How to Remove Old Libraries After Updating to iMovie?

Shreyas Patil
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Remove Old Libraries After Updating to iMovie

Are you a dedicated iMovie user who recently updated to the latest version, only to find that your old libraries are cluttering up your storage space? Fear not, for we have the solution you need! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of removing old libraries after updating to iMovie, ensuring a smoother and more organized editing experience. Say goodbye to unnecessary clutter and hello to a streamlined iMovie library. Let's get started!

iMovie is a fantastic video editing software used by Mac users to create stunning videos. With regular updates, iMovie continues to enhance its features and capabilities. However, one common issue that users encounter after updating to a newer version is the accumulation of old libraries that can eat up valuable disk space. In this article, we will delve into the step-by-step process of removing these old libraries and optimizing your iMovie experience.

How to Remove Old Libraries After Updating to iMovie?

Checking Your Current iMovie Library

Before we dive into the removal process, let's start by checking your current iMovie library to understand the scope of the issue.

  1. Accessing Your iMovie Library
    To begin, launch iMovie on your Mac. Click on "File" in the menu bar, and select "Open Library" to see all the libraries associated with your iMovie.

  2. Identifying Old Libraries
    Scroll through the list of libraries and identify the ones you want to remove. These are typically older versions or projects you no longer need.

  3. Assessing Library Size
    Take note of the sizes of these old libraries. This will help you determine how much storage space you can free up.

Backing Up Important Projects

Before deleting any libraries, it's essential to ensure you don't lose any valuable projects. Let's explore how to back up important projects within your iMovie libraries.

  1. Exporting Projects
    Open the library containing the project you want to back up. Select the project, click on "File" in the menu bar, and choose "Share" to export the project to a safe location on your Mac.

  2. External Storage Option
    Consider transferring these exported projects to an external hard drive for added security and space management.

Removing Old Libraries

Now that you've safeguarded your valuable projects, it's time to clean up your iMovie libraries.

  1. Close iMovie
    Before removing any libraries, make sure iMovie is closed to avoid any conflicts.

  2. Accessing Library Location
    Open Finder on your Mac and navigate to the location where iMovie libraries are stored. This is typically in the "Movies" folder.

  3. Deleting Old Libraries
    Locate the old libraries you identified earlier and drag them to the trash bin. Alternatively, you can right-click and select "Move to Trash."

  4. Emptying the Trash
    To free up the space on your disk completely, don't forget to empty the trash. Right-click on the trash icon in your dock and choose "Empty Trash."

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Cleaning Up Unused Media

Removing libraries is just one part of the process. Let's take a closer look at how to clean up unused media files.

  1. Open iMovie
    Launch iMovie again to continue with the cleanup process.

  2. Detecting Unused Media
    In iMovie, go to the "File" menu and select "Delete Generated Media." This will help you identify and delete any media files that are no longer linked to your projects.

  3. Confirm Deletion
    Review the list of detected media files and confirm their deletion. This step helps further free up disk space.

Optimizing iMovie Preferences

Now that you've removed old libraries and cleaned up unused media, let's optimize iMovie's preferences for better performance.

  1. Open iMovie Preferences
    Click on "iMovie" in the menu bar and choose "Preferences."

  2. Adjust Storage Settings
    In the "Import" tab of the preferences window, adjust the "Automatically delete unused media" setting to your preference. This can help prevent future clutter.

  3. Set Library Location
    In the "General" tab, consider changing the library location to an external drive if you have one. This can save valuable space on your Mac's internal storage.

Reimporting Backed-Up Projects

If you backed up projects to an external drive, let's learn how to reimport them into your iMovie library.

  1. Connect External Drive
    Plug in the external drive containing your backed-up projects.

  2. Open iMovie
    Launch iMovie and create a new library if needed.

  3. Import Projects
    In iMovie, click on "File" and select "Import Media." Navigate to the external drive, select the backed-up projects, and import them into your new library.

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Q: Can I remove libraries without losing my projects?

A: Yes, by exporting and backing up your projects before removing libraries, you can safely delete old libraries while preserving your projects.

Q: How can I identify old libraries in iMovie?

A: Old libraries can be identified by their creation date or by reviewing the projects they contain. Typically, you'll want to remove libraries associated with older versions or unused projects.

Q: Will removing old libraries improve iMovie's performance?

A: Yes, removing old libraries can free up disk space and potentially improve iMovie's performance, as it reduces clutter and helps your Mac run more efficiently.

Q: Can I move my iMovie library to an external drive permanently?

A: Yes, you can relocate your iMovie library to an external drive by adjusting the library location in iMovie's preferences. This can help you save space on your Mac's internal storage.

Q: What if I accidentally delete a library with important projects?

A: If you accidentally delete a library with important projects, you can recover them from your backup. Always ensure you have backups before removing libraries.

Q: Are there any automated tools to help with iMovie library cleanup?

A: While iMovie itself doesn't provide automated library cleanup tools, there are third-party applications designed to help manage iMovie libraries and media files.


In conclusion, removing old libraries after updating to iMovie is a crucial step in maintaining a clutter-free and efficient video editing experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can free up valuable disk space, safeguard your projects, and optimize iMovie for smoother performance. Say goodbye to the old and welcome the new as you continue your creative journey with iMovie. Happy editing!

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