Getting Video into iMovie on the iPad without iCloud
A few months ago I wrote a post, My Kingdom for a Local iPad Data Store, talking about how I wanted to be able to use iMovie on the iPad to edit my drone videos. The problem was that in order to get the videos into iMovie they had to be in iCloud Photo Library or in iCloud Drive, but I didn’t want them to be uploaded and then maybe downloaded from the cloud because they are large files. Over the weekend I had an epiphany and figured out how to work around this by doing some offline file shuffling.
- Turn on Airplane mode to prevent any internet connection from occurring.
- Connect a Lightning to USB adapter with an attached SD card reader to the iPad.
- Insert and SD card into the card reader or in my case a Micro SD card.
- The Photos app will launch and prompt you to do an import.
- Import any of the videos you want and then choose to keep or delete them on the card.
- Unplug the Lightning to USB adapter.
- In the Photos app go to the “Last Import” album.
- Tap the Select button to enable selection mode and select all of the videos.
- Tap on the “Share” button (the box with the arrow coming out of it).
- In iOS 11 tap on the “Save to Files” action and in iOS 10 select the “Upload to iCloud Drive” action. This will copy the file to iCloud Drive.
- In the Photos app tap the Select button again and select all the videos and this time delete them.
- Go to the “Recently Deleted” album and delete all the videos from Photos (just in case these would get uploaded to iCloud Photo Library).
- Now open up iMovie.
- Create a new movie and import all of your videos from iCloud Drive.
- Click Done to go to the Summary screen just to make sure everything is “Saved”.
- If you are using iOS 11 open up the Files app and if you are using iOS 10 open up iCloud Drive.
- Delete all of the videos from iCloud Drive.
- Go to the Recently Deleted view and also delete them from there.
- Finally open the Settings app.
- Go into the settings for the current user, which should be the top option.
- In the user menu select iCloud.
- In the iCloud menu you can choose which apps will save their data to iCloud.
- Turn this off for the iMovie app.
- Now turn off Airplane mode and you are ready to work on your movie.
The iCloud Drive/Files storage part seems a bit excessive, but was necessary because any videos imported to iMovie from the iCloud Photo Library stop working if you delete them. Importing from iCloud Drive/Files on the other hand puts a copy in the iMovie app’s local storage.