Audacity totally broke!

I’ve recently “upgraded” to Sierra, which has left a lot of my favorite apps in the dust, including my much-loved Audacity. I suffer from the complaints gone into elsewhere here - no plug-ins visible, can’t drag and drop files, can’t add tracks one underneath the other like I used to. Can’t really do anything except stare at what has become a very clunky-looking interface. And yes, I installed and opened it correctly. Serves me right for caving and going for Sierra - I can’t blame the good people at Audacity. Nor am I going to sweat over the proposed workarounds and get my knickers in a twist trying to get it to function correctly. IT IS BROKEN! Into the trash it goes.

I hope a new version is issued. Audacity was my second-favorite free app (after VLC) and it’s a great hobby toy. So come back soon!

Of course, you could run the xattributes Terminal command mentioned elsewhere:

sudo xattr -r -d /Applications/Audacity/

That is an Audacity bug and not related to Sierra. I recommend you try “Audacity Mac 2.1.3 RC1 - DMG (RC for testing only)” from That test build will probably become the new 2.1.3 in a few days’ time. Drag and drop is fixed in that 2.1.3 RC1, and Audacity is codesigned with an Apple Developer Certificate which means it should be less affected by the security changes in Sierra. It’s those security changes that block Audacity’s plugins and LAME/FFmpeg.

Nonetheless due to those security changes, 2.1.3 does not fully support Sierra. We know you might still lose access to plugins and libraries if you close Audacity project windows, but not everyone will see that.

If that happens in 2.1.3 RC1 please describe how we can reproduce the problem step by step. Do you mean that recording fails “Error opening sound device”?


Thank you for your reply. I’m going to wait for a new version before I try downloading again. I’m hoping it will be just as easy to use (which it was, for such a complex app) as before. Every time I “upgrade” something, I regret it!

New version of what, Sierra? 2.1.3 RC1 is there, and sometime on Monday/early Tuesday, 2.1.3 should be there. 2.1.3 isn’t totally broke" in my opinion. If it is, we can’t fix it unless you explain more.


Well, we have found a problem in 2.1.3 RC1 with Save As, so RC1 has been removed. There will be a 2.1.3 RC2 in due course for testing.


New version of Sierra? I think it’s clear I mean the new version of Audacity, yes? The version that’s referred to in a reply to this post. My version of Sierra is 10.12.2

I do not have the cleverness or the will to fix the problems I’m having (which don’t seem to be unique to me) myself. I’ve never used Terminal. I’m in no way a computer geek. That’s why I got a Mac - in theory - to make all this stuff simple. Audacity used to work faultlessly, and largely intuitively, “straight out of the box”.

As to explaining my problems in detail, exactly what isn’t working in the latest (non-overnight) version - basically, nearly everything - that could be done better by anyone running the same OS as me who had some kind of understanding of what’s happening under the hood. Surely there’s someone at Audacity running Sierra 10.12.2 who can see what the problems are? The problems I’m having aren’t “mine” - it’s obvious to me that the latest (“stable”) version of Audacity isn’t compatible with Sierra 10.12.2 - I’m just downloading and opening the app (as instructed).

Until Audacity is restored to its previous “out of the box” efficiency and clarity, I’ll live without it.

Yes, but unfortunately Apple decided to change their “Gatekeeper” utility, which broke Audacity along with many other applications.

The release of Audacity 2.1.3 has been slightly delayed, but should still be out pretty soon, and it should fix these issues without requiring you to use command-line workarounds.

We have told you that “no plugins” is fixed in 2.1.3 when it is released (except perhaps when closing projects). Drag and drop is fixed there.

Most people should have a reasonable experience with 2.1.3 even on Sierra, but there could be problems we don’t know about. We were told the other day about a false error message when you launch Audacity from Spotlight search.

Obviously we have bug tracking but we do not recognise


So if you are not willing to describe those problems for us then I’m afraid those bugs will have to remain unfixed until someone else finds them and reports them. I would just look on in early March and try 2.1.3 then.