Audacity diff install directory

Hi, I thought I might try Audacity 3.1.2. I am using Win7. I noticed the install defaults to C:\Program Files. The version I have now (2.3.1) was installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity. Should I keep the default directory and if I do does that mean I can instantly switch back if a bug shows up.


I got 3.1.2 installed. I do not think 2.3.1 will run any more.

On 64-bit Windows:
The default installation directory for 32-bit apps is C:\Program Files (x86)
The default installation directory for 64-bit apps is C:\Program Files\

Until recently, Audacity was only available for Windows as a 32-bit app.
Audacity is now available as a 64-bit app. There is still a 32-bit version available (for people that still use 32-bit Windows), but for 64-bit Windows the 64-bit version of Audacity is recommended (and is the default download version).

It is not recommended to have multiple versions installed at the same time. (It is “possible” to have multiple versions installed, but there are a number of potential problems that I shan’t go into now).

The jump from Audacity 2.x to Audacity 3.x was a major version jump, and brought with it a change to the Audacity Project format.
Audacity 2.x projects has an “AUP” project file, and a separate “_data” folder for the audio data.
Audacity 3.x projects have a single “AUP3” project file that is self contained (the audio data is included in the AUP3 file).

Audacity 3.x can open Audacity 2.x projects, but can only save in the new AUP3 format.
Audacity 2.x cannot open the new AUP3 format.

My recommendation would be to uninstall all versions of Audacity, then do a fresh install of Audacity 3.1.2 and use the default installation directory.

Thanks Steve! It makes sense now. John

Hi Steve. I agree with that recommendation, but I didn’t know about this change before I started using 3.1.2 and the Analyze menu began showing me two program file directories for some tools.

So I had the older 32bit version installed, upgraded this computer to 3.0, and recently upgraded the installation again to 3.1.2. I do not remember if I had uninstalled version 2, but I know I did not do that before upgrading to 3.1.2. I just did the new installation on top of the old one, and all seemed fine. Now when I look at the Apps list, it only shows Audacity 3.1.2 (64-bit), with no sign of the old 32-bit version anywhere except that the old Program Files (x86) folder is still there (with somewhat fewer files in it than it had with 3.0.2).

Since that folder still exists, it is clear that the 64-bit installation did not really clean everything up. And it looks like uninstalling the current 64-bit program probably will not remove that old (x86) folder either. So do you know if I can just delete the old 32-bit Audacity folder in Program Files (x86) and continue blindly about my business, or should I really go to all the trouble of uninstalling the current program, then manually cleaning up anything I can find left over before reinstalling it fresh again?

As a test, I did rename the old Audacity folder, just to see if it was being used by anything, and so far, nothing seems amiss.