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By Jordi D. Rodríguez - Contact Author

Premiere Pro Can't Import MP4 File - Troubleshooting Steps

Restart Premiere > update Premiere > Re-encode MP4 file for Premiere Pro [Useful for 85% users]

To Fix Premiere Pro File Import Failure - Follow the Troubleshooting Guide Below

"Some of the .MP4 files from my DJI drone and GoPro HERO7 fail in import to Premiere on Windows 10. These same files are usable on all other video software I own, as well as a lower end video editor. Any solutions?"

It is no exaggeration to say that MP4 is the most widely used video format accepted by 99% of video hosting sites, media players, and electronic devices. Adobe Premiere Pro is surely one of the supporters of MP4. It should have been able to read MP4 files like all others. If you can't import MP4 video into Premiere Pro, like say Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019, something goes wrong there.

Premiere Pro not import MP4
Premiere Pro not import MP4

Why Can't Your Adobe Premiere Pro Import MP4 File?

There are three possible reasons that may cause file import error: your MP4 video file got problem, your Premiere Pro software got problem, or your computer got problem. To pin down what exactly goes wrong, you need to do the troubleshooting one by one.

  • Possible reason 1. Make sure you are not importing a corrupted MP4 file to Premiere. Can any other video player play your MP4 file? If it could, then your file is not broke. If your MP4 file is not corrupt and the Premiere Pro can import any other MP4 files except for the very one, your MP4 file codec may not compatible with Adobe Premiere, go to the Solution 3 to re-encode MP4 file >
  • Possible reason 2. Wrong settings in Premiere Pro If all files with .mp4 extension can't be imported into Premiere Pro, while all others in MOV, MKV, AVI, etc load correctly, there might be setting mistakes in your Premiere Pro. To reset your Premiere Pro and fix MP4 import failure problem, please refer to Solutions 1 - 2.
  • Possible reason 3. Your computer got problems Adobe Premiere Pro CC allows two activations. Try to import MP4 file to Premiere Pro on another computer. If no import failure issue, something related to hardware like GPU needs to be checked. To solve the problem, try Solutions 1 - 2.

Premiere Pro Fail to Import MP4 File? Try "Restart" Steps First.

Whatever the error is or you will encounter, take "Restart" always as your first troubleshooting step. It solves the vast majority of the problems of electronic devices.

1. Shut down and reopen Premiere Pro. Then create new project and try to import MP4 to Premiere Pro.
2. Save your other projects that are open currently, and restart the computer.
3. Turn off and turn on hardware acceleration. Or switch the renderer to Mercury Playback Engine Software Only. Or just uncheck "Enable accelerated Intel h264 decoding".

How to turn off the hardware acceleration support of Premiere Pro?

  • Open Adobe Premiere Pro and move to Edit.
  • Choose Media under Preferences.
  • Uncheck "Enable accelerated Intel h264 decoding (requires restart)" here and then get back to import your MP4 file to Premiere Pro. The computer we use for test here doesn't support Nvidia GPU acceleration. Just Intel QSV.
Turn off hardware acceleration
Turn off hardware acceleration

How to switch to software renderer only?

  • Go to File > Project Settings > General.
  • Then move to the Video Rendering and Playback section.
  • Switch Renderer to Mercury Playback Engine Software Only and see if it can fix your MP4 file import failure in Premiere Pro.
Renderer software only
Renderer software only

Can't Import MP4 File into Premiere Pro? Update Premiere Pro or Graphics Driver to Have A Try.

Both updates to software and hardware may render potential errors. Follow the below 5 simple tricks to fix Premiere not importing MP4 file issue.

1. If you are using Adobe Premiere Pro CS series or old Premiere Pro CC, like say 2018, update to its latest version - Premiere Pro CC 2019 to have a try. Besides, trial version may have effect on it sometimes.Besides, are you using a trial version? If yes, you are more suggested to cost USD239.88/year to purchase the paid version, or you will meet lots of errors when adding MP4, MOV, AVI and other video files to Premiere Pro.

2. If Premiere Pro can't load your MP4 file even you are using the latest version, roll back to the old version and try again.

3. Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 requires the newest version of graphics drivers. So updating your GPU driver might solve file import failure problem.

