How to Use iMovie to Create YouTube Videos

By Brian Flax

You can upload video directly to your YouTube account in iMovie.
i Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Imovie is a video editing program included with Mac OS X. If you have a video that you've already recorded, or an idea for a video you'd like to record using your Mac's built-in video camera, you can use iMovie to edit the footage, add text, special effects and audio, and export the video in a format that can be uploaded directly to your YouTube account. Imovie is included with Mac OS X so you shouldn't need to download additional software if you own an Apple computer.

Upload Your Video

If you've already recorded your footage using a video camera, connect your camera to your Mac and open iMovie. You can import recorded video manually by selecting the clips you'd like to include in your YouTube movie, or import all recorded footage automatically. Importing video footage will create an "Event" in iMovie, and you'll be prompted to choose a name for your project. You can view the video by clicking on the name of the project on the left-hand side of your screen. If you don't have any video recorded, you can use your Mac's built-in iSight camera and record directly into iMovie.

Use the Project Browser

Once you've created an event, choose the footage you want to include in your final video from the event browser and drag it to the project browser at the top left of the program. The project browser allows you to edit the video and play it back whenever you've made changes. You can add video from other events, upload new footage or use the iSight camera to record video directly on your Mac to include in the project. Add as much video as you'd like to the project browser and edit the footage until you're happy with the result.

Enhance Your Video

Once you've edited the video you can add themes, background music, sound effects, photos, onscreen text and transitions between video clips. Imovie has a built-in library of sound effects; you can also upload your own audio from your iTunes library, GarageBand and iLife. You can add text to any portion of the video footage or create title screens and credits at the end of the video. Enhance your video as much or as little as you'd like. The final version that you export can be uploaded to YouTube.

Export and Upload

You can export your video and upload to YouTube directly within iMovie. Click "Share" at the top of the screen and then click "YouTube." Enter your YouTube username and password by clicking on the "Add" button next to the account field. Choose a title for your video, add a description and add any relevant tags to make it easier for people to find your video on YouTube. Select a size and resolution for your video. You can choose from mobile, medium, large, HD 720p and HD 1080p. Click on "Next" and then "Publish" to export and upload your video to your YouTube account. Depending on the size and resolution you chose, it'll take a couple minutes to a couple hours for the upload to complete.