Managing Your Render Files

Rendering produces render files that are actual media files stored on your hard disk, the same as your captured media. Video and audio render files are saved to the disks you specify in the Scratch Disks tab of the System Settings window. For more information, see Choosing Settings and Preferences.

When you’re working on multiple projects or a highly complex project, render files can accumulate very quickly. It’s important to manage your render files to maximize your disk space.

Note: If you run out of disk space during the rendering process, a dialog appears giving you the option to delete old render files and free up disk space.

Locating Render Files

Final Cut Pro stores video render files in a folder named Render Files. By default, this folder is located in a folder called Final Cut Pro Documents, which is located on the specified scratch disk. The Final Cut Pro Documents folder contains separate folders for video render files, audio render files, captured media, and caches for waveforms and thumbnails.

Inside the Render Files folder, Final Cut Pro creates a folder for each project with render files.

Figure. Render Files folder in the Finder holding render files for a project.

Important: Do not delete render files when you’re working in the Finder. Instead, use the Render Manager in Final Cut Pro to delete render files.

Using the Render Manager

The Render Manager allows you to manage the render files associated with the sequences in your projects. Render files are created whenever you render transitions, effects, or multilayer composites in a sequence. They are stored in the scratch disk location specified in the Scratch Disks tab of the System Settings window. For more information, see Choosing Settings and Preferences.

You use the Render Manager to delete unwanted render files to free up disk space. Periodically, you may find it useful to remove the following:

  • Render files from deleted or old projects

  • Unnecessary render files for existing projects

The Render Manager finds render files from both open and closed projects. You can use the modification dates for files displayed in the Render Manager to help you determine which files you no longer need. If you delete render files for projects you’re still working on, you may need to rerender sections of your sequences.

Note: The Render Manager doesn’t search disks that aren’t specified as scratch disks.

In the Render Manager, render files are organized into folders by project and sequence; filenames show whether files are video or audio render files. The Last Modified date column shows the last time a render file was saved.

Items in the Render Manager are displayed in three groups: audio, audio mixdown (sequence-level audio render files), and video.

To delete render files
  1. Choose Tools > Render Manager.

    The Render Manager dialog appears. All projects that refer to render files on the current render scratch disk are displayed. This includes all items in a sequence or project.

    Figure. Render Manager dialog.
    • Disclosure triangle: Click to show items within a project or sequence.
      • Projects: Click the disclosure triangle next to a project to display all sequences in the project that contain render files on the current render scratch disk.
      • Sequences: Click the disclosure triangle next to a sequence to display the render files for video and audio.
    • Type: The type of item (bin or render file).
    • Size: The amount of disk space used by render files.
    • Last Modified: The date the render files were last updated.
  2. Click in the Remove column to delete specific render files.

    • Clicking an item that includes other items, such as a project, automatically includes all those items within it.

    • Clicking a sequence selects all the render files for the sequence.

    A checkmark appears next to each item you want to delete. The total amount of disk space that will be made available is displayed at the bottom of the dialog.

  3. When you’re ready to delete render files, click OK.

    All files tagged for removal (with a checkmark) are deleted from the scratch disk.

Important: Deleted render files cannot be restored with the Undo command.

Preserving Render Files

When you make changes to effects, composited media, and other edits that have already been rendered, the render file for the affected item is no longer valid.

  • If the project has been saved since the render file was created: The render file is deleted whenever the project is saved again, or the change falls off the “Undo queue” (the series of changes that can be reversed with the Undo command in the Edit menu).
  • If the project has not been saved since the render file was created: The render file is deleted when the new change falls off the Undo queue.

You can keep your important render files by nesting sequences.

Using Nested Sequences to Preserve Render Files

You can preserve render files for a sequence or for audio clips within a sequence by nesting that sequence within another sequence. Nesting is particularly useful for protecting the render files for effects-intensive clips you plan to trim frequently.

For detailed information, see Sequence-to-Sequence Editing.

Disabling Tracks Affects Render Files

When you disable a video or audio track in the Timeline, any render files associated with that track are lost. If this happens, you can restore that track’s render files by using the Undo command.