Fix Final Cut Pro Export Errors with 3 Easy Techniques

Final Cut Pro 08/06/2021 4 min read

Export errors in Final Cut Pro can be really frustrating, especially if you’re up against a deadline. Take a deep breath! You haven’t lost any of your work. There are a number of possible issues preventing your project from exporting successfully. If you systematically work through all the likely problems, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to fix any export errors in less than 10 minutes. 

Below we’ve covered the reasons that export errors happen as well as troubleshooting steps to troubleshoot if you have any. 

Part 1: Understanding Export Errors

Before jumping into the common fixes for export errors, let’s take a look at what causes them in the first place. Understanding what’s going on behind the scenes can help you diagnose what’s happening and maybe even prevent the problem from coming back in the future.

First of all, if you’re trying to export your project, make sure that you’ve got your timeline selected and not a clip in the browser. Otherwise, you may find that you’re not exporting the right thing or that Final Cut Pro has even disabled the export function. In order to do this, all you have to do is click anywhere in the timeline and then navigate up to File > Share

Another common type of error can come from corrupted frames or media in your project. If you get an error that says Bad Frame, you’ll need to locate this frame in your project and try to reload it from the browser into the timeline. If that doesn’t work, you may even need to resort to removing that particular frame from your project entirely!

Render files are video clips that FCPX creates in the background to help preview your project at full speed while you’re editing. They’re handy and help your editing fly by smoothly, but sometimes they can also become corrupted. Deleting render files won’t make you lose anything except time and can sometimes fix your problem. 

Corrupted video files can also cause problems when it’s time to export. If you identify one of the video clips you’ve included in your project is corrupted, you might need to consider swapping out with another clip or re-importing it from the source. 

Part 2: How to Fix Final Cut Pro Export Errors

Below are a few quick fixes you can try once you’ve identified what’s causing your export error. If one of them doesn’t work, you can always try combining them and using multiple techniques to troubleshoot the issue.

Delete Your Render Files

If you’ve encountered Video Rendering Error: -50 or are just working through the troubleshooting steps, you can try the below method for deleting (and recreating) your render files. 

  1. In the browser, select your project. 
  2. Navigate on the top menu to File > Delete Generated Project Files.
  3. Tick the box that says Delete Render Files.
  4. Hit OK.

Once that’s done try to share your project again. It might take longer to export since Final Cut Pro will need to recreate the render files from scratch. This technique is also great for reducing the amount of disk space that Final Cut Pro takes up on your hard drive. You can go through all of your previous projects, events, or even libraries and delete the generated files to clear up space.

Replace Your Bad Frame

If you get an error message which specifies a specific frame, you’ll need to find that frame in your project and try to reload it. Make sure to note that frame number down so you can find it later.

  1. On the top menu navigate to Final Cut Pro > Preferences > General > Time Display. Set it to Frames so that you can find the specific frame from your error message. 
  2. In the timeline scroll forward and pay attention to the frame number below the viewer (where the timecode used to be). Keep scrolling until you find the exact frame from the error message. 
  3. If there are any effects applied to this clip, select it and press Command+C to copy them.
  4. Select the clip at that location and press Shift+F to locate the original clip in the browser. 
  5. Drag the clip down from the browser into the timeline where the current clip is. A popup should appear with several options; select Replace from Start.
  6. If you copied your clip’s effects earlier, select your newly replaced clip and then navigate to Edit > Paste Effects.

Did that work? If so, you might want to head back to the Preferences window and reset the Time Display back to the original time code. If you’re still unable to export, try going back to the previous section on delete render files and follow those steps before exporting again. 

Create a New Library

If none of these troubleshooting techniques has resolved your issue so far, you can try creating an entirely new library and copying all of your content over into it.

  1. On the top menu navigate to File > New > Library.
  2. Select a location and name and then click Save.
  3. You should see your new Library appear in the browser next to the old one. Select the Project containing your project and drag it into the new Library
  4. A popup should appear for copying your Event. Make sure to choose Media and select Original Media but deselect the other options.

Did your video finally export? One final trick, if you haven’t tried this already, is to export a Master File version of your project from the Share settings. You can take this Master File and then convert or compress it to whichever format you need. 

Now you should understand everything you need to know about Final Cut Pro export errors, from render files and bad frames to recreating a new library to get around the issue. Make sure to bookmark this page in case you encounter these problems again because export errors always seem to crop up when you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to waste! 

For your next project, you might also want to check out all of the Final Cut Pro resources available at Motion Array. There are tons of FCPX downloads to upgrade your editing toolkit, as well as stock video and royalty-free music to add to your next project as well!

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