Audacity Just got Slooooooow For Me

I’ve been running 3.0 since shortly after release with no issues.

However about a week ago, with no changes to my system that I can identify, it suddenly became very slow. For example, I’m working with a 3-track, 1.5 hour podcast- I used to be able to click and select each track, ctrl-click, shift click, whatever, with no noticeable lag. I just tried doing that and each time it took between 7 and 8 seconds to select a track. Each time I got the “(not responding)” in the status bar at about 5 seconds.

I tried updating to 3.0.2… no change.

One thing that I have noticed is, no matter how I save the file, I frequently get the error “This project was not saved properly the last time Audacity Ran” “It has been recovered to the last snapshot.” (Also, I could be mis-remembering this, but I thought that in the past, if I saved a project, and went back to the save menu, then “Save Project” would be grayed out, indicating it had been saved. It definitely doesn’t behave this way now, I can always click save. But like I said I’m not 100% sure how it behaved before).

Just curious, if I wanted to roll back… is there a way to save my project in a format that is compatible with the old versions?

AUP3 projects will open in Audacity 3.0.0 but not earlier versions.

If you wanted to go back to Audacity 2.4.2 (or earlier), then because Audacity 2.x versions can’t open AUP3 files, you would need to export each audio track as WAV files and import the WAV files into a new Audacity 2.x project. If you need to do this, please start a new forum topic because there are some tips and tricks that can help.

Check that Windows is fully updated. If Windows is part way through an update it can cause horrendous delays.

I make my machine notify me when it needs to update. Can you do that in Windows?


Well… I did several things, but it’s back to normal now.

As stated, I updated to 3.0.2.

I read through all the troubleshooting I could find… none of it helped (running in high contrast mode, running lower desktop resolution, running as admin, increasing priority level, disconnecting from wireless) so I set all of that back like I had it. I also downloaded and installed the FFmpeg, and though it didn’t have any impact, I left it installed. I also verified that Windows was up to date (it was)

When this file started getting bad, I had backed it up, twice. I went back to the previous one… it was a 5-second delay when clicking a track as opposed to 7. The one before that was only maybe a 2 second delay. I had not made much progress in editing from the first to second to third save file, because of the delays… but whatever was causing a problem in the file seemed to be getting progressively worse.

So I took the most recent backup and exported it as a wav, so that I could rollback. Before I did, I downloaded another podcast episode and tried it in 3.0.2. This was the old format. It converted, and this one seemed to work fine.

So before I rolled back, I imported all the wavs into a new Audacity 3.0.2 project, along with the label track… and this new version is working perfectly. I worked with it for about an hour last night… No lag or hitches whatsoever.

As far as what caused it… I have no idea. If it helps, there are a few things I can think of that I did differently with this project. I tried using a Time Track to slowly speed up a section of audio… couldn’t get it to work, and deleted it. The other thing that may have messed it up is that I did copy and paste some things from a previous project that was saved under the old format. I didn’t think about them being in two different formats and I didn’t notice any problems right away, so I didn’t think about it until then. I also had originally saved it in the wrong folder, so I cut & pasted the file into the correct one… but it’s hard for me to imagine that was the issue.

Anyway, I apologize if I got premature in reporting it, but I had been fighting it for a few days already and had already done a lot of troubleshooting.

No need to apologise, we’re glad you did. A few people have reported problems with excessive slowness so it is certainly a real problem that needs to be fixed, even though we’ve not yet been able to reproduce the issue. We have now added this issue to the Audacity bug tracker. Thank you for reporting the issue.