3 Ways to Export iMovie to MP4 on Mac

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Looking for a fast and free lane to export iMovie files to MP4 format? Some people find it puzzling to export iMovie to MP4 with iMovie and QuickTime and run into abstruse issues, while some even don't know where to begin the operation.

Don't worry, this post is set to address your problems and suit your needs.

How to Export iMovie to MP4 with iMovie

One thing you need to figure out before you exporting iMovie to MP4 is what file formats does iMovie export. Many users encounter the problem that iMovie always exports files into .mov format, which is incompatible with many media devices.

  • Exported video format: MP4 (for low, medium, high and custom quality), MOV( for ProRes quality only)
  • Exported audio formats: ACC, MP3, AIFF, WAV


In case you want to know, as sharing iMovie file through email or uploading to YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo, it will be exported as .mov format, which could maintain the original video quality yet spontaneously brings up the file size. Thus if finding it inconvenient in this scenario you can resort to other converters for help.

Now let's get started.

Step 1: Launch iMovie on your device.

Step 2: Import your footage into the software.

Import media file into iMovie
Import media file into iMovie

Step 3: Hit the File button at the top toolbar, and go to Share > File, or you could click the Share icon at the preview window, and then choose the File option in the pop-up dialog.

How to export iMovie file
How to export iMovie file

Step 4: In the new pop-up file window, choose Video and Audio as the output format, and adjust resolution, quality, and other parameters accordingly.

Export iMovie to mp4 with iMovie
Export iMovie to mp4 with iMovie


Please avoid selecting the ProRes quality option if you want to export the file as MP4 format, otherwise it will be saved in MOV format.

Step 5: Click Next button, and name your exported file, select an output directory and click Next to save iMovie to MP4.

Export iMovie to MP4 with Better Alternatives

For those who find it a little farfetched or suboptimal to convert their iMovie files to MP4 with iMovie, free feel to turn to other alternatives for help. But before showing you some awesome tools that could easily nail the converting job, I want to quickly walk you through a widely-discussed question:

How to Export iMovie to MP4 with QuickTime

QuickTime, developed by Apple Inc., wins a great number of users with its capabilities to handle myriads of formats of digital video, picture, sound, panoramic images, and interactivity.

Unfortunately, you can't export iMovie to MP4 using the latest version of QuickTime (QuickTime Player. Version 10.5). In the software, all videos will be exported as either .mov or .m4v, the latter being for iOS devices and Apple TV and the former for everything else.

However, you can try resort to manually change the extension to MP4, which will swap its container, but won’t present real effect on the quality of the original file. But such method works under certain circumstances, and if the codec of the original video stream is not supported in the target container, file damaging or playback errors will crop up.

Change the video file extension
Change the video file extension


Previously, you can directly export iMovie to MP4 via QuickTime (Pro Version only). But since Apple ended support for QuickTime Pro in 2018, this method is no longer workable based on our test.

If you find it a little inconvenient to operate through QuickTime, you could turn to a dedicated video converter for help.

How to Export iMovie to MP4 with VideoProc Converter

It is indubitably powerful in terms of the functionalities of iMovie and QuickTime. But as mentioned above, they set limits for you in the pursuit of quality intactness as you put your iMovie file in MP4 format

Thus can you burn the candle at both ends? This is where VideoProc Converter comes to your need.

VideoProc Converter, as a one-stop 4K video processing tool, could fulfill all your demands with just one click. Equipped with a Level-3 Hardware Acceleration and 370+ format library, it can cope with any video sources and easily convert intermediate codec formats to MP4 without jeopardizing image quality.

Let's follow the video tutorial or the text instructions below to convert your iMovie to MP4.

Step 1: Download, install and initiate VideoProc Converter.

Step 2: Click "Video" on the main interface.

Export iMovie to mp4 with VideoProc
Export iMovie to mp4 with VideoProc Converter

Step 3: Import your iMovie file. Click "Add Video" button on the top of the page, and upload the desired iMovie file.

Add video to VideoProc
Add video to VideoProc Converter

Step 4: Select MP4 as the output format.

Select MP4 as the output format
Select MP4 as the output format


  • For those who seek the intact output quality, you could choose the high quality while setting the format.
  • Free feel to polish your videos on the Edit Video page, or you could turn to the toolbox for more edit functions.

Step 5: Click "Run" to export iMovie to MP4 format.


The output file is set by default and you could change it to another directory, so are the parameters which could be adjusted in Option.

As a perfect option to best video converter, VideoProc Converter also allows you to easily and quickly edit, transcode, cut, resize, trim, split, merge, and adjust large/4K video/audios, which is a solid choice for both beginners and professional video editors.

  • All formats supported.
  • All codes supported.
  • Lightning-speed converting.
  • Quality-oriented converting.
  • All practical editing features.


1. iMovie won't export and how to fix it?

There are several reasons that might cause the export failure such as no computer space, corrupted clips or frames, outdated versions of iMovie or incorrect export file name, etc.

The solution to that is to:

  • Restart your Mac.
  • Check if the storage space is adequate.
  • Check if there are any corrupted clips or frames and replace them..
  • Try update macOS and iMovie.

2. Why is my iMovie file not compatible with QuickTime?

If QuickTime Player couldn't open your iMovie file, it might be due to corruption in files, and for this case, you can render your video and export it again, or the app doesn't support the file's format or run into video codec issues, and in such situation, you can turn to other decent converters for help to sort it out.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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VideoProc is a primary branch of Digiarty Software that is a leading multimedia software company founded in 2006. It endeavors to provide easier hardware-accelerated video audio editing and conversion solutions. The installed base of the VideoProc product has reached 4.6 million units from 180 countries since its release 3 years ago.

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