iMovie for Mac: Import media from your Mac

Import media from your Mac

You can import media—video, photos, and audio—from your Mac or a connected storage device.

Import media by dragging it from the Finder

  • Select a file, Command-click to select multiple files, or select a folder of files, and drag the selection from the Finder to an event in the Libraries list in iMovie.

    The clip or clips appear in the event.

Import media using the Import window

  1. If the media you want to import is on an external storage device, connect it to your Mac and turn it on.

  2. To open the Import window, click the Import button in the toolbar.

    Import button in toolbar

    If you don’t see the Import button, click the Media button in the toolbar, and then click the Import button.

    Media button in toolbar

    If Image Capture, Photos, or another photo app opens, close the window.

  3. In the Devices section of the Import window sidebar, select the device you want to import media from.

    The contents of the device appear in a list at the bottom of the Import window. You can select clips individually in list view, and a preview of the selected clip appears at the top of the Import window.

    Import window showing media available to import

    You can do any of the following:

    • Sort clips in list view by data such as duration, creation date, size, and so on: Click the column headings at the top of list view.

    • Add a folder of frequently used media to the Favorites section: Drag a folder from the list on the right to Favorites in the sidebar.

    • Remove a folder from Favorites: Control-click the folder and choose Remove from Sidebar from the shortcut menu.

  4. To preview video, move the pointer over the preview at the top of the Import window and click the Play button .

    You can also click the Previous or Next button to go to the previous or next clip, or click and hold the Previous or Next button to rewind or fast-forward.

    Import window playback controls
  5. To specify where the imported media will be stored, do one of the following:

    • Choose an existing event: Click the “Import to” pop-up menu at the top of the Import window and choose the event.

      "Import to" pop-up menu
    • Create a new event: Click the “Import to” pop-up menu, choose New Event, type a name for the new event, and click OK.

    To learn more about events, see Organize media and events.

  6. Do one of the following:

    • Import all clips: Click Import All.

    • Import selected clips: Command-click each clip you want to import, and click Import Selected (the Import button changes its name).

    The Import window closes, and your clips appear in the event. Depending on the length of each clip and the number of clips you’re importing, you may see a progress indicator in the upper-right corner of the window while the clips are being imported.

    Progress indicator in toolbar

    You can continue to work in iMovie while the import finishes.

Tip: If you have any camera archives that you created with earlier versions of iMovie, you can import them using this method.

Published Date: Oct 10, 2019