Copy or move items between libraries and hard disks

You can copy or move clips, projects, or entire events between libraries on the same hard disk or on different hard disks. When you copy an item from one library to another, the corresponding files are duplicated on the disk that contains the receiving library. When you move an item from one library to another, the corresponding files are moved from one library file to the other on disk.

For information about copying and moving items between events in the same library, see Copy or move clips and projects between events in the same library.

Here are some ways to use this feature to enhance your workflow:

  • Use multiple libraries on the same hard disk to organize a large number of active projects and media assets.

  • Work on your project and media files on a different Mac that has Final Cut Pro installed.

  • Back up your project and its media files to a hard disk, a network volume, or other storage media.

  • Allow multiple users to access your media in an external folder on shared storage.

  • Free up space on your computer’s hard disk.

Note: If you have customized any Final Cut Pro effects, transitions, titles, generators, or themes, you must manually back up and move the Motion Templates folder located in your Movies folder. Similarly, you must manually track and move any third-party effects, because they are not managed within the Final Cut Pro library.

Copy clips, projects, or events between libraries

  1. In the Libraries list, select the event you want to copy, or select the event that contains the clips or projects you want to copy.

  2. If you’re copying clips or projects, select them in the Browser.

    Note: You cannot select clips and projects at the same time.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If the library you want to copy to is present in the Libraries list: Drag the items to the library. If you’re copying an event, drag it to the library icon . If you’re copying clips and projects, drag them to a specific event icon.

    • If the library you want to copy to is not present in the Libraries list: Do any of the following:

      • Choose File > Open Library to open it from the submenu, and follow the instructions above.

      • Choose File > Copy [item] to Library and choose the library from the submenu, or choose New Library to create a new library and choose a location for it.

    If your selection contains optimized or proxy media, a window appears with more options. Select the checkboxes you want for copying optimized or proxy media, and click OK.

Move clips, projects, or events between libraries

  1. In the Libraries list, select the event you want to move, or select the event that contains the clips or projects you want to move.

  2. If you’re moving clips or projects, select them in the Browser.

    Note: You cannot select clips and projects at the same time.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If the library you want to move the items to is present in the Libraries list: Command-drag the items to the library by first starting to drag and then holding down the Command key as you drag. If you’re copying an event, drag it to the library icon . If you’re copying clips and projects, drag them to a specific event icon.

    • If the library you want to move the items to is not present in the Libraries list: Do any of the following:

      • Choose File > Open Library to open it from the submenu, and follow the instructions above.

      • Choose File > Move [item] to Library and choose the library from the submenu, or choose New Library to create a new library and choose a location for it.

    If your selection contains optimized or proxy media, a window appears with more options. Select the checkboxes you want for copying optimized or proxy media and click OK.

Important: When you import media into Final Cut Pro, you can select the “Leave files in place” option to link to the files in their current location rather than copy them into the library. In that case, Final Cut Pro creates symbolic links (also known as symlinks), which are special files that point to the media files. When you copy or move clips between events, Final Cut Pro copies or moves the symbolic links only (not the source media files). To replace the symbolic links with the actual source media files, select the events and choose File > Consolidate Event Files. For more information about files and clips, see Media files and clips.