Speed Up Your Final Cut Pro Editing with Proxy Media

by | May 5, 2019 | Final Cut Pro X, Tips and Tutorials

Today, I want to share a crucial tip for Final Cut Pro users, especially those working with large 4K files or extensive footage – the use of proxy media. If you’ve ever found your computer struggling to keep up with your editing, this technique is a game-changer.

What is Proxy Media?

Proxy media in Final Cut Pro refers to creating a half-resolution version of your clips to use during editing. It significantly enhances performance by reducing the load on your computer, especially when dealing with high-resolution files or complex projects involving multicam, split-screen, or extensive footage.

How to Enable Proxy Media

In Final Cut Pro Preferences:

  1. Go to Final Cut Preferences and select the ‘Import’ tab.
  2. Check ‘Create Proxy Media’ in transcoding options.
    • This will create a half-resolution version of the clips upon import.

Working with Proxy Media:

  • Switch to proxy media in the viewer by selecting View > Proxy Media.
  • The quality in the viewer will slightly decrease, but it’s sufficient for editing.
  • To revert to full resolution for detailed work, switch back to Optimized/Original.

Creating Proxy Media for Existing Projects

If you’re in the middle of a project and experiencing performance issues, it’s not too late. Final Cut allows you to create proxy media at any point.

  1. Select all clips in your project (Command + A).
  2. Go to File > Transcode Media.
  3. Choose Create Proxy Media and click ‘OK.’

Final Cut Pro will start creating proxy versions of your clips. This might take some time, so consider doing it when you’re not actively editing.

Exporting Projects with Proxy Media

Be cautious when exporting. If you’re in proxy view, Final Cut Pro will warn you that you’re exporting using low-quality proxy media. Switch back to Optimized/Original before exporting to ensure high-quality output.

Managing Disk Space

Creating proxy and optimized media can consume significant disk space. Once your project is complete, you can delete these files:

  1. Click on your library and go to File > Delete Generated Library Files.
  2. Choose what to delete (Optimized Media, Proxy Media, Render Files).
  3. Deleting these files frees up space, and Final Cut Pro can regenerate them if needed in the future.


Using proxy media in Final Cut Pro can drastically improve your editing experience, especially for large-scale projects or 4K editing. While it does require additional storage space and initial setup time, the performance gains are worth it.

I hope this tutorial helps you enhance your editing workflow. If you found it useful, please give a thumbs up and consider subscribing for more Final Cut Pro tips and tricks. See you in the next video!

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