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Error compiling movie in Premiere: Quick Fix

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  • 5 min read

Premiere is one of the most popular video editing programs available at the moment and part of Adobe’s famed Creative Cloud suite of creative programs. However, as much effort as Adobe has put into making Premiere Pro a stable and reliable program, it still keeps running into occasional bugs and glitches from time to time. 

In this article, we’re talking about the “error compiling movie in Premiere” issue, its causes and what you can do to fix the problem.

What causes this error?

The error can be triggered by a number of things. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Too many media clips on the timeline.
  • The effects you’re using are too heavy for your PC to handle.
  • You’re not using the correct render engine. 
  • Using an incorrect video codec.

Also read: File type is unsupported compression type in Premiere Pro: 5 Fixes

How to fix this?

Here are x fixes you can try out.

Restart your computer

Restarting your computer can often be the simplest solution when dealing with such errors. Rebooting your machine often fixes seemingly random issues, especially when dealing with hardware issues. 

Check the file name or location

The next thing to do is to check the file name or the location. Several characters that may be acceptable as file names in Windows or macOS might not work in Premiere Pro. Additionally, if the file is stored in a location where Premiere doesn’t have read access, you might not be able to import anything from that specific location.

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The easiest way to get around this error is to just rename the file to a simpler name (preferably without any special characters) and move it to a more accessible location such as the root folder of a drive partition. 

Check the video format and codec

Check and see if the video format and codec that you’re trying to support are actually supported. You can refer to this page for a list of all supported video formats and codecs.

If the video you’re trying to import isn’t compatible with Premiere, you’re going to have to convert it into another format. We recommend using MP4 with H264 encoding as that’s the most hassle-free format and codec in Premiere. 

Update Premiere

Updating Premiere might also fix your issue. You can do this from the Creative Cloud dashboard by checking for any available updates. If there are any updates available, install them right away and restart Premiere to see if that fixes the problem. 

Update your GPU drivers 

Outdated GPU drivers can also cause this issue in particular. While you should update all your drivers, take special care of your display drivers if you run into an error like this. 

Step 1: Right-click Start and select Device Manager from the menu.

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Step 2: Under Display Adaptors, find your graphics card’s name, right-click on it and click on Update Drivers.

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Step 3: Click on Search automatically for drivers. Windows will then automatically look for and download the latest drivers for your particular GPU.

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While this should help resolve the error, in case it doesn’t, click Uninstall device and restart your PC to force Windows to install the required drivers. You can then update them later. 

Change the Premiere renderer

Changing the Premiere render engine to software only can also help resolve the error. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Open Premiere, click on Edit, followed by Preferences and then Media. 

Step 2: Uncheck any hardware encoding options. 

Restart Premiere and the error should be gone. 

Clear the media cache

A corrupt media cache is the cause of a lot of different headaches in the program. Try clearing it to see if that makes a difference. 

Step 1: Open Premiere Pro and head over to Edit, followed by Preferences and then Media Cache.

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Step 2: Under Media Cache, click the Delete button to clear out your media cache.

How to fix Premiere Pro error 'There was an error decompressing audio'?

Now restart Premiere and it should work just fine. Alternatively, you can just rename the old media cache and let Premiere generate a new one. 

Reinstall Premiere

Try reinstalling the software from scratch to fix your issues if nothing else works. Reinstalling Premiere is also rather easy, although we recommend you do it from the Creative Cloud panel and not through Windows settings. 

How to fix Premiere Pro error 'There was an error decompressing audio'?

All you have to do is open Creative Cloud. head over to All Apps and you’ll see Premiere listed below. Click the three horizontal dots next to it and select Uninstall. Once the uninstallation is complete, you can use the Creative Cloud panel to install Premiere again and hopefully resolve any issues you’re facing. 

Also read: How to fix error retrieving frame in Premiere?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: