How to Burn iMovie to DVD for Any DVD Player with or without iDVD

Megan Charles
December 28, 2021 Preview 19.9K Preview 0
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Hi, I have just bought an iMac and have done a short video in iMovie. How to burn a dvd from imovie? I would appreciate any advice. ― a question from

This article will show you how to burn iMovie to DVD with ease using different tools. In the age of streaming and online sharing, it’s still a good idea to burn DVDs from iMovie or other sources. Burning videos to DVD means more accessible playback, better preservation, and wider distribution and sharing.


How to Burn DVD from iMovie with iDVD

We usually use iMovie to browse, share, create a new video with photos and clips, edit video for better refinements, and enhance the visual looking with special effects, etc. When it comes to how to playback iMovie videos, we can enjoy them on Apple TV by using the iMovie Theater for smaller videos or share the file through iTunes & Home Sharing. But as for the iMovie videos that are pretty important, we can burn them to DVD. As mentioned above, by doing so, we can preserve our video works better and playback them on the DVD player, Xbox, PS3, etc.

To export an iMovie project to disc, we will need an iMovie to DVD creator. One of the most popular choices is iDVD.

iDVD Availability

To burn iMovie to DVD with iDVD, you, of course, will need iDVD available on your computer. The bad news is that iDVD has been discontinued since 2011. It was 7 years ago as of 2018. No longer preinstalled on Macs shipping with OS X 10.7 Lion or later and not available on the Mac App Store with all of the other iLife apps, iDVD is becoming a thing of the past. Now the only way to install iDVD on newer Mac computers is to get a copy iLife '09 from third-party sources.

If your Mac comes with iDVD, you can directly export and burn iMovie to DVD in one go.

Step-by-step Instructions

The steps below will show you how to export your movie from iMovie and burn it to DVD using iDVD for playback on your home DVD player.

Step 1Export iMovie Videos from Videos to iDVD

After finishing the iMovie project, go to iMovie's top menu bar. Choose Share > iDVD. Wait for iDVD to open the iMovie project, which may take a few minutes.

export imovie to idvd

Note: While export iMovie to iDVD, it works best with videos of less than 60 minutes.

Step 2Make DVD Menu

iDVD interface appears now. If you want to make DVD menu, click Themes at the right bottom. Additionally, if you want to add more local videos together with your iMovie videos before burning iMovie to DVD, You can click Media.

Step 3Start burning iMovie to DVD

After all are finished, insert a blank DVD into your Mac's CD-ROM/DVD drive. Go to the iDVD menu bar and choose File > Burn DVD.

burn dvd

Tip: "iDVD needs a lot of free hard drive space in order to buffer and burn a DVD. Remove absolutely all non-essential data and files from your Mac so that you free up some hard drive space. If that doesn't work, reduce the burning speed to 2x and if you're still having problems after that, you'll have to simply reduce the size of your iDVD project which may mean having to go into iMovie and re-edit it." So, there are some bugs while burning large iMovie video with Idvd, for safety, make sure that your video size is no more than 1 hour.

How to Burn iMovie to DVD to Play on Any Player without iDVD

DVD burned from iMovie won't play on DVD player?

Here’s a scenario. You have successfully burnt a movie to DVD using a DVD burning tool. You are able to play it without a problem on your computer. However, when you try playing the DVD on a DVD player, it doesn’t play. You try again with a different player, and it fails to play too. This scenario is actually very common and can also occur when you burn iMovie to DVD.

Why this happens

When it comes to burning DVDs, there are two primary types: data DVD and video DVD. You are supposed to play a data DVD on the computer and a video DVD on DVD players.

If your iMovie project is burnt to a data DVD, you won’t be able to play and enjoy it on a regular player because the player can’t decode the video data. The fact is that most freely available DVD burning tools only burn videos to data DVDs.

Can I burn iMovie to DVD to play on any DVD player?

Yes. You can.

With the help of professional DVD burning software for Mac, you are able to burn videos shot by mobile phones or camcorders to DVD, so that you can play them on TV or other playable devices. You can use Cisdem DVD Burner to efficiently burn any video files (including iMovie projects) to DVD for any DVD player. This DVD burner for Mac provides easy DVD burning solutions to meet your needs.

Free Download

#1 Burn any video files regardless of video formats

It supports almost all video types such as iMovie projects, MP4, HD MKV (H.264, MPEG-2 HD), iTunes Video (M4V), Quick Time Video (MOV, QT), etc.

supported input video formats

#2 Burn videos to DVD-Video disc, DVD folder, or ISO files for any DVD player

Burn iMovie project to DVD in the most dominant format DVD-Video so that you won’t have any problems playing the burned DVD on DVD player or computer.

#3 Edit videos before burning

Before burning DVD, you can easily do editing such as rotating, cropping, adding effects/music/subtitles, etc.

#4 Advanced DVD burning settings

Set to burn DVD based on disc volume (DVD5 or DVD9), TV system (NTSC or PAL), display ratio (16:9 or 4:3), etc.

