Forum Question: Can’t upload videos from imovie

I keep on getting error 401 and can’t upload.
I can export the video to a hardrive then upload to youtube, vimeo, facebook but can’t share the video from imovie.
keep getting error 401
peter lelievre

Comments: 46 Responses to “Can’t upload videos from imovie”

    4/14/11 @ 8:54 pm

    Could be a mistyped ID or password. Or, file size. You don’t really get proper feedback when uploading directly from iMovie.
    But don’t sweat it. Just export and upload via the web interface. That was is better anyway as you have more control.

      4/26/11 @ 9:30 am

      iMovie won’t let me log in to Facebook, YouTube Or Vimeo! What’s the deal?

        4/26/11 @ 9:39 am

        You mean it won’t let you send a video there. You can’t really “log in” to any of those via iMovie.
        The reasons could be: movie too big, movie too long, password uses special characters, password not right, ID not right.
        Just use the Web interface to upload video. You get more feedback there about what is not working when you try to upload.

    6/1/11 @ 9:06 pm

    I made a movie using imovie. then i shared it to a media browser in everything but HD and small because i didn’t want it to take too long. i came back in about 20 min and the entire video that took weeks to make was completely gone from imovie. i finally found it buried in my files, but it won’t let me put it back on imovie. this doesn’t make sense because i looked at the video info and it said it was an imovie project. what do i do??

      6/1/11 @ 9:07 pm

      Run iMovie again and look under projects. It is probably there.

    7/24/11 @ 6:20 pm

    imovie will not let me upload a video to Youtube (it says it is too long for youtube) even though I have permission as a director to upload up to 2hour long movies. I want to upload from imovie as the amount of movies I am creating from imovie makes this easier for us.
    Is there any way i can change this default setting in imovie??
    Heather NZ

      7/24/11 @ 6:35 pm

      Yea, I’m thinking that iMovie doesn’t have a setting to allow Directors to upload longer videos. Uploading with the web interface is probably your only option.

    Molly McCune
    8/18/11 @ 1:07 pm

    I tried to post a video from iMovie to Facebook and I got a copyright infringement thing.. One of the songs was downloaded illegally, so if I download it legally and try to upload it, will it work?

      8/18/11 @ 1:13 pm

      I don’t know what Facebook is doing to detect copyright. But even if you download the song legally, it is still definitely a violation of copyright to re-publish it in your video.

        10/22/11 @ 8:13 pm

        Gary, how is this correct when you’re not making any money from the video? That’s the basis of copyright infringement i thought?

          10/22/11 @ 8:16 pm

          No. Not at all! You can’t circumvent copyright law by simply “not making any money.” It is much more complex than that.

    Molly McCune
    8/18/11 @ 1:21 pm

    So is there no way that I could upload something I made on iMovie to Facebook if I have songs in it?

      8/18/11 @ 1:23 pm

      Right. Unless they are your songs. Just like if you recorded a song (or wrote a book or took a photo) someone else couldn’t use that without your permission and/or compensation. That’s what copyright is about.

    9/10/11 @ 8:08 am

    i made a movie on imovie and i cannot upload it on youtube ! it says that it should be converted or sth… any ideas?

      9/10/11 @ 9:06 am

      Not sure what you are doing now to try to upload. But try exporting (Share) from iMovie to a file. Then upload the file via the standard YouTube web interface.

    9/17/11 @ 12:49 am

    Problem is, my iPad won’t let me choose files when I go directly to sites. Would love to do this, but YouTube and Vimeo are the same — they don’t let me pick a file.

      9/17/11 @ 9:34 am

      iOS doesn’t have a traditional file system. So you can’t go to a web page and “select a file” — because the browser has no files. You need to go to the app that “owns” those items, like your Photos app, or iMovie app or whatever you are using and Share from there. Of course the App needs to have a Share function that supports the site you want. Like iMovie has a Share function that can send to YouTube.

    10/18/11 @ 9:19 am

    Hi Gary, love your videos they are such a great help. I have imovie ’11. The movie I have created is 4 hours long with titles, transitions, chapters, photos and music. I tried sharing to media browser so that I could get it to IDVD to create the DVD, but after 8 hours I got a message that said it could not publish because it was too large. I see that you suggest using Export instead. Which export option would you rec for a project this size and what export settings would I choose? This is my first time using this, so I apologize for all of the questions. I also want to make sure that the DVD is readable for PC’s and DVD players as well. Thanks so much for your help.

