Audacity Freezes Up

Hey Guys !

I was working on a project. I tried to save it and Audacity gave me some kind of message saying there was an error saving. I unfortunately didn’t take a screenshot of that message.

I close out and when I booted back in it is prompting me to recover the file, but it freezes up and I can’t select any of the options.

Help !

Thanks !

Screen Shot 2021-06-16 at 2.44.04 PM.png

Force quit Audacity, reboot your computer, then launch Audacity again.
You will see the “recover projects” dialog again.
Click the “Skip” button.
Does Audacity open properly?

Was the project called “Kill with a smile”, or is that a different project?

Yes, the project is “Kill With A Smile”.

I tried rebooting and when I open the project up … it freezes before I can click skip.

Was the “Kill With A Smile” project originally created in Audacity 3.0.2, or in an earlier version of Audacity?

How important is that project? Is it the end of the world if we permanently delete it?

Hey Steve !

I allowed Audacity to remain on the recovery screen overnight where it had been frozen.

When I woke up… the project had been recovered.

I re-saved it, exported the audio files to mp3 and wav (just in case it happened again) and resumed editing.

Low and behold, the same thing happened as soon as I tried to edit one of the tracks.

Luckily this time…I captured the error message which is below.

Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 10.57.27 AM.png

I clicked the little question mark on the prompt to learn more and it brought me to a troubleshoot page on the Audacity website (sorry, I didn’t save the link and can’t find the page anymore.

After reading through that I thought it sounded like I might have an issue with how much space was on my computer, but I have 9GB available on my hard drive on my Mac and 8.6GB of free space in Audacity as you can see below.

Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 11.06.11 AM.png

Curiously, this file is huge for reasons I can’t quite figure out. When I navigate to ‘get info’ it says the file is 2.21GB (see below). This surprises me since it’s only a 3 minute song with only three tracks and previous songs I’ve done that are longer that have just as many tracks are only 37KB …granted it was saved in the previous version of Audacity. Is there a max file size for Audacity tracks ?

Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 11.08.56 AM.png

I’m beginning to wonder if maybe it has something to do with the quality settings. I have both of them set to the highest quality (see below); however, I think I switched that over a while ago and this is the first track I’m having issues with. I have no idea if that helps the track sound better when I export it…that’s why I do it. Perhaps you can let me know if that has any bearing on how the track sounds when it’s exported ?

Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 11.24.50 AM.png
Long story long…I took the file I had exported from the recovered project before I started trying to edit again and moved it into a new Audacity project and it’s working swimmingly now and it says the project is way smaller (37MB).

I guess my concern is that this is just going to keep happening now and since I’m not sure why it happened… it’s kind of stressing me out b/c these are songs for a client’s album that is being released this summer.

Thank you so much ! I’d love to know your thoughts.


What is the full file path to the problem AUP3?

Hi Steve,

Is this what you’re talking about ?

Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 11.08.56 AM.png

The file is on your Desktop?
That shouldn’t be a problem.

If you see that message again, please send us the link. At the moment I’m out of ideas about what the problem could be, but the link may give some clues.

Thanks Steve,

I found the link.


I assume that’s the same as this on-line page:

Has Audacity 3.0.2 ever worked properly on this computer?

Yeah…it looks like the same link.

Yes. Audacity had worked fine up to that point.

So all is good for now, and all of your work is safely saved?
Have you got rid of the “Automatic Crash Recovery” message?

Yep !

I just fear for the next time (if there is a next time) that it happens again.

Is there a project size limit ?

And do you have any ideas on how it was so large which so few tracks and such a short length ?

No there isn’t.

In the past there have been issues when the project is longer than 12 hours duration, but these are believed to be fixed.

While working on a project, the project will get bigger due to the “Undo” history. On closing Audacity after the project has been saved, the Undo history should be deleted and the project “compacted” to recover the space that was previously used by the Undo history. It is important to allow Audacity to complete the clean up and compaction, otherwise unused space can become stuck inside the project.
It looks like something may have gone wrong during clean up / compaction.

Hey All,

I had Audacity crash on me again similarly to how it did last time.

I think I forgot to mention last time that it all starts when I try to apply the punch paste action.

I’m editing a song so I perform this action several times while I’m going through the track to remove breaths and clicks.

It was probably only the 10th or so time I performed the action that it gave me the prompt that you see in the image below (which is pretty standard) but then it just freezes on the prompt.

That’s when I have to Force quit Audacity.

I’m wondering if you guys have any ideas for a work around on this. It seems to get caused by the punch paste feature. It’s disastrous as there’s no sign that it is coming and as I mentioned previously it takes my computer forever to recover the file for some reason.

Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 2.46.14 PM.png

How long is the section that you are pasting?

Hey man.

Thanks for your reply. I probably only took an 8th of a second to copy of room noise from the beginning of the vocal track and the section I’m pasting it to is probably half a second.

Weird thing is…I’ve been using Audacity for over a year now and that’s the technique I’ve been doing for all my VO work/singing work and it’s worked just fine up until last month or so when I created this post.

How long have you left it for to see if it will un-freeze?

I generally seems to take anywhere between 20 minutes to several hours to unfreeze.

Try saving a “backup copy” (“File menu > Save Project > Backup Project”)
then exit Audacity (completely - remember that macOS keeps everything running in the background by default),
then open the backup project.

Any better?