Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Troubleshooting basics


If Final Cut Pro X isn't performing as expected, try these basic troubleshooting steps to attempt to isolate and resolve the issue. Please note that these steps are not intended to address a specific issue and are not comprehensive.


Important note: First back up events, projects, and Final Cut Pro X
Prior to performing steps in this article, ensure that you have a current backup of your events, projects, and of Final Cut Pro X.

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1. Review Final Cut Pro X documentation

In order to verify that Final Cut Pro X is working as expected, it's always a good idea to review the documentation to ensure that you clearly understand the expected behavior of what you're trying to do in Final Cut Pro X. Following this step thoroughly could save a lot of time by eliminating perceived issues.

For information on how to access Final Cut Pro X Help see Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4: User guides.

2. Verify that your computer meets the system requirements for Final Cut Pro X

See Final Cut Pro X - Technical Specifications.

Ensure that your computer meets the OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later system requirement. For more information see:

3. Ensure Final Cut Pro X is up to date

Important note: If you are actively working on a project, avoid updating or upgrading Final Cut Pro X until you are finished with the project. Either complete the project in the version of Final Cut Pro X you are currently working in, or ensure that you have a current backup of your events, projects, and Final Cut Pro X. This is so you can revert to the previous state that your data and the application were in if updating or upgrading to the latest version of Final Cut Pro X does not address your issue.

4. Verify that the ProApps QuickTime Codecs are installed

5. Make sure you're using a media format or device supported for use with Final Cut Pro X

6. Check third-party compatibility

If you use any third-party software (plug-ins, tools, or content) with Final Cut Pro X, contact the manufacturer to ensure that the version of third-party software you have installed is compatible with the version of Final Cut Pro X you're using.

7. Isolate an issue by using another user account

8. Create a new library

You can isolate issues with libraries by creating a new, empty library when opening Final Cut Pro X. This will demonstrate that Final Cut Pro X is working as expected with a new library. Then, you can open and close your libraries one at a time until you are able to reproduce the issue and identify an affected library.

To create a new library, first quit Final Cut Pro. Then, Option-click the Final Cut Pro application icon in the Dock and click New to create a new library.

9. Test with "known-good" media

"Known-good" media is media that you know to consistently work without issues. This can be a media file from a previous project that you confidently know works as expected. Alternately, you could add a generator and an audio file to a new Final Cut Pro X project (or a new Motion project) and export media using an Apple ProRes codec, like Apple ProRes 422, to create a known-good media file for troubleshooting.

Using known-good media can help you isolate an issue down to the media you're attempting to work with. If known-good media works as expected in Final Cut Pro X but other media you've imported into Final Cut Pro X does not, there may be an issue with the imported media. You may need to acquire it again from the original source, or it may be media that is not supported for use in Final Cut Pro X. For more information see Final Cut Pro X: Supported media formats.

10. Reset Final Cut Pro X preferences

Important note before you begin:
Before resetting user preferences, be sure to first review your Final Cut Pro X preferences as they are currently configured, and note any specific settings you've chosen. When resetting the Final Cut Pro X preferences, your general, editing, playback, import and destinations preferences will be returned to default settings the next time you open Final Cut Pro X. For example, in your Import preferences you may have checked the "Create Optimized Media" checkbox for a specific reason. If you reset the preferences and relaunch Final Cut Pro X, this check box will be unchecked by default and may not be the setting you prefer for your workflow.

These articles are helpful for understanding the different preferences:

Upon opening Final Cut Pro X after you've reset the preferences to default, you can then set your preferences as they were configured previously. Do this before proceeding with tasks in Final Cut Pro X.

How to reset the Final Cut Pro X Preferences in OS X Mavericks

  1. Create a new folder on the Desktop. Name the folder with a descriptive name you'll remember. For example, something like "Final Cut Pro X Preferences."
  2. In the Finder, press and hold the Option key and choose Library from the Go menu.
  3. In the Library folder that opens, open the Preferences folder. Move the following files to the folder you created in step 1:

  1. Restart your computer.

After resetting preferences by moving the above files, perform the same steps that caused the issue to occur originally. If the issue no longer occurs, move the folder you created to the Trash. Empty the Trash to delete them from your computer.

11. Remove and reinstall Final Cut Pro X

For instructions on removing and reinstalling Final Cut Pro X see Final Cut Pro X: How to remove and reinstall Final Cut Pro X.


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Last Modified: Dec 19, 2013
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