Audacity files taking up way too much space HELP PLEASE!

Hi, my PC storage gives me notices frequently that it is low on storage space on the C disk

I record on audacity and edit on there several hours of podcast audio every week. Yet when I check the Audacity App storage on my PC, it says that the Audacity APP is using 72MB of 219total avail on my PC. That sounds crazy high, and I think that it is somehow storing all the pieces of audio that I cut and remove someplace and it’s really taking up a lot of space. The issue is, I can not locate where all of the hidden Audacity audio chunks may be in order to start removing them. A last resort would be to uninstall Audacity and then reinstall but that just sounds like a band aid because when I start using Audacity again, the hidden audio chunks from all my recordings and edits will start building up once again. I am not tech savvy and hope someone can tell me how/where to look for these stored audio chunks and delete them. Thanks

I don’t know about “hidden files” but there may be temporary files and Audacity uses 32-bit floating point which requires twice the space of 16-bit “CD quality” files. That’s before any overhead for “undo” or anyghing else associated with an Audacity project. CD audio requires about 10MB per minute, but it’s stereo so a 32-bit mono file (at the same 44.1kHz sample rate) would be the same size.

I think you’ll find it’s GB, not “MB”.

The Audacity projects themselves have ballooned in size since the introduction of non-destructive editing.

The executable itself has a 74MB-ish size.

Something like WinDirStat can be useful to finding out where big files are.

Audacity stores temporary project files (so undo states, recordings in new projects and the likes) in %localappdata%\Audacity\SessionData by default. If you have another drive available, you can change this in Preferences → Directories.

If you want to get rid of hidden audio data in a project, currently the easiest way to do that is to copypaste all clips from one project to the next, as that’ll show an option to get rid of hidden data. The new project also won’t have undo states from the previous session, so once you close the old project, hard drive usage should go down significantly.

Yes sorry it was 72GB
I got impatient and I decided to delete/remove Audacity using the Add/Remove programs option on my PC and when I did so, a message popped up that said something like “Was not able to remove program” or something similar, but it actually did delete Audacity. Now I have ZERO Audacity files that I can find on my PC but even worse, somehow, it freed up ZERO % on my PC. Now I have no Audacity and it still shows no extra space. I will post a screenshot- this isnt Audacity specific, but it shows on the top red warning bar that I have used up 215 GB of 219 and have 3.61GB free, yet when you look down below at installed aps it shows 76GB being used by my apps,The 76GB being reported as used by my apps was the same before I removed/deleted Audacity therefore, I think somehow, Audacity and all of it’s temp files are still hidden someplace on my computer and I need to figure out how to find and

There is a hidden Audacity folder which survives uninstalling …


Ahh yes, that revealed the following hidden Audacity stuff (screenshot)
If I delete all of the things in the screenshot, just want to make sure I am only deleting Audacity related stuff and NOT stuff needed for my PC. And even still based on the small size of the folder contents doesn’t seem like it will free up much space anyhow

So something is weird.
The WinDirStat program identified a total of like 76 GB taking up the most space but my system storage warning says that a total of 215 of 219 GB is being used. The shortage on storage space happened AFTER I used Audacity so I still think it has to be related to that. I don’t have any big files downloaded like WAV files etc.

The more helpful side of WinDirStat is the other one with the file tree.


For example, for me, Users makes up 40% of my C drive, my user account makes up all of the Users folder, and then AppData is half of that - around 100 GB. And inside AppData, there’s a 15GB folder for zrythm which contains some project autosaves which I no longer need. You can go through your file system the same way, identifying large folders and deleting ones that are no longer needed. As I said earlier, Audacity stores its temporary files also in the Appdata/Local directory, so I expect you to find a large blob of them in there.

How big is your hard drive? Really 220GB? My seven year old laptop has a 250GB drive. If you’re developing several hours of production every week, it is without question time to upgrade.

Even if we solve this immediate problem, elbowroom is going to get worse quickly.

Audacity doesn’t much like doing production on non-internal drives. You can move files around however you like as long as Audacity is off. So you can get some relief that way.

How are you backing up your work? Do you have Edit Masters parked somewhere?


You might be able to get some relief with production tricks. Are you producing in stereo? Switch to mono and get nearly a 50% reduction in show size.


To bring this around. Remember my thing that a production is three people? The Voice Talent/Actor, The Engineer, and the Producer. If you’re a big enough company, those are actually three people.

This is what happens when the Engineer is trying to force production into computers not up to the job because the Producer, who would normally make arrangements for better machines, isn’t doing that.


Search on your disk for *.aup3 (these are the Audacity Project files - in SQLite databases) - and delete those for any project you no longer need.

Also look for *.aup3-wal and *.aup3-shm (these are temporary files that Audacity uses when active/open)


Are you running Audacity 3.3.3 ? Or 2.4.2 ? In 3.3.3 your Audacity project is contained completely within a .aup3 file.

In 2.4.2, your Audacity project may be held in hundreds (or more) tiny “.au” files held within an MyAudio_data directory.

Note to download the official (free) version of Audacity, go here: Download | Audacity ®

That’s an Audacity version 2.4.2 Project or show. You must have both parts in the same location or folder for the show to open.

Screen Shot 2023-08-09 at 5.34.35 AM

This split configuration caused no end of problems because many people thought the tiny, efficient test2-4-2.aup file was the whole show. It’s not. It’s a management file. The actual sound files are contained as little snippets inside the test2-4-2_data folder.


Have you run the disk cleanup app and selected the option to cleanup system files? Hibernation and other files can take up a lot of space. Beyond that however, Windows runs best with at least 20% free space and you are down to about 1.5%. I am surprised you are not crashing regularly. Whether desktop or laptop, you should be able to clone your hard drive to replace with a new minimum 500GB drive. That, or a new computer are your best bets.

Thanks for all the help here. I finally had to get Dell to take control of my device and search for and delete a lot of stuff. I think somehow, the audio files were being stored in a folder for my Google Chrome. The app was showing that it was taking up 50GB!!! The solution was to completely remove the Chrome and all its contents and reinstall. That solved it. Freed up 50GB. By the way, somehow almost every single thing I downloaded apps, photos, videos audios, Audacity remnants was all going into my 219GB C drive where most of my operating system resides. Turns out that my Dell also has a D drive that has 931 GB of free room! Have moved a lot of stuff over to that.

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.