iMovie Not Responding on Mac: 8 Ways to Fix issues!

🗓️ October 14, 2022 By ✍️ Jaysukh patel

iMovie is a free Apple video editing app for Macs, iPhones, and iPad. Nowadays, every second person is using video editing apps in daily life to impress fellow mates. In addition, many content creators like YouTubers, Instagrammer, and others whose whole work depends on iMovie. Therefore, what if one fine day, you found that your iMovie not working on a mac? Don’t worry. We are here to help you solve your problem.

We assure you that you are ready to use iMovie on your mac hassle-free at the end of this article.

Here is the troubleshooting guide for iMovie not responding, unable to open iMovie, save or export files, open or play projects, or iMovie slow load or run, freezes, constant spinning beach ball, stuck on Processing, stuck on validating iMovie library and many more issues.

Free Tips to Unfrezz iMovie on Apple Mac

1. Restart your mac

Let’s Start with one of the primary and easy solutions for iMovie not working on mac: try restarting your mac device. To restart your mac, Goto Apple logo >Restart.

2. Relaunch your iMovie application

If you face the issue of iMovie not playing video, it means iMovie App is not loaded correctly on your mac. Therefore, to fix this problem, you need to close (Force quit) the iMovie app and relaunch it.

Here are the steps to Force quit iMovie App.

Steps to Force Quit iMovie App

1. Simultaneously Press the Option + Command + Esc key combination. Force Quit Application window will Pop Up.


1. Goto Apple Logo > Select Force Quit Option.

2. Now Select iMovie app from the list of Apps.

3. Select Force Quit button.

4. Confirmation window with the message, “do you want to force “iMovie” to quit? You will lose any unsaved changes”. At last, Click on Force Quit.

Therefore, first save your work then follow force quite else you will lose your data.

After Force quitting the iMovie window now, you need to relaunch the app. Here are the steps to Relaunch the iMovie app.

Steps to Relaunch iMovie App

You can relaunch iMovie app with two ways.

First way:

1. Simultaneously Press Command + Space bar Key to open “Spotlight Search“.

2. Write the name of your app, iMovie, in the spotlight search bar and hit Enter.

3. Click on iMovie. app to relaunch it.

Second Way:

1. Open finder from the dock.

2. click on applications from the sidebar.

3. Navigate to the app you want to open and click on it.

Once you relaunch iMovie, check whether iMovie is working correctly or not. If not, then head to the next solution.

3. Update iMovie app and macOS Firmware

First, check that you are using the latest version of the iMovie app. However, if you are not using the updated version, then update it.

Here are the steps to check and update iMovie App on Mac.

  1. Go to Apple Menu.
  2. Select App store.
  3. Click Updates.
  4. Now Select the Update button next to iMovie. If your iMovie is already updated, then it will show the Open button.

Alternative Method to check and update iMovie App on Mac.

  1. Go to Apple Menu.
  2. Select App store.
  3. Navigate to the iMovie app using the Search bar.
  4. Select the Update button next to iMovie if any updates are available.

4. Reset or Clear iMovie preferences

Reset iMovie preferences will reset iMovie preference to the default settings, while it will not affect libraries.

To clear/Reset iMovie preferences follow below steps.

1. First of all Quit iMovie app on your mac.

2. While Opening iMovie, Simultaneously Press Option and Command keys.

3. Confirmation window with message “do you want to delete the preferences?” will appear on the screen. Here Click “Delete Preferences”.

After following the above steps, your iMovie window will normally open. Don’t forget to check that is your problem gets solved or not. If not, then kindly head to the following fix.

5. Reset PRAM or NVRAM on your Mac

PRAM stands for Parameter Random Access Memory, and updated PRAM is called NVRAM (Non-Volatile RAM).RAM is a chip in a computer that stores active applications, processes, and remembers system settings.

Before going into detail about how to reset PRAM or NVRAM, First determine what type of mac you have. Do you have Intel Processor-based mac or an M1 chip (Apple Silicon) based mac?

To Find the type of mac Goto Apple Logo > Click About this mac >Overview.

