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Move your iMovie for Mac library

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Question: How do I transfer some iMovies to a new mac?

My ProBook is 10 years old. I bought a new iMac. After doing a complete transfer of the old Mac to the new Mac, I see that the iMovies did not transfer. There are empty slots for them with the names of the files in the new Mac iMovie, but clicking on them, it says the file does not exist. I don't need to transfer all of them, just one or two here and there.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.1), null

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Nov 13, 2017 8:08 AM in response to Klaus1 In response to Klaus1

Same latest version. The iMovie version on the new iMac is 10.1.8. The iMovie version on the old ProBook is 10.1.8.


Here is a screenshot of my iMovie on the new iMac. It shows a place for all the projects, but none of them will open. When I click on the "Go to Project" option, nothing happens. It is grayed out.


User uploaded file

Nov 13, 2017 8:08 AM

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Nov 13, 2017 4:27 PM in response to mcgreer In response to mcgreer

What you are showing in your screenshot is your iMovie Theater library not your iMovie Library. What do you see if you click on the Projects Tab? In the timeline view do you see your events. If not how did you move your iMovie Library and Theater Bundles from the old computer to the new? On the old computer were the libraries on an EHD or in your movies folder?

Nov 13, 2017 4:27 PM

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Nov 14, 2017 6:16 AM in response to Jim Wanamaker In response to Jim Wanamaker

When I click on Projects, it is empty. Once I purchased the new iMac, I performed some type of standard migration as guided by the startup software on the iMac. It took a few hours, but a "complete" transfer of everything from the old ProBook was done. I do not own an external hard drive. Not sure where to find a timeline view of events, but I am sure that is empty as well, as is the Media tab.


I do not need to necessarily transfer all projects, just the one I am working on if that is easier.

Nov 14, 2017 6:16 AM

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Nov 14, 2017 4:55 PM in response to mcgreer In response to mcgreer

Ok since the projects tab is empty iMovie is not seeing your Library. In the file menu choose open library and choose your library. If it is not listed choose other and navigate to where your library is located. By default migration should have put it in your movies folder.

Nov 14, 2017 4:55 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 7:25 AM in response to Jim Wanamaker In response to Jim Wanamaker

This makes sense as after the migration photos did not transfer and Apple support walked me through transferring photos/videos. Going into Open Library, the options are New and Other. "Other" offers desktop files to be selected and New added a new Library slot within iMovie. I can add video files to the iMac iMovie one at a time, but the old Probook has projects that are already edited to a large degree. I would be starting from scratch without being able to transfer the exact project over. I can work off my old probook as one solution, but it runs slow after 7 years. Do you know of any way to copy over the full iMovie project?

Nov 15, 2017 7:25 AM

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Nov 15, 2017 3:41 PM in response to mcgreer In response to mcgreer

Since your iMovie library does not show up in open library>other then either iMovie does not recognize the library that was transferred ie it is corrupted or it did not transfer at all. You can move it manually by copying it from the old computer to the new. If both computers are on the same LAN you can log into the old computer and drag the library into the movies folder of the new computer.

Nov 15, 2017 3:41 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 5:24 AM in response to Jim Wanamaker In response to Jim Wanamaker

I suspect the photos/videos did not transfer initially due to their large size? I did perform the photo/video transfer shortly after purchase with a Mac Support rep as you describe. With all media available on the new Mac, it's just in crude form, whereas the old iMovie had all the best parts trimmed down already. There is no way to say - upload a project to iCloud from my old Mac and then re-access it on the new Mac?

Nov 17, 2017 5:24 AM

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Question: How do I transfer some iMovies to a new mac?