audacity wont launch (newest version) even after .cfg fix

I got a macbook pro 13.3 inch about three days ago and also downloaded audacity that day, since yesterday when I go to open it it’ll bounce for a second and then disappear and not launch. I tried the whole audacity.cfg thing (there was no audacity.cfg file originally so I added one with what this site told me to) and it still won’t launch, please help. If you need any more info about my computer or anything let me know.

Please have a look at the pink panel at the top of the page and give us the actual three Audacity version numbers and the version of Mac OS X.

The Audacity version number is important - a few people have later alpha versions than the current release and some people go to other sites to download and may not have the latest version that we offer. You should always download Audacity from

Do you see any error messages pop up? Is there a Mac crash report or message in the console? Or does Audacity never appear even momentarily in Activity Monitor?

The audacity.cfg settings file is at ~/Library/Application Support/audacity/ (your user library). Can you delete any audacity.cfg file you added there, try to launch Audacity again, then post any audacity.cfg that Audacity creates. That might give us an idea where it is failing. See here for how to attach files to Forum posts

Do you have any external audio devices connected? If so, disconnect them before trying again.


Hi again, thanks for the fast reply. I have Audacity 2.1.1, there is never an error message, there is a crash report in the console (a lot of them actually) and I deleted my .cfg file and relaunched audacity like you suggested, but when I went to my Audacity Folder, there was no new .cfg (there wasn’t one to start with, that’s why I made one in the first place). When I initially downloaded it, I did do it off of this site. Thank you for your help so far!

Could you attach the latest crash report for Audacity?

When Audacity launches, the first thing it will try to do is create a file called “audacity-lock-” which is in an “audacity-” folder in the folder that Audacity users for temporary data. By default this Audacity temporary folder is somewhere inside the hidden “/var/folders/” directory. My lock file is /var/folders/2_/7wggb84d0cs2l0dt2d8bcy7c0000gn/T/audacity-gale/audacity-lock-gale.

Sometimes Audacity can get stuck with never getting beyond creating the lock file, and then next launch it isn’t able to delete the old lock file and create a new one, which it has to do in order to launch.

Just to clarify, if you were putting audacity.cfg where you have installed Audacity (where your Audacity “Plug-ins” folder is), Audacity will only see the .cfg file if you put it inside a “Portable Settings” folder.

So to save messing around in hidden folders, you could try creating a “Portable Settings” folder where Audacity is installed. There are no quotes around “Portable Settings”. Then put an “audacity.cfg” file inside that folder, and put this content only in audacity.cfg

TempDir=/Users/<your user name>/Desktop/audacity-temp

Replace with whatever your user name is, without the brackets. Audacity will create the required folder when it launches.

Then look in that audacity-temp folder to see what happens.

If that does not help you may have permissions problems on your computer. You could try as a first shot opening /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility and run Verify Disk and Repair Permissions.

Before you do all that you could just try restarting the computer. Any lock-file in var/folders/ should be deleted by the reboot.


hi again, I added the .cfg in a Portable Settings folder like you said and Audacity opens now! Thank you so much man, this forum is really helpful. I’ve attached the last crash report. Thanks again, man.

It doesn’t seem to be attached. I expect it will be a “hang” and not a “crash”.

So the problem could have been a bad “lock file” or permissions problems that you can’t write to /var/folders/, or both.

If you want to test, it is easy to do so by quitting Audacity then renaming the “Portable Settings” folder to something else. Audacity will then go back to using /var/folders/ for its temp directory.

This trick also lets you switch between two different suites of settings by renaming and undoing the rename of “Portable Settings”.