Update and work with Final Cut Pro X libraries FAQ

Learn about updating and working with libraries in Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later.

What is a library?

Libraries are a new feature in Final Cut Pro X version 10.1 and later. A library contains both projects and events in one place. Think of libraries as a way to collect and organize related projects and events at a higher level. For example, you could use a separate library for each of your professional clients.  Or you could use libraries to separate different video productions, each of which contains its own projects and events.

What are the advantages of libraries?

Because a library contains both projects and events, it provides a single consolidated location for all your source media and edits. You can store libraries on local volumes and XSAN volumes. It’s easy to open and close libraries to access the media you need, and it’s simple to move media and projects between libraries.

How do I update my projects and events?

When you first open Final Cut Pro X 10.1 or later, you'll see a window with three choices:

  • Update All automatically updates all accessible projects and events and puts them in a separate library for each hard disk. Projects and events are accessible if they are in the Movies folder on your startup volume or at the root level of any mounted volumes. To be updated, projects and events must also be in the Final Cut Projects and Final Cut Events folders, respectively.
  • Update Later postpones updating. All of your existing content is unchanged and Final Cut Pro opens with a new empty library that contains no media. You can update your projects and events later by choosing File > Update Projects and Events.
  • Locate lets you manually navigate to a connected hard disk, folder, or SAN location where projects and events are located for Final Cut Pro X to update them.

Where are all of my projects after I update to Final Cut Pro X 10.1 or later?

The update process creates a new library for each connected volume that contains Final Cut Pro X projects and events, then creates an Updated Projects event in each of those new libraries. All of the projects from your Project Library are collected in these Updated Projects events, which appear at the top of the list of events for each new library in the Libraries list.

As a result, if you kept your projects and events on separate volumes, they will appear in separate libraries, but you can copy or move clips, projects, or entire events between libraries and hard disks. If you have projects and events that are either hidden or not at the root level of your connected volumes, update them manually.

In previous versions of Final Cut Pro X, projects appeared in the Project Library in the lower-left corner of the Final Cut Pro X window. In Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later, projects are contained in events within Final Cut Pro X libraries. There is no Project Library in Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later.

Where does my media go after I update?

Media that you stored inside your original event is stored inside your new library. Media that was linked to an external folder and was not copied inside your original event stays in that external folder and is linked to your new library.

What happens to Compound Clips and Multicam Clips?

Compound Clips and Multicam Clips are reference clips. When you modify a reference clip, the change is reflected in every instance of that clip.

When you update an event that contains instances of reference clips on other volumes, the reference clips are copied into the new library. The copies are independent of the original reference clips. This means that changes to the new reference clips don’t affect instances of the original clips.

Can I update an individual project or event?

No. It’s necessary to update all the projects and events within any Final Cut Projects or Final Cut Events folder at the same time so that references to assets, Compound Clips, and Multicam Clips are properly resolved. You can also navigate to a SAN location on shared storage using the Locate command and update everything in that folder at once.

How do I update projects and events in a SAN location or folder?

Click the Locate button when you first open Final Cut Pro X 10.1 or later, or choose File > Update Projects and Events.

Is media duplicated as part of the update process?

No. During the update process, Final Cut Pro creates links between the new Final Cut Pro 10.1 or later library and the media files in your old projects and events. If you delete your old project and event files, the media files remain in the new Final Cut Pro library. If you delete the new Final Cut Pro library, the media files remain in your old projects and events. By using these links, Final Cut Pro does not have to copy media files or use additional disk space.

Can I delete my old project and event files after updating?

Yes. When you successfully update your projects and events, the old projects and events are placed in a folder named “[Library Name] Old Final Cut Projects and Events,” next to the library file on the hard disk. You can choose to delete or archive these original files. Deleting these older project and event files after a successful update does not delete original media.

How are the new libraries that are created during the update process named?

The new libraries created during the update process are labeled with the name of the volume or folder that contains the projects and events.

What other files are created when I update to Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later?

If your projects or events used Compound Clips or Multicam Clips from events on other volumes, the clips are created again in your new library. These files do not contain media and therefore take up very little space on your hard disks.

How do I reorganize my material after I update?

Libraries provide great flexibility for media management. You can create separate libraries for different productions or clients, or you can create a separate library for each of your events. To create a new library, choose File > New Library. Copy an event to the new library by dragging it to the new library. You can also move an event to a library by choosing File > Copy to Library or File > Move to Library.

Where can I get more information about updating?

Refer to the Final Cut Pro X Help topic about updating your projects and events.

Where can I store libraries?

You can store libraries on local volumes and Xsan volumes.

How do I move libraries between hard disks?

You can copy libraries between hard disks using the Finder. Be sure to quit Final Cut Pro X before moving a library.

Can I have multiple libraries with the same name?

Yes. However, it’s a good idea to use different names so that you can easily distinguish between libraries. If you use the same name for two libraries within the Final Cut Pro X application, the second library name is incremented (Library 1, Library 2, and so on) in the Libraries list. If you use the same name for two libraries in the Finder, both libraries appear with the same name in the Libraries list.

Can I pick a specific location for importing media?

As of Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2, you can use the Library Properties Inspector to specify media storage locations for each individual library.

In the Media Import window, you can choose to copy imported media to the library or leave it in its current place. You can also specify a custom storage location for imported media. This option is in the Library Properties Inspector, allowing you to select custom storage locations on a per-library basis.

How do I manage storage locations for my media, cache files, and library backup files for each library?

As of Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2, you can view and define specific storage locations for media, cache files (render files, analysis files, thumbnail images, and audio waveforms), and library backups for each of your libraries. You can do this in the Library Properties Inspector. Store files within the library or in external folders you choose. You can also consolidate all files as managed media inside the library for easy transport or archiving.

For more information about the Library Properties Inspector see Manage storage locations in Final Cut Pro X Help.

How do I organize my generated media?

When you create optimized, proxy, or rendered media, you could store all of those files outside of the library. Using the Library Properties Inspector, you could pick a location for saving media on a drive that is fast enough to play back the files (like an Xsan volume). You can also easily delete this media as needed which makes it faster and simpler to copy, move, or archive your libraries.

Where can I get more information about Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later?

Last Modified: