Audacity won't let export the file as a wav or a mp3

I tried exporting my file as a mp3 and it didn’t work. I tried exporting the file as a wav and it still didn’t work. Can anyone help me with this?

Is there an error message ?

What he said. There’s usually an error message like “I can’t do that because…”

What did you call the file? You should use good filename hygiene. No punctuation marks except -dash- and underscore. If you need dates, use the ISO version. Today is 2020-03-21. Do Not use slash marks anywhere in a filename.

In a more serious note, how long is the show? Did you run out of drive space to save it? Go into the system and check the amount of room you have.

Are you using cloud drives or other internet storage? Audacity doesn’t like that very much. Suppliers go to great effort to seem like a cloud drive is just like a regular drive on your machine, but they’re really very different and Audacity may not want to save a show on one.

Do you have an eight or nine hour show? Those have their own problems.

Fill us in what you’re doing.


It says file not found. Check the file name and try again.

It says file not found.

It can say that if you put slashmarks in the filename. The computer thinks those are instructions to put your file into a specific folder or location. If the folder or location doesn’t exist, it throws that error.

You may think that today is 3/21/20, but to a computer that may mean folder 20 inside another folder called 21 inside another folder called 3. That’s why ISO dates were created, 2020-03-21. To get around this.

Alternately, you could have actually tried to put the file in a bad location. Try saving the work to the desktop rather than somewhere else in the file system.


I decided to save it on the desktop and it works now. Thank you.

Judging by the number of postings, exporting as mp3 on a Mac seems to be a huge issue. I’ve tried exporting to music, desktop, documents but NONE of them can ve seen or found. Please, does anyone have a solution to this issue other than recording analogue out of the headphone jack? Very frustrated. Keith

It really is a fault with Audacity that so many people are unable to find the exported MP3 files. I’ve ended up using my video editing programme movavi which does it easily and logically. I really can’t rate Audacity any lower for this.

Most of the problems on this forum regarding MP3 export date back to when the MP3 export library (LAME) was a separate download. The biggest problem was due to a large number of Mac users failing to read / follow the provided instructions.

The current version of Audacity (2.3.3) includes LAME by default. We are able to include LAME now that the patent restrictions have expired.

The first thing to check if you are having problems exporting as MP3, is to check that you are using the current version of Audacity (Look in “Help menu > About Audacity”).

@Krodgerson please note that the original post in this topic is about being unable to export in any format due to user error. justaagirl was attempting to export to a directory to which they did not have write permissions.

Also, please note that this is the Windows board. For Mac problems, please post to this board: macOS - Audacity Forum
and avoid hijacking other people’s topics. Start a new topic for each new question / issue.