Audacity keeps 'crashing' on startup - how to resolve without losing temp files?

Hello, this is my first post so apologies in advance for any errors.
Yesterday I attempted to save a file and upon clicking File, Audacity immediately became unresponsive. This specific scenario has not happened to me before, so I restarted my laptop.
When opening Audacity again I was greeted by the automatic crash recovery - I have around 36 unsaved files (long story) - and after selecting Recover Projects, all but one file opened without issue.
I’ve attached a (poor quality, sorry) video of what occurs towards the end of recovery. This file (I’m assuming the one I was trying to save) will ‘open’ and then immediately become invisible. Audacity then doesn’t move or respond afterwards and Windows doesn’t seem to recognise it - the second attached video shows what happens when attempting to open any of the restored files.
I’ve restarted my laptop about five times and closed/reopened Audacity with task manager numerous times but the exact same thing happens. I’ve deleted the session data for the file that I believe is causing the issue but to no avail.
Is there a way to resolve this without losing the auto crash recovery prompt on startup? Or without losing the temporary files in general? Thank you.

I forgot to say that I have Audacity 2.3.3 and Windows 10.

I can’t see what’s happening in those videos.

Have you saved the work from the projects that were recovered?

The videos are just an example of what occurs.
The sole issue is that I can’t save the recovered files because there is something preventing me from doing anything and I really don’t know what it is. Audacity crashes at the end of opening all the recovered files, so they’re left in the balance. This all began merely because I tried to save a file.

Are you able to find the “AutoSave/” folder? On Windows I think it’s in

Have you made a note of the name of the project that crashes?

I’ve found the AutoSave folder, thanks for delineating.
I’m unsure of which file is causing the issue (I’m assuming files are opened in the order they’re listed?), can I open the autosaved files directly from this folder instead of opening them via automatic crash recovery? Can I also delete them in order to prevent them being listed in crash recovery?

That makes it more difficult, but still possible.

No, because Audacity will prompt to try and rescue before you can select the project to open. If you try to work around that, you risk all of the data being deleted.

First, a bit of background info.
Just like a normal project has a “.aup” file and a “_data” folder, the autosaved projects have a “.autosave” file and data stored in Audacity’s temp folder.

Before we go further, I need to ask - did you save any of these projects before the problem occurred? If you did, create a backup folder somewhere, and copy the .aup file and its _data folder into the backup folder.

Also, make a full copy of the contents of Audacity’s temp folder. The default location for the temp folder is:
C:\Users<your username>\AppData\Local\Audacity\SessionData\

and make backup copies of the .autosave files.

No, I didn’t save any of the files before this problem occurred. I have old projects that I saved long ago so they’re unaffected (I assume).
I’ll back everything up. If I figure out which file seems to be causing the issue, can I delete the AutoSave data to remove it from auto recovery?

Once you have the “.autosave” files and Audacity’s temp folder backed up, this procedure should allow you to recover the projects one at a time:

  1. Remove all but one of the “.autosave” files.
  2. Launch Audacity.
  3. If recovery is successful, save the project with a new and unique name.
  4. Close Audacity
    IMPORTANT: Note that on closing Audacity, the “.autosave” file and the Audacity temp folder will be cleared. ALL data for ALL projects will be deleted.
  5. Copy ALL of the backup data from Audacity’s temp folder back into Audacity’s temp folder.
  6. Copy ONE of your backup “.autosave” files back to the Autosave folder.
  7. Restart Audacity.
  8. If recovery is successful, save the project with a new and unique name.
  9. Close Audacity

Repeat as necessary.
Good luck :slight_smile:

Thank you Steve, your solution has worked. I’ve been able to save the majority of what was left in limbo.
Unfortunately there are a few files that appear as ‘empty’ (I’ve attached a screenshot), I’m assuming these are unrecoverable? Thank you once again, I really appreciate it.

Super :slight_smile:

I expect so.