How to Copy or Move Video Clips between Events in iMovie?

Shreyas Patil
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Copy or Move Video Clips between Events in iMovie?

iMovie is a great video editing app that comes free with Mac computers. It allows you to import video clips, arrange them in a timeline, add transitions and effects, and export your finished movies. A key feature in iMovie is Events - which are folders that hold your imported media. Within Events, you can create separate Projects to edit your clips into movies.

Sometimes you may want to copy or move clips between different Events or Projects in iMovie. For example, you shot some footage for one video, but realize a certain clip would work better in another project. Or you want to consolidate media from various Events into one Event or Project.

Copying and moving clips in iMovie is easy once you know how. Read on to learn the step-by-step process!

Select the Clip(s) You Want to Copy or Move

The first step is to select the clip or clips you want to copy/move between Events or Projects. Here's how:

Open the Event and Project with the Clip

  • Launch iMovie and click the Events tab in the top left.

    Launching iMovie

  • Locate the Event that currently contains the clip you want to copy/move.
  • Double click the Event to open it.
  • Then double click the Project within that Event to open it. This will display all that Project's video clips in the timeline.

Select the Clip in the Timeline

  • Click the clip in the timeline that you want to copy or move. It will become highlighted.
  • To select multiple clips, hold Command while clicking additional clips.

The selected clip(s) are now ready to be copied/moved!

Copy Clips Between Events/Projects

Copying clips allows you to duplicate media between Events and Projects. Here's how to do it:

Copy Clips

  • With your desired clip(s) selected, press Command + C on your keyboard to copy the clip(s).

Open the Target Event/Project

  • Click back to the Events tab.
  • Double click to open the Event and Project you want to copy the clips into. This will open the target timeline.

Paste Clips

  • With the target timeline open, press Command + V to paste the copied clip(s).
  • The selected clips will be duplicated into this Event/Project.

That's it! The clips are now copied over to the new Event/Project. You can repeat these steps to continue copying clips between different Events and Projects.

Move Clips Between Events/Projects

If you want to actually move clips (instead of copying), follow these steps:

Cut Clips

  • With your desired clip(s) selected in the original Event/Project, press Command + X on your keyboard to cut (not copy) the clips.

Open the Target Event/Project

  • As before, click to the Events tab and double click the target Event/Project.

Paste Clips

  • With the target timeline open, press Command + V to paste the cut clips.

The clips are now moved to the new Event/Project. They are removed from the original.

That's all there is to it! With these simple copy/paste or cut/paste commands, you can easily transfer clips between different Events and Projects in iMovie.

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Why Copy/Move Clips in iMovie?

Here are some of the main reasons you may want to copy or move clips:

Consolidate Media

If you have clips scattered among different Events or Projects, you can copy them into one Event/Project to consolidate media in one place for a specific movie project.

Re-Organize Clips

While editing, you may realize a clip works better in a different project. Simply copy or move it over.

Share Clips Between Projects

Copying clips lets you re-use media in multiple projects. The same clip can be included in different movies.

Remove Unused Clips

Move unused clips into a dedicated ‘Unused’ Event to declutter Projects and keep them organized.

Tips for Managing Events and Clips

Here are some tips for effectively managing your media with iMovie Events and Projects:

Create New Events for Each Shoot

It's best practice to create a new Event for each separate film shoot or imported batch of media. This keeps things organized.

Name Events Clearly

Give your Events descriptive names based on the shoot date, location or purpose to easily identify media.

Break Projects into Scenes

Organize your clips into separate Projects based on scenes or sequences in your movie.

Favor Short Clips

Try to shoot short 3-10 second video clips. This gives you more flexibility to copy and move clips between Projects.

Remove Unused Media

As you edit, frequently move unused clips to a ‘Unused’ Event to clean up Projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about copying and moving clips in iMovie:

How Do I Copy Multiple Clips at Once?

Hold the Command key while clicking to select multiple clips in the timeline. Then use Command + C to copy and Command + V to paste the group of clips.

Will Clip Copying Duplicate the Media Files?

No, copying or moving clips does NOT create additional media files on your Mac. It simply references the same files in a new Event/Project.

Can I Undo a Clip Copy/Move?

Unfortunately no - there is no undo option for clip transfers in iMovie. You have to manually move clips back to the original Event/Project.

What Happens When I Move a Clip?

Moving a clip removes it from the original Event/Project. The media file still exists on your Mac, but is only referenced in the new location.

Do Events and Projects Have Size Limits?

Events can hold hundreds of hours of clips. But it's best to limit Projects to 5-10 minutes for stability. If too large, break into multiple Projects.


That covers the complete process for copying and moving clips between Events and Projects in iMovie! Follow the simple select, copy/cut, paste workflow to easily transfer clips between locations.

Be sure to create new Events for each media import and organize clips into distinct Projects. With good Event/Project management, you can edit multiple movies and find any clip you need.

Stick with short 3-10 second shot clips for maximum flexibility in copying/moving. And remove unused clips to clean up your timeline.

For more iMovie tips, check out Apple's iMovie user guide. Now get out there, shoot some footage, and organize it like a pro in iMovie!

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