4. Too much media cache may render you fail to import MP4 file to Premiere Pro. Go to Edit > Preferences > Meida Cache, and click Delete Unused to clean those unused media cache files. Then get back to test whether you can load the MP4 to Premiere Pro or not.

Clear cache in Premiere Pro
Clear cache in Premiere Pro

5. According to the feedback from some users, installing QuickTime could fix the MP4 importing issue temporarily. But 32-bit QuickTime support has been discontinued. Download QuickTime 7.7.9 for Windows >

Premiere Pro Failed to Import MP4 Video File Though Trying All Troubleshooting Steps Above Convert MP4 to other Premiere friendly movie format like MOV, MPEG, FLV.85% of users find it useful

Analysis: If the MP4 file doesn't have a playback error, and the troubleshooting steps we mentioned above can't fix up the MP4 import failure error, it is very likely the problem is on codec. And that can be solved by re-encoding the MP4 video file. Suppose your MP4 video is output from Adobe After Effects. Then go back to After Effects and choose CineForm or DNx as the output codec. And then import MP4 again to your Premiere Pro. There should be no problem anymore. Easier way than that, you can use the MP4 video file to Premiere Pro converter - VideoProc to tackle MP4 files from DJI drones/Osmo Action camera, GoPro, iPhone, and etc.

VideoProc - Fix Premiere Pro MP4 File Import Failure Issue in Just a Few Clicks

  • A powerful MP4 video converter: convert MP4 to any Premiere Pro friendly formats.
  • Support 350+ input codec: convert iPhone, HEVC, MKV, 4K, GoPro, DJI drone videos, etc.
  • Offer 420+ output formats: convert any videos to MOV, AVI, HEVC, MP4, VP8, WEMB, etc.
  • Up to 47x conversion speed with full GPU acceleration supported.

Download VideoProc on Windows

Download VideoProc on Mac

How to Import MP4 to Premiere Pro by Re-encoding?

Step 1. Launch VideoProc > Video > + Video to import your MP4 file from local drive.

Import MP4 video in VideoProc
Import MP4 video in VideoProc

Step 2. Choose Premiere Pro friendly codec as the target format.

MOV is supported by Premiere Pro CS3/CS4/CS5/CS6, so I will select MOV as the output format. Move to the bottom area, and go to Target Format > General Profiles > MOV Video > Done.
You can move the cursor to HQ before clicking the Done icon if want to get high quality output.

Convert MP4 to MOV
Convert MP4 to MOV

Step 3. Hit RUN to start converting MP4 to MOV, and then try to import to Premiere Pro.

FAQ about importing MP4 file to Adobe Premiere Pro

Question: What format does adobe premiere support?
Answer: Adobe Premiere supports most popular container formats and codecs. If you want to know what formats are not supported by Adobe Premiere Pro, read and check for details.

Question: Is MXF video file supported by Adobe Premiere?
Answer: Many filename extensions like MP4, MOV, AVI, and MXF are just container file formats. They can be regarded as a box to hold media data compressed by different compression and encoding technique. That is to say, it is the codec rather than file container formats that determine whether Premiere can read the file or not.

Question: For the mentioned MP4 to Premiere Pro converter VideoProc, any other feature it has?
Answer: Besides converting videos, VideoProc is also able to perform some video editing tasks, including cutting, trimming, merging, splitting, deshaking, denoising, adding special effects, and more. The operation is really beginner-friendly. Moreover, it can digitize DVDs, convert audios, download videos and music from 1000+ sites, and record screen and webcam.

Question: How to fix Premiere Pro not importing the audio of MP4 file?
Answer: Cleaning the media caches can fix 60% of the issues. You can go to C:/Users/(username)/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Common (windows user), or C:/Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common (Mac user) to find the media cache file folder, and then delete all files under that path.

  1. Download VideoProc on Windows
  2. Download VideoProc on mac

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Jordi D. Rodríguez

Jordi was an amateur tech enthusiast, but now an editor who has published hundreds of stories covering hardware acceleration, video editing, software review and how-to guides. He is more like a "tech support" with adventurous soul, eagerly grabbing cutting-edge video technologies off in a professional yet easy-to-understand style, and enjoying gliding, diving, etc.

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