Audacity Sluggish and Often "Not Responding"

I am using Version 2.0.5.
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 / 64 bit / 6Gb ram
I downloaded this version after having problems of slow response from an older version.
Not sure if it was zip file or not.

After using this new version for several weeks, I am now experiencing very sluggish operation especially when using effects, undo/redo, scrolling up and down, etc.
Lately, it has been indicating that it is “not responding” many times.
I just tried to do a Mix and Render, on a project that I have done this before without a problem, and it just stopped halfway.
This is extremely frustrating. I have to wait until it gets “un-stuck” and try to continue.
The problem seems to be getting worse.
Doesn’t happen when playing back or recording.
Sometimes, projects take a long time to load even though most are less than 10 minutes and no more than 10 tracks.
I’m thinking it’s not the Audacity program that’s the problem.
What is wrong? Help!

I’m thinking it’s not the Audacity program that’s the problem.

I’m thinking that, too.
How much room on your hard drive? These are classic symptoms of drivespace issues. Audio (and video) production eats drivespace for breakfast and lunch. How big is the main drive (C:) and how much is left or how much is used — in numbers.


From memory…

Start > My Computer > Right-Click C: > Properties.

I’m sure I left off a step there somewhere.


Thanks for a quick response Koz.
As per your (correct) instructions:
Hard Drive Capacity = 734 GB
Used Space = 234 GB
Free Space = 500 GB

Also, Audacity reports about 190 hours of recording time available.
I don’t think that’s the problem…
Could it be that Audacity is not being given access to this space? (Just a weird thought.)

I should also note:

  1. Sometimes, SOMETIMES, everything works quickly and smoothly.
  2. There is a large amount of hard drive activity when Audacity slows down or freezes up.

So far, I haven’t been able to find any reason for this behavior.

Current Audacity is slow (at least on Windows) when there is more than an hour of audio, especially if the audio is in multiple tracks.

If the hangup is when redrawing the screen after a fit to window or after an effect or a mixdown, that is a known Audacity problem.

You can CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open Windows Task Manager and see more of what is going on.

How much memory have you got left when you launch Audacity? If you have Firefox with 100 tabs and set to load all the tabs you’ll be lucky to do anything else intensive on the computer. So try shutting down more programs.

You can also raise Audacity’s priority. On the “Processes” tab of Task Manager, right-click over audacity.exe > Set Priority. Does it help?

Right-click over Computer > Properties. Choose “Advanced System Settings”. In the “Performance” box, click “Settings…”. Click the “Advanced” tab. Choose “Adjust for best performance of” Programs.

While you are there, what is your paging file size?


Hi Gale,
With Audacity running, but idle: (Approx figures)
Physical Memory MB: 6103, Cached = 3927, Available = 4062, Free = 193
Kernel Memory MB: Paged = 274, Non Paged = 102
Memory usage = 33%
CPU usage = about 8% or less

Normally, I do not have anything else, of any great demand on memory, running while using Audacity.
I haven’t tried raising the priority yet. Will let you know.
This whole problem is very frustrating and I want to do whatever I have to to resolve it.

Hi guys,
Still no answers or solution to my problem…

Have you adjusted Audacity priority or set Windows to “Adjust for best performance of Programs”?

If not, try those.


Checked on that. My computer is already set for “Best performance of programs”.
I don’t know enough about how it works to change the Priority. Windows says that changing the priority may cause instability.

Honestly, I don’t think those items are the problem, or the solution.
Something else is at work here and it seems to be getting incrementally worse.
Could it be any one or all of the 3 anti virus/malware programs I am running?

Except for this problem, all aspects of Audacity appear to be running fine.
I am currently working on the final mixes of a 10 song project that I have been recording for several months.
I want to be able to finish it.

Try it. If you don’t have many other programs and services running, it should not cause instability. See: .

We can’t see your computer. You can run multiple anti-virus apps where you can’t run multiple firewalls, but it’s better not to do either. If these are huge security suites that are fighting each other to scan Audacity’s temporary files and watch what Audacity does, yes it could cause a slowdown. Try with just one anti-virus app, then with one other different app.

As I said, 2.0.x can be slow doing anything that needs to redraw the whole waveform in projects containing more than an hour of audio. Is the delay coming after the progress bars for an effect or render complete? If so it’s probably the same problem.


your probably have too many programs running in the background while your running audacity…this program does require alot of ram when running effect especially if you are running an effect over the entire project…you can hit ctr alt del and go into task manager…kill some apps and processes you dont really need running

That is only true for Nyquist effects (and it affects some of those more than others). It is not a serious problem for built-in effects.

Waiting for the waveform to redraw after running any effect on a long project is an issue.

An effect may well use up a significant proportion of CPU.