iMovie: I Love it But...

Published August 20, 2021

I’ve been having a grand time creating movies and trailers using the iMovie app on the iPad Air. iMovie My family is sick of me sending them all types of videos and movies. I can’t help it. iMovie is a lot of fun and very easy to use. It’s great for a beginner like me.

Since my iPad only has 64GB of hard disc space, I purchased an external drive (Affiliate Link)to store my various movies. With the external drive, I can create as many movies as I want and still preserve the storage on the iPad. No sense in cluttering it up with a bunch of beginner movies.

iMovie - Space Hog

Recently, I went to export a movie to the external drive and I received an unwanted notification. The notification told me that I was nearing my storage capacity and that I should consider purchasing space in the cloud. Space Hog Not wanting to do that, I made sure to keep an eye on my storage and delete or offload files that weren’t necessary.

However, in a moment of weakness, I ended up buying an additional 50 GB of storage to the tune of .99 cents a month. I figured that would quiet the frequent notifications.

The other day, I created a movie and attempted to export it to my external drive and couldn’t do it. I received that pesky notification again telling me my device didn’t have enough storage space and that I should delete files to make room for the export to happen. Really?

What’s Taking up the Storage?

Hmmm. That made me start looking at what was going on. When I went to Settings to view my storage, I was surprised to see that I only had about 4GB of space left. How could that be? I offloaded all of the videos and photos. What could be taking up the space?

iMovie Icon

Then, upon further investigation, I realized the iMovie app was taking up over 27 GB of space. That was strange. The app itself is only 613 MB in size, but the data associated with the app was taking a whopping 27 GB. Since I deleted all of the files related to the movies I created, what data was iMovie storing?

Fixing the iMovie Problem

The only logical solution I could come up with was to delete the app and reinstall it, so I did. By doing so, I regained 40GB of space. Go figure.

After my experience, I searched the internet to see if anyone else had the same problem. Lo and behold, I’m not the only one.

Coming from a Windows environment, my biggest frustration with the iPad is the lack of a comprehensive file explorer. There’s no way to see where certain files are stored. If I had access to a file explorer, I could have deleted the unnecessary 27 gigabytes of redundant photos from the device before it reached critical mass. Instead, I deleted and reinstalled the app. I guess it could have been worse.

File Explorer

While I’m crabbing about lack of file explorer access, I might as well throw in my frustration about working with an external drive. The iPad’s Files app will not display how much space is available on the external drive. To find out how much space I’ve used, I’ve got to plug it into my PC and access it through Windows Explorer. There’s got to be an easier way!

Keeping an Eye on All Apps

iMovie isn’t the only app that stores redundant data on the iPad. Going forward, I’ll periodically check to see which apps are hogging up the space and perform the necessary tasks to recapture valuable disc space. iMovie taught me a valuable lesson.

Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low-tech blogger.

Last Modified: 4 September 2023

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