Audacity won't start / You Tube videos won't play

I am running Windows 8.1 on a dell 15r laptop. I have been running audacity on my desktop computers for years with no problems. I first noticed a problem when I would start recording and it would start recording fine then a minute or 2 into the recording it would just stop. Then when I would boot up my laptop I could not get Audacity to start, I also noticed at the same time that none of my videos would play. I uninstalled Audacity and then reinstalled it from the Audacity website and still it would not start. I called Costco c/s and they had me refresh my computer and that worked for a while and then the problem came back.

Audacity does not play YouTube videos online so that is a separate problem that we can’t help you with. Ask for help from Mozilla, Google or Microsoft according to whatever browser you are using.

I suggest you make sure you have Audacity 2.0.6 from Install or reinstall it, making sure you tick (check) the box “Reset Preferences” half way through the installation. Say “yes” when you start Audacity and it asks if you want to reset preferences.

What exactly are you trying to record that stops after two minutes? If you are connecting equipment to record with, give us make and model numbers of the equipment.


I am recording cassettes. I am using a cable and a mixer I bought from DAK. The model number on the mixer is DAK 2800-PC. The cable is made by Griffin and is called an iMic. The home audio cassette deck is an Onkyo model TA-RW313

So the iMic is the final part of the chain that sends audio into the computer?

Did you install or reinstall 2.0.6 using “Reset Preferences”? If not, please do so.

If the problem persists after that, Edit > Preferences… then go to the Recording section. Increase “Audio to buffer” to 200. OK, and exit Audacity. Then use the Win key + X menu to restart the computer.


Yes, the iMic is the final part of the chain that sends audio into the computer. I tried installing the latest version of Audacity from the Audacity website but again I was unable to get Audacity to start.

Did you make sure to tick (check) the box “Reset Preferences” half way through the installation? And did you then use WIN + X to restart the computer?

Is the problem now that the Audacity main window never appears? If so, do you get to see the dialogue for “Install VST effects”, and do you leave the boxes ticked for the effects listed in that dialogue?

If you never get to see the VST dialogue, is there any error message, if so what does it say?

There are only three main possibilities if VST plugins are not causing an issue:

  • Virus infection - install a reputable anti-virus application and run a deep scan
  • Security software - an anti-virus application could be continually monitoring your computer and interfering with Audacity launch
  • Your audio device is preventing Audacity launching because it responds in some unexpected way when Audacity queries it.

What you could do to help diagnose the problem if Audacity never launches is to unplug iMic and any other external audio devices before trying to launch Audacity. After trying to launch Audacity, follow show hidden files and folders and navigate in File Explorer to UsersAppDataRoamingAudacity. Find the following files from that folder:


then attach the files here. Please see here for how to attach files:

Do you still also have the problem that videos won’t play, and does that include videos that are already on your hard drive? Do the videos play but there is no audio?


Audacity never launches, I was unable to attach the files you requested got the following message “the extension cfg is not allowed”.

Did you make sure to tick (check) the box “Reset Preferences” half way through the installation? And did you then use WIN + X to restart the computer? If not, please do those things.

Do you see the VST Effects dialogue, if so what choices did you make there?

Please rename those files to .txt rather than .cfg, as it says on Then you’ll be able to attach them.



Additional information to add to previous post. I went into control panel and followed instructions to display hidden and system files, I did unplug iMic cable, you tube videos will not play and I did a whole computer scan using AVG 2015 software - no threats detected.

Is that in the web browser or does that also apply to video files on your hard drive?

Can you see the videos play and the only problem is that you cannot hear them?

What happens if you disconnect from the internet, then completely shut down AVG? Use the menu in AVG to quit it, then CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open Task Manger. Click “More details” if you see that. Make sure no AVG processes or background processes are running. Then try launching Audacity.


I can’t you tube videos to play and I don’t hear any sound from the videos. I uninstalled Audacity shut down my computer then reinstalled it I checked the edit preferences box and installed the VST options and Audacity started but when I reconnected the iMic cable and tried to record something I got the following error message - Error while opening sound device. Please check the recording device settings and the project sample rate. I noticed that sound box states "Speakers (Real tek High Definition) but there is no selection for recording device and it will not give you any selections so you can pick one.

So you are talking only about playing those videos in the web browser, yes or no? If you can play videos that you are already ripped or downloaded, but not in the browser, then you will need to ask your web browser manufacturer for help. You may need to reinstall the Flash plugin or to remove any browser video extensions you added to see if that helps.

So that’s good, if it continues like that.

Audacity does not automatically recognise external devices that you plug in after Audacity is open, and so given you have no other recording devices enabled, Audacity errors.

Use Transport > Rescan Audio Devices at top of the Audacity menus then you should be able to record from iMic.

Quit and restart Audacity to confirm that you can now launch Audacity with the iMic connected.

If the rescan or restart does not find any inputs for your built-in sound device, quit Audacity again and follow the steps here: to show and enable your recording devices in Windows.


I tested Audacity and it worked fine. I can play videos but can’t hear them. This worked for a couple of days then when I tried to open Audacity it would not respond so I shut down my computer removed the iMic cable rebooted my computer reinstalled Audacity and now it is working but I had the same problem with watching videos I could not hear them so I shut down my computer disconnected the iMic cable restarted my computer and Audacity works and I can watch and hear videos??

iMic should not be incompatible with Audacity - when iMic first came out, Griffin included Audacity with it. It may be more likely that the built-in sound device gets confused when iMic is connected.

I suggest you go to, then under “Browse for a product”, click “View products”. Click the link for your specific model of 15R, then download and install the audio drivers they recommend for Windows 8.1.

Install the drivers even if you believe you have the same drivers already. Reboot the computer using the Windows key + X menu after installing the drivers. This may solve the problem of Audacity not launching when iMic is connected. If not, you could try changing the USB cable, though it’s a long shot.

Concerning the video playback, iMic is probably taking over as the default playback device when you plug it in.

If you don’t want to play the videos to headphones connected to iMic, make sure iMic is connected, right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock, then choose “Playback Devices”. Right-click over the built-in audio device you want to use, then choose “Set as Default Device”. Restart your browser and you should be able to hear the videos.

Now unplug iMic, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in. Now it should not take over as default playback device for the computer and you should still have audio in the videos.


I had another problem with Audacity freezing after I had installed it so I uninstalled it and re installed it with the iMic cable disconnected. I then shut down then restarted my laptop. I re installed Audacity again and had no problems so I shut down and restarted my laptop with the iMic cable connected. I have not had a problem since then. I have recorded and played several test recordings and also verified that You tube videos are playing with no problems.

Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions