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Short Cuts #13: Restore Deleted Footage or Sequences

By David Winter
Jul 14, 2023
2 minute read




Restore Deleted Footage or Sequences

Why you need to know this

We have a number of official tutorials and guides when it comes to using Lightworks, and there's a sub-group of them I think of as our 'break in case of emergency' tutorials. This one falls into that category.

Picture this: you're editing away on a project, you've been working on it for hours, and your sequence is filled with clips, sub-clips, and more.

You go to delete a bunch of clips from your project you no longer need, and suddenly all of the media on your timeline is offline. None of it works anymore. You're just faced with a black screen.

You accidentally deleted your sequence. Disaster.

This is just one example, but there are a number of ways you might accidentally delete a clip or sequence. Human error happens!

If this does happen, don't go looking for the nearest hole in the ground to disappear into, however. There is an easy way to restore deleted footage and sequences.

Restoring your footage

So, you're in panic mode, and you want to restore your footage? No problem. Firstly, take a deep breath. Secondly, exit out of your project back to your project browser screen. Locate the project you were working on, and then right-click on it.

The first option in the pop-up menu will be 'Restore item(s) from backups...

Click on this, and a menu will appear asking you to select items to restore. From here, there are two tabs.

  • Sequences
  • Deleted

Choose deleted, and all of your recently deleted clips and sequences will be there. Simply click on the one you want to restore, and then hit the restore button on the bottom left.

If successful, which it will be, you will get a box telling you it's been successfully completed! Lovely stuff.

What to do now it's been restored?

Now you've restored it, just head back into your project. If it was a clip you were restoring, the footage will now be fully active and working again in both your timeline and your clip previewer.

If it was a sequence you needed to restore, there's just one extra step. Locate the sequence under your project contents browser, and then double-click it. It will reopen on your timeline with everything exactly how you left it pre-deletion.

The day is saved!

There you go. It's as simple as that. As I said at the top, this is a real 'break in case of emergency' solution for when you need to restore deleted footage. Hopefully, you'll never need to use it, but if you do, at least now you have it in your toolbox.

Give the video at the top a watch to make sure you fully understand and to see this in practice, and then save it away somewhere in case you need to refer back to it in a pinch.

More Short Cuts

If you've found this guide useful and are looking for some other cool things you can do inside Lightworks, you can find all of our previous guides below. Number 5 especially also falls under the 'break in case of emergency' grouping, so make sure you give that one a watch too!

Short Cuts #12: Get Creative with the Rolling Title Effect in Lightworks

Short Cuts #11: Editing Video for Social Media in the Correct Aspect Ratio

Short Cuts #10: Speed Up Editing with Proxies

Short Cuts #8 & 9: Save Time Rendering Video

Short Cuts #6: The Key to Keyframes in Lightworks

Short Cuts #5: How to Backup and Restore Video Edits in Lightworks

Short Cuts #4: How to use LUTs (and 5 free horror movie LUTs to download)

Short Cuts #3: How to do Picture in picture in Lightworks

Short Cuts #2: Cloud Editing: Get Footage from Your Phone to Lightworks. Fast

Short Cuts #1.: Making a Freeze Frame in Lightworks