audacity did not recognize the type of the file...

Hello all,
Just registered because of this problem. For months, I have been recording simple 2 and 3 track projects. Everything was as peachy as a spring day. Then, for no apparent reason whatsoever, when I try to open any of those .aup project files, I get this error message:

“audacity did not recognize the type of the file…”

(after the word “file”, it simply shows the location of the aup file)

What happened??? I changed nothing, did nothing, added no new programs (that I recall)…it just decided, out of nowhere, it didn’t want to open my aup files anymore. When I go into the folders of those projects, the multiple .au audio files associated with that project are still there, and still work.

Is there any explanation for this?

As per the instructions for posting listed above…I am running XP sp3, and Audacity 2.0.5. I don’t remember how it was originally installed.

I assume part of the solution might be to uninstall and then install the latest version. But before I dy that, I am hoping someone else has had this same problem. This is a strange one, with no obvious causes…like perhaps if I’d changed a sound card, installed something which conflicted with Audacity, radically changed my hardware, or something like that. As far as I know, this inability to open my previous sessions coincided with nothing. It just started for no obvious reason.

Many thanks in advance everyone!

What happens when you double-click one of the AUP files (close Audacity first). That should open itself in a fresh Audacity without going through the File menu.


Bless you, Koz. I feel like an idiot for not trying that.

However, I’d sure love to know why and how this happened. Your suggestion worked, and as long as Audacity is closed, the .aup files can be used to open a session. But, do you perhaps know why? It’s odd that the aup files cannot open a session while Audacity is running. That is strange behavior, isn’t it?

Thanks again!

Are you sure you were not using File > Import > Audio… ? That shows you the message you quote in 2.0.5 if you try to import a project. Use File > Open… or File > Recent Files to open a project from within Audacity.

If you had the current Audacity 2.1.1 there would be a better error message telling you to use “Open”.

Also see: Important information for Windows XP users about security and safety.


thanks for taking the time to reply. No, I was simply double-clicking the aup files when I got that message. But like the previous comment advised, closing Audacity fixed this problem. The question is, of course…why? This never happened before. I could double-click on an aup whether Audacity was already running or not, and it opened the session just fine. Something happened. Something odd. Something sinister. I strongly suspect the Russians, to be honest.

Thanks for your help, all of you.

There is no legitimate reason I know of, but Koz’s idea was to avoid possible mistakes that could occur if you used the File Menu to open the project (like using Import instead of Open). Audacity made by us can open an AUP file by double-click even if a project window is already open.

Please see the link above about Windows XP. You have an obsolete operating system that is open to attack because Microsoft are no longer regularly supporting it with security patches. So yes it could be a Russian (or other) virus.

I recommend you do a deep overnight anti-virus scan.