Is there any way at all (perhaps with a plugin, paid or otherwise) to save an Adobe Premiere Pro project file so that it's compatible with an older version of the software? The scenario I have is that I use Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 but I need to send project files for editing to someone who only has CS3.

6 Answers 6


I dont know of any software for Premiere that can do this (there are plugins for After Effects but cant find any for Premiere - thats not to say they arent out there).

I think your best option would be to export your sequence as an XML. You will loose any CS5.5 features there are not in CS3, but this would occur regardless of which method you use to get the project into CS3.

  1. Choose File > Export > Final Cut Pro XML.
  2. In the Save Converted Project As dialog box, browse to a location for the XML file, and type a file name.
  3. Click Save.

  • 1
    This is the only method, by exporting as XML or AMA (for AVID and some other NLEs). There is no backwards-compatibility for Premiere projects.
    – nchpmn
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 5:42
  • 1
    @nchpmn turns out it's not true: video.stackexchange.com/a/21365/2178 Commented May 27, 2017 at 19:59

Since this is the top google result, I would like to give the actual solution to this problem

Option 1

  1. Duplicate the .prproj file you want to downgrade and name it temp_downgrade.prproj or something. Just so you don't have to mess with the original.
  2. Download 7zip.
  3. Right click on temp_downgrade.prproj and select Extract here.
  4. You should see temp_downgrade next to the original temp file with no .prproj.
  5. Now right click on the temp_downgrade file and open it with a text editor.
  6. You should see a couple million lines of confusing text, ignore it. you are looking for the 4th line, it will look like this:
    • <Project ObjectID="1" ClassID="62ad66dd-0dcd-42da-a660-6d8fbde94876" Version="29">
  7. That version=29 (or whatever it says in your file, could be any number) is what you have to change. Simply set it to 1 so the whole line reads:
    • <Project ObjectID="1" ClassID="62ad66dd-0dcd-42da-a660-6d8fbde94876" Version="1">
  8. Save the changes you've made to the file.
  9. Now right click the temp_downgradefile - remember the one without the .prproj - extension and select add to archive under 7zip .
  10. Change archive format to gzip and change the file name to be something. like temp_downgraded.prproj. Doesn't really matter it must end in .prproj though.
  11. That's it open temp_downgraded.prproj like a normal premiere project and it'll ask to upgrade the file or something. Save the copy somewhere permanent as that's where any changes you make will be saved. You can delete all the temp files now.

[Here is a gif of the whole thing.][2]

Option 2

EDIT 2018: This tool mentioned in an answer below mine seems great! http://joshcluderay.com/downgrade-premiere-project-converter/

If you would prefer a local open source version, I also made a small JavaFx app that should automate everything in Option 1. You can download it for a Mac/Windows computer with Java(!) installed. Over here.

Are there any consequences from doing this?

Not reeeeeally. At least - it's much less than the current accepted answer on this thread. If you export something as an xml file on premiere you will effectively lose most of the editing you've done. Aside from maybe the most basic sequences. All the colour correction, Sound work, etc is gone. With this method - yes some of that will disappear if you are working on an old enough version of premiere. But, I'm talking like five years old. If the difference is CC2017 and CC2016. Sure you'll lose any effects that only exist in CC2017. But I would bet this is mostly niche stuff and 99.999% of your project will probably be fine! But - even if it isn't - say you make some small changes to your downgraded version on CC2016. If you copy the downgraded version to a computer with CC2017, after the changes have been made. All the newer features will still be there. So as long as you render on the computer with CC2017 nothing will be lost.

tl;dr: Obviously there are some cases where you could lose information, but if you just need to make minor edits or fix something small on your home computer then take it back to work or something - this is fine.

Why this works?

Apparently adobe save files are just gzipped xml, so that's why. Should work on AfterEffects as well.

  • Josh's website has been brilliant but was down today so I had to try an work it out manually. I worked out (on a mac) that it's possible to skip steps 2-4, 9-10 by just opening it in a text editor like BBEdit, do the version number change and then, save and open as normal. Wish I knew this before going down a 7zip, JavaFX wormhole :D
    – Daniel
    Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 14:47

I made a tool which instantly downgrades Premiere projects so they can be opened in a previous version. Try it here.

  • I tried your tool for a cc2018 pproj to be opened in cc2017, but got a "damaged file" pop-up when tried to open. Is your tool suppose to work with these versions? Thanks
    – david
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 20:56
  • I've recently fixed a problem which caused some browsers to download an empty file. Perhaps it will work for you now?
    – notjosh
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 19:29
  • When I tried to convert a CC 2018 project, I got "The project appears to be damaged, cannot be opened" when opening with PPro CS6
    – Mike Slinn
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 19:35
  • Hi Josh, thanks for your work there, I've used it successfully to downgrade from 2018 to 2015 in the past...however now I have another project file from 18 to 15, and I can't seem to make it work with your converter or manually. Your converter uploads it, and then does nothing, and then refreshes like nothing happened. Manually it keeps telling me there's something outdated or broken in the file, even though I did the same thing to another file of the same type (18 to 15). I can't figure out what's wrong with this particular file. Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 22:29
  • continued: I've tried opening it in the 2018 version, and deleting things that might've been different from the last success, title cards and markers. The only other thing I can think of is this one is using bigger, much longer video, and multicam. And I used lumetri color on one clip in 2018 but reset it. I may've accidentally left the effect on the clip though and that's something different that 2015 doesn't know how to handle? Thanks Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 22:31

You might be able to get away just sending the project to them as is. They get some warnings on opening but I think it works (remember trying this with CS5 --> CS4)


Uncompress the project file using something like WinRar into a standard uncompressed project file. Then edit the version at the beginning. I had to roll back to 2013.2 from 2013.4 to use speedgrade. i bought a utility using paypal and noticed that the only changed was the "31" at the top to "30".


guys. I know this is an old topic, but I just found something that worked for me. I don't really know why, but it did. A friend has send me a project created with a recent version. I could open it, but only by clicking in the "download bar" in the bottom of my browser (google chrome). If I open the folder where the file was saved, I could't open it, but by clicking on the "google chrome download bar", it opens!

Hope this can be replicated.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.