Fixing the General Error with Final Cut Pro

Every once in awhile while working in Final Cut Pro I’ll get a general error.  It doesn’t happen enough for me to ever remember exactly what causes it.  It could be several things but usually it’s because of a piece of corrupted media.  Here are the steps I take when trying to tackle the Final Cut Pro General Error.


  • See if it is happening during a render.  To be safe clear out the Render Cache.  
    Do this by going to Tools-> Render Manager.  Find your sequence and check Remove next to your audio and video render files, then select Ok.

    Now when you re render your sequence don’t do it all at once, instead render it in small chucks.  Do this until you get the General Error.  Then you can see what group of clips or clip is causing the problem.  If you find it to be a image you need to resave the image out with Photoshop or a similar program.  Same applies with a video clip, try re rendering it out with quicktime pro.

  • If you are still getting the “General Error” you can try clearing out your PRAM. You do this by Holding down Command+Option+P+R while rebooting your computer.  Do this a few times.  Sometimes some display settings or audio settings can get messed up in your system and they need to be restored to factory defaults.  Zapping the PRAM is usually a good idea when you start to experience strange little bugs here and there and can’t quite figure out where it’s coming from.   It will wipe out some of your custom OSX settings see here for more information. 
  • You can also try clearing out your Presets and Preferences.  This use to be a routine technique for fixing Final Cut bugs in previous versions.  This will fix the audio waveform drawing error that still very common in current versions of Final Cut.  To do this you need to delete a few files.  The first is located in your /Library/Preferences folder called  Delete this.  The next two are located in /Library/Preferences/Final Cut Pro User Data.  Delete “Final Cut Pro (version) Prefs” and any “Final Cut Pro (cache)” files that you find.  These files vary based on your version of Final cut, but it should work no matter what version you’re on.  After this is done Reboot Final Cut.  
  • Another problem that could be causing the “General Error” with Final Cut might have to do with a bad stick of RAM.  This is a bit more difficult to trouble shoot since I have yet to find a really good RAM tester with OSX.  Currently I use MemTest.  You can find information about it and how to do it here.
  • If none of those tricks work and you’re still getting errors with final cut. Try either updating it with the OSX software update, or reinstall Final Cut.  You can see Apples manual on how to do this properly here.


These tricks should help with any weird problems you get with Final Cut that don’t have an obvious solution.  Sometimes system files just get messed up and corrupted.

If none of these steps help with the Final Cut Pro General Error, shoot me an email or just give up completely and start editing on your iPhone.  Good Luck.