FCP X 10.1: Update Events and Projects [Video]

[This is an excerpt from our latest training: Final Cut Pro X 10.1 – Workflow and Editing, which you can download from our store. You can also access all our Final Cut Pro X training by becoming a subscriber.]

One of the biggest changes in Final Cut Pro X 10.1 is media management. Events and Projects were replaced by Libraries. Libraries significantly improve the performance and flexibility of working with media in Final Cut. However, in order to take advantage of the new system, all existing events and projects from earlier versions of Final Cut Pro X need to be updated.

Before you update your existing events or projects, watch this movie. It explains what happens during an update, what you need to do to make sure you are updating the right event and project, and where to find things once updating is complete.

Updating is not difficult, but it can cause problems if you don’t know what you are doing. Please watch the movie.

NOTE: Here’s a blog I wrote that covers media management and updating as well.

Upgrading Earlier Final Cut Pro X Events and Projects

TRT: 8:08 — MPEG-4 HD movie

NOTE: This video may not play inside FireFox, please use a different browser.

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82 Responses to FCP X 10.1: Update Events and Projects [Video]

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  1. […] you upgrade your editing system, watch this short eight-minute video that explains what you need to know about upgrading Events and […]

  2. CK says:

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for this helpful info. Here’s my situation. I’ve been asked to re-cut a video created on FCP, but I can’t tell what version it was made with. (I wasn’t able to open it with FCP 6, which is what I have on my old computer). I just finally upgraded to FCP X on a different Mac, and I am now trying to open this project (which again is of unknown origin). The FCP project file is on the hard drive along with various other folders (capture scratch, etc.).

    If I am understanding your video correctly, I need to move the project file into a folder on the hard drive called “Final Cut Projects” (which I created myself) and then FCP X will automatically detect it. But when I do this, it does not seem to recognize the project file. What am I doing wrong?


    • LarryJ says:


      If the project was created in FCP 7 or earlier, you will need to export it from FCP 7 (or earlier) in order for FCP X to read it.

      In other words, you will need to figure out which version of FCP created that project, then open it in that version of FCP.


  3. Scott Denyer says:

    I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask, so please do say if there’s somewhere else I can ask this!
    I had Final Cut Pro 10.0.8 on my Macbook Pro, and had saved projects and events by dragging them into a single folder on an external hard-drive, called something like ‘Final Cut BackUps’.
    Fast forward a while, and I’d removed the files off my computer to make some room, upgraded the software to OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 and Final Cut to 10.1.3.
    Anyway, I needed to re-work on one of my old projects, and I can’t for the life of me get the computer to recognise the old files. Tried putting the original projects in a folder called ‘Final Cut Projects’ at the top of my external hard-drive, but it always says that there are no projects to update when I try and update them to work on them again.
    Is it because they are hidden in more folders than neccessary or whatnot?
    I’ve been looking at every tutorial and explanation online, to no avail. Can anyone help?

    • Larry says:


      You are headed in the right direction.

      On your external drive – at the top level, NOT inside any folder – create two folders: “Final Cut Events” and “Final Cut Projects.” Leave the Events folder empty – unless you have events you need to convert – and store your FCP X 10.0.x projects inside the Final Cut Projects folder.

      The, open FCP X 10.1.x and choose File > Update Projects and Events. It should create a new Library and transfer your projects into it.


      • Scott Denyer says:

        It’s still saying it can’t find any projects to update. When I look at my external hard-drive, I have created folders at the top level called ‘Final Cut Projects’ and ‘Final Cut Events’. The ‘Final Cut Projects’ has lots of folders in it with the names of the projects, inside each of those is a folder called ‘Backups’ and a file called CurrentVersion.fcpevent, and in the ‘Backups’ folder is a file called (date number).fcpproject.
        Does this sound correct, or have I got to do something/move files somewhere else to get it to work. I still can’t see anything in Final Cut itself. Thanks for any advice, Larry!

      • Devon says:

        Hi Larry! What do you mean “and store your FCP X 10.0.x projects inside the Final Cut Projects folder.” Could you clarify what the projects are?

