 (0 points)

    Yep short clips. I removed them and no error. Thanks AlibooDM

  • Ivan_VV Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same problem with -50 error.


    The shortest clip that I had in my project was 4.8s length. The next shortest clip is 5.2s.

    I deleted clip with 4.8s length and project exported well.


    So be sure that you don't have clips shorter than 5s.

  • Dutchboy777 Level 1 (35 points)

    Very good troubleshooting method.

  • JeninFrance Level 1 (0 points)

    Well this is the most sensible debugging method I have seen described for the dozens of reports of this error on the forums.


    However -- what absolutel rubbish of a product from Apple if this is true. I cannot export a project also with error code 50 no matter what I tried for export mode or parameters -- and my project is made up of dozens of small SECTIONS of larger imports and some photo inserts that run as overlays to the video (how can I sit on still photos for 5 seconds ?? talk about boring ... ) -- BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I WANT to show ... I do not want long drawn out shots in my video - it will be boring as toast if I do that (it is a video of a production line, and the only way to really spice it up is with fast cuts and some picture on picture stuff). I also did a lot of time manipulation to shorten long dull stretches of putting a product together. Why would you create a product feature like time manipulation, allowing short clips etc. and invite users to use it ( because it is there, available and looks cool for my purpose) and then NOT support it on EXPORT ? Oh and let's not forget the clever error message too - so descriptive.


    What kind of a company would make a product that cannot do fast cuts all through your project editing and previews them correctly but then can't export them anywhere afterwards ? Why is this not considered a bug and available as a fix after all these years (people in iMovie '09 and '11 complain of this).

  • PeaBunny Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much Didorx, i followed exactly what you said and it worked perfectly!

  • TheEdgeMac Level 1 (0 points)

    thankyou but unfortunately it didn't help me. I'm using a mac pro and it's only 2 months old. I've deleted almost all of my movies and images but it's definitely not that. I have heaps of space. I've been getting the error -50 message. It won't export or finalise the clip. Imovie keeps shutting down. Is it because my clips are too small?

    There are lots of fast cuts and slow cuts. They are all under 2 seconds in length :-(  mffmmmmf :-((

  • TheEdgeMac Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree. It's really annoying!

  • MacPrestonApple Level 1 (0 points)



    I have ran into the error 50 issue several times. This typically happens because I am repeating a lot of video, and or it has short clips usually less than 2 sec.


    If your movie is long it will take forever to hunt down a single clip especially if you are Splitting and Trimming all the time.


    My approach was to duplicate the project, in this case I think I made 5 duplicates.


    My goal was to duplicate the entire movie and then delete the sections of the movie in my duplicate so that I was only dealing with a smaller segments. Next I tried to export the film, if it didn't export it was a lot easier to find the problem.


    Now from here you would have to do this for each section and then create your movie from all of the created exports to piece it all back together again.


    Painful, Yes, but easier on a large project to approach it this way than hunting for files endlessly.


    Keep trying to Export every time you make a change. Export the parts that work, and your will filter down to the smaller sections and eventually find your problem(s).


    I am switching to Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, I can't handle this error with the amount of hours.


    Apple has not fixed this in the past 5 years and I doubt they will moving forward. iMovie is basic, and once you get technical and too creative for this software you are probably going to run into these problems. Hence, taking the next step to a better software.


    Good Luck

  • AquariusNZ Level 1 (0 points)

    The way I got around this error was NOT to delete any short clips but instead


    (1) Consolidate Media choosing to consolidate everything (media and events) - link here to info on how to do this:


    (2) Move project to another Hard Drive physically connected to the MAC choosing to move everything (media and events) - link here on how to do this:


    Worked for me !!!

  • OneMann Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey All-


    I didn't have to delete any short clips either... I took the last posters advice and found 'consolidate media' from the drop down menu under 'file' in iMovie.  But instead of hitting consolidate media, I tried 'Finalize Project'.  It took about 45 mins for the project to finalize, but once it did, I was able to then share/export with no issues.  I should add, my video had a bunch of short video clips and pics, many were under 2 secs.  The whole video is just at 3 mins long.  Hope Finalize Project works for you too!


    Sidenote, if your video contains a song that you don't have the rights to use, Youtube will most likely not allow you to post, or will eventually pull, your video.  I typically add songs that I like for background music to my videos, so I've run into this issue.  An alternative is using dropbox.  I recently downloaded dropbox to my mac, so now in iMovie I can simply hit 'export' and download movie directly to dropbox.  Once in dbox, I can email the video link to whoever I want.  Of course, this doesn't have the viral play that YTube provides, but I'm not looking to go viral, just want to send my videos to my friends and family.



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