How to Convert iMovie to MP4 on Mac/iPhone/iPad

how to convert imovie to mp4

If you’ve already attempted to export the project you are working on in iMovie as an MP4 file, you may have discovered that the file is instead saved with the MOV file type. Because the MP4 file format is so widely used, if you convert your iMovie projects to use that format, you’ll be able to share the content you create with almost anybody.

Thus, it is only natural to be curious about how to convert an iMovie file to the MP4 format. Follow along with me as I will demonstrate several different approaches to accomplishing this goal.

Why Is My iMovie Not Saving as MP4?

iMovie automatically saves your completed movies in the MOV format, a multimedia file type that is not universally supported across all devices and operating systems. However, there is a workaround that allows you to use iMovie itself to export a project as an MP4. The key step is to not select the ProRes quality option.

How Do I Convert iMovie to MP4 for Free?

Time needed: 1 minute

If you want to export your iMovie project as an MP4 video, follow these steps.

  1. Open iMovie on your device, then import the video you wish to convert.

    import-media how to convert imovie to mp4

  2. Next, click the Share icon in the top right corner and select File.

    file how to convert imovie to mp4

  3. Select the output format as Video and Audio. Set the video quality to anything except ProRes, as ProRes will automatically save the file as a MOV video. Then, click Next.

    video-next how to convert imovie to mp4

  4. Name your file, select the destination folder and that’s it. This is how to convert an iMovie project to MP4 on Mac, using the iMovie app itself.

It is a common misconception that the only way to export iMovie movies is to the MOV format. Nevertheless, iMovie projects can actually be saved directly as MP4 files. The MP4 files produced in this manner can to be stored in low, medium, high, and custom quality. Also, you may want to include still images, so knowing how to change a photo to JPG on iPhone is great to maximize compatibility.

However, if this method doesn’t work for you, you can also use Stellar Converter for Audio Video and convert the file to MP4 without any issues, even on Windows. Note that the yearly subscription for this software is $29.99.

  1. Download Stellar Converter for Audio Video then install and run the application.
  2. Add the MOV file that you want to convert.add-file how to convert imovie to mp4
  3. Click the Output Format button, make sure it is set to MP4, then click OK and Convert.convert-mp4 how to convert imovie to mp4

If you want to boost your projects and make them more professional, take a look at how to add music to an iMovie project.

How to Convert iMovie to MP4 on iPhone or iPad

Maybe you’ve been working on your video project in iMovie for iPhone or iPad. You can convert it to MP4 from these versions of the movie-making app, too.

  1. Open the iMovie app on your iPhone or iPad, then enter the project that you wish to convert.
  2. Tap Done in the upper-left corner then tap the Share button. Select Options in order to set the output format.
    done-share-imovie-iphone how to convert imovie to mp4
  3. Select Video Type to MP4, set the other options to your desired values, and tap Done.
  4. The video will be saved to your Photos library.

Is MOV or MP4 Better for iMovie?

The quality of an MP4 file is often lower, but it has a smaller file size. On the other hand, a MOV file has a better quality and a bigger file size. It’s also not as widely supported, though.

ProRes maintains the highest possible picture quality and offers improved performance while editing in iMovie, and since ProRes is only supported by MOV, it is considered the better file format.

For more related tutorials, you might want to check out our article on how to make a slideshow in iMovie.

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