        I have 10.1.3 and I have Library files that are stored in the “My Movies” folder. I also have a “Final Cut Backups” folder.

        Do you mean to store those in the new “Final Cut Projects” folder?

        Any help would be beneficial!

        • Larry says:


          There was a MAJOR change in how FCP X handles events and projects with the 10.1 update. So, translating what I wrote in this article for 10.1.x or newer, the wording would be: “… and store your Final Cut Pro X Libraries inside a folder that you create called ‘Final Cut Libraries.”

          This is NOT required, but, storing all your libraries in one place makes it a lot easier to find a library than if they were scattered all over your hard disk.


  4. Mike dotto says:

    Hello Larry,

    First off I want to thank you for this video it will defiantly help my process of updating. I just have a couple of questions. Currently I was running Final cut X 10.0.8, will this process still work if I’m planning on upgrading to final cut 10.2 series?

    Also the key names are very important within my event files, will these all be transferred over properly?

    Another problem I might run into will be hiding events that I’m currently not working. Is it as simple as before as to just making a separate folder and then when I’m ready brining them into the library to work with? (Projects too?)


    • Larry says:


      I’m glad you like the video and, yes, it applies to FCP X 10.2 as well.

      Keywords should transfer perfectly.

      However, the concept of “hiding” events no longer applies. In the new version, Events are simply folders stored inside Libraries. Libraries can be opened or closed as needed. So, you would organize media and projects into libraries that makes logical sense to you, then open only the libraries you need, when you need them.


      • Mike Dotto says:

        Thats interesting. I formulated a method to which I would hide certain events and projects so it wouldn’t slow down my computer.

        In previous events, I sometimes had multiple projects associated per one event. As well, some of these projects used media from other events too.

        Will this be an issue moving forward?

        Will the media still show in the timeline if the appropriate events are active in separate libraries?

        For the recored this new system of ‘Libraries’ is terrible. What was so difficult of adding the events and projects you wanted to work on in a simple folder. Then removing them when you don’t need them.

        Regardless, let me know if you have any solutions for my questions 🙂

        thanks again

        • Larry Jordan says:


          I find libraries to be FAR more flexible than the old Events/Projects. When you close a Library it is removed, not just hidden. This frees up memory in a way that hiding never did.

          Yes, media can be shared between libraries. When a library is closed, all media and projects stored in that library are closed with it.

          The old events/projects system were limited in terms of where files were stored, how media was linked and general slowness of the application.


  5. den says:

    Hi Larry,

    thank you for your help. This question bugs me but i dont have courage to test it out: what exactly happens when you update a project you are working on?

    Will files be missing?

    Thank you

    • Larry says:


      Files don’t go missing – in fact, the conversion process is non-destructive. However, once you upgrade FCP X, the old version of FCP X is deleted. You can only have one copy of FCP X running on your system at a time.

      The reasons for waiting till a project is over is “just in case…” something goes wrong. In my experience, though, if files go off line, they can easily be reconnected.


  6. Pedro says:

    Hi Larry,

    First off, thank you so much for your fantastic site. This is actually the first time I haven’t found an answer to an issue I’ve had with FCPX.

    Here’s my issue:

    I have a hard drive with an important library, but just this morning, an OS X pop up appeared stating the system “can’t repair the disk.” In fact, the disk is now read-only, but I can still open and copy files within the hard drive through Finder.

    While the library itself is dense, I am trying to only transfer a specific event, just to save time and memory on a second hard drive. Therefore, I figured I transfer all the raw media pertaining to that specific event/project over to my second hard drive. I created a new library in the second hard drive as well, and have dragged the event/project from the messed up hard drive to the package contents of the new library in my second hard drive. I was hoping that the event and project would show up when I open the library on FCPX, but unfortunately, that is not the case.

    I know that messing with package contents of library files is not a recommended practice, but I’m really trying to recuperate this event/project.

    Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to recover this important project.


    • Larry says:


      You are only making your life worse. Don’t outthink the system!

