blank parts of recording

When running Audacity version 2.0.6 on Windows 7 SP1 I have a problem making recordings of over approximately 40 minutes in length. During the recording both stereo tracks are continuous from zero to full length. But when I end the recording and scan back along the two tracks either the first half or the first approx. 20 minutes are blank so I have to then re-record the ‘missing’ section and then combine the two saved files together. If I don’t scroll back through the the recording but just Export to Audio immediately the result is just the same. This problem doesn’t happen every time so occasionally I get what I want first go. However, around 80% of the time the ‘missing’ section occurs.

I use mp3 as my save file format and my PC has plenty of memory, storage space etc. so I am at a loss to know what the problem is? I should mention that I’ve previously had the same problem on the last two versions of Audacity which I ran on an earlier Windows XP SP2 machine.

Can anyone please help me, as I am merely a basic Audacity user without any great expertise.

Do you have Norton 360 on your machine?
If you do, try turning off Norton’s Windows temp file cleaner.


No, I don’t use Norton 360.

Look in “Edit > Preferences > Directories”
Where does it say that temporary files are being stored?


How much free space is there on your C: drive?

I suggested earlier that Norton 360 may be deleting temp data. Norton is probably not the only computer maintenance program to periodically “clean” old temporary files. What security/PC maintenance products do you use?

Try saving the project before you start recording (File menu > Save Project As…). This will cause Audacity to save the temporary files into the project “_data” rather than in C:Users’Myname’AppDataLocalTempaudacity_temp

How much free space is there on your C: drive?

In numbers. I have a 250GB drive with 113GB free.


I’ve around 800GB free but the audacity_temp file is empty. I’ll try your suggestion of saving the project before recording.


I’ve just tried saving the project before recording and the result was successful. The whole of the recording was present and it saved correctly.

However, this isn’t yet conclusive as it sometimes happens anyway (i.e. the recording and saving are successful). I’ll have to try making several other recordings before I’ll get a good idea as to whether your suggestion has ‘fixed’ my problem or not. It’s a case of ‘Watch this space’ but here’s hoping.

One other point: I’ve never so far recorded anything and saved it as a project. I’m normally recording from the radio and just saving (i.e. exporting) as an mp3 file for later listening, so I’ve not seen any need to save as a project. In your experience, does saving as a project really make such a difference as compared with just saving the straight audio file?

It makes all the difference in the world if you have an app that likes to clean up temp folders. Such an app will not recognise a _data folder of an Audacity project as something it should clean up.

Alternatively, create a folder in Explorer that you would like to use for Audacity temporary data, and don’t put “temp” or “tmp” in its name. For example, call it “Audacity Recordings”. Copy the complete path to that folder from the address bar in Explorer. Edit > Preferences… in Audacity then choose the “Directories” section. Paste the address from Explorer into the “Location” box then click OK and OK and restart Audacity.


Normally, for the task of “recording from the radio and just … exporting … as an mp3 file for later listening”, there is no need to save the project. However, for some reason (yet to be determined) Audacity has a problem saving temporary data on your machine.

What normally happens:

  1. When a project has not been saved.
    Audacity saves the (temporary) audio data in the “temp” folder. That data is then available for playback, exporting, or saving the project.
    This is going wrong!
    For some reason, some of that temp data is being deleted, and is therefore not available when you try to play, export or save the project.

  2. When a project has been saved before making the recording.
    Audacity saves the temporary data in the project “_data” folder. The “temp” folder is not used.
    This is working (according to your initial test).

My strong suspicion is that there is some sort of “computer tune-up / maintenance” program running on your computer that is “cleaning” (deleting) what it thinks are unnecessary temporary files, but in so doing is deleting necessary audio data that is required by Audacity, but it is only doing so when that data is in the “temp” folder.

What I would do first is to make a few more test recordings, ensuring that you save the (empty) project before you start. If this continues to work, then the problem is very likely to be as I describe. If that is the case, then the best solution would be to check what programs are running on your computer and find the one that is responsible for deleting the data - then configure that application to not delete Audacity data files (“.AU” files).