What to Do if iMovie Keeps Crashing – Fixed

If there's one thing that stops us from being productive, it's a computer program crashing. iMovie isn't any different from other programs that are prone to this problem. Video editing software is more frustrating than other types of software because some video editing projects can require precise edits to be made. More to the point, if you aren't in the habit of saving whatever progress you've made, iMovie keeps crashing will set you back a lot.

iMovie is Apple's very own video editing software, and although you might expect it to be almost perfect, that's far from the case. At the source of the constant crashing can be a number of problems. Luckily, no matter what's causing the error, we've got a few tips for fixing it.

PS: If you would like to know how to add text to iMovie with ease, just read more.


“Why is iMovie Keeps Crashing So Bad?”

iMovie crashing probably doesn't seem to be an incredibly important problem to deal with. Everyone experiences crashing once in a while, but when we refer to iMovie keeps crashing, this is a consistently disruptive issue with the program that prevents users from using it altogether.

Users aren't able to proceed with videos they are working on, and many can't even open iMovie for more than a few seconds.

  • The bottom line: if iMovie is always crashing, then it doesn't work well as a video editor.

6 Reasons for iMovie Keeps Crashing

Remember: the problem of iMovie keeps crashing can be because of hundreds of different issues. Ranging from driver errors and operating system glitches to overheating and user error. A lot of cases are rare, and with that in mind, we've got a list of the six main reasons for iMovie crashing.

1. iMovie Keeps Crashing – File Corruption

Right of the bat, it's safe to assume that file corruption can be the source of crashing. Corrupt program files, or even system files, isn't usually cause for this (but it is a possibility). Instead, corrupt project files are the likely culprit.

How are project files made corrupt? When a user disconnects a USB flash drive without properly “ejecting” it, the program crashes randomly, or if you convert project files unsuccessfully, the project can corrupt. Take backups of your projects so that if this is the issue, a non-corrupt version is available.

2. iMovie Keeps Crashing – Compiler Incompatibilities

iMovie uses something called a “compiler” to understand different file types and respond to files appropriately. Of course, there are so many types of files that iMovie won't always be capable of opening some files.

In addition, iMovie has to respond appropriately when an unfamiliar file type is opened through the program. Again, most of the time, this isn't a problem, but if iMovie doesn't know how to act, it will crash, and you won't get much use out of it.

Fixing this problem to avoid iMovie keeps crashing isn't easy. Try simple things like updating iMovie, opening the project on another computer, or using an iMovie alternative.

3. iMovie Keeps Crashing – iMovie Cache Corruption

iMovie's cache contains data about how you use iMovie. The simplest example would be when you copy and paste something. iMovie stores whatever you copy in the cache until you're ready to paste it. It remains there until you copy something else.

To fix this, you can open up the iMovie program folder and delete two files: cache.plist and cache.mov. Then when you open iMovie, sign in with a different account (ideally but not necessary), and the program will generate those files again. If iMovie keeps crashing because of a corrupt cache, this will resolve the error.

4. iMovie Keeps Crashing – Viruses or Malware

Viruses act in strange ways, and the people who create them have one thought in mind: “How can I infect a computer without the user detecting my virus?“.

Creative thinking can lead to virus and malware creators to target specific programs. In this case, a virus that infects iMovie specifically could be on your computer. There are different types of viruses that affect computers in various ways, including a virus that slowly uses more and more of the system's resources.

Getting rid of a virus only has one solution, and that's running an antivirus scan. Everyone should have antivirus software on their computers to avoid inconveniences like this. Antivirus solutions will usually detect viruses early on before any harm can be done, but not always.

5. iMovie Keeps Crashing – Incorrect iMovie Config

As computer users, we have a habit of making a lot of changes to the programs we use. Built-in configuration tools are always at our fingertips, more commonly known as the preferences.

Rarely we see some settings clash, and this will make the software act in unpredictable ways. If this is what is happening to iMovie, then you can delete the existing preferences file fairly easily.

To do this, restart your computer and run iMovie. As it starts to load, hold down the “Option” and “Command” keys on your keyboard. A box will appear allowing you to select “Delete Preferences,” which you should do now.

6. iMovie Keeps Crashing – Codec Errors

Similar to how iMovie keeps crashing can stem from compiler errors, codec errors are another possibility. This is almost identical – iMovie can't understand all audio or video codecs, and if you force the video editing software to open an incompatible file, crashing is the usual reaction.

Unfortunately, when it comes to filing formats and codecs, iMovie has a lot of limits. On the other hand, you can convert the file that causes iMovie to crash. The MP4 format has wide support, and converting to MP4 should prevent further crashing.


