How to Reduce Background Noise With iMovie

Written by adrian grahams Google
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How to Reduce Background Noise With iMovie
Remove the irritating background noise that can mar your home videos. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Background noise from a passing aeroplane, road traffic or even wind can detract from the viewer's enjoyment of your home video. Apple iMovie video creation and editing software includes an advanced background noise filter that reduces background noise in video and audio clips without affecting the audio quality and volume level of the clip. You can access background noise reduction filter from the "Audio" tab in iMovie's Project browser.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Launch iMovie. Click "File" in the main menu bar, and then select "Open Project" from the drop-down menu and open the project that contains the video or audio clip that you want to modify. Alternatively, select "New Project" from the drop-down menu project and then click "File" followed by "Import" to open the audio or video clip in the new project.

  2. 2

    Double-click the audio or video clip in the Project browser pane towards the bottom of the screen. iMovie displays each video and audio clip as a colour bar in the browser pane.

  3. 3

    Click the "Audio" tab at the top of the Inspector window that opens automatically when you double-click the clip.

  4. 4

    Click to enable the "Reduce background noise by" check box under the "Enhance" heading in the Inspector window. Move the slider bar to choose your preferred percentage of noise reduction. Apple suggests keeping the noise reduction below 75 per cent to preserve the overall audio quality and volume of the clip.

  5. 5

    Move the red playhead bar to the start of the clip in the Project browser, and then press the space key on your computer keyboard to listen to the audio in the clip with the background noise filtered. Press space again to stop playback. The Inspector window stays open while you play the clip, allowing you to experiment with the noise reduction tool until you achieve the desired effect. The program automatically saves your changes.

Tips and warnings

  • Apple iMovie retains the original audio track data, so you can restore the original audio at any time even after closing and reopening the project. To restore audio, double-click the video or audio clip, select "Audio" in the Inspector window and then click to enable the “Revert to Original” setting.

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