Analyze - Manage scans every DLL on PC

Hi - Wondering if there was a preferences setting that I cannot locate to correct this problem: When I go to Analyze - Manage, Audacity spends a good 5 min (frozen) compiling a list of what looks like every DLL on my machine. Searching through the list is a timesoak. Is there a way to narrow down or specify the default folder(s) for this Manage window?

  • Thanks.

P.S. Audacity 2.1.1 on Win 7.

There is no setting to control where Plug-in Manager looks for plugins, but if you look at you can find out the paths that are searched. There could be some problem DLL in one of those folders that could be causing a wider scan.

When you press Analyse > Manage… do you see a progress dialogue before the Plug-in Manager window appears, or is the delay after you press OK in Plug-in Manager? If the latter, you can Select All in Plug-in Manager, press Disable, then only select and enable the effects you want. You can sort by clicking the columns.

If that does not help, make a copy of C:\Users<your user name>\AppData\Roaming\Audacity\pluginregistry.cfg and attach it. Please see here for how to attach files:

If you cannot see that “Audacity” folder, type


in the Explorer address bar.

After that, you could also try quitting Audacity then deleting pluginregistry.cfg, in case it is corrupted.


Thanks for your reply. Afraid mine is tardy.

When I click on Manage… there is a considerable delay - minutes worth. This is not because of my hardware as everything else done on the machine works very well. I get the spinning blue cursor on Windows 7 for several minutes. Then what eventually appears is an alphabetically organized list of DLLs on the machine w. the Audacity plug-ins mixed in. Everything appears as ‘New’ except for those things already enabled. If I click on the header bar showing file path, it will reorganize with the enabled by default and then the Plug-ins folder contents on top. If I install a plug-in to that location I can find it, click Enable. Then I get a short delay. It shows as Enabled. Then I click OK and I get another lengthy delay comparable to that of opening the Manage window. And more often than not, the new Plug-in does not appear in the drop-down Effects list - even after restarting Audacity. In some cases, I’ve had to try to enable 2-3 times to get it to stick.

The pluginregistry.cfg file is 10.1 MB. Something tells me that’s not right. It’s well beyond the max attachment size otherwise I could upload it.

Following the last step advised, I closed the program, deleted pluginregistry.cfg, restarted - and without opening any audio tried Manage … and got the same result. Except that previously added plug-ins like RMS Normalize, etc., had to be re-enabled. This time I enabled all that should be enabled, then disabled in the registry all the other DLLs. Then hit OK. They appeared to be in the effects menu - all except the new one I was trying to install tonight (De-Verb). But they may have been on the menu already despite their showing as ‘New’.

Opening the .cfg file in Notepad, here’s a DLL entry taken at random. Maybe you can make some sense of it:

ProviderID=Module__The Audacity Team_VST Effects_

These entries all seem to be more or less identical except for the DLL listed and its path. Otherwise there are the few bona fide plug-ins with info in the description field, etc. I should mention that reinstalling Audacity doesn’t seem to help. I had occasion to do that last week, but the issue continues.

I think that gives a clue to the problem.
That is not in the standard list of locations that Audacity looks for plug-ins. (

I suspect that the problem may be that the “Paths” set in the Windows Registry may be the cause. For example, there may be directories included in the LV2 or VST path that should not be there. This could conceivably happen if, for example, the Windows registry key “HKCU\Software\VST\VSTPluginsPath” has been messed up (which can sometimes happen when running “registry optimization” programs or “registry cleaners”, or by viruses / malware)

Sorry, I can’t offer more detailed suggestions as it’s many years since I’ve delved deeply into Windows, but perhaps Gale may have some ideas.

In the “Manage” interface, you should be able to click on the “Path” heading to sort the plug-ins by file location. Scrolling down the list you will then be able to see what file paths Audacity is looking in.

I wouldn’t go disabling DLL’s in the Windows Registry, if that is what you meant. Did you mean pluginregistry.cfg?

Uninstalling Audacity does not change its settings at all unless you enable the “Reset Preferences” box in the installer, but that reset will not affect plugin registration or settings.

You could attach the contents of Help > Show Log… from top right of Audacity then we can see what locations are in your PATH.

Usually some DLL would be responsible for a problem like this. What happens if you remove all VST or LADSPA DLL plugins from all the locations Audacity searches in? You can see these locations at and