Download iMovie for Catalina (macOS 10.15)

IMovie is a must-have video editing app if you're using an Apple machine like iMac Desktop or MacBook. It's a light-weight movie maker that can create Hollywood-style movies in a few clicks. There is almost no learning curve and it doesn't cost a penny. Thank you, Apple.

It's true that iMovie is free to use on Apple devices, but it doesn't mean you can always use the latest version. On October, 2021, Apple released iMovie 10.3 for macOS. It requires macOS 11.5.1 (Big Sur) or later. If you upgraded to Catalina recently, you'll find out that iMovie is unavailable. If this is the case for you, take it easy. This article will teach you how to download iMovie for Catalina if necessary.

Before Upgrading to Catalina

You're always recommended to backup data before upgrading your operating system, no matter whether it's macOS or Windows. Actually, you can also backup the iMovie app to an external HDD. This way, you can get iMovie back to your new macOS in case that it's incompatible with the new operating system. Likewise, if you have another Mac, you can copy iMovie to your Catalina.

Why Download iMovie for Catalina?

Unfortunately, most people don't find compatibility problems until they want to use iMovie. When they go to the App Store, they are told: iMovie can't be installed on Catalina because macOS version 11.5.1 or later is required.

imovie install failed

Obviously, you need to upgrade macOS from Catalina to Big Sur to use the latest version of iMovie. I would suggestion you update macOS to the latest version if available. But sometimes you just couldn't do that due to reasons like too old machines. If upgrading macOS is impossible for you, what can you do next?

Download The Highest Version of iMovie for Catalina

Apple did know the situation, but it hasn't introduced a perfect solution yet. Below is the procedure through which you may download the last compatible version of iMovie for Catalina, possible iMovie 10.2.5, from App Store. This procedure would only work if you had installed iMovie on your Mac but perhaps deleted it.

  • Drag your iMovie app (if exists) from the Applications folder to the Trash, but do NOT empty the trash.
  • Sign in to the macOS App Store, and click your name in the bottom left corner of the App Store. You will see your purchased items, including iMovie.
  • Update iMovie to the highest version that is compatible with your Catalina.
  • If not successful, open the Trash and move the iMovie app back to the Applications folder. Skit this step if you didn't move iMovie to the Trash.

imovie for catalina update

Download iMovie Alternative for Catalina

If neither can you upgrade from Catalina to Big Sur or later, nor download iMovie for Catalina from App Store, you could still go to some unauthorized non-Apple sites to download iMovie, but for safety reasons, those are not recommended.

So why not get an iMovie alternative for Catalina? Movavi VIdeo Editor for Mac is a well-known video editor that is designed for video editing beginners. It provides you with an user-friendly interface and almost all video editing tools like iMovie. Get a trial for free and pay only if you're fully satisfied with it.

imovie for catalina alternative

A Desperate Resort: Download iMovie for Catalina from Random Sites

As you may know, the safest way to get iMovie is to download it from Apple's Mac Store. However, if you have tried everything you could but in vain, downloading iMovie from trustable sites like is also feasible.

Here iMovie 10.1.12 is recommended for macOS Catalina. It could run up to macOS 10.15.7, the latest release of Catalina. Get it from - the Internet Archive. Click here for more iMovie older versions >>

imovie for catalina 10.15.7

How to Use iMovie on macOS Catalina

FAQs on iMovie for Catalina

How do you check the macOS version?

To check what macOS you are running, hold on Control and click on the Apple Logo in the top left corner, and then click About This Mac.

What's the latest version of macOS and iMovie?

On June 7, 2022, Apple Inc. has officially released its new macOS 13 Ventura on WWDC 2022. Developers can now download and test it. The general users can only wait until the public beta or the official version this fall. For users of macOS 11.5.1 or newer, iMovie 10.3 is the latest version you can download and update to.

imovie for ventura

Why Can't I Upgrade to macOS Big Sur?

Each operating system has minimum hardware requirements. If your machine is not suitable for a certain system, e.g. macOS 11 Big Sur, you cannot install the desired system on this machine. For Big Sur, the following Apple machines are not recommended:

  • 35.5GB of free storage is required if upgrading from macOS Sierra or later.
  • 44.5GB of free storage is required if upgrading from a release earlier than Sierra.

macOS Big Sur is suitable for the following Mac models, approximately. To see the full list, go to Apple's website.

  • MacBook Pro: Late 2013 or later
  • MacBook Air: Mid 2013 or later
  • MacBook: Early 2015 or later
  • iMac Pro: 2017 or later
  • iMac: Mid 2014 or later
  • Mac mini: Late 2014 or later
  • Mac Pro: Late 2013 or later

Once again, the latest version iMovie requires macOS 11.5.1, update macOS Big Sur to this version or newer if you want to use the latest iMovie on Big Sur.


In this article, we help you solve the problem downloading and installing iMovie for Catalina. If you can't download iMovie, there are still many options of video editing applications. Just get Movavi Video Editor or any other apps to start video making on your machine powered by the fresh macOS Catalina! Enjoy video editing anywhere.

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