Instructions: how to burn iMovie to DVD to play on any DVD player

Step 1Export from iMovie as a Video File

Insert a blank disc into your Mac. Next, go to the iMovie Menu bar, and click Share > Export Movie. It will pop up an output setting window, you can choose the terminal player, and save in HD format video, name it and save to a folder in Finder.

export imovie to file

Step 2Load iMovie Video to Cisdem DVD Burner

It is very simple to load video files. Click the "Add videos" icon to import iMovie video files from your folder saved just now on Finder to the program window, or straightly drag them to the DVD burner.

Step 3Customize DVD Menu for Better Playing Navigation

Click "Menu" at the right bottom of the interface, the menu designing window appears.

Choose your favorite template, background, button, stylish frame for video thumbnails. You can also title the best name by using various colors, fonts, and sizes for the videos on the template. And add favorite songs as music backgrounds for the menu.

Now, you can see your menu gets much stylish and beautiful.

Step 4Export iMovie Video to Disc

Before you burn iMovie to DVD, you can preview the work by clicking to check it if goes within your requirements.

Then click burn button to switch to the DVD output window, which allows you to configure settings like DVD format, TV standard, copies number, etc.

Now you can click "Burn" to start.

Other ways to Burn iMovie to DVD without iDVD

If your Mac doesn’t have iDVD, you can also use iDVD alternatives.

1. How to burn iMovie to DVD with iTunes


  1. Easy and handy
  2. No need to install DVD software
  3. Supports different disc formats


  1. Only burn iMovie project to data DVD, so burned DVDs won’t play on a regular DVD player

iTunes allows you to create various types of discs including DVDs. The instructions below will show you how to burn iMovie project to DVD using iTunes.

Step 1. Launch iMovie. Select the iMovie project you are going to burn to DVD. Go to "File" > "Share" > "iTunes". The iTunes dialog box will appear.

export imovie project to itunes

Step 2. From the "Resolution" dropdown menu, it’s recommended to choose the highest resolution available. Click "Share". Wait for the exporting to finish.

Step 3. Launch iTunes. Choose "Movies" > "Library" > "Home Videos". The iMovie video should appear there.

Step 4. Create a playlist that contains the iMovie video. Insert a blank disc. Select the said playlist. Choose "File" > "Burn Playlist to Disc".

Step 5. In the "Burn Settings" dialog box, select "Data CD" or "DVD". Click "Burn". This is how to burn a DVD from iMovie using iTunes.

itunes burning settings

2. How to put iMovie on DVD with Burn


  1. Easy to use with a simple interface
  2. Supports different disc formats


  1. Some burned DVDs won’t play in DVD players
  2. Sometimes crash unexpectedly

Burn is a free and open-source DVD burning app for macOS. This iMovie to DVD creator allows you to create and burn discs effortlessly. Coming with a very simple interface, Burn lets you easily select the type of DVD or CD you want to burn. Below is a brief tutorial on how to export iMovie project to DVD using this DVD creator.

Step 1. Launch iMovie. Choose File > Share > File. The File dialog box will show up.

From the "Format" dropdown menu, select Video and Audio. From the Resolution menu, choose the resolution you prefer. It's recommended to select a high resolution such as 1080p 60. Click Next and select a folder to keep the exported file. Click "Save".

Step 2. Download and install Burn on your Mac. Launch the app.

Step 3. In the bottom-left corner, click the "+" symbol. Browse and select the iMovie project file you’ve just exported.

If the video file is not supported by Burn, the One incompatible file dialog box will show up asking if you want to convert the file to the supported format. Click "Convert". The conversion will take a while.

Step 4. After the conversion is finished, the file will appear in Burn. Click "Burn", and this app will start burning iMovie project to the disc inserted into your computer.

burn for mac

3. How to burn iMovie to DVD with Windows Media Player


  1. No need to install DVD software
  2. Supports different disc formats


  1. Only burn iMovie project to data DVD, so burned DVDs won’t play on most DVD players

You can also burn iMovie to DVD on a Windows PC. You can do the burning by using Windows Media Player or WMP, the built-in media player on Windows 10, Windows 7, and the previous versions.

Step 1. Export your iMovie project as a video file using the step mentioned above.

Step 2. Transfer the iMovie project file to a PC using the flash drive, cloud service, or a different method you prefer.

Step 3. Launch WMP. In the upper-right corner, click "Switch to Library".

Step 4. In Library, click "Burn". Go to the "Burn" tab. From the dropdown list in the upper-right corner, select "Data CD" or "DVD".

burn imovie to dvd on windows pc

Step 5. Insert a black disc. If you see the "AutoPlay" dialog box, click "Close".

Step 6. In the "Player Library", choose "Organize" > "Manage libraries" > "Videos". Click "Add" to add the iMovie project file transferred to PC.

Step 7. Create a burn list that contains the iMovie file. Click "Start" to start burning iMovie to DVD.


Hopefully, these tools and instructions on how to burn iMovie to DVD can be helpful to you. After burning DVD from your iMovie projects, you can easily play them on DVD player, distribute and share them with your parents, friends, etc. The physical copies can also serve as a reliable backup.

Megan Charles
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Megan has an impressive deal of experience with Mac software and has the ability to explain tech stuff in a simplified, straightforward and easy to understand way.

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