Relinking Media Files

Lesson Details

Subject: Editing

Title: Relinking Media Files


How to re-link media files that have gone offlline in Premiere Pro CC.


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When you launch your Premiere Pro CC project, it checks to confirm that all of your media is available or ‘online’, and if it detects that some of your media in your project is ‘offline’ or unavailable, the Link Media window will open. If you get this window, it probably means that either you moved your media from its previous location, or that an external drive that has your media on it isn’t connected to your computer.

So if you’ve moved your media files to a different location, you’ll have the chance to relink your files to the new location using this window. If you discover that your external hard drive isn’t connected, then connect it when you see this window. Let’s take a look at this Link Media window. In the main area is a list of all the media related to the project that you are opening that is missing.

Since this window will assist you in locating and re-linking your media, you’ll want to look at the Match File Properties checkboxes located in the lower left. The file properties boxes that you check are what Premiere Pro will use to match the missing files to the correct ones. The two boxes that we recommend that you check are File Name and File Extension.

Along the lower right of this window are more properties that you can choose for once Premiere Pro has found your missing media. We recommend clicking the boxes for Align Timecode, Relink Others Automatically, and Use Media Browser to locate files. Timecode allows Premiere Pro to check not only the File Name and File Extension properties, but to also confirm that the timecode for the missing media file matches the file that it’s relinking it to.

The Relink Others Automatically tells Premiere Pro that if it finds one media file to relink from the missing file list, and others from the list are in the same location, it will automatically relink those as well, which can be a real time saver. The Use Media Browser to locate files option will allow you to look at clips and even hover scrub them to confirm that they are the correct ones. Below these options are Offline All and Offline.

If you click on either of these (offline all for all your offline clips, and offline for single clips), you’re telling Premiere Pro that you know those files are offline and you don’t want to relink them. So if you click either of these, your project will open, and those files will stay offline. If you want to relink your media files, click on the Locate button. This will open the Locate File window which will both show you the last location where you missing media file was located and give you the opportunity to navigate to where the file is now located.

If you’re not sure exactly where your media is located, you should check the broadest search location along the left of this window where you think the file might be, even it’s an entire hard drive, and then click Search. When it finds the first clip, click OK, and because we checked the Relink Others Automatically box, any other files that are in the offline media list will also be relinked at the same time.

Now let’s go back to that first Link Media window again, and instead of clicking on Locate, I’ll click Cancel. My project will open and you can see what appears when a media file is unlinked. You see this red multi-lingual Media offline message appear in your Source and Program monitors.

If you look in your Project Pane in list view, you’ll also see question marks next to each clip that’s offline. To relink just a single clip, right click on it, or control click on a PC, and choose Link Media.

The same Link Media window will open with the one clip that you selected. So, we’ll still keep the File Name and File Extension boxes checked as well as the Align Timecode, Relink Others Automatically, and the Use Media Browser boxes. Next we’ll click Locate, and use the same method as before, choosing the broadest search location along the left of this window where you think the file might be, and then click Search.

Premiere Pro will find and select the missing file. Click Ok, and that single missing media file will be relinked. If I want to only relink media files that I’ve used in my sequence, I right click on the sequence in my Project pane, or control click on a PC, and I get the same Relink Window again.

I just follow the same steps, choose the broadest search location along the left of this window where you think the files might be and then click Search. When the missing media has been located, click OK and all the media for just that sequence will be relinked.

© Michael Rosenblum & Lisa Lambden 2015