2.1.2 Stuck After Crash

A little help please…

I had four sound files open when my Mac crashed and I had to restart. Now, when I open Audacity v2.1.2 I get a recovery notice with the option to (A) quit, (B) discard or (C) recover the files. All of the options leave me with a blank mixer page and none of the menu items work, leaving me no option but to Force Quit.

How do I get rid of the recovery notice and get back to work?

Audacity v2.1.2
iMac OSX 10.6.8 (highest upgrade allowed on this machine)

To stop the recovery happening, open Finder, use Go > Go to Folder and enter:

~/Library/Application Support/audacity/AutoSave

In that AutoSave folder, delete all the AUTOSAVE files.

Unfortunately that menu freeze after crash recovery is a problem specific to 2.1.2 on Snow Leopard. It probably won’t be fixed now because we expect to drop Snow Leopard support from 2.1.4 onwards. If so, you won’t be able to use later than 2.1.3 on your machine. We are working on the 2.1.3 release now.

Perhaps you can help us. Do you get the menu freeze if you choose the option to “Quit” or to “Recover Projects” (leaving aside that the recovered files are empty)? Or do you get the freeze only if you Discard Projects? If all three buttons in the Automatic Crash Recovery dialogue just leave Audacity frozen, then you could try using “2.1.1-screen-reader” from http://www.audacityteam.org/download/mac/ which I don’t think has that freeze problem.

The reason the recovery comes up empty is probably that you have not changed the Audacity temp folder from its default location in /var/folders/. That location is cleaned up when the Mac restarts. I recommend as soon as you can get into Audacity that you open Audacity > Preferences…, Directories section, and change the temp folder to somewhere safe in your own user space.

Let us know how you get on.


You may have just run out of machine. Audacity makes very high quality copies of the whole show as UNDO every time you perform an edit, effect, correction or filter. It doesn’t take a very big show to overwhelm an older computer.

get back to work

How much drivespace do you have? If Audacity crashed with a big project on the timeline, chances are there is a lot of debris and unclosed caches scattered around which may prevent you from opening Audacity.


The menu freeze after closing (at least) “Discard Projects” is a known problem on Snow Leopard, as I said.

Given the Mac crashed, the reboot should clear up caches and so on. Unfortunately by default in 2.1.2, it would clear up Audacity’s temp folder too.

Be careful about using Nyquist plugins on more than about half an hour of audio at a time. Some of those plugins may place all the audio data in to RAM and this can cause Audacity to crash.


Excellent! It worked (and now I’m back to work).

It’s not a disk drive storage issue. I have a 1TB internal drive with 600GB available.


If you think all three buttons in Crash Recovery were leading to frozen menus, not just Discard, please let us know. We just “might” try to fix that in 2.1.3 and make 2.1.4 the final version (or we might not). There are workarounds to opening the AUTOSAVE file as an AUP file to get round freezing after Recover… but the workarounds are not for the faint-hearted.


We have a possible fix but can’t test it ourselves until we have acquired some suitable hardware:

If you can give us some feedback on it that would be appreciated. To test, simply record something unimportant, force quit Audacity then try to recover the project.


That fix has now been tested on 10.6.8 and will be in 2.1.3 when released.

For those still on 2.1.2, I recommend that after the Audacity menus freeze, right-click or CTRL-click over the Audacity icon in the Dock, and choose “Quit”. This will give Audacity proper control again. If you had pressed the button to Recover Projects, say “Yes” to “Save changes?” then you can save a project, or “Cancel” then you can export a WAV.