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

Note:

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

Note:

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.

How to Export iMovie to MP4 with QuickTime

Some people might resort to QuickTime for help while converting. 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), unless you manually change the video file extension from .mov to .mp4. The detailed steps are as follows:

Step 1: Launch QuickTime on your device.

Step 2: Click the file button and open the iMovie file you want to convert.

Import the iMovie file to QuickTime
Import the iMovie file to QuickTime

Step 3: Go to File menu > Export, click it and select the desired output quality.

Export iMovie file with QuickTime
Export iMovie file with QuickTime

Step 4: Save the video to the desired directory, and change the extension from .mov to .mp4.

Change the video file extension
Change the video file extension

Note:

  • 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.
  • Changing the video file extension will swap its container, which works under certain circumstances. The pitfall is, if the codec of the original video stream is not supported in the target container, file damaging or playback errors will crop up.

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

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 comes to your need.

VideoProc, 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 steps below to convert your iMovie to MP4.

Step 1: Download, install and initiate VideoProc.

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

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

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

Step 4: Select MP4 as the output format.

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

Note:

  • For those who seek 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.

Note:

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 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.

FAQs

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 VideoProc to convert.

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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