We propose a modern approach to assist clinicians to recognize and diagnose inborn errors of metabolism (IEMs) in adolescents and adults that present with a movement disorder. IEMs presenting in adults are still largely unexplored. These disorders receive little attention in neurological training and daily practice, and are considered complicated by many neurologists. Adult-onset presentations of IEMs differ from childhood-onset phenotypes, which may lead to considerable diagnostic delay. The identification of adult-onset phenotypes at the earliest stage of the disease is important, since early treatment may prevent or lessen further brain damage. Our approach is based on a systematic review of all papers that concerned movement disorders due to an IEM in patients of 16 years or older. Detailed clinical phenotyping is the diagnostic cornerstone of the approach. An underlying IEM should be suspected in particular in patients with more than one movement disorder, or in patients with additional neurological, psychiatric, or systemic manifestations. As IEMs are all genetic disorders, we recommend next-generation sequencing (NGS) as the first diagnostic approach to confirm an IEM. Biochemical tests remain the first choice in acute-onset or treatable IEMs that require rapid diagnosis, or to confirm the metabolic diagnosis after NGS results. With the use of careful and systematic clinical phenotyping combined with novel diagnostic approaches such as NGS, the diagnostic yield of late-onset IEMs will increase, in particular in patients with mild or unusual phenotypes.