Audacity 2.0.6 with Mandatory profiles [SOLVED]

Hello everybody,

I have to deploy Audacity 2.0.6 with Lame 3.99 to ~ 400 windows computers silently. This I can do.
But I have a problem. When the students logon in the computers and start Audacity come the window
to install the VST plug-ins. As all our studnets share a common roaming mandatory profile, this problem
happens again and again and again.

My question is, is there a solution to this problem? can I trick, perhaps, the registry
or some other setting, so Audacity doesn’t show the window for the VST pluggins?

Thank you in advance for the help

Audacity saves its settings in a file “audacity.cfg”.
See here in the manual for information about Audacity preferences: Audacity Manual

Scanning and loading VST effects can be disabled by putting these lines into the audacity.cfg file:


Hello Steve,

Thank you for the answer. But you suggestion doesn’t solve the problem in my case.

“Audacity.cfg” is created LOCALLY the first time the user starts Audacity in the folder:

C:UsersAppDataRoamingAudacity (for Windows 7 in the local Computer)

But unfortunatelly, in my case, the roaming profile for all users is stored in a network share and is MANDATORY meaning that Windows will not
transfer any changes made to the local version of the profile back to the original version stored in a network share

This means also that:

(1) the original profile in the network share doesn’t have any “audacity.cfg” or even a Folder “C:UsersAppDataRoamingAudacity”
(2) during every user logon, Windows copies the profile from the Network to the local Computer DELETING any possible changes that were made.
That includes the audacity.cfg that was created during the last time the user started Audacity.

So, I guess, I have the option to create a audacity.cfg and folder in the original roaming profile. But sometimes this gives Problems with permissions.

Another Option would be if Audacity stored the audacity.cfg file somewhere in the default folder c:UsersALL USERS

Best regards

but that would mean that all users on the same machine get the same setting, so if one user messes up their preferences then it messes up the preferences for everyone.

I’d try that to see if it works.

That should only occur once per user. The preferences should be persistent, unless your setup overrules that.

“That should only occur once per user. The preferences should be persistent, unless your setup overrules that”

Well, that’s the point of using a common mandatory roaming profile. You use it when you don’t want
that preferences changes made localy by a user to persist between sessions.

This is a typical situation in schools where , for example, you want to be certain that
every student receives the same desktop (background image, links to software…) after
every logon regardless of what the Student has made during a session.

This scenario where:

  1. multiple users use the same common profile stored in the network
  2. this user profile is closed and not available to change from the user side

is somehow forgotten. Arduino, for example, has also the same problem.

Anyway, I wil try to modify the commn profile and see what happens.

Thank you very much for the comments.

Best regards

Do you want to vote for a feature to enable settings for all users? That’s not at all an unusual feature on Windows, but bear in mind that Audacity is cross-platform and not only for Windows.

I doubt creating audacity.cfg in the common roaming profile will help because Audacity won’t look there - it will continue to look in the user’s individual “UsersAppDataRoamingAudacity” folder. If Windows clears that folder out then Audacity will always launch with our default first run settings and will show the VST effect dialogue at every launch.

Are you running one instance of Audacity for each user? If you create an empty “Portable Settings” folder (no quotes) in the folder(s) where Audacity is executed from, Audacity will create audacity.cfg there, but audacity.cfg will still be subject to whatever changes the user makes. If a user changes default sample rate to 10 Hz they and anyone else logging on as that user will have that setting next time.

Perhaps what you want to do is to script your required audacity.cfg to be written into the Portable Settings folder(s) concerned at each login.


Just to clarify what happens exactly:

  1. Let USER1, with common mandatory Profile stored in SERVER1, log on into PC1 for the first time. During the log on process,
    Windows copies the common profile from SERVER1 to the USER1 local profile in PC1 DELETING in the mean time
    any old locally stored USER1 Profile (although in this case this doesn’t happen as in this case it is the first time USER1 logs on into PC1)

  2. If we check the Folder c:USERSUSER1AppDataRoaming we see that there is no “Audacity” folder

  3. Let starts Audacity.

  4. If we check the Folder c:USERSUSER1AppDataRoaming we see that there is an"Audacity" Folder with
    two files “audacity.cfg” and “plugins.cfg” and a subfolder “autosave”. So it means that the locally stored
    Profile for USER1 stored in C:UsersUSER1… has been modified by Audacity.

  5. Let the USER1 log OFF.

  6. If the common user Profile was defined as NOT mandatory then the “Audacity” Folder, files and subfolders would be stored back
    in SERVER1 and then the Settings would be preserved for the next USER1 session

  7. If the common user profile is defined as MANDATORY then this last step never occurs and next time USER1 logs on into PC1
    ,he will receive the original unmodified Profile. So the settings will no be preserved between sessions.

So, I will try to modify the Profile stored in the SERVER adding the missing Folder,subfolder and files and see what happend.


Let us know what you try, but unless you write your required profile back to the user’s own roaming folder I can’t see that it will help. Audacity only looks for audacity.cfg in the user’s roaming folder and in a “Portable Settings” folder where Audacity is executed.

Of course you can change that if you modify and recompile Audacity.


"…but unless you write your required profile back to the user’s own roaming folder I can’t see that it will help. "

This is no problem. This is exactly what Windows Operating System makes automatically
when a (domain) user logs on into a windows computer joined to a Windows Domain. This is standard behavior.
See below documents.

…Simplified computer replacement and backup. When a user’s computer must be replaced, it can be replaced easily because all of the user’s profile information is maintained separately on the network, independent of an individual computer. When the user logs on to the new computer for the first time, the server copy of the user’s profile is copied to the new computer.

…and after the first time, what you have is a syncronization process where the local profile syncronize with the profile stored in a server during the LOG NO and LOG OFF process. The point of the mandatory profile is that there is no syncronization process by the LOG OFF process.
In this way, the local changes in the local profile are not stored back in the common profile stored in the network. This means also that by the next LOG ON the local profile will syncronize with the one stored in the server deleting any changes made to the local profile during the last session.

I hope this is now clear how it works.

It sounds to me like it should work. Please let us know if it does.

It works!!!

I have copied to \SERVER01Profiles$multi_user_profile.v2AppDataRoaming the following from a PC where Audacity 2.0.6 installed and used.

  1. Folder with Name “Audacity”
  2. In the above Folder, subfolder “AutoSave”, which is void.
  3. under “Audacity” Folder, two files “audacity.cfg” and “plugins.cfg”
  4. Plugins.cfg is void
  5. I hvae modified audacity.cfg to contain:


After that, I have logon with an student account both to a Computer with the new 2.0.6 Audacity Version and also to a Computer with an old Audacity 1.0.6 any everything works as expected.

Thx you for the help, specially to Steve.

Thanks for the update. I’ll close this topic as “solved”.

Good to know, so there are now two solutions. Writing audacity.cfg to “Portable Settings” in Audacity’s installation folder at logon is also known to work in this scenario, hence why I mentioned it.