Why Does Final Cut Pro Take up So Much Space

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Hi! This is Dylan from Stupid Raisins. In this video I’m going to show you why Final Cut Pro takes up so much space. It’s frustrating to get those running out of storage space error messages. In this video, I’m going to show you exactly what’s happening and how to fix the problem once and for all. I’m going to show you what files are gorging themselves on your hard drive. Then I’ll show you what files to delete to get back that precious disk space. Next I’ll show you how to optimize Final Cut and some tips and tricks on saving space. Let’s do this!

Final Cut Pro takes up so much space because video files are just big by nature. Take a look at this 4K airplane footage. It’s only 4 seconds long but it’s over 600 MB in size! Not only that, Final Cut creates high-quality render and optimized and proxy media files which make for faster editing but stuffed to the rafters hard drives.

I have a library that’s almost 375 GB in size but has less than 6 GB of media in it. Let’s put this library on a diet. The first thing you can do is delete those render, optimized and proxy media files. In Final Cut, go to the Browser and select your larger than life library. Then go to File and click on Delete Generated Library Files. Check the box next to Delete Render Files and select all. Check the boxes next to optimized and proxy media then click OK. Give it a second to digest and pop! Your library is smaller.

The only problem is Final Cut will immediately start to recreate render files but don’t worry, I’ll show you how to stop that and optimize Final Cut for better performance. Open Preferences with command + comma or go to Final Cut Pro in the menu bar and select Preferences. Under the Import tab, uncheck Create optimized and proxy media. Next go to the Playback tab and uncheck background render. This will stop Final Cut from recreating those massive render files you just deleted. If you need to manually render for smoother playback just press Control + Shift + R to render the entire project or select a section and press Control + R.

Are you ready to save space? Has this video been helpful? If so, hit that like button so others can see this video. Thanks!

Another way to free up space is to delete cache files. Quit Final Cut Pro and then hold down Option and Command while opening Final Cut. When asked, click Delete Preferences from the dialogue box. This will refresh FCP and you’ll lose any of your preferences. You’ll need to turn off background rendering again.

You can free up a bit more space and make Final Cut run smoother by quitting any unnecessary background apps. Open Activity Monitor, click on Memory and then sort by memory. Select any apps you don’t need running and press the stop X button. This will quit those programs.

If you need to reclaim more space you can delete files on your hard drive. Go to Apple icon on the menu bar and select About this mac. Click on Storage, then Manage. Here you’ll see recommendations on saving space and on the left side you’ll get a birds eye view of what is taking up so much space. Click on Review Files and sort by Size. Here’s a list of all your files sorted by size. Select any you don’t want or need and press Delete. Then Empty Trash and you should have a lot of free space.

In addition to deleting render files and optimizing Final Cut Pro you can save space by exporting compressed files. To learn how, check out this video I made called How to Compress a Video in Final Cut Pro. Click here to check it out.

About Dylan Higginbotham

Hey there. I'm Dylan Higginbotham, and I'm pretty dang obsessed with Final Cut Pro X plugins. Subscribe below because I love giving away free plugins and contributing great content.

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