Application Crash When Saving/Exporting

I am on Mac OS X High Sierra (deliberately due to bugs in newer OS versions) and running Audacity 2.4.2 (trying to). Every time I try to save a project or export I get the spinning color wheel and Audacity hangs needing to be force quit. Then it no longer launches and must be deleted from Applications (and from Application Support) and re-installed. This is pretty crappy for a production release. Is there a fix?

Is there a fix?

Burn the computer. Try to choose a non-toxic accelerant and do it with orange cone warnings and adequate ventilation.

I have High Sierra on multiple Macs (due to unfortunate choices in newer OS versions), Audacity 2.4.2, and don’t get spinning beachballs.

Do you use Cloud Storage? Audacity hates that. Stop it. Do production internally and use clouds for half-archives.

Zoom, Skype, or other community internet connections? Not the best idea when you’re working on a long show. Restart before an edit session and make sure nothing else starts.

Do you have Solid State Drives? Spinning metal? If spinning metal, when was the last time you checked its health? Go (upper menubar) > Utilities > Disk Utility. Select your drive > First Aid. This isn’t the best idea for Solid State Drives. They have their own internal immune system.

How full is the drive? Audacity works internally in uncompressed, super high quality and if you try to open several highly compressed MP3 or M4A files, you will be shocked how much “real-life” room they take. If your drive is right on the edge of running out of room, that could be enough to send it over the edge. Very Messy Things Happen when a Mac runs out of space.

You get the spinning beachball when the Mac is taking longer to do something than seems normal. First Step is computer hygiene.


This is the first report we’ve seen of Audacity constantly crashing like this.

Please try this:
Start Audacity
Do Generate > Chirp, accept the default settings and click OK
Save the project.

Do you get the crash?

– Bill

I agree about “unfortunate choices” made by Apple with newer OS versions. I opt to remain on High Sierra because Time Machine on Mohave and later does not work with my NAS. It “magically” works just fine on High Sierra and earlier.

I am not using cloud storage - never. iCloud (where Apple’s heads seem to be at) is disabled on my devices. I am using local SSD storage with over 345GB available space.

After re-installing Audacity (again) I generated the chirp and saved the project to the Desktop (or so I thought). The file is not visible in Finder. I re-imported my audio file (which is only 1.97 sec long) and tried both save and export. This time no beachball, but also no files found in Finder. I verified the save location in Audacity, but the files do not exist where they are supposed to be.

There should be no need to re-install Audacity. In your first post you mentioned “Application Support”. Does this mean you are deleting the “audacity.cfg” file found at ~/Library/Application Support/audacity? Deleting that configuration file is all that is needed to reset Audacity to its default settings.

I can’t imagine why a file saved by Audacity would not be visible in the Finder. How did you “verify the save location in Audacity”?

– Bill

Time Machine on Mohave and later does not work with my NAS. I am using local SSD storage with over 345GB available space.

Really Local Internal storage? Audacity doesn’t do well when it has to step into Network Negotiations, no matter where they are.

If you have a slow local drive with 3GB free space, that’s the problem.

When you Save a Project, the Mac should open a dialog and tell you where it’s going. Some versions of Audacity defaulted to the System folders and that didn’t go well.

If it’s going to your network drives, then that’s my bet. Change it to your local drive and see what happens. Or maybe damage with the local drive is the real problem. If the Audacity app disappears, that’s System.

No fire? Alcohol does well, but you have to be careful because the light blue flames aren’t always visible.