Backward Compatibility

I’m running Audacity 1.3.13. If I update to the current 2.x Audacity, will my old Audacity files still work properly? I assume the answer is yes, but don’t want to take the chance of messing up my old files.

Separately, if I have a track that I recorded in 16-bit sample format and then (using the dropdown menu at the left of the track) changed it to 32-bit float, would this actually change the exported file to 32-bit float? Or, as I suspect, do I have to initially record the track in 32-bit float?

Thanks for your help.


It’s possible to get the 1.3.13 installer if you have to go backwards (if you didn’t keep a copy of it), but it is intended that Audacity 2x will open and play 1.3 projects.

I recorded in 16-bit sample format

Audacity always works internally at 32-floating, so changing the track to 32-float will just mean Audacity doesn’t do the output conversion. Yes, I believe that’s how you change it.


Thanks for the quick response.


As Koz wrote, Audacity 2.x should be able to open older projects. However, we do not recommend keeping a lot of old projects hanging around - the project format is not a good “archiving” format because there are multiple parts to a project (the .AUP file and the audio data). We quite regularly find that people do not appreciate the structure of an Audacity project and accidentally rename or delete part of the project and so loose their work. (The structure of an Audacity Project is described here: The basic rule for Audacity Projects is: Don’t manually delete anything, and take great care when moving projects. For long term storage it is much safer to export as a high quality audio file such as a WAV file.

The default export format is 16 bit WAV. Other formats may be selected (including 32-bit float WAV) from the export options: