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iMovie Formats

* Accepted formats listed below.

Many iMovie users new and old are still asking what file formats can be used in iMovie. Though it’s always up for debate as things change from one version to the next, there are usually still a few formats that always remain the same.

A good thing to know is that just about anything can be converted to a file that will be accepted by iMovie. However, it’s a good thing to understand which formats work so that you can know if anything needs to be done in order to get that file into iMovie for editing.

There are many file formats that work but here is a list of file formats that have worked for me and that I try to stick with.


Apple Pro Res
MP4 (Not every type of MP4 but most are accepted).

iMovie Formats

It’s a basic list but one that I think will help a lot of people as they import different video formats in iMovie.

Another thing that I have always done when looking at file formats is the “container” on the file or what the file names end with. For example, if it has a .MOV container and has one of the file types above, it should work in iMovie. If it’s got an .MP4 container with one of the file types above, it should work in iMovie.

All these things will help when it comes to importing different file formats because if it’s something not supported like .WMV or .VOB files for example, you will need to convert them so that they can then be imported into iMovie. If a file is greyed out when trying to import, most likely that file format is not accepted by iMovie and figuring out what its container and file type is will then help.

You can do this by simply right clicking on the video clip you want to import and choosing “Get info”. You can then see what file type you are working with. If it needs to be converted, you can use some free conversion software like MPEG Streamclip, Flip4Mac when working with .WMV files and a whole lot more.

The important thing is to know what you are working with. It will save you a lot of time when it comes to importing different videos in iMovie.

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