      10/18/11 @ 9:25 am

      Yes, 4 hours is WAY too large. A DVD usually holds 2 hours or less. The box of DVDs on my desk says “120 minutes of video” on the label, for instance.
      Exporting won’t help you get the video on a DVD. It is still too long. And as a file, it will be HUGE. 4 hours is like a double feature movie. I’d expect it to be a few gigs depending on the quality.
      But to export and use it as a file, just use the standard iMovie sharing options. Use the best quality that it lets you for your project. Or, try different ones. Experiment.

    10/18/11 @ 10:09 am

    Thanks for your response. I found Dual Layer DVD’s that say they are 240min which is 4 hours. Any idea how I get this to work?

      10/18/11 @ 10:33 am

      You didn’t mention dual layer before. It could work, but the limit is close to 4 hours so you are probably still too big. Needs space for menus, etc.
      See for some good info too.

    10/19/11 @ 11:02 am

    Ohhhhh. Ok. The actual length of the footage is 3:56:21. It’s an instructional DVD. Will there be enough room for menus and stuff on the dual layer with that running time? Also, I have tried all of the sharing options to export and am still unable to. I have an external drive that has 724.57GB available, is that enough? Do I need a bigger external drive? Can’t figure out why it won’t export. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.

      10/19/11 @ 11:31 am

      Probably too big then to fit on a DVD. That’s not enough extra space for menus, etc. Are you using the optimized settings that are shown on that page?
      What happens when you try to export? Error message? Did you try different export settings?
      Any way you do it, 4 hours is a HUGE video — way more than the standard 10 minute videos people usually use iMovie for.

        10/19/11 @ 12:43 pm

        Hmmmm.. Under Share I used “Export Movie” under the Large 720 x 540 option. With this got a “too long” couldn’t export message. Then Export Using Quicktime, Options under video settings H.264, Sound Rate 48.00. Go an error message with this attempt.

        So iMovie isn’t meant for larger projects?? I really need to get this exported and onto a DVD do I need to upgrade my editing software?

        If I were to use the dual later DVD, how much room would I need to leave for menus etc?

        Much thanks

          10/19/11 @ 12:53 pm

          Try the Medium option. What was the exact message. Surely it was more than “too long.”
          iMovie should be able to handle this, but I’ve never heard of anyone doing a single video that is more than 4 hours. Usually for a DVD you create sections and such.
          You said you are using your external hard drive which has 700GB available. But what about your internal drive? Maybe it needs more space on that.

    11/30/11 @ 2:31 am

    Hello, informative site. I recently converted from PC to MACBook Pro. I have uploaded 75 HD videos ranging from 5 min to 55 min on You Tube this last 2 years. It says I am allowed more than 15 min. So I created a 56 min movie on imovie. Finalized the project and it saved it as a imovie file. Exported it to Quicktime using You Tube’s guidelines after it was rejected. Didnt even get 5 min into it with rejecting it after it was trying to export it to Quicktime. Saved it to my external harddrive and used You Tube’s interface directly to upload it.

    Message I got is: ( The .rcproject file type is not an actual video file. Follow these steps to simply convert this to an acceptable file format.)–which I have done. Now, I want to give up on MAC and somehow transfer this video to my PC, but even then I cant convert the file. So, I downloaded a trusty program I have used before: ‘Prism File Converter’. When I uploaded this movie file, it split it into 5 different folders. I also tried using You Tube’s file extensions by renaming the file: ( WebM files – Vp8 video codec and Vorbis Audio codecs, .MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files – Typically supporting h264, mpeg4 video codecs, and AAC audio codec, .MPEGPS – Typically supporting MPEG2 video codec and MP2 audio, .WMV, .FLV – Adobe-FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio) It also turned it into a file with many folders within it when I changed the file name.

    That doesnt work. I have a similar situation as this person: There seems to be no solution or help to properly get imovie projects uploaded on You Tube out there on the web. Please help.

      11/30/11 @ 7:40 am

      It sounds like you are trying to upload the iMovie project file, which isn’t the video you exported. When you export from iMovie you should get a .mov, .mp4 or .m4v file. That is the one you want to upload.
      I (and thousands of others) upload videos from iMovie to YouTube all the time. You are on the right track: export to a file, visit YouTube and upload that file through their web interface. But it sounds like you are not choosing the file you exported.

    11/30/11 @ 9:22 pm

    Thank you Gary. It worked like a charm.

