Audacity shutting down if I try to use effects

Thanks everyone. I misspoke - my entire computer does not crash - I meant to say that the entire Audacity project crashes. It just stops working any time I try to use any of the Audacity effects. This time I tried to use EQ and as soon as the EQ graph came up, I could no longer click anything and had to restart my computer. At which time none of the Audacity files could be recovered.
Sorry, I misspoke; I was typing quickly whilst at work. I will try to follow the instructions you have provided and see if I can prevent further loss if I have to restart again. or
I am a recording musician and I just like to use a few VST’s: a reverb I like, a “ToneBooster” compressor, and W1 Limiter. Yes, I bought my MAC used and it came with a ton of special programs, including Logic Pro. However, I just do not have the time or energy to figure out how to use most of these. Audacity was wonderful on my PC but I’ve been pulling my hair out using it on my MAC. It’s partly why I stopped recording for many months.

I am having another problem: For some reason, when I tried to export a new music file project just now, I am getting this message: “Unable to Export. All Audio is muted” . I have never had this problem before. I have no idea why - I do not have any other programs running.

Audacity was wonderful on my PC

Which you stopped using because…?

I just do not have the time or energy to figure out how to use most of these.

We would just kill to be able to help you, but if you’re not starting from a relatively simple or standard machine, I don’t see a lot of hope.

We need to build your computer in our imaginations in order to pull you out of trouble. One of the elves is almost always close enough with their own computer that we can start telling you concrete steps, things to click on and steps to take. We can’t do that with you. Your computer is a celebrity.

That may also be why Audacity refuses to run. “I don’t recognize any of this. I’m afraid!!!” [bang]

Audacity is not an international corporation with thousands of programmers in a leafy campus in Lausanne. It’s three guys in an AirStream trailer in Manchester trying to program for three completely different operating systems.

So this will be rough going. I wonder if there’s a way to make a Mac “Start Over” with no applications.


You may think the machine is plain and ordinary as long as you don’t run anything, but it doesn’t work like that. Skype, for one example, is pleased to completely reconfigure your machine to suite itself and just not tell you. And it’s not the only one.

So that’s what you’re up against.


Mac has a Safe Mode somewhat like Windows that does not load startup and login items. It also verifies and repairs the startup disk and deletes system cache files. To use it, press and hold the SHIFT key while the Mac boots. You can stop holding the SHIFT key when you see the Apple logo and progress bar.

You may have no audio in Mac’s Safe Mode. That is the case in Windows. But if Audacity does not crash in Safe Mode, you have probably diagnosed the problem as a software issue on your computer.


Did you have to restart your computer? Could you not access other applications after Audacity quit?

Audacity does not export muted tracks. Try Tracks > Unmute All Tracks.


Just thinking about this. Don’t modern machines also have a recovery partition?

“Burn it off, hose it down and start over.”


Yes the recovery partition lets you repair the drive or reinstall the operating system when you boot holding down COMMAND + R.


Thanks again for the replies and apologies for my elementary questions and understanding.

To answer the questions:

My old PC was old and worn out. I follow some musician forums and got the impression that MAC’s were supposed to be better for recording and editing music. I believe this is probably true, but I also think I should have stuck with what I knew, which was Audacity on a PC. I admit that I am pretty much a techno-idiot! But I am a good musician and furniture maker :slight_smile:

I really appreciate the work y’all put into Audacity and I understand that it’s just a few of you doing all this. Thanks Koz!

I’ll try the things you suggested. Perhaps I can figure out the issue with your very practical steps.
When Audacity stops working (Nothing I click works, I just get a sound). Everything else works on my computer, it is just Audacity that gets jammed.
Yes, you were correct, I had to “unmute” the tracks and I can export now - not sure how they got muted, but thanks for the help.

Hopefully, I will not be bugging y’all for a while, I am sure you have better things to do…


That’s ding noise suggests the problem is not a shut down at all but you can’t get focus back into the main project window. It could happen in 2.1.2 in some circumstances if you use the keyboard to operate effects. It pays to be as accurate and complete as you can when describing symptoms. :wink:

Given you may have a workflow that is triggering the problem, I would suggest you try 2.1.3-alpha. Click the topmost link on then choose ZIP or DMG. You probably don’t want the Debug version. 2.1.3-alpha is currently very stable as we are close to releasing 2.1.3 except for a few remaining problems (one of which is specific to some Sierra machines, but you aren’t on Sierra).

Let us know if that helps.


Just tried to download these, as suggested…

I cannot download them. I get this message…

“Safari can’t open the file “” because no available application can open it.”

If I try the debug versions, I get…

“Audacity” can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.
Your security preferences allow installation of only apps from the Mac App Store and identified developers."

I doubt I would have had any trouble with my old PC (which I am growing fonder of by the day).

I’ll try some of your other suggestions Gale.


Sha256 is a checksum text file. You don’t want that. That is why I said get the DMG or ZIP.

You will get that with the release version as well. It is a mac Gatekeeper security feature. Here is a direct link to today’s release build (DMG): If you want the ZIP, it’s

To get round the Gatekeeper issue, right-click after you have extracted it from the DMG or ZIP file, and click “Open”. In the window that appears, click “Open”. You should have had to do that for 2.1.2 too.

2.1.3-alpha is what you want to try first, from your most recent description of the symptoms.


Open the Safari app on the Mac. Open a new Safari window and select a text-input box by clicking into it. Pull down the Edit menu and scroll down to “Spelling and Grammar” Select “Correct Spelling Automatically” so that the check no longer appears next to it.
Aug 18, 2011

Getting upset at me is OK, but do not try to spell for me.

If you have an old enough PC, transitioning to a Windows 10 machine is not for the easily frightened. I’m a Windows convert and I’m perfectly happy here in Mac land…as least for a while.


There’s a global spell corrector, too.

Apple (upper left) > System Preferences > Keyboard > Text. [_] Correct spelling automatically (de-select).


Oh, and I put the dictionary in the Dock (at the bottom of the screen).

Go (screen top) > Applications. Drag Dictionary to the dock on the bottom of the screen.

Then I make the doc hide when I’m not using it to give me the screen real estate back. There may be a shortcut to do this, but I don’t know what it is.

Apple (upper left) > System Preferences > Dock. [X] Automatically Hide… (select).