Tip #191: What’s In An FCP X Library Backup?

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #191: What’s In An FCP X Library Backup?

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Backups, like saving, are automatic.

FCP X automatic library backups, stored by project.

Topic $TipTopic

We all know that Final Cut Pro X automatically saves anything we do in the app the instant we do it. In fact, I’ve had beta builds of FCP X crash a fraction of a second after I made an edit, yet, when I restarted the app, everything I had done was saved.

Which is very cool.

But did you know that FCP X also saves a backup copy of your Library, just in case…?

NOTE: You can see all backups, grouped by project name, in [User Directory] > Movies > Final Cut Backups. The backup location can be changed using File > Library Properties.

To access a backup copy, for example, to go back in time to an earlier edit, open Final Cut, then choose File > Open Library > From Backup. Next, select the date and time of the version you want to open from the menu.

NOTE: Opening a backup will not affect the currently open Library. Instead, FCP X makes a copy of the backup, stores it in the Movies folder and attempts to link it with the original media.


As you can see from the file sizes in this screen shot, you need to know that these backups are ONLY of the library database. Any media stored in the library is not backed up. For this reason, while Library backups will preserve your edits, you are still responsible for backing up all your media separately; even media stored in a Library.

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2 replies
  1. Dick Jacoby
    Dick Jacoby says:

    I’m amazed at how much information you include on any subject. Because I’m approaching 90, editing is a good way to keep my brain working. At the same time, your “The Inside Tips” helps my editing – as well as helps my brain [continue] working. ie., your stuff helps the inner and outer “me.”

    • Larry Jordan
      Larry Jordan says:


      Thanks for writing …and the kind words.

      I’m hoping my brain works as well as yours as I “approach 90.”



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