Is Final Cut Pro relatively slow and laggy? It may be affecting your workflow negatively, costing you hours or even days a month in time due to the poor performance of Final Cut Pro.

Speed up the performance of Final Cut Pro X in Minutes

You must look at improving Final Cut Pro’s performance, or you’ll get left behind, literally and figuratively. 

Fear not; there are plenty of tweaks you can make to ensure you’re editing on the optimum version of Final Cut Pro X. 

In today’s article, we will share our top tips to ensure you are running Final Cut Pro X to the best of its abilities, optimising speed and performance. 

Scroll below to read our top tips on how you can speed up your Final Cut Pro X’s performance. 

Are you using Premiere Pro? This article “Render in Premiere Pro: 6 ways to IMMEDIATELY speed up your render” may help you improve your render speed.

Our Top Tips to Speed up Your Final Cut Pro X Performance

Here it is, our top tips to improve Final Cut Pro’s performance and save you time and essentially money in the process. A range of proxies and simple configurations, and you’ll have a speedy, engaged version of Final Cut Pro X in no time.

Here’s a more detailed guide which answers the question why is Final Cut Pro lagging?

1. Create a proxy

The first way to improve the performance in Final Cut Pro X is to create a proxy. A proxy essentially allows you to edit in high-res but takes up only a ¼ or ⅛ of the actual file size. This will enable you to edit quicker but also playback the footage quicker whilst editing. 

You can edit the full size in smaller sections, which speed up the time to edit the file as reduces the size. When it comes to exporting the file, it exports it all in one go and at the highest quality. 

Using this method requires more extensive memory storage but will speed up Final Cut Pro’s performance by 50%; it is worth it. 

2. External hard drives

Hard Drive: Speed up the performance of Final Cut Pro X in Minutes

Use external hard drives to improve the performance of Final Cut Pro X. The hard drives improve Final Cut Pro X’s performance because if you leave it editing to the internal hard drive, your Mac or PC will continue reading and writing on that. This slow the processing speed up – and inevitably slowing down your editing workstream. 

By editing to an external hard drive, frees up your computers processing speed and reduces disk space. The less disk space used, the faster the speed of Final Cut Pro’s performance. 

Ensure you clear up your internal drive regularly to ensure it’s running at optimum speed. 

3. Use keyboard shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts will speed up your edit exponentially. You can set each key to contain a shortcut. Think how many times you’ve gone to locate the cutting tool or the exposure tool, and it takes 20 seconds to find. 

Using the shortcut will save you 20-30 seconds each time you use a new tool, which is quite often. This will save you 30% of your time when editing. That then frees up more time to chill or take on more work. Ensure you set up the basic shortcuts in Final Cut Pro X as soon as you can; it’s such a lifesaver.

Are you using Premiere Pro? Check out the keyboard shortcuts for Premiere Pro here.

4. Increase your RAM

Increase your RAM

Make sure you go out and increase the RAM on your Mac, the reason being is because the more RAM you have, the faster Final Cut Pro X performs. 

What is RAM? RAM is a short term memory store that stores your computer/Macs short term memory. Overall, it is a high-speed component that temporarily stores all the information a device needs immediately.

How does it improve the performance of Final Cut Pro X? Well, the more RAM you have, the faster the RAM. Therefore the quicker the processor will speed up Final Cut Pro’s performance and allow you to render and edit with ease. 

5. Ensure all project files are stored together

You can increase the performance by keeping all of your project files together in Final Cut Pro X. This is because Final Cut Pro will be able to access the files in one specific place, rather than searching multiple different files and folders to locate the data. 

Keeping this organised means Final Cut will access them in a singular storage file, speeding up the program, therefore speeding up your editing workflow. 

Keep it organized! 

6. Use optimized footage

Using optimized footage will help improve Final Cut Pro’s speed immediately. When importing your footage into Final Cut Pro, ensure you check the checkbox saying “Use Optimised Media”. 

This will encode your footage in ProRes 422; this means your footage will be quicker when editing in the timeline and speed up the time it takes to render the footage. 

7. Use a fast drive

This links a little to a point earlier about using external hard drives. By using a fast drive, it will speed up the program. We recommend looking at using Thunderbolt drives or USB 3.0 drives if you’re on a budget. 

These both will free up a lot of disk space on your Mac/Computer allowing Final Cut Pro X to run fast and efficiently as there will be less file space taken up, allowing it to run at a quick pace. 

8. Close any programs running in the background

This one’s quite simple and obvious, you probably already know this, but yet it slips by a lot of editors! 

Simply close any programs that are open and not being used. It will speed up the performance of your computer immediately. They’ll be no noise coming from your PC sounding like a plane taking off from behind your desk, just a smooth, efficient running copy of Final Cut Pro. 

An editor’s dream.

More Final Cut Pro Resources

Here are some additional Final Cut Pro resources that may help you out.

The Final Cut

That’s far too cheesy of the title, but we had to. But now that is why is my Final Cut pro lagging and to round it up, you can do a few things both short term and long term to improve the functionality of Final Cut Pro X – we recommend tweaking all of these to make sure you’re running it at the optimum level. 

It’s insane how much time you can save, and if you implement just three of these – it can save enough time for you to work on an extra project a week. It improves your workflow and cash flow at the same time. 

Let us know what you thought of the article down below in the comments. Was it useful? Would you like to hear more on Final Cut Pro X?  

Also, scroll down to read our latest articles on video editing and filmmaking. Happy editing all!