Final Cut Pro Crashing?

Deleting Final Cut Pro Preferences

After working in Final Cut Pro for long stretches of time, the data stored inside Final Cut Pro can stack corrupted data in its preference files which can result in an unexpected app behavior such as instability, crashes, artifacts, extended render times, etc. When Final Cut Pro starts acting up we recommend deleting your Final Cut Pro preferences. Apple’s support recommends doing this as can be seen here under Reset Final Cut Pro preferences.

To clear your Final Cut Pro preferences, launch the app in your dock or in while holding down the Cmd + Option (Alt) keys and click “Delete Preferences” in the popup that appears. This will delete any preferences you have stored, so we recommend keeping a note of how you have your preferences set so that you can adjust them back to your liking quickly.

Your Final Cut Pro Libraries will likely be closed but you can reopen them through the File menu. Follow this path to reopen:

File > Open Library > Other > Locate menu (they’re the files with the purple icons with four white stars saved by default in your Movies folder in the following path):

Mac > Users > Your Username > Movies

Turn Off Background Rendering

After you have cleared your Final Cut Pro preferences, we suggest disabling the Background Render feature as having this enabled causes Final Cut Pro to continuously render the timeline every time there is a parameter is changed or a clip is adjusted. Unless you are editing video clips alone and are not using additional plugins, we recommend keeping this feature turned off as it tends to cause editing with plugins to be a much slower process. You can turn it off by clicking Final Cut Pro at the top of the screen and it will be under the Playback menu in Preferences. Instead of working with Background Rendering turned on we recommend using the pre-render hotkeys:

  • Control+R   (pre-renders the currently selected element or clip)
  • Control+Shift+R   (pre-renders the entire timeline)

Narrowing Down the Issue

If you’ve reset your preferences and are still getting a crash, narrowing down the cause can be tricky, but there is a method of identifying the issue if it is a plugin that is causing the issue.

Step 1

Create some temporary folders on your desktop and move your plugin template folders there temporarily. Create the Following folders:

  • Titles Temporary
  • Effects Temporary
  • Generators Temporary
  • Transitions Temporary
Step 2

In your finder find the following path:
Macintosh HD > Users > Your Username > Movies > Motion Templates

Drag your plugin templates from each of the four motion templates folders into the corresponding temporary folders. For example, all folders inside the main Titles folder will be placed into the Titles Temporary folder.

Step 3

With all of your plugins removed, open Final Cut Pro to see if a crash is still happening even though no plugins are installed. If Final Cut Pro is working fine and no crash is occurring, move onto step 4. If you are still getting a crash while the plugins are not currently installed into the Motion Templates folders, you will want to follow Apple’s procedure for locating an issue with Final Cut Pro here.

Step 4

Drag one plugin back into the main motion templates and open Final Cut Pro to test that single plugin to see if you are getting Final Cut Pro to crash. If that plugin does not have an issue, move on to the next plugin.

Step 5

Repeat this process one at a time until a crash is replicated. If a crash is happening with one or more plugins reach out to customer service so that the issue can be confirmed and resolved.