How-To Install iMovie on 1st Gen iPad

Earlier on Thursday, we reported that iMovie for iOS had been updated to work on iPad 2, but that it wasn’t supported on the original iPad. The clever folks at, however, figured out how to use iPhone Configuration Utility how to bypass the restrictions Apple put on the app. That means you can install iMovie on your 1st generation iPad, so long as you don’t mind what many will consider to be a major nuisance we found when testing the procedure.


We used all caps, so you know we’re serious.

Firstly, you’ll need iPhone Configuration Utility to make this work. This isn’t a hack, and it’s not some sort of “jailbreak” for your iPad, you’re merely using the iPhone Configuration Utility to install iMovie on a particular device.

These are the steps verified by The Mac Observer.

1.) Backup your iPad and save a copy of that backup. Call us paranoid; we’ll live with it.

2.) Download the latest version of iMovie (version 1.2 as of this writing). It’s US$4.99 if you don’t already have it.

3.) You’ll need the newest version of iPhone Configuration Utility (iPCU), version 3.3 (Mac or Windows), which was released Wednesday.

4.) Open up iPCU and click on the Library, and then Applications. For most users, that list is likely to be empty - if it’s not, you’re probably a veteran at using iPCU. For those who don’t see iMovie listed, click the “Add” button to manually find it (/Users/[my account]/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications). If it is already listed, you don’t need to do anything else for this step.

5.) Still in iPCU, go to Devices, choose your iPad, and then click the Applications tab specific to that iPad. There you’ll see all the apps installed on your iPad, each of which is likely to have an “Uninstall” button next to it. If you scroll to iMovie, though, you’ll now find an “Install” button, as you can see in the image below. Click that button, let iPCU do its thing, and iMovie will appear on your iPad.

iPhone Configuration Utility Screenshot

6.) Quit iPCU. You may also have to restart your iPad before iMovie will launch.

7.) You can then import movies from iTunes like you would on your iPhone 4 or iPad 2 (once it ships), and edit away.

Here’s where the annoyance starts. When you next sync your iPad, iTunes is going to warn you that it is no longer authorized for use with your iTunes account., as you can see in the image below.


iTunes Warning

This is really only a reference to iMovie, which was installed through iPCU instead of iTunes, and thus iTunes doesn’t know what to make of it.

  1. If you click authorize, you get fed into an infinite loop that takes you back to the warning.
  2. If you click “Don’t Authorize,” iTunes will simply remove iMovie from your iPad.
  3. If you click Cancel, nothing changes and you’re good to go.

That is, you’re good to go until you want to install another app on your iPad. Our findings so far suggest you’ll need to remove iMovie to do so. You could then add iMovie back if you want, and we’ll leave that to you to decide.