I am trying to address the question here about transferring the videos between OS X and iOS from the iMovie perspective. Because iMovie is Apple product, I hope there is some easy synchronisation. There is iCloud in iMovie OSX but I cannot see it in iMovie iOS (iPhone 5) so I am worried that I am just wasting my times to work with projects requiring both iOS and OSX.

Is it possible the get the iMovie projects synchronised between OSX and iOS?

  1. How can I transfer my iMovie project from iOS to OSX?

  2. How can I move my iMovie OSX project to iOS?

2 Answers 2


I think you should consider your possibilities.

The iOS iMovie version is greatly limited in capacity, not to mention disk space, compared to its sister application.

You can share 'projects' via iMovie theater, however I use that term loosely. Going back to practicality, if you share a complete project and sync it to your mobile device and lets say this mobile device only has 16GB HDD and you only have a 5GB iCloud storage locker than you will quickly run out of room in easily half of 1 project. With that being said, going back to the mobile devices capabilities, it doesn't have all the features your desktop version has so some things get lost in translation, you may lose a transition you set prior, etc. However, it is a resource to share projects nonetheless. Additionally, the main draw back of iMovie Theater is that it doesn't share the PROJECT thats why I was using that term 'loosely', it shares the entire project movie with it's components (i.e., background music etc) that you have created thus far or the selection of the project you dictate. Theoretically, you can download the iMovie project from the theatre to your device and create a new project on your iPhone where you can add clips and edit there. But you won't be able to edit the properties in the previous project.

What I recommend you doing if your going full scale with this, two of the better options I would recommend is :

  1. Get a Time Capsule, you can set it up to wake over WLAN and essentially use it as both a router and external HDD which files you can access from anywhere. Although, this isn't an iOS friendly option, it's a logical option, because why waste your time creating on an iOS when the features are limited and the projects are decapitated from your devices hardware.
  2. Dropbox, Box, Google Drive etc etc etc. Use a file sharing cloud service to where you can simply save the project there from the get go and edit through that file instead of any of your devices HDD (unless your planning on doing some high processing features in FCPX with rendering etc) then that is a viable option.
  3. Don't use iMovie. It's great and all, but look at its target audience, it's meant for the people that don't have much expertise or the attention span to sit and edit videos, it's one-click and done type editing.
  4. Just get a laptop and save yourself a lot of heartache.

But to answer your question specifically and without bias, then NO, in regards to iMovie Mac and iMovie iOS you can not sync projects where full functionality is retained.

  • Thank you for the experienced answer! I created a movie with iMovie iOS. I have created projects with FCP like this here -- I haven't yet tried iMovie OSX. I find it very intriquing that I am able to do movies so fast with iPhone -- I can basically do them anywhere I am like on a bus stop. What do you things about iMovie OSX and FCB? The reason why I invested in iMovie was the interoperability btw iOS/OSX so I should not count on it or just for improvisation?
    – hhh
    Jan 1, 2015 at 0:26
  • @hhh it all comes down to personal perspective and how you feel about it. I personally like iMovie and use of for quick events like you said. It's fast a friendly. It also is a feature rich application considering it's free. But on the other hand I won't use it will big projects and special editing I use Final Cut Pro for things that are special. But it all comes down to what you like. However, like stated above if your intent is to save a project on your Mac only to be able to work on it from iMovie iOS it is not compatible!
    – soulshined
    Jan 1, 2015 at 0:39
  • I look it like this: before you hit some million dollar project -- keep it simple and short. I think it is better to create many small high-quality material fast than one big project that is bad. I find that fast improvisation is essential to test new ideas. It is easy to scale a small idea to big than a big idea to small -- this is my philosophy. I find FCP like Photoshop: I am just so much more productive with commamndline style minimalistic philosophy. Avoid all distractions and only add more features when you really need them :)
    – hhh
    Jan 1, 2015 at 0:55
  • Thank you for reciting! I have so many production ideas so I think I gonna continue with iPhone and I have 32 GB and still a lot of space. It is going to be fun. Btw how does the backup work? -I gonna use Time Machine to backup my iOS production and fast, easy and direct and fast. It is so super easy to concentrate on narrative with iOS iMovie in comparison to FCP -- at the start it is important to get ideas down fast. Sorry my exuberance and have a nice new year! :)
    – hhh
    Jan 1, 2015 at 0:56

According to this review, with recent versions of iMovie, iOS and OS X you can use AirDrop to "share" a whole project from iMovie on iOS to iMovie on OS X, as well as using the Theatre to share individual clips (original media or finished products).

Requirements will include:

  • OS X 10.9+ (maybe 10.10?)
  • iOS 8+
  • Mac and iPhone which both support AirDrop
  • iMovie 10+

Note: this feature was temporarily removed (sounds like they updated the format for iMovie for iOS projects but haven't added support in iMovie for Mac), so may only work on iMovie for iOS up to some particular version (sorry don't know which). Presumably will continue to work again soon...!

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