Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later: 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.

Before following steps in this article, be sure that you have current backups of your libraries and your media, as well as a backup of the Final Cut Pro X application.


1. Restart your computer

Restarting your computer resets Final Cut Pro X related system resources. It's the simplest thing you can do to troubleshoot Final Cut Pro X issues. 


2. 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.


3. 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 Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4: Graphics card compatibility.


4. Ensure Final Cut Pro X is up to date

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 be sure 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.


5. Verify that the Pro Video Formats is installed

For more information see How to use Pro Video Formats 2.0 and MXF with Final Cut Pro X, Motion, and Compressor.


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

For more information see:


7. Check third-party compatibility

Contact the manufacturer of any third-party software you use with Final Cut Pro X (such as plug-ins, tools, or content) for compatibility. This includes audio plug-ins you also use with other apps like Logic Pro X. The manufacturer might also provide information on updating or upgrading to a compatible version of their plug-in or provide information on how to correctly remove the plug-in.

Third-party software can also include driver software for external devices that may need to be updated for compatibility or firmware that may need to be updated for third-party devices like an external hardware RAID.


8. Isolate an issue by using another user account

For more information see Isolating an issue by using another user account.


9. 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.


10. 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.


11. Reset Final Cut Pro X preferences (in OS X Mavericks)

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:

After 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 going on with tasks in Final Cut Pro X. 

Reset preferences in Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 or later

  1. Quit Final Cut Pro X.
  2. Hold down the Command and Option keys while reopening Final Cut Pro X. A window will appear asking "Do you want to delete preferences?"
  3. Click Delete Preferences. This command removes the preference files and resets Final Cut Pro X to default settings.

Reset preferences in Final Cut Pro X 10.1-10.1.1

  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:
  4. 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.

12. 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.

Learn more

From Final Cut Pro X Help:

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