      You already have a hard drive that is going bad. Your FIRST goal is to copy everything off it as quickly as possible. THEN, after it is safely on a new drive, open FCP X and delete everything you don’t need.

      Messing with the Library contents on a bad drive is a recipe for losing everything. Focus on what’s important – SAVING YOUR WORK – first, then clean stuff up after you’ve rescued it.


  7. Jeffrey says:

    Hi Larry. I just upgraded from 10.0 to 10.2. Does this new version of FCP and it’s changes to its media management make the idea of creating Sparse Disk Images for projects unnecessary?

  8. Nick says:

    Good info. I did the Update All option, since I only had a few projects. All the media seems to have come out fine in 10.2.3. But the projects seem corrupted. So I’m not able to make changes to existing projects I was working on.

    Did I do something wrong in the conversion? I didn’t really have any options. Has anyone else seen these problems with converting/preserving projects?

    • Larry says:


      There haven’t been lots of problems, but you may not have done anything wrong. Media really isn’t converted.

      Be sure you are using the new, converted project. Keep in mind it will only run on 10.2.x. And, if you continue to have problems, contact Apple Support. They may be able to figure out what happened.


  9. Phil says:

    I’ve tried all of the posted procedures but haven’t been able to update my old FCP 10.0 files produced while still running OSX 10.6.8. After I recently upgraded to Sierra, I upgraded FCP to 10.3 without realizing that I had needed to update the files using FCP 10.1-2 first. So I cloned my OSX 10.6.8 partition to another partition, then upgraded that to OSX 10.11. Then I upgraded FCP 10.0 on that partition to FCP 10.2 using the 30-day free trial version planning on using that to update the old Events & Projects folders also on that partition. But when I tried to manually select them, they are grayed out. Anything left to try?

    • Larry says:


      You don’t select the files to update. Instead, FCP will update all folders that are stored inside the “Final Cut Events,” and “Final Cut Projects” folders on all hard disks attached to your system, when you select File > Update Events and Projects.

      This is done from inside FCP X.


      • Phil says:

        It’s that “on all hard disks attached to your system” that has me concerned. I have a project involving five videos underway and want to finish them up (in FCP 10.0) before I do anything to them. I was hoping I could make a copy of the Events and Projects folders for that job on a separate partition then update just that set so I could play with them while learning to use FCP 10.3. From what I believe you’re saying, that’s impossible as long as the original files are on an attached HD. (Unfortunately, all five of my HDs are internal on my mid-2010 MacPro so I can’t easily just detach them as if they were external drives.)

        • Larry says:


          The workaround is to rename any folders that you don’t want updated. FCP X ONLY looks for folders titles “Final Cut Effects” and “Final Cut Projects”. Rename the folders you don’t want to upgrade and FCP X will ignore them.


          • Phil says:

            Thanks, that makes sense. I’m assuming then that after I rename the files I want to protect, I can let FCP 10.2 update anything else so I can open them in 10.3.

            Then if I want to go back and work on the protected files in 10.0 all I have to do each time is rename them back to their original “Events & Projects” names remembering to rename them again when finished to protect them.

  10. Benjamin says:

    Hi Larry!

    I have upgraded to FCP 10.3. Is it not possible to update old events and projects in that version? The option doesn’t exist under the file option. Grateful for help.

    • Larry says:


      FCP X 10.3 will upgrade FCP X 10.1 and 10.2 projects automatically when you open them. No menu choice required.

      However, 10.3 will NOT upgrade an FCP X 10.0 project. Those need to be updated using 10.1 or 10.2 BEFORE you migrate to FCP X 10.3.


      • Brian Artka says:

        So how is anyone converting 10.0.x events/projects with 10.3 now? A client just called, asking for a tiny change on an older video(yeh, rare), and my archived files are all 10.0.x, and I am now using 10.3. What are my options? or are there none?

        • Larry says:


          The short answer is that 10.3 can’t convert 10.0 projects or events. You’ll need to track down a version of 10.2 in order to do the conversion. You might also contact Apple Support and suggest they create a conversion utility.


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