Manage storage locations

You can set storage locations for each of your libraries. You view and define storage locations for media, cache files, and library backup files using the Library Properties inspector. You can store these files within the library or in external folders of your choosing. You can also collect all files as managed media inside the library for easy transport or archiving. See What are libraries? for more information about managed and external media.

View and set library storage locations

  1. Select a library in the Libraries list.

  2. To open the Library Properties inspector, do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Library Properties (or press Control-Command-J).

    • Click the Inspector button in the toolbar (shown below).

      Inspector button in toolbar

    The inspector shows the storage location settings for the selected library. The Media Locations section shows a list of storage devices for the existing media in the selected library, including the total amount of original, optimized, and proxy media stored on each device. (This is media that was previously imported or generated for the selected library.)

  3. To change storage location settings, click Modify Settings.

    A window appears with three pop-up menus that you can use to set storage locations. By default, media and cache files are stored within the library, and backups of the library database are stored in your Movies folder.

  4. To change a storage location, choose “Choose” from the appropriate pop-up menu, navigate to a folder for the new storage location, and click Choose.

    • Media: Set the location for imported files, proxy and optimized files, and consolidated files.

    • Cache: Set the location for render files, analysis files, thumbnail images, and audio waveform files.

    • Backups: Set the location for backups of the library database.

      If you don’t want Final Cut Pro to back up your library, choose Do Not Save from the Backups pop-up menu.

      Note: By default, Final Cut Pro makes automatic library backups at regular intervals. Backups include the database portion of libraries only, not the media files. Backups are saved with the time and date in the filename. To open a backup from a specific time and date and add it to the current Libraries list in Final Cut Pro, choose File > Open Library > From Backup. For more information, see Restore a library from automatic backups.

  5. When you’re finished setting storage locations, click OK.

    Final Cut Pro uses your new storage locations for future source media file imports, cache files, and backups.

    Important: Existing source media and backup files remain in their original locations. If you changed the cache storage location, you are asked if you want to move your existing active render files to the new location.

Consolidate media files for a library

  1. Select a library in the Libraries list.

  2. To open the Library Properties inspector, do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Library Properties (or press Control-Command-J).

    • Click the Inspector button in the toolbar (shown below).

      Inspector button in toolbar
  3. In the Library Properties inspector, click Consolidate.

  4. If you want to include optimized and proxy media, select the checkboxes in the window that appears, and click OK.

    Final Cut Pro copies the media into the selected library file, or to the external storage location. To view or change library storage locations, see the instructions above.

    For more information about consolidating media files, see Consolidate projects, events, and libraries.