Audacity crashes on opening 37th window

App version: Audacity 2.4.2 and 3.0.2 for Windows (clean, fresh install)
OS version: Windows 10 Enterprise (64-bit), Version 10.0.19041 Build 19041
Memory: 32GB RAM (but also happened while I was on another system with 16GB around 3 years ago)

Steps to reproduce:

  • open 36 windows/projects in total (e.g. start Audacity and then additionally press Ctrl-N (or choose File/New) 35 times more) → it’s ok
  • open one more window/project (37th):
  • Audacity 2.4.2 goes into “Not Responding” state (also seen in the window title bar), use Task Manager or click X to force close it
    • Audacity 3.0.2 just disappears (gets closed, but no info box from Windows that the app crashed)

Of course, this doesn’t happen just with empty windows/projects, but also with ones containing track(s), active work and so on…

Additional info/behaviour:
In that case when there’s content in each window/project and Audacity hangs, you close Audacity, restart it, then AutoRecover kicks in asking if you want to recover what it found present on the file system, you choose Recover, it start to open past content and brings back Audacity windows/projects 1, 2, …, 37 → auto stuck again.
To fix this AutoRecover case for example either choose Discard everything on re-open or just move (or delete) 1 .autosave file away from
C:\Users<username>\AppData\Roaming\audacity\AutoSave\ and it should at least be able to start up again and AutoRecover at least N-1 (36) projects.

Related to a previous report?
Sounds similar to from 2012, at least the number of windows/projects and behaviour.
If the approach for this one is “just don’t overdo it” then nevermind…

Yepper - this is a bug I logged back in December
Bug 2614 - Windows: hang/crash when more than 36 projects are opened

One of the developers commented in that bug thread

This is caused by reaching the limit for the number of GDI Objects a single process can hold. The default on Windows 10 is 10,000. You can see how many Audacity is using with the Process Explorer tool:

I do have to ask: just why do you need to work with more than 36 projects open at any one time :confused:


Audacity is an audio editor. People get into trouble when they use it for other jobs. If it’s a toss-up between strict scientific accuracy and sounding good, Audacity will almost always pop for sounding good.


Yeah, seems that I’ve postponed the “report” for so long that Peter bugged it in the meantime and almost with same steps & situations (link as mentioned).

How did it get discovered in my case was to record a sample, leave it open to work on it later, record another one and they keep piling up like that for days without finishing them all and saving them to clear out Audacity. Task bar gets filled and you can loose track how much of them you’ve got, but didn’t expect a similar limit except memory and disk space. When it happened the first one, two times I thought I hit the memory limit on at-the-time 16GB laptop, but later spotted that it unusually commonly happens around the same number of open projects and without correlation if they are 5 second or 1h samples.

Ok, at least it’s known on Windows and instructions are not to overdo it, thanks all and sorry for the interruption.