FCP Referencing media error

Every now and then, you may run into an issue with Final Cut Pro X where a file doesn’t successfully import. Due to this, the media that you’re working with in your project is still referencing the location where the file originally was (i.e. SD Card, Camera HDD, etc.).

When this happens, and you try to share/export a project, you’ll receive an error message that says “This item cannot be shared while it is still referencing media on the camera.”

To fix this problem, you’ll need to reimport your footage from the original source using the File menu. It’s fairly straightforward, but it’s not exactly obvious as to what you should do when you first encounter this issue. Inside, we’ll show you the error message and the quick fix in our brief video tutorial.

referencing media on the camera FCP X

You can tell what clips have the issue by the icon in the bottom left-hand corner of clip. If it’s an image of a camera, then that means that the file is still being referenced from the original media (i.e. SD Card).

How to fix it

Step 1: Highlight the clip causing issues

Step 2: Click File → Import → Reimport from Camera/Archive

Step 3: Click Continue

referencing media on the camera FCP X fixed

The missing media will be reimported, and you’ll then be able to export/share the project as you originally intended.

This can be a frustrating error if you’re just encountering it for the first time. It basically boils down to the fact that the media never successfully imported from your camera to begin with. Once you fix that issue, you’ll be back in business.

Have you ever encountered this error? Was this fix a help for you?

  • Caitlyn C.

    When I selected the clip, and clicked “reimport from camera..” nothing happened and the little video camera in the corner is still there.. My camera is plugged into the computer

    • Heather Burnette


  • Max Delsid

    This seems a bit off-topic for iDB.

  • Tisha Isabella Innis

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS WAS A LIFE SAVER!!!

  • Валерка Богодухов

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  • nomadinca

    Thank you. This helped.
    However, I wonder where we make the mistake. I actually want to “leave files in place” and not reimport the files, since they are already in the same harddisk and this process only creates redundant copies, which is a problem when I am short on space.

  • sand

    when i highlight the clips it does not give me that option

  • BYH

    Doesn’t work for me. I get “The following clip encountered an error during import and is still referencing media on the camera:”

    • Anthony Hill

      Hi, did you ever resolve this issue? I’m getting the same message after I try to re-import.

      • BYH

        I did get it worked out, but I forgot the what I did now. It wasn’t the fix here, I had to do something else. Sorry about that. If I remember I will report back.

      • Anthony Hill

        Ahh shoot! No worries, thanks for replying man 🙂

  • Andrzej Kowalski

    Your tutorial doesn’t work no reimport…I hate FCP X even more… only troubles all the time…there is no f…. file to save…crap….crap…crap

  • Roderick Henderson

    My situation is; the camera I used was borrowed from school and the media has been deleted so what do I do now? I have most of the media on my desktop would I be able to reinstate them from the desktop and be able to render the files?

  • Amarilys Henderson

    Just what I needed! thanks

  • Brian Thomas

    Brilliant!! After following your instructions I had to recreate the Proxy files and now all (multicam with seven camcorders and two independent sound recorders) works perfectly. Up until trying your solution I was having to re-import all the footage each time I launched FCPX and “Share” was impossible. VERY happy now. MANY thanks.

  • flyover

    Thanks–a life saver. I thought I was going to have to reshoot the interview with a hard to get guy.

  • Pavi Siva Dinamani

    Thank you for this! It saved me a whole lot of hours trying to reimport my files and edit them! Great article!

  • Toni Chiu (teechew)

    Thank goodness you posted this article. Otherwise I would’ve had to restart my whole project which I’ve spent hours on.

  • Frog Man

    Thanks, Jeff! Great tutorial, worked perfectly.