Why Does Video Editing Take So Long to Export?

Video editing is a complex process that involves various stages, including capturing footage, trimming and arranging clips, adding effects and transitions, and exporting the final product. While each stage is important, the exporting stage can be particularly time-consuming. In this article, we will explore why video editing takes so long to export.


One of the primary factors that affect video export time is the CPU or Central Processing Unit. The CPU is responsible for processing all the data in your system, including video files.

When you export a video, your CPU has to decode all the compressed data in your timeline and then re-encode it into a new format. This process requires a lot of computational power and can take a long time, especially if you’re working with high-resolution footage.


Another factor that affects export time is RAM or Random Access Memory. RAM determines how much data your system can handle at once.

When you export a video, your system needs to load all the necessary data into RAM to process it efficiently. If you don’t have enough RAM available, your system will have to rely on slower storage devices like hard drives or SSDs to access data. This can significantly slow down export times.


The type of storage device you use also affects export times. If you’re working with large video files or multiple clips at once, it’s essential to have fast storage devices like SSDs or RAID arrays that can read and write data quickly. Slow storage devices like hard drives can bottleneck your system’s performance and lead to longer export times.

Software Settings

The software settings you use during export also play a crucial role in determining how long it takes to render a video file. The codec or compression algorithm you choose can significantly impact export times and file size.

For example, H.264 is a popular codec that can produce high-quality video with a relatively small file size. However, it can take a long time to export compared to other codecs like ProRes or DNxHD.


In conclusion, video editing takes a long time to export due to several factors, including CPU, RAM, storage, and software settings. To minimize export times, it’s essential to have a powerful CPU and enough RAM available.

Additionally, using fast storage devices like SSDs and optimizing your software settings can also help speed up the process. Understanding these factors and how they affect export times is crucial for any video editor looking to improve their workflow and efficiency.