Final Cut Tutorials / Video Editing

How to Save a Project in Final Cut Pro

Screenshot of final cut pro ui showing how to save
Published 1 March 2021

When I first started using Final Cut Pro, everything was a blur. I didn’t know how to add text to my projects, exporting was complicated, and I had no idea how to save a project in Final Cut Pro. However, after learning how to use it, I figured that this is one of the easiest things you can think of. 

Unlike many other video editing programs, Final Cut Pro doesn’t offer you the classic “Save” button and doesn’t give you a warning when you leave the program without saving. This happens because it automatically saves you work by itself. However, there are a few things you can do to get more control over the entire saving process, so let’s take a look at them!

Deactivate the Autosave

Obviously, this is not recommended, but you can do it by following the next steps:

1. Find the Library Properties

You can access this menu by going to “Files” and choosing “Library Properties.”

Screenshot of final cut pro file menu

2. Find the Storage Locations Button

After you open the “Library Properties,” you can see about five options to the right of your screen. In order to deactivate the autosave, you need to find the “Storage Locations” section and click on “Modify Settings.”

Screenshot of final cut pro storage settings

3. Choose “Do Not Save” on Backups

After these settings are chosen, Final Cut Pro will stop saving your projects, so make sure to save them yourself!

Screenshot of final cut pro backups setting

If you decide to stop the autosave, you need to always remember to save your work, which can get overwhelming. Instead of doing this, you can use this small trick:

Whenever you want to not save an edit you just made, click “Command+Z.” The latest edit will be deleted from its memory, and you can simply continue from there. 

Quick Save Your Projects

What I need to mention is that this isn’t an option to save your work, but to export a very small video file to review. 

1. Go to “Files” and Select “Share”

This is how you begin the export process in Final Cut Pro.

Screenshot of fcp sharing options

2. Choose “Master File”

In this window, you have all kinds of options you can play with. You can choose a different codec and format, and also how big your file is going to be.

Screenshot of fcp export options

3. Go to “Settings” and Change the Video Codec

Final Cut Pro supports quite a lot of different codecs, but for a quick preview, you’re interested in choosing the one with the smallest dimensions — H.256.

Screenshot of fcp ui showing how to save a video

4. Review and Save

After you make your edits, you can see how big your file will be and its extension in the bottom right corner. All you need to do now is click “Next,” choose the location you want it to be saved, and you’re ready to go. 

Final Cut Pro is quite intuitive and carries the same processes Apple has used for some time now. Happily, now you know how to save in Final Cut Pro, and also how you can customize it for your own needs.

About Author

As a digital marketer, Andreea also has an incredible passion for photography, so she's here to give you all the information you need on the topic!