iMovie is one of the most popular creative applications among Apple users. Millions of people use this app every day to view and edit their recorded video clips. They use it to polish them the way they want and create awe-inspiring videos that will hold their life’s most memorable moments. Well, that is until these iMovie projects get deleted, whether manually or wiped out of the Mac for various reasons, prompting the need to recover them.
It certainly hurts when you lose these special clips you spend hours shooting and editing. Fortunately, not all hope is lost yet. In this article, we will show you five methods to recover the deleted or lost iMovie projects on your Mac. Fasten your seatbelts, and let’s get right into it.
1. Check the Mac Trash Bin to Recover Deleted iMovie Projects
Trash Bin is a special folder in the Mac that temporarily holds the files that are deleted from your computer, so you can quickly restore them if the need ever arises. Once you delete a file from your Mac, it will move to the Trash Bin and stay there for 30 days. After that period is over, the file will be automatically removed even from the Trash Bin, getting erased permanently from your Mac.
Therefore, if you have accidentally deleted your iMovie projects, you can still recover them from the Trash Bin. Of course, that’s only applicable if the time after erasure hasn’t exceeded 30 days. Let’s see how you can use the Trash Bin to restore an erased iMovie project on your Mac:
- Click on the “Trash Bin” icon in the “Dock” to open it on your Mac.
- Once the Trash folder opens, scroll through it to look for the iMovie files you want to recover.
- If you find the file you were looking for, right-click on it.
- Click on the “Put Back” option to move the file back to its original location.
That’s it. You have restored your deleted iMovie projects.
2. Search Your Mac for Missing iMovie Projects
If you’re not that familiar with the iMovie app, misplacing projects is easy. As a result, the iMovie projects are saved in multiple different folders all across your Mac, making them exceedingly hard to find. In fact, you might have even saved them in an external drive you are unaware of. In this case, we recommend you conduct an in-depth search of your Mac and external drives to find the missing projects. Here’s what you need to do to find the missing iMovie project that is spread across your Mac:
- Open the “Finder” window on your Mac.
- Go to the “Search box” in the top-right corner and type this: KIND:imovielibrary
- Once you search using the text we have mentioned above, your Mac will return with all iMovie projects available on your device.
3. Check iMovie Library for the Lost Projects
Checking the iMovie library files is another way to find the lost iMovie projects you might have misplaced on your Mac. Follow the instructions below to find the missing iMovie projects directly from the library:
- Go to the “Movies” folder in your “Home directory,” and navigate to the iMovie Library.
- Now, select the “iMovie Library” file and right-click on it.
- Click on the “Show Package Contents” option.
- Look for the iMovie projects you want to recover. If you find them, double-click on them and recover the project back to your regular iMovie project folder.
4. Use Time Machine for Mac to Get iMovie Project Files Back
Time Machine is one of the best pre-installed native backup and restoration apps that helps Mac users back up their important files at regular intervals, and restore the files at a later date (If needed). If you set the Time Machine up to back up the library of projects from the app, follow this procedure to recover the deleted iMovie projects on your Mac:
- Plug in the storage media that contains the Time Machine backups of your Mac.
- Now, go to the “Finder” window and open the iMovie Library.
- Click on the “Time Machine” icon located in the menu bar and then click on the “Enter Time Machine” option.
- Next, the Time Machine app will open and show you the list of data backups for the “iMovie Library” folder. Look through the backups and find a date when the deleted project was still present in the iMovie Library.
- Select the iMovie projects you would like to recover, and click the “Restore” button.
Now, the selected iMovie files will be restored to their original location. With this, you have retrieved the iMovie projects back to your Mac.
5. Recover Deleted iMovie Projects on Mac Using Data Recovery Software
If none of the methods mentioned above worked for you, it’s time to use a professional data recovery application to retrieve your deleted iMovie projects. You should use such an application as soon as you suffer from data loss to minimize the chances of data overwriting and maximize the success rate of data recovery. This is imperative, especially when you’re using the latest generation of Mac that comes with a TRIM-enabled SSD.
You should also stop using the Mac as soon as you discover the data loss to make sure that the TRIM feature does not erase your iMovie files from your Mac’s SSD anytime soon. We also recommend downloading and installing a professional data recovery application on a flash drive, and not on your Mac’s internal storage, to avoid any sort of data overwrite. However, before you download a data restoration app, keep these two things in your mind:
- The data recovery app should come from a renowned data recovery company
- The software of your choice must have a lot of positive reviews from users and credible data recovery experts
Once you sort these things out, it’s time to download the data retrieval application and follow these instructions to restore the deleted iMovie projects:
- Connect the flash drive containing the data recovery software to your Mac and launch the application.
- Now, select the drive and the folder where the iMovie projects were located before their deletion, and click on the “Search for lost data” or “Scan” to start the scanning process.
- Once the scan is complete, the application will show all recoverable files that were located in the selected folder. Choose the files you want to recover and select them.
- Click the “Recover” button.
- Select a folder where you would like to download the recovered files and click on the “OK” button.
Congratulations! The iMovie files you picked will be transferred to the folder you have selected in the fifth step.