How to fix: Final Cut Pro X - playback or space bar not working

Final Cut Pro X – playback or space bar not working

Under certain circumstances, the space bar, used for playback in Final Cut Pro X stops working. If you have experienced that issue, don’t worry as there is a simple solution.

I use Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) for all my video editing and management, but I’m still relatively new to the product and have a lot to learn. Recently FCPX started refusing to playback imported video clips. Hitting the space bar or choosing any of the available options under View -> Playback resulted in what looked like the video playing for a split second. I could see the play button changing to a pause button and back, but it never played.

I was pulling my hair out over this issue, but I couldn’t call Apple because their Pro applications don’t fall under regular AppleCare agreements. Instead, they offer separate and expensive support contracts that are only worth for people using those applications, well, professionally.

How to fix: Final Cut Pro X – playback or space bar not working

Luckily, I found the solution on Apple’s support forum, where user Russ H suggested to revert to the original (window) layout. Since I have two screens (27″ Cinema Display and the MacBook Pro screen), I instructed FCPX to show the playback window on my MacBook Pro display.

Fix: Window -> Revert to Original Layout

That somehow messed up playback and by restoring the original layout (via Window -> Revert to Original Layout), I also restored playback functionality.

Thanks, Russ H!

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  • Sean says:

    I had the exact same situation as you. I’ll test this out over the next few weeks, but initial results are good. Thanks for posting this.

  • Charles says:

    Thanks for the tip, i had the same problem, and your solution worked for me.

  • Thanks for this! Worked perfect for me. Was driving me nuts.

  • DPKuleshov says: