Audacity 2.2.2 creates an empty folder under Documents

Audacity 2.2.2 (on Windows 10) creates an empty folder C:\Users<my username>\Documents\Audacity

At least I assume it was Audacity that did it, it was created while I was using Audacity.

This is not the temporary files directory defined under Preferences (that is C:\Users<my username>\AppData\Local\Audacity\SessionData).

The folder under Documents seems to be useless, and it clutters up my Documents display in Windows/File Explorer.

Clearly I can delete it as soon as I stop using Audacity, but can I stop it being created?

We have couple of bugs logged similar to this. It seems that on Windows, Audacity (wrongly) recreates folders that were previously used for reading or writing if they are missing.

There may be a workaround, but I’m not on Windows, so you will need to try these steps and let me know what happens.

  1. Open the File menu in Audacity, and from the “Recent Files”, select “Clear”.
  2. Exit Audacity.
  3. Delete the offending folder under Documents.
  4. Restart Audacity.

Is the “empty folder under Documents” recreated?

If it is, then continue:

  1. Generate or record some sound (don’t import)
  2. Export the track to the “Music” folder
  3. Save the project to the “Music” folder
  4. Exit Audacity
  5. Delete the offending folder under Documents.
  6. Restart Audacity

Does that fix the problem?

Yes indeed. This is not a bug, it is a deliberate creation. It is intended as the default location for storing Audacity projects and audio files.

Before we did this we had far too many folk storing (by Audacity default) their projects & data in the system folder where the Audacity application is stored (not a good choice - and not available to users without privileges to write to that location).

The implementation on Mac is slightly different - there, there is no Audacity folder created. Rather Audacity users the users Documents folder itself as the default location. Personally I have never thought that ideal and this on my MacBook test engine I’ve created an Audacity directory manually in my Documents folder.

On my W10 production system I don’t use the Documents\Audacity folder (except for QA testing) - preferring to create my own folder structure and taxonomy.

Yes indeed :wink:

No I don’t think you can - unless that is you have programming skills and you modify that part of the Audacity code and build Audacity yourself, sorry.


Well I never knew that :open_mouth:
That does not happen on Linux or macOS, and I wouldn’t have thought that would be the “correct” behaviour on Windows.

Surely that’s the way it should be? (as it is on Linux and macOS).
Why the inconsistency on Windows? Is this a “normal for Windows” thing?

I just tested for certainty on Windows - and what happens is that if you do not yet have that Audacity folder Audacity will create it immediately the first time you attempt to save a project or export an audio file and will then offer that folder as the default location.

On Mac no such folder is created and the user’s Documents folder is offered as the initial default location.

I, personally, prefer the Windows behavior - and indeed create such an Audacity folder for myself on my MacBook to avoid cluttering up my Documents folder there.

I have no idea why we didn’t do the same on Mac and Linux when we changed this - we normally like consistency :confused:

It appears to be quite common on Windows.

Reaper, for example, creates and uses a folder called Reaper Media - and Nero creates and uses NeroVision - both in my Documents folder as the location to store my user-created data for those apps.


My very belated thanks to steve and waxcylinder for very quick and clear responses. Unfortunately I gave myself a reminder to look for answers but the reminder didn’t work; and I got distracted, only just came across my note on this during a mail tidy-up.

My objection to the Documents\Audacity folder was exactly that I “prefer[…] to create my own folder structure and taxonomy.” In fact I put all my mp3 files under Music (W10 Explorer gives better column headings that way) but I still don’t want a separate Music\Audacity folder there either: if I edit an acquired music track (usually I don’t) then I take a copy first & put it somewhere else, then I export the amended mp3 back to the same location as the original file. Which suits my own particular use pattern.

Fortunately Audacity has now stopped creating Documents\Audacity :slight_smile: And Export defaults to the same place as my last Export, which is fine. (The very first time, with no previous Export, defaulting to the user’s Music folder would make sense to me)

Re your last comment: yes several other bits of software insist on creating their own folders under Documents, I can see that as well as Reaper and Nero you also have PowerDVD. I have had to give up on trying to delete CyberLink because it keeps on coming back, but it is an annoyance, cluttering up my main Documents folder list which is folders that make sense to me.