How to Add Videos to iMovie on Mac

Since iMovie comes preinstalled on Apple devices, it is an excellent video editing program that allows you to create videos quickly. When you open a new project, you can add videos either through the browser section or the “File” menu.

Hi, my name is Nancy, and I’m a big fan of using iMovie. As an Apple enthusiast, I appreciate how easy it is to share and edit videos across different Apple devices. In this post, I’ll share the steps to add videos to iMovie on a Mac.

Let’s dive in!

How Do I Import a Video Into iMovie?

To start a new project in iMovie, you must first import your media files. I’ll share the three different methods to import your files. 

1. Menu Tab: Go to the menu at the top and click File, and then select Import Media. 

2. Keyboard Shortcut: To use the keyboard shortcut, press Command + I.

3. Import Files from Browser: When you start a new movie, you can click the Import Media button in the browser section.

Each of these methods will prompt a window to appear where you can select the video files you want to import from your computer. Simply select the files you want and then click the Import Selected button to add them to your Project Media library.

What Video Files Can You Import to iMovie?

iMovie for Mac computers running macOS Catalina or later now supports a wider range of video file formats, including MP4, MOV, 3GP, AVI, and M4V. You can view the complete list of formats supported by iMovie on the Apple website. 

However, it’s worth noting that when you export movie projects in iMovie, the file formats are only in MP4 and MOV.

How Do I Add Videos to iMovie From My iPhone?

If you wish to use videos from your iPhone in iMovie, you can quickly transfer the video files to your computer. As long as your Mac computer is within range, you can wirelessly transfer files to your Mac using AirDrop. Follow the steps below to use Airdrop.

Step 1: Open Airdrop on your iPhone and Mac computer and choose the option to receive files from Everyone

Step 2: Go to the Photos app on your iPhone and select the video files you want to share. Then click the Share button that looks like a box with an arrow pointing up, and then select Airdrop

Step 3: Select the device you wish to transfer the files to and then accept the files on your Mac to complete the transfer.

Step 4: After transferring the files, they will be saved to the Downloads folder on your Mac. You can then follow the previously mentioned steps for importing videos into iMovie.


Here are the answers to some other questions related to this topic.

Why Can’t I Import Videos Into iMovie?

iMovie doesn’t support all MP4, MOV, and M4V videos. Each video format consists of two primary components: the codec and the container. If the codec in the video file contains compression formats that are not compatible with iMovie, it may not be possible to import it.

Can I Record a Video in iMovie?

Yes, you can record a video directly in iMovie by using your built-in webcam on your Mac. Select the FaceTime HD Camera option to begin recording. After you’ve finished, iMovie will automatically store the recorded video clip in its media library.

Final Thoughts

iMovie is user-friendly and simple to learn even if you have little to no experience with video editing. At any stage of the editing process, you can easily import media files into your project.

In most cases, video files transferred from your Mac or iPhone are compatible with iMovie’s file formats, saving you time by eliminating the need to convert your video files.

We hope this article was helpful. Let us know in the comments below if you need help understanding anything from the article.

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