Manage render files

Rendering is the process of creating temporary video and audio render files for segments of your project that Final Cut Pro cannot play in real time. When you add effects, transitions, generators, titles, and other items, they require rendering before you can play them back at high quality.

In the Timeline, an orange render indicator appears above clips that need rendering.

Background render indicator appearing above clip in Timeline

By default, background rendering begins 5 seconds after you stop working and moving the pointer in Final Cut Pro, and it continues while you work in a different application. You can turn off background rendering or adjust this setting in Final Cut Pro preferences. You can also manually start rendering for a project or a portion of a project.

Render files are stored in your Final Cut Pro library or in an external location you define in the Library inspector. For more information, see Manage storage locations.

Over time, render files can accumulate and take up storage space. If you want to free up storage space, you can either delete unused render files in selected events or delete all of the render files for selected projects or events. You can also delete all render files for a given library. Original media files are not deleted, so you can always regenerate render files from the original media.

Render all or part of a project

In the Timeline, areas of your project that need rendering have an orange render indicator.

Do one of the following:

  • To render a portion of your project: In the Timeline, select the clip or clips that you want to render and choose Modify > Render Selection (or press Control-R).

    Note: The selection must be a clip selection, not a range selection.

  • To render all portions of your project that need rendering: Choose Modify > Render All (or press Control-Shift-R).

Final Cut Pro renders the portions of the project that you defined and removes the corresponding orange render indicator. You can view the progress of rendering in the Background Tasks window.

Delete project render files

  1. Select one or more projects in the Browser.

  2. Choose File > Delete Generated Project Files.

  3. In the window that appears, select Delete Render Files and click OK.

Delete event render files

  1. In the Libraries list, select one or more events in the same library.

  2. Choose File > Delete Generated Event Files.

  3. In the window that appears, select Delete Render Files.

  4. Select whether to delete unused render files or all render files, and click OK.

Note: If you choose to delete all render files in an event, any project render files in that event are also deleted.

Delete render files from a library

  1. Select a library in the Libraries list.

  2. Choose File > Delete Generated Library Files.

  3. In the window that appears, select Delete Render Files.

  4. Select whether to delete unused render files or all render files, and click OK.