Audacity Takes Several Minutes to Open

I’m using Windows 10 post-Creators 1803 update, 64-bit.
Using Audacity version 2.3.1.

I’ve been having this problem for a year off-and-on since the infuriating Windows 10 Creators update. But now in the past week, it is worse and constant.

Trying to run Audacity, either trying to just open the program, or open a project, or start off by dragging an audio file into the Audacity icon, it will take several minutes to finally open. While waiting, it registers as running in Task Manager (though barely), and it will not allow me to try re-engaging the program, giving me an error message that another version of the program is already running.

Once this long, boot-up finishes, everything runs smoothly. I can import audio files, open multiple new windows and projects, and nothing lags. Once I close the program, it has to do another lengthy warm-up. The problem is the same with older versions of Audacity.

I do not have this problem in other programs that can record or edit audio.

The problem is the same with older versions of Audacity.

I think the official note on this one is plugins. Did you install plugins past the ones that came with Audacity?

What happens if you un-install them?


I don’t use any additional plug-ins.

I just now waited 7 minutes for Audacity to open. The first 4.5 minutes or so the initial logo was taking up the middle of my screen on top of every single window.

Please save the Audacity log ( and attach the log file to your reply.

Also, please tell us what security products you use on the computer.

I had a similar problem and found a fix for me. Have a look here, mabe it works for you as well: ?

Cheers Alfred

It was running ok for the past 2-3 days so I waited until the problem re-emerged.

Ah, there’s the bugger (I think). Audacity seems to have trouble getting FFmpeg underway. I did not realize that this log was accessible.

22:19:09: Warning: FFmpeg directory ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\FFmpeg for Audacity’ is not in PATH.
22:19:09: Temporarily prepending ‘;C:\Program Files (x86)\FFmpeg for Audacity’ to PATH…
22:19:09: Checking for monolithic avformat from ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\FFmpeg for Audacity\avformat-55.dll’.
22:19:09: Error: Couldn’t find symbol ‘avutil_version’ in a dynamic library (error 127: The specified procedure could not be found.)
22:19:09: Error: Couldn’t find symbol ‘avcodec_version’ in a dynamic library (error 127: The specified procedure could not be found.)
22:19:09: avformat not monolithic
22:19:09: Loading avutil from ‘avutil-52.dll’.
22:19:09: Loading avcodec from ‘avcodec-55.dll’.
22:19:09: Loading avformat from ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\FFmpeg for Audacity\avformat-55.dll’.
22:19:09: Returning PATH to previous setting…
22:19:09: Actual avutil path C:\Program Files (x86)\FFmpeg for Audacity\avutil-52.dll
22:19:09: Actual avcodec path C:\Program Files (x86)\FFmpeg for Audacity\avcodec-55.dll
22:19:09: Actual avformat path C:\Program Files (x86)\FFmpeg for Audacity\avformat-55.dll
22:19:09: Importing symbols…
22:19:09: All symbols loaded successfully. Initializing the library.
22:19:09: Retrieving FFmpeg library version numbers:
22:19:09: AVCodec version 0x373466 - 55.52.102 (built against 0x373466 - 55.52.102)
22:19:09: AVFormat version 0x372164 - 55.33.100 (built against 0x372164 - 55.33.100)
22:19:09: AVUtil version 0x344264 - 52.66.100 (built against 0x344264 - 52.66.100)
22:19:09: FFmpeg libraries loaded successfully.

I don’t ever remember installing or wanting FFmpeg for anything. I went ahead and just uninstalled it, ran Audacity for what I wanted, exported a file in the only format I use, and Audacity seems to run fine. So far this seems to be the source of the problem as Audacity opens and runs in barely a few seconds every time.

That log appears to say that FFmpeg was loaded in under 1 second.

FFmpeg is an optional component. It enables Audacity to import / export additional audio file formats.

The entire log exists in the same millisecond, no matter what process was being done.

I removed FFmpeg and everything seems to work fine so far. I did find some other forums that discussed this error and how to fix, but since it seems I don’t use it, I just work without it.

As it is working for you, and you don’t need FFmpeg, then that is a totally reasonable workaround.

As an Audacity support person, I am curious why FFmpeg makes a difference on your computer. I doubt that it is entirely due to FFmpeg because you appear to have the correct version, and that version is known to work with Audacity 2.3.3 for millions of other users. My guess is that you have a security setting somewhere that is preventing Audacity from dynamically loading FFmpeg straight away.

Thanks for all the useful information that you have provided. I think this gets us a bit closer to understanding at least one possible cause of slow start-up.