Audacity stops working

Audacity 2.0.5

I have a number of Audacity tracks that, when saving, shut down, or crash. Audacity stops and the file is only half or a quarter saved. It happens when saving to FLAC, to mp3, to Ogg Vorbis, to WAV. I have tried to copy the file and save it, but the same thing happens.

I use Audacity for music projects and load wav files into them, mixing them into music.

Audacity is rather unstable on my system, it shuts down about 5 times a day when working on it. Most of the times when I try a filter, or when I use delay.

I’ve tried the latest version of Audacity, but that crashed upon opening, or, when it did open, it crashed after some time. No solution there.

What is going on, and how can I save those files, because they’re very valuable to me as a musician.

Gr. Ivo Westerlaken

Describe your machine. Which Windows?
How much hard drive space do you have?

Windows XP, for example has no provision for auto defragmenting and a highly fragmented drive can become profoundly unstable.

Isn’t there a drive check you can do? I’m remembering there was a check you can do multiple times (at night) and it would turn up bad drives, bad memory chips, all sorts of hidden problems that would affect your computer “every so often.” One pass wouldn’t do it. Sometimes the machine would crash after the third or fourth pass.


I remember. It was Memtest or MemCheck or something like that. Memory tester, not drive tester, although it would turn up problems all over the machine because the rest of the machine had to be in top condition to pass as well.

I’m assuming you did the first level activities like restarting the machine and running the serious version of virus check—the one that runs all night?


See for how to test memory. On Vista and later you can open run, type


then click OK, but this is not as thorough check as MemTest86.

You can also run CHKDSK to check the drive for errors. To do that, right-click over the drive in Explorer, choose “Properties”, click the “Tools” tab then “Error checking”.

And you can use the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted system files (sfc / scannow).

But these projects might be damaged somehow. Have you tried exporting each track as a WAV file then importing the WAV into a clean new project?

Have you tried resetting Audacity Preferences?


That’s it. Last time I did that… When was Elizabeth 1?


Thanks everyone.

Btw, my machine is a Windows 7, disk space = about 100GB
I have tried almost all of the above, and more. Saving the files as WAV is impossible, as Audacity stops halfway through the process of saving.
Command prompt doesn’t recognize SFC, so can’t do anything with that.
Kicking the computer didn’t work, so I’m still in the dark.

What is “SFC”?

Why, what happens?
Do the projects have multiple tracks? If they do, have you tried exporting each track separately using “Export Selected Audio”?

We have to pay attention to each word you use, so you can’t be fuzzy. We could be here all week.

I have tried almost all of the above

Which parts did you miss?

Saving the files as WAV is impossible

Correct. Audacity won’t save a sound file. To get a WAV (or MP3) you have to Export one.

Audacity stops halfway through the process of saving.

And exactly what happens? Win7 crashes? Audacity Crashes? Audacity vanishes? The machine freezes?
Any error messages? How do you recover? Don’t assume we’re watching over your shoulder or we have the same machine you do.


The System File Checker as I already posted.


Did you run sfc in an elevated command prompt? Click on the Start button, type “cmd” without quotes, then right-click on the result, select “Run as administrator”.

How long are the tracks (hours and minutes)? Several of the Audacity shipped effects underneath the divider in the Effect Menu are prone to crash if you give them too long a selection.

Are you obtaining Audacity from If not, get 2.1.1 from there.

And even if you already have 2.1.1 from there, you should try resetting Audacity Preferences. To do that, open Explorer and type this in the address bar:


Open the “Audacity” folder. Delete the “audacity.cfg” settings file.