Add photos and videos to your iMovie project

Add photos and videos from the Photos app to your iMovie project on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Add photos and videos on a Mac

To add photos and videos from Photos into iMovie projects on your Mac, use the Libraries list in iMovie or drag them into iMovie from the Photos app.

Use the Libraries list in the iMovie sidebar

You can access your photo library in the Photos app from within iMovie:

  1. In the left-hand sidebar of the iMovie window, select Photos.
  2. Click the pop-up menu at the top of the browser to choose a content category—My Albums, Albums, Years, Collections, Moments, or Places.
  3. When you find the photo or video you’d like to use, drag it into the timeline of your project. If you add a photo, it appears for 3 to 6 seconds in your project, depending on the length of the transitions next to the photo. You can trim the photo in the timeline so it appears for a shorter or longer amount of time in your video.
  4. To replace an existing clip, drag the photo or video onto the clip you want to replace, then choose one of the replacement options.

If Photos isn't in the Libraries list, your Photos Library might not be designated as your System Photo Library. You can always drag photos and movies into your iMovie project. 

Drag photos and videos into an iMovie project

You can drag photos from the Photos app directly into the timeline of your iMovie project.

To drag a video from the Photos app into an iMovie project, drag the video you’d like to use from Photos to your Desktop, then drag the video from the Desktop into the timeline of your iMovie project.

If you drag a video directly from the Photos app into the iMovie timeline, it appears for 3 to 6 seconds in your project as a still image.

Add photos and videos on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. In iMovie, create a movie project or create a trailer project.
  2. With your project open, scroll the timeline so the playhead (the white vertical line) appears where you want to add the image or video clip.
  3. Tap Add Media button , then tap the location where the photo or video is stored. For example, if the photo or video is in the photo library of the Photos app, tap Moments, Video, Photos, or Albums.
  4. Tap the photo or video you want to add. 
  5. If you're adding a video clip, you can preview the clip, edit the clip, and more before you add it to the timeline of your project. When you're ready to add the video clip, tap Add to Project button.
  6. If you added a photo, it appears for 3 to 6 seconds in the timeline of your project, depending on the length of the transitions before and after the photo. You can trim the photo in the timeline so it appears for a shorter or longer amount of time in your video.
Published Date: