FAQ: How to Change the Codec for Video Preview Files

Adobe Employee ,
Aug 03, 2022 Aug 03, 2022

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Changing the Codec for Video Preview Files

There are a few reasons to change the codec for video preview files. 


  • AVI Warning: Are you getting an Error Compiling Movie warning dialog box concerning AVI files? If so, you need to change the codec for video preview files. It was somehow reset to AVI as your default video preview codec. Consider creating a sequence preset to avoid this issue in Premiere Pro 22.5. 
  • Smart Rendering: When rendering effects in particular codecs, you can harness these video preview files to give you faster export speeds at a high quality. More info here
  • Quality: Certain codecs are of the highest quality, while others offer draft quality.
  • Performance: Some codecs render faster if you need to render as you work. Others give you better timeline playback performance once an effect is rendered.


Here's how to change the codec.


  1. Go to the User Guide and scroll down to the section "Change Sequence Settings." This guide provides step-by-step instructions, as well.
  2. Choose Sequence > Sequence Settings. The Sequence Settings dialog box launches.
  3. Set the Editing Mode (top of the dialog box) to Custom (scroll up the menu, it's at the top). The settings for video previews are then "unlocked."
  4. Choose your codec: I-Frame MPEG (the previous default), GoPro Cineform, or QuickTime in the Sequence Settings dialog box under Video Previews > Preview File Format.
  5. I recommend QuickTime > ProRes LT for the codec, which will provide smooth playback and an option for faster rendering, called smart rendering. The community seems to be finding I-Frame MPEG working OK too.
  6. Click OK. The box closes, and you can render effects in the new codec. 
  7. After the export, don't forget to choose Sequence > Delete Render files to restore drive space. You won't need the files anymore.


I hope the advice helps. Let us know if you need assistance with any of these steps or if we can help you with a better workflow.



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