How to Fix ‘Error Compiling Movie’ in Premiere Pro

Error Compiling Movie is one of the most common generic issues when it comes to Adobe Premiere. It is reported to appear on Windows and Mac OS when performing various actions in Premiere Pro. Some users are saying that they get this error while trying to export the audio sequence, while others are saying that the error is only appearing in relation with clips from a particular location. The issue doesn’t seem to be specific to a particular Windows version since it’s reported to occur on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Error Compiling Movie

What is causing ‘Error compiling Movie‘ in Adobe Premiere Pro?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports and the repair strategies that are the most successful when it comes to this scenario. As it turns out, there are several different scenarios in which this particular issue will occur:

  • Adobe Premiere is outdated – As per various reports. this error is commonly reported with outdated Premiere builds. Adobe did a good job of patching a lot of chores that were previously causing instability. If this scenario is applicable, you will be able to resolve the issue by updating to the latest software version.
  • GPU can’t handle the load – If you’re using a low to medium GPU, chances are you will be encountering this error while trying to render or export large files. If this scenario is applicable, you can resolve the issue by using the Software Only Playback Engine.
  • Corrupted project location – This error is also associated with instances where the location of the project contains corrupted or files that exceed the character limit. Several users that have also faced this issue reported that the issue was resolved after the project location was changed.
  • Project glitch – If the issue occurs when you’re trying to export a file after a period of inactivity, you might be able to resolve the issue by duplicating the project, creating a new project and importing the contents back in or by discovering which part is crashing the export and excluding it from the process.

If you’re currently struggling to resolve this exact issue, this article will provide you with several troubleshooting steps that should eventually help you to resolve the issue. Down below, you’ll find a collection of methods that have been confirmed to be effective by at least one user that was affected by the same issue.

For the best results, we advise you to follow the methods in the order that they are presented in. Eventually, one of the fixes should resolve the issue regardless of the culprit that is causing it.

Method 1: Update Premiere to the latest version

If the issue was caused by a bug, chances are the matter will be resolved if you update the software to the newest version available. Adobe has done an excellent job of patching a lot of inconsistencies having to do with Windows 10 lately, so updating might be the only fix you need to apply.

Some affected users have reported that the issue was resolved after they updated to the latest version available and restarted their device.

By far, the easiest way to update Adobe Premiere to the latest version is to use the Adobe Creative Cloud.  With just a few clicks, you will be able to update the software to the latest release.

To check for Adobe Premiere updates, open the Creative Cloud desktop application and click on the action button (top-right corner of the screen). Then, from the newly appeared menu, click on Check for App updates.

Checking for Premiere updates using the Creative Cloud

Then, follow the on-screen prompts to update Adobe Premiere to the latest version. If you’re prompted to select from a collection of different versions, select the latest then follow the installation instructions.

If you’re not using Creative cloud, follow the instructions below to uninstall Adobe Premiere manually and then reinstall the latest version:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type “appwiz.cpl” in the Run box and press Enter to open the Programs and Features window.
    Typing in “appwiz.cpl” in the Run prompt
  2. Once you’re inside the Programs and Features list, scroll down through the list o applications until you find Adobe Premiere Pro. Once you see it, right-click on it and choose Uninstall to begin the uninstallation process.
    Uninstalling Adobe Premiere
    Uninstalling Adobe Premiere
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.
  4. Once the application is uninstalled, restart your computer.
  5. At the next startup sequence, visit this link (here) and download the latest version.
  6. Once the download is complete, open the installation executable and install the application. When the install sequence is complete, activate your download by inserting your license key.
  7. Perform the same action that was previously triggering the ‘Error Compiling Movie’ and see if the issue has been resolved.

If this method didn’t allow you to resolve the issue, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Changing the Video Renderer

If you’re getting this error every time you’re trying to render up a video, you might be able to resolve the issue by changing the video renderer method. This is more of a workaround than a proper fix, but a lot of affected users have reported it being effective in resolving the ‘Error compiling Movie’.

As it turns out, there are several stability problems that are commonly reported with certain configurations while the renderer is configured to use GPU Acceleration (CUDA).

Here’s a quick guide on resolving this issue by accessing your Project Settings and changing the default Video Rendering and Playback option:

  1. Inside the video that is throwing the error, click on File from the ribbon menu in the top-left section of the screen. Then, from the File menu, go to Project Settings and click on General.
    Accessing the General settings option of the current project in Adobe Premiere Pro
  2. Once you’re inside the Project Settings window, make sure the General tab is selected. Then, go to the Video Rendering and Playback and make sure that Mercury Playback Engine Software Only is selected. You can do this by using the drop-down menu.
    Changing the default Renderer in Adobe Premiere Pro

    Note: Using Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration is known to cause several stability issues on certain PC configurations.

  3. Attempt to render your video again and see if the issue has been resolved. If you get prompted by a Changes window, click on Keep Previews.
  4. Using the ribbon bar at the top, go to Export and click Export once again to complete the operation.

If you’re still having the same issue, move down to the next method below.

Method 3: Changing the Location of the Project file

Some affected users have reported that the issue was resolved after they change the location of the project file. In most cases, affected users have reported that they got it to work by changing the location of both the Project file and the Exported video to the Desktop.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Once your project is ready, go to File (from the top-left section of the ribbon menu) and click on Save As.
  2. From the Save As screen, set the location to the desktop and name your video project before clicking Save.
  3. Next, go to Export Settings, select the Output tab and click on Export.
    Exporting the video
  4. See if the procedure is successful and completes without the error.

If this method didn’t help you to resolve the issue, move down to the next method below.

Method 4: Duplicating the sequence

Several users have reported that duplicating the sequence that is in the process of being exported allowed them to complete the operation without seeing the  ‘Error compiling Movie’. As it turns out, this has the potential of circumventing the error message and allowing you to export it without issues.

To duplicate a sequence, simply right-click on the project that is failing and choose Export from the newly appeared context menu.

Duplicating a sequence

After you’ve done this, attempt to perform the same action that was previously triggering the  ‘Error compiling Movie’ and see if the issue has been resolved. If the same error message is appearing, move down to the next potential fix.

Method 5: Finding out where the export is crashing

If Adobe Premiere is crashing somewhere during the exporting process, it probably means something is happening at the beginning of the sequence. A couple of users that had this problem managed to get the exporting process to complete without errors by rolling the frames a few frames back or a few frames forward from the menu at the bottom of the screen.

Adjusting the frame in Adobe Premiere

After moving the frame, export that little segment and see if the ‘Error compiling Movie’ error stops occurring. If the exporting process no longer fails, then you should be good to go in exporting the rest of the file.

If the issue is still not resolved, move down to the next method below.

Method 6: Creating a New project

Several users that also had this error managed to fix it by creating a new project with the exact same files and doing the exporting part from the new one. To do this, go to File > New > Project. Then, name the project to whatever you want and click Ok.   

Creating a new project

Once the new project is created, import the previous project. You can simply drag and drop or you can use the Import wizard. After you confirm the import and the process is successful, see if the  ‘Error compiling Movie’ error is resolved.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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How to Fix ‘Error Compiling Movie’ in Premiere Pro

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