Audacity Froze in the middle of my project

I have been using Audacity 3.05 and I’m in the middle of an audiobook project. Right in the middle of this project, Audacity stopped recording. It won’t even play back what I’ve recorded.
I’ve Quit Audacity and brought it back up to no avail!

I’m starting to panic because my deadline for this project is NOW and I don’t know how to get Audacity running again!
I’m not that tech savvy, so my trouble shooting abilities are limited without guidance!

Bliss Wood

my deadline for this project is NOW

Maybe not any more. We are going to be troubleshooting this step-by-step over multiple time zones, so it’s probably not a good assumption that this is going to be fast.

Sometimes Jademan can look at your crashed project and bring some of it back to life.

Sometimes not.

I need to drop for a while.


You didn’t kill the book, you just killed the last chapter you were working on, right?

First Book? There are some First-Time-Rules about the first book.

When you read a chapter and get to the end, File-Export the chapter as a perfect quality stand-alone WAV file. Fluffs, boo-boos, mistakes and all. That’s your backup if something really nasty happens, you can open a copy of the backup and start over without having to go find the microphone again.

There are rules about filenames. Here’s a piece I wrote earlier.

Filename Hygiene

Filenames can cause problems because not all printable characters are acceptable to all computers.

You can go all week on your computer creating files for your client or job only to have a Hindenburg Event when you actually try to send the work.

Use Upper Case Letters, lower case letters, numbers, -dash- and underscore. That’s it. Those characters are safe in filenames.

Being professionally obsessive, I don’t use spaces, either.


If you need dates, Do Not use slash marks. Use ISO forms. Tomorrow is 2021-12-13. This works without the dashes if you’re comfortable with that and even without the 20. I have a sound recorder which does that.

That’s the 94th sound file from November 19th, 2017.

Some computers have magic filename problems. On Microsoft machines, you should avoid using the MS-DOS 1982 reserved device names such as AUX, LPT1, COM1, and NUL. Did you see the Youtube video of all the trouble when somebody tried to use the word NUL as a car license plate? Same problem.

Run away.

There are a number of different ways to do editing and production. That’s more or less up to you, although we have notes.

When you get to the end of a chapter, File > Export a perfect quality WAV file as an Edit Master. Then make a 192 Constant copy of that file as the MP3 that ACX wants for publication. Do Not Export an MP3 as your Edit Master Archive.

So you should have all your chapters already read, produced, and exported up to the one that failed. So we only have to rescue one.

Are you the author?

Stop me anywhere.


Do you have a file transfer service such as DropBox? Jademan is going to want that if he wants to look at your production file.

You can post some work on the forum, but only about ten seconds of stereo voice.


:smiley: Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I only step in when a project fails to load and so far blisswood has not yet given us any indication of that. :smiley:

It is too early to suggest an upgrade to 3.1.3, as Audacity 3.0.5 is fairly stable and changing Audacity versions in the middle of a project can lead to other issues.

:question: You didn’t say whether rebooting your computer helped.

:question: You didn’t say whether you tried a short test recording in an empty project.

:exclamation: Note that most everyone here is merely a volunteer.

Audacity stopped recording. It won’t even play back what I’ve recorded.
I’ve Quit Audacity and brought it back up to no avail!

You have symptoms of filling up your Mac. Did you?

Control+Click on the hard drive icon (Macontish HD) usually upper-right > Get Info.

Screen Shot 2022-01-01 at 02.19.32.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-01 at 02.22.02.png
See this machine has a 250GB hard drive and it has 104GB left free. What are your two numbers?

There is a New User problem of trying to put your whole book into one Audacity Project rather than breaking it up into chapters. You have to break it up for ACX publication anyway, but this is one big reason not to do that. If none of us can bring your book back, you may get to clean your machine, back up your work, and start over announcing chapter 1.


Are you using iCloud or other internet storage system? Audacity doesn’t like that very much. It can get out of step and damage some of the work.