2.0.5 really slow, unresponsive and then crashes

Hi All,

I’ve searched for an answer for this but cannot find one anywhere so I’m asking you guys…

I’m using windows 7 32-bit and audacity 2.0.5 (on an HP laptop, if that makes any difference).

Today I’ve been doing a lot of editing of an audio recording I made a little while ago. When I started the editing (just simple cutting), audacity was taking ages to complete each task, then would say “not responding” and then would complete the task a minute or so later. Obviously, this was not ideal as it made the editing time much longer, but it was bearable.

This afternoon, it has just given up completely and crashed, to the extent that I had to control-alt-delete to exit the programme.

I tried re-opening the programme but no luck. I tried un-installing audacity (using control panel > programmes and files > uninstall), and re-installing, but still no luck. At this point, the programme won’t complete any tasks, no matter how slowly, it just instantly crashes.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I’m only half-way through editing my audio, and I have loads more I need to record!

Thanks in advance,

That screams starved for resources. If you do a lot of editing you may be starting to fill up your hard drive. Do you use an external hard drive and is that one filling up? Audacity doesn’t like to edit across USB drives and it doesn’t like to edit over a network.

Close everything. Restart the machine and only launch Audacity. If Skype or any other service automatically launches, close them. Audio editing uses a lot of memory and real time services unlike other programs. One way to test your computer’s high memory is to do complicated sound effects on a big show. Most other programs don’t much care what happens in high memory.


Nowadays laptops came installed with too much crap ware (I call it spam) which is set by their developers to do this and that without your permission and wasting vital resources.
I would suggest you start with downloading the free Pc Decrapifier and trash some rubbish. http://pcdecrapifier.com/
Then as it was already suggested to you, when starting a new session it’s best to restart your computer and limit the tasks to the essential because audio editing (depending on audio quality and length) requires a lot or resources.
There is much more to do in order to set your computer for the best performance but that depends on your computer skills.

Thanks for your replies.

Kozikowski, the file I’m working on is stored on a usb drive, but the audacity programme is stored on the laptop itself.

I’ll admit, I did have quite a few other programmes and multiple internet tabs working at the same time - I’m a bit of a multi-tasker! I’ll try using just audacity on its own and see how it goes.

Audino, I’ve been getting the feeling my computer is getting a bit bogged-down with crapware (as you call it), so will try the download you suggest.

Watch this space… :slight_smile:

Current Audacity is slow with over an hour of audio, or dozens of tracks, to some extent depending on the computer.

If it is an Audacity settings problem, such as excessive project rate, then you should enable “Reset Preferences” halfway through the reinstallation, or the reinstallation will not reset the settings.

Another thing you could try (though it is not a default Audacity setting) is to launch Audacity without opening the project, Edit > Preferences… , choose “Quality” and set Default Sample Format to 16-bit. This halves the size of the data Audacity is trying to manipulate.

And yes, close the multi-tabbed web browser unless you are recording from it.


Some usb devices use very low quality drives that are no more suitable to use in computers so I would copy the content on the laptop and work on it, just in case.

Ok, so, I have tried the following…

-decrapified my laptop
-un-installed and re-installed audacity making sure to click “reset preferences”
-saved the file I’m working on to my laptop rather than usb drive
-changed the quality default sample format to 16-bit
-restarted my laptop
-run audacity alone (without any other programmes or internet tabs open)

And still it won’t work :frowning:

If I try any audacity command on the file I’m working on, the programme instantly freezes. Taking into account the previous editing I managed to do, the audio file is currently approximately 45 minutes long… is that excessive…? There is still quite a lot I want to cut out of it.

I just don’t understand it because it was working to begin with.

Any additional thoughts, tips, tricks or suggestions would very much be appreciated.



I have just tried to edit the same file using audacity on a different laptop (my Mum’s), and the same thing happens - instant crash.

Does this tell us anything?

It sounds like the file was already corrupted or you might made some wrong changes to it but I can be wrong, see if you can play it with Winamp, VLC Media Player, Windows Media Player or even load it in Virtualdub (free video/audio editor) which doesn’t require installation just copy its folder in the main drive and start it.
Always make a COPY of the original audio file and work on it.

45 minutes should not be too long.

Did you ever save this as an Audacity project or do you only have the audio file? Is it WAV or MP3? As an aside, if you are working on an audio file across different Audacity sessions you should export it as WAV for importing into Audacity next session. Exporting MP3 will cause you to lose quality with each export.

The same Audacity project crashing Audacity on different computers makes sense. The same audio file crashing on different computers does not make a lot of sense unless the temporary directory on both computers was short of space or unless indeed there is invalid sample data in the file. Does the waveform load and the freeze only occurs when you edit?

Open Edit > Preferences… in Audacity and look at the Directories Preferences. How much space is in the temporary directory?


I exported the file I was working on, then re-opened it as a new project in audacity. It seems to be working ok so far - it doesn’t instantly crash but is still rather slow performing simple tasks like cutting.

That is the correct solution for an Audacity project (AUP file and _data folder) that is crashing.

Unfortunately Audacity can be slow doing that in long projects, as stated in the Release Notes Missing features - Audacity Support . If the audio is very long, you can try splitting it up into separate projects.

You haven’t said how much disk space you have. Large projects take GB’s of data. If you are short of space it takes the computer much longer to find somewhere to put the data.