2 min read

#175 - How to Downgrade an Adobe Premiere Pro Project File

Pop quiz hot shot.

What do you do when you need to open a newer Adobe Premiere Pro project file in an older version of the software?

(FYI normally you can't. You can upgrade older project files to newer versions of the app but not the other way around...)

What do you do?

Well, you read this issue of Cut/daily for a start and find the relatively simple answer when you know how.

Hopefully this method can get you out of a tight spot, like when another editor has decided to live on the bleeding edge of Adobe's development cycle, whilst you would rather live in the comfort of a stable build.

Either way, here's how to open a newer Adobe Premiere Pro project file in an older version of the software on both Windows and Mac.

But first here's an even easier way!

A Premiere project (.prproj) file is basically an xml file wrapped up in gzip compression.

One of the nodes contains a version number corresponding to the version of Premiere which created it.

Premiere checks this when opening a file and refuses to open anything with a lower version number, even when the project is basically compatible: "This project was saved in a newer version of Adobe Premiere Pro and cannot be opened in this version."

— Josh Cluderay

Josh Cluderay has created an excellent (and free) online converter which will do this all for you.

Just upload your newer Premiere Pro project file (50mb limit) and it convert it and automatically download the 'unlocked' version.

Josh has a helpful warning to heed, whether you do this manually yourself or use his online converter, which is that:

Some filters and effects may be lost when converting.

The most notable difference is the 'Type' tool which was introduced in April 2017 to replace the titles feature.

There is no way to replicate this in an older version.

— Josh Cluderay

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