On iMovie 10.1.6 for Macbook Pro High Sierra 10.13.6— I'm trying to edit a project/clip which has been autosaved by iMovie with a .imovielibrary extension.

When I try to open it to edit in iMovie, it shows me the saved movie clip in My Media and allows me to drag to panel below. Doing so seems to have saved none of the transitions, overlaid music, etc necessary to make additional edits. Checking My Movie above in Project Media is the same story.

Question: How can I recover / open the video clip with the transitions, overlays, etc so I can begin where I left off?

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Then I thought I should click on All Events then drag them onto the library clip but it won't let me drag or otherwise add the events:

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Originally I thought I may have lost them, so I checked in the cached folder and it's the same deal here (no editable "project" files):

~/Users/me/Library/Containers/com.apple.iMovieApp/Data/Library/Caches/iMovie Backups.localized

1 Answer 1


Found the answer. You cannot open an .imovielibrary and open it as project from the first interface. It will default to opening the library of finished movie clips and allow you to drag into the timeline (which won't include any of your transitions, etc available for edit).

Instead, you need to click the Return to Projects button on the top left (which it will then ask you to save your current project. Save it then delete it).

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You will see your project file there. It won't default (at least it didn't for me) to opening it as a project, instead it will default it opening it as a playable movie. You need to click the ellipsis button under the project thumbnail and explicitly tell it to open as project:

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