    1/10/12 @ 8:15 pm

    trying to ‘share’ an imovie project (11min) in Youtube. Though my youtube account allows me 15min, the video keeps being rejected because it is longer than 10 minutes. Exporting into quicktime works, though upload takes an hour, but the clear video image becomes very poor quality once uploaded to youtube. Any ideas?

      1/10/12 @ 8:22 pm

      Uploading vi the web interface gives you more options anyway. Just do it that way. As for clarity — did you check back later? YouTube does a first pass to create a low res version, then a second pass to make it high res later.

    8/7/12 @ 10:47 pm

    Trying to upload a 1.45 min video from imovie on the iPad to Facebook … ipad shows it is ‘logging on’ to Facebook, but it never does. I can’t figure out how I get the imovie video off my ipad, on to my computer …I did the send to iTunes, but couldn’t find the My Projects button … I don’t see where videos and photos taken on my iPad are listed in iTunes when I have the two devices connected. Do I need special camera adapter accessories from apple to get imovies off the ipad?

    Chris B
    9/4/12 @ 8:54 pm

    I’m having issues aswell with sharing my short 2min video I made in iMovie to Facebook. It goes to log into Facebook & I see the screen for a second with title, description etc.. then the screen closes & it goes back to IMovie title page. This is so frustrating!!!. I’ve optimized it and exported it only to my camera roll coz I can’t get it to Facebook. I’ve taken the music out of the clip in case of copyright but still nothing? Any idea why this is happening??

      9/4/12 @ 9:01 pm

      Just export to a file. Then upload using the FB web site.

      9/15/12 @ 12:10 am


      I am having the same problem…did you ever figure it out?

    Chris B
    9/4/12 @ 9:02 pm

    I just started a new project put 2 photos in that I took of my mates on the weekend and tested it to upload to Facebook and nope same thing it goes to Facebook then it bounces back to the cinema title page of iMovie. Where are all the settings for iMovie?? I’ve got the app apart of Facebook on the side in the menu. So what could be this silly issue??

    Chris B
    9/4/12 @ 9:05 pm

    How do I export it to a file? Then where & how do I upload it in Facebook?
    Sorry I’m new to all this.
    My mate is in Europe and making travel videos identical to mine and his able to just share it via iMovie to Facebook. This dosent make sense??

      9/4/12 @ 9:29 pm

      In iMovie, use the Share, Export Movie command from the menu. Then go to Facebook and use the FB interface to upload a video — I think there are many ways to do it, I don’t know the exact commands offhand as FB is always changing. The same as uploading a photo, I believe.
      Not sure why it isn’t working for you, but I’m offering you an alternative.

        9/15/12 @ 12:13 am

        Thanks for all your info Gary! I have uploaded from Imovie to Facebook directly before, but now it isn’t working…something must have changed. Keep up the great work!

    Matt D
    1/9/13 @ 1:40 pm

    Hi Gary! I’m trying to upload this video from iMovie onto Youtube. It will upload fully, but it wont appear on YT! YT says to change some setting within the video and I do but it still doesn’t upload! I uploaded a video b4 this one and that went up fine. Idk what else to do. I tried uploading it from iMovie AND through YT directly. Is there anything I can do?

      1/9/13 @ 2:00 pm

      It is hard to say what could be wrong. Try exporting the video using another codec or running it through MPEG Streamclip first or something.

    2/17/13 @ 10:12 am

    Dear Gary,

    I tried to export a 10 mins long movie to my HD…but it keeps having error… Especially at the last minute. It either says -501 error or -108 error which I have no idea wat they are. I have tried all ways but still can’t. Also my iMovie keeps quitting unexpectedly…why?

      2/17/13 @ 10:18 am

      -108 means out of memory. Try quitting everything but iMovie and exporting. Or, try exporting at a lower quality. Also, make sure you have plenty of free space on your hard drive.

        2/17/13 @ 10:53 am

        Thanks Gary!!!! Will try again tomorrow….it’s already 12:53am in Thailand!!!

    3/9/13 @ 7:58 pm

    I want to upload a trailer I did on iMovie but a I am afraid it is copyright infringement. Even though, I mentioned on the trailer the music and all other things are from iMovie and iTunes. Is that copyright infringement?

      3/9/13 @ 8:43 pm

      If you used the iMovie/iLife canned music that comes with your Mac and those apps, then you are fine. Apple gives you permission to use those few jingles in the user agreement. But if you are using other music from iTunes, like songs created by other artists, then yes, it could be copyright infringement.

Comments Closed.