Audacity automatically saving projects as zipped files

I’m running Audacity 2.3.2 on a laptop with Windows 10. It’s seems to be recording just fine and I export to various fomats just fine. But when I go to save a project, using ‘save as’, it looks like it saves. However, the file is a zipped file, not an AUP file, and Audacity can’t open it. Neither can my zip program, 7Zip, unpack it. I have uninstalled both Audacity and 7zip, and then reinstalled Audacity, but the problem remains. Screenshot of what the saved file icon looks like is attached.

By default, Windows hides the file extension for most file types. This can be very confusing. If you set Windows to show the file extensions, that may help:

Yes, the file extension is .aup Audacity says it can’t load the file because it can’t find the ‘data’ folder. I assumed that somehow the data folder along with the .aup file that opens it were both compressed into the Zip folder somehow. But, no zip tools that I’ve tried have been able to uncompress it, so I don’t really know what’s in there.

That’s the icon for VLC Media Player. No, I can’t think of a way to make this more surreal, either.

If it really is an AUP file, you should be able to open it in TextEdit or NotePad. The AUP file is simple text. Right-Click > Open With…

Any luck? That red box is surrounding what the AUP file thinks the name of the _DATA folder is. If that’s not correct, that could be one serious problem. After you find out what the real name is, what happens if you Windows search for it?


If you create a new folder in the Windows file browser, does Windows display it with a “7z” icon, or a normal “folder” icon?

Good call. I was able to open the file in Notepad and confirmed that it has the correct name of the data folder. I see the data folder, I just don’t know how to trigger Audacity to open it as a project without the AUP file.

Also, when I create a new folder in there it has the correct icon.

You need the AUP file. Without the AUP file, you’ve just got a bucket full of audio fragments and no information about how they fit together.

You should stop paying attention to the pictures and icons on your machine. They’re fried.

You should also tell Windows to stop hiding filename extensions. That’s elegant and convenient when everything is going OK, but a living nightmare when it’s not.

This is first hit from a Google search: Hide Windows Filename Extensions.

Screen Shot 2019-05-17 at 14.01.11.png
In English, stop Windows from hiding the real filename from you.

After you find which file is the AUP file, Right-Click > Open With > Audacity.

What happens then?


Yes, I’ve unhidden the file, but it is still some sort of zipped file, not an AUP. All the files I try to save now turn out that way.

All the files I try to save now turn out that way.

Post one of those files on the forum.

From a forum text window (like I’m typing on right now), scroll down and click Attachments > Add files.

Click on one of the mystery files.

Let’s see what happens.


Okay, great idea. I made a short two track test recording, exported as an MP3, and then “save project as” and am attaching both files.

Audacity Test Save File 5-20-19.aup (3.16 KB)