Best Alternative to iMovie – Filmora Video Editor

After repeatedly having iMovie crash whilst you are working on a project, unless you know a fix that will be successful, then you should consider an alternative. iMovie is a very basic video editing solution – with it, you get to understand and learn the basics.

Alternatives like Filmora Video Editor give users room to grow, and there's no chance of running into iMovie keeps crashing. Features that you'll be able to use after getting Filmora are:

  • 300+ video effects to add to movie projects
  • Preview renders to make sure the final video is perfect
  • Carefully handle and edit video and audio tracks
  • Crop, rotate, trim, and split videos
  • Expert features like color tuning, video stabilizing, and green screen editing
  • Easily share your video creations by directly uploading to YouTube, Vimeo, or burning DVDs
  • Save videos in formats such as MP4, MOV, FLV, and M4V
  • Filmora's Video Editing Academy provides educational courses for all levels of users
  • Try it out for free before committing to purchasing the full version!

An attractive feature of Filmora Video Editor is the learning courses. Jumping in at the deep end is fine, but it isn't for everyone. Whether you're a beginner who wants to have a career in video editing, a video editor looking to improve their skill set, or you just want to learn a few basics to create videos for your business; these courses are for you.

Windows users are also able to use Filmora Video Editor as there is a version available for this operating system too.

Get Filmora Video Editor


Other iMovie Alternatives

Filmora Video Editor is the top video editing solution and the one we recommend. Understandably it isn't the iMovie alternative for everyone, so we've got some others for you to take a look at.

1. Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe is notorious for having expensive software. And Adobe Photoshop is the prime example of the costs that come with their software.

When it comes to video editing, Premiere Pro is one of their best video software solutions. One important thing about Adobe Premiere Pro is that it's more advanced than other video editors. If you try the 7-day free trial and enjoy using it, check out the pricing.

A quick search on YouTube takes you to a library of tutorials. So, if iMovie keeps crashing and you want a program that gives you room to grow, Adobe Premiere Pro is a great alternative.

2. Windows Live Movie Maker

Windows users can move to Microsoft's video editor, Windows Live Movie Maker. This is a very basic program that is easy to use and has all the basic features. In that regard, you won't have access to professional features.

  • Drag and drop videos or music directly on to project
  • Add text, photos, and record from a webcam feed
  • Directly upload finished videos to YouTube, SkyDrive, Vimeo, and Facebook
  • Record voiceovers for your video creations
  • Includes image stabilization and scene transition features

It's hard to disagree with Windows Live Movie Maker being a solid option for beginners. Whilst that's true, we haven't seen a stable release in over five years. Nonetheless, older computers can download this video editor.

3. OpenShot

Next up is another free video editor, OpenShot. Not many users complain about issues similar to iMovie keeps crashing with OpenShot. That fact in itself should persuade you enough. A few eye-catching things about OpenShot are:

  • Add as many video/audio tracks as you want
  • Create beautiful animations and add video effects
  • Turn audio tracks into waveforms as part of your project
  • The simple interface makes it easy to find any feature
  • Opensource, entirely free to use, and available on Windows/Mac/Linux

Waveforms are one of the top features which users get to enjoy in with OpenShot. There's also slow motion, text animations, and various templates at your disposal.

4. Final Cut Pro X

Finally, we have Final Cut Pro X. This does come straight from Apple, just like iMovie. However, this is their pro version, and it'll cost you a pretty penny. A trial version is available luckily, so if you want to stick with Apple, then you can try this out before making the purchase.

  • Creates high-quality videos without the large file sizes
  • Includes a combination of beginner features and professional features
  • Easily handle all the video and audio tracks from the timeline
  • Perfect for editing 360-degree videos
  • Capable of creating videos that you can watch on a VR headset
  • A variety of color management and layering tools

To be fair, this video editor doesn't suffer from crashing like Apple's iMovie. iMovie keeps crashing is hopefully not a problem that arises soon. All in all, Final Cut Pro X is definitely worth trying if you can afford it.


Conclusion on iMovie Keeps Crashing Issue

Video editing can be fun, and for a lot of individuals, it's their profession. Users who run into iMovie keeps crashing are unable to continue with whatever they're working on, plain and simple. Finishing videos for work, creating fluff for social media, or just learning a new skill. If your video editing program crashes repeatedly, then inconvenience is an understatement. Do you face this problem a lot? Use Filmora Video Editor or another alternative like Adobe Premiere Pro. Without consistent crashing, your creativity is endless!

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