Next, if you see “Processor” in the mac overview window, your mac has an Intel-based processor. Else if you see “Chip,” that means you have a Mac with Apple silicon, i.e., M1 Chip.

Now let’s learn How to Reset PRAM or NVRAM on your Mac?

Reset PRAM or NVRAM on Intel Processor mac

Here are the steps to reset PRAM or NVRAM.

  1. Shut Down your mac for that Goto Apple Logo > Click on Shutdown.
  2. Now, Using the POWER BUTTONStart your mac.
  3. Press and hold “Command + Option + P + R” for 20 seconds before hearing the start-up sound on mac.
  4. Release all keys until the second time you hear a start-up sound.

After following the above step, PRAM or NVRAM will erase all primary data causing the issue. Hence resetting PRAM or NVRAM may solve the problem you are facing with iMovie. Therefore, check iMovie once again after resetting PRAM or NVRAM.

Reset PRAM or NVRAM on Apple Silicon “M Chip” mac

The best thing about M mac is that manually you don’t need to reset PRAM or NVRAM. The Mac with M1 Chip on restart automatically resets PRAM or NVRAM if it detects any issue or problem. Therefore, you need to restart your mac if you want to reset it.

6. Delete and Reinstall iMovie

After trying all the above troubleshooting ideas, if your iMovie not working problem persists, then first delete the iMovie app and reinstall it.

1. Delete iMovie App

To delete the iMovie app from your mac device, Close the iMovie app from your mac if open and follow these steps.

a) Open Finder from the dock.

b) Click on the Applications folder.

c) Navigate to iMovie.

d) Now, click on iMovie, then Right click on iMovie App.

e) Next, select the “Move to bin” Option.

f) Pop-up with mac authentication password will generate. Therefore, enter your Password to delete iMovie App.

That’s it! iMovie gets deleted from your mac. However, if you won’t be able to delete the iMovie app from your mac, head to “How to Delete Apps on Mac That Won’t Delete: Here’s a Fix.”.

The next step is Install iMovie again, i.e., reinstall iMovie on your mac.

2.Reinstall iMovie App

With a few clicks, you can easily install iMovie from your mac device. 

Follow the below-mentioned steps to reinstall iMovie on your mac.

a) Goto Apple Logo.

b) Click on App store.

c) Now Find iMovie from Appstore.

d) Click on the Download icon next to iMovie and install it.

At Last Open iMovie and check if it’s working correctly or not.

7. Compatibility Issue

If your iMovie version is incompatible with your mac, it also causes an issue. Therefore, you must update your system to the latest version to be compatible with iMovie. To update your macOS, kindly refer to the steps we have already covered in the article.

8. Delete iMovie App and library Data

Sometimes you get an error like iMovie does not have enough disk space; therefore, in this case, you need to remove some iMovie data manually. To remove the unwanted file from iMovie,

Open Finder

– Click Go that appears on the top menu bar

– choose Go to Folder… (or shortcut Command + Shift + G)

Now writer ~/Movies on Mac search bar.

Then, delete the library files, Render Files, or any unused or unwanted data.

Deleting unwanted iMovie data will free up space on Mac and resolve the issue of iMovie does not have enough disk space.

After going through the above article, if none of the troubleshooting works for you, in such case, you can temporarily use a third-party video editing app. Here are the 15 Best Video Editing Software for Mac in 2022 (Inc. M1 & M2 Macs).


What is the solution for iMovie’s constant spinning beach ball?

There are many reasons for iMovie constant spinning beach ball, but generally, it occurs if you are working on a large project on iMovie and have little hard drive space on mac. Therefore, you need to free up some space on your mac. If you want to know how to do so, Visit How to Free Up Space on Mac (macOS Ventura Updated).

Next, try to boot up in safe mode, and once everything loads Straight away, reboot in normal mode. iMovie will not open in safe mode, so don’t try to open it in safe mode.

Now, after rebooting in safe mode, check whether you get rid of the spinning beach ball or not. If the issue persists, try different diagnostic methods, which we have already explained in detail in the above article.

Jaysukh Patel
Jaysukh Patel

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [OR]

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