All sound files created are corrupted

All of a sudden all of the sound files I create in Audacity are corrupted. I tried installing updates and restarting the computer. Same issue. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the entire Audacity program and that didn’t work either. It is a PC. Please help. What do I do?

You have provided too little information. Upload any of your corrupted files to any cloud file sharing service and provide a link. Once people can see the file, someone will reply with a solution

Okay, so when I have a sound file I save it as an audacity project then I export it as an MP33 because I need that format for ACX. As soon as I close the project after saving, I get a warning from my One Drive that about all deleted files being deleted everywhere and then the drive automatically deletes them stating that they are corrupt. If I open the drive and restore them, I get an unplayable file. The restored files are not approved by ACX they say there is a problem with the file. So, I cannot save any useable MP3s
I appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you

Sample test file

It doesn’t matter if they are playable on a different player on my computer if they are corrupt when I try to upload the file to ACX. I need the files to be able to be uploaded to ACX or they are kind of useless to me.

I replied but just noticed it was not to you, please find my uploaded test file and explanation below. Thank you so much for your help.

That’s your goal. Our goal is to figure out what happened so we can fix the existing files, and see if we can prevent any more of them from failing. So it’s good to know how broken they are and where.

While you’re recording, does your timeline look something like this.

That’s generally ideal recording volume for a voice performance.

There aren’t that many file errors that can affect the volume of the file, and your files are very quiet—and distorted.

Nobody wrote you can’t have two problems.

It’s not the best idea to edit directly to OneDrive. The corporations would give anything to make their internet services “look like” a local drive, but they’re not. Audacity doesn’t like saving or exporting to a cloud drive.

The latest Audacity 3.5.1 claims to be able to save Projects on-line.

Please note it says Projects, not sound files, and they have to go to

Are you using your PC for other things? Skype, Zoom, Meetings, and Games can take over the sound services in your computer. Sometimes they forget to put them back.

Do a clean shutdown. Ctl-Alt-Del, then hold Shift while you shut down. That will take longer, but that will make sure there’s nothing running but Audacity when you start up again.

Do all your production on the Local C:\ drive. You can move files over to any other drive after you close Audacity.


That is not the sound file in question and yes the sound quality is bad, I cannot send you the real file due to copyright issues. It is not my book I am narrating. I can’t post an entire chapter here. It was a good audio file that passed ACX specs in Audacity. This is my 4th audiobook so I am not a newbie, but not a computer or sound specialist.
I am aware what saving the project in Audacity does, and I do it in case I need to further edit the sound because that’s not really possible once it’s an MP3 alone. Is it not a good idea to save in all formats? I cannot save it, my first audiobook was enough to fill the storage compacity there and it will not allow me to delete previous content. I have no idea why, I delete them, and I get an error message that says Delete Failed. Plus, I don’t really understand the point of at all, none of those files are transferable to ACX directly. I would much prefer to just save an MP3 like I have the last 3 audiobooks.

This file opens easily in Audacity

Do you remember which Audacity you were using then?

Maybe not all of them. It’s a terrific idea to Export a Perfect Quality WAV right after a raw reading, mistakes and all. This can save you from reading it all again if Audacity goes into the mud while editing.

You can also Save as an Audacity Project, which has a slightly higher quality and is needed if you have a complex project, but as a brief scanning of the forum will tell you, Projects are brittle and easily damaged.

The Final Perfect Archive Edit Master should be a WAV.

Way down at the bottom of the pile is MP3. You make one of those for listening while you walk on the beach and submission to ACX as Constant 192. That’s it. They’re not good for anything else because you can’t open and edit one without damaging the sound.

Under no circumstances should you be doing any of these jobs on a drive other than the local one. No clouds for you.

Correct. The forum poops out at 4MB.

The file? This only happened once? Do you get a damaged presentation if you read a test?

If you can’t recreate the problem whenever you want, you may have an unstable machine. That will be beyond our helping you. Do you have or have access to two computers?


One other common error. You are producing books chapter-at-a-time, right? You’re not trying to read and edit the whole book at once?


What? in ACX chapters have to be done separately that is a requirement. That is how audiobooks play.

I can recreate the problem I just didn’t want to hook up my mic and make a great sound quality clip. I need the MP3 version to no be corrupt, yes it can be opened in audacity, that is not my problem. That is the MP3 file and according to my computer and ACX all 6 chapters I recorded and this test file are corrupt.

I know, but you would be surprised the number of inexperienced performers trying to produce a whole book in one go. That’s particularly bad news in Audacity 3.5 because it tends to fill the machine, overload, and then Hindenburg.

When you read, do you record in stereo? Two blue waves?


Many home microphone systems really like stereo and stiffly resist converting to mono during the performance.


No, I keep everything set for mono and always have. I haven’t seen one person recommend doing audiobooks in stereo. I set my preferences before I start recording for every new file and always make sure settings are set to mono.

No, all six chapters I recorded and edited are corrupted. I just sent this one test file. So the problem is every single file I make in Audacity now. No, I don’t have access to another computer, I would have checked that already if I did.

I’m not sure what this has to do with corrupted files though. Can we focus on that? I could really use help in that arena. I need to fix my audacity exported MP3 files. I have recorded, edited and mastered three audiobooks previous to this so I know what I am doing there. It is the audacity program and the exportation of corrupted files.

What version of Audacity were you using on the three successful books? Or failing that, the last book?

I see I asked you that up the thread a bit and you ignored me.


I don’t really know, I can’t say I really pay much attention to version numbers of any application I am using. The last 2 books were finished before this last update. I feel like I started having issues after the latest update.

The last major update was to the 3.5 series. I’m using 3.4.2 which is the last of the 3.4 series . It seems to work OK.

You can get and install 3.4.2 from here.

After you get it installed and before you do any useful work, Tools > Reset Configuration. That should clean any contamination from 3.5

This should only make it possible to create new MP3 files. It will not rescue any of the old work.

This is also why your Final Edit Master and Archive chapters need to be in WAV format and only then make the audiobook MP3s.