iMovie ’11: Sharing Requires More Memory To Be Available

Just posting this on the internet so that some other poor soul doesn’t need to go through the stress of figuring out how to work with the buggy piece of software that is iMovie ’11…

I spent a good 12+ hours putting together movie footage my mom took between 1959 and 1969, which is the first footage of my grandparents (who I never knew) I had ever seen. We distilled 75 minutes of footage into 40 minutes, using only a single iMovie “event,” which seems to have been our first mistake, and adding music, titles, and transitions.

My mom had scheduled a big family dinner for the purpose of watching the video, and as iMovie had become frustratingly slower and slower the longer the movie became, I was still putting the final touches on the video as the evening rolled around. I finally finished, only to find that iMovie refused to export my movie into a watchable format. “Sharing requires more memory to be available,” it told me, along with instructions to quit and relaunch the application.

I did so and tried to export again, but got the same message. Then I tried moving the movie to a computer with more RAM (4GB as opposed to 2GB), but it too required more memory to be available. Neither computer was capable of rendering the movie in real-time at this point.

So anyway, the solution is simple, but not listed on the internet anywhere as far as I could find. It certainly is not in any of the iMovie documentation. First, you do need to relaunch iMovie. Second, rather than opening the movie you want to export, you right-click on it and select export in the Project Gallery. This obviates the need for iMovie to load your project into memory, and allows it to commit all of the computer’s memory to the rendering task.

What a stupid, stupid program. Blegh.


12 Comments on “iMovie ’11: Sharing Requires More Memory To Be Available”

  1. Omg I have the same problem! it still didn’t let me do it from the project gallery though? The same message popped up!? What do you recommend?

  2. I had same problem, was driving me nuts. @Jasbeer Pabla .. I had to reopen iMovie, then go from my movie to the movie gallery, then restart AGAIN and then it worked. Hope you figure it out too:) ( My point : Just try restarting a couple times)

  3. Thank you! Thank you! SOOO much! I made a film for a film festival using this and was up until 2am trying to fix the problem! I did what you said and it worked!!!! I just had to say thank YOU!

  4. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help! This was super helpful and straighforward

  5. Thank you for the post. I tried your tip, but it also did not work! Erggghh. Then I tried thinning out the number of Projects I had in the iMovie Projects folder, like this:

    That worked! Then I could export my .MOV with iMovie!

  6. budvar58 says:

    You are a lifesaver. Had been struggling for a week trying to export a mov. file from imovie 11. Had read all the forums and tried everything suggested but imovie was still crashing when I tried to “share” a high quality .mov file. Smaller file option shares were working so when I read your solution I thought it might work for me and it did!

    Why would it make a difference “where” the export tools are and more importantly, why is apple being so mute on this and other issues such as the “main organic” title issue that others seem to be having? (Tho I think that issue may have been associated with past version of imovie.)

    Again, thank you!!!

  7. I have another suggestion, for those of you who is not sure wether their movie will survive the program restart or not. I went through the same ordeal of creating a movie, just to realize that I “…can’t share…” or finalize the movie. To minimize the risk of losing the movie, I went to the “Project Library”, found a movie I was working on, right clicked on it, duplicated it, and gave it a different name. After that I went to share/finalize the file and everything worked perfect.

    I believe this is a less risky proposition, and it surely worked for me.


  8. i tired doing that and i got rid of other projects and it still didn’t work 😦

  9. I was fiddling with this for hours… then, I went into preferences and unchecked box for advanced tools….I also hid the events window. Don’t ask me why but it worked??? I then hit finalize project and no problem???

  10. thank you so much for writing this!! I’d already restarted a few times, but after reading your post I persevered through a few more times of relaunching to get iMovie to launch in the Project Library will a clean slate of memory. You’ve saved me a big headache.

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