Burn it off, Hose it down.

One generally accepted method of solving application issues is to reinstall it and make it start over. Audacity doesn’t start over because of the hang-over effect caused by saving effects, plugins, setups and configs for graceful upgrades. Unfortunately, this just kills you if you do have damage in any of those processes.

Audacity leaves you with the impression that you started over when you have done no such thing.

I’ve been through the Man on installing the Mac version and it doesn’t appear to have a Burn It Off, Hose It Down and Start Over process. At least none I could find.

I want no part of the program left when I finish. How would I do that?

If there is such a process, it should be right up there in the first paragraph of the Man, in my opinion.


Hi Koz,

this proposal: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Proposal_Easy_cfg_Reset
has been kicking around on the Wiki for five years now.

There are comparitively easy ways to get a total-wipe (I do it all the time when I am QA testing).

I have shortcuts on my desktops (W10 and macOS Sierra) that hve all the config stuff for prefs and settings and the plug-ins etc) - so when I want a total wipe I open up that folder from the desktop and delelete the entire contents. Restart Audacity and that folder gets repopulated with the clean-wipe.

The reason for the shortcuts is that on neither platform is it particularly easy to locate the folder (well I always find it so - it’s obsure on Windows an Mac hides it somewhat - I had to ask a Macolyte friend, taking my Macbook to the pub one night … )

I’ll have a think about putting some advice in the Manual along those lines (maybe on the install pages - maybe FAQ - maybe both)

I have no idea how Linux handles this, but I’m guessing there’s something similar you can do.


On Linux it’s pretty straightforward for a standard install:

  1. Open the “home” folder (opens “/home/user-name” in the default file browser)
  2. “Ctrl+H” to show hidden folders (works in most common file browsers, or “View menu > Show hidden files”)
  3. There it is, “./audacity-data” - delete that.
    Audacity is now virgin fresh.

I’ll have a think about putting some advice in the Manual along those lines

The “reset everything” checkmark on the Windows installer is desirable.

I’m guessing notes in the Man are easier than rejiggering the installer(s)?


Linux does not have an installer.
Notes in the manual are MUCH easier than rejiggering the Mac DMG.

OK I’ve just bookmarked this thread … :sunglasses:


Mac hides it somewhat

Yes, it used to be a regular, up-front searchable part of the Mac environment, but someone (probably rightly) found it was causing more problems than was worth the visibility.

You can get there with the Terminal/Command-Line as well, if your tastes go that way.

Last login: Thu Jul 13 00:46:33 on console
stella:~ koz$ cd …
stella:Users koz$ cd …
stella:/ koz$ ls

Incompatible Software


OK Koz & Steve,

I’ve added a “burn-it-off, hose-it-down” section to each of the three installation pages:

Windows: http://alphamanual.audacityteam.org/man/Installing_and_updating_Audacity_on_Windows#purge

Mac: http://alphamanual.audacityteam.org/man/Installing_and_updating_Audacity_on_Mac_OS_X#purge

Linux: http://alphamanual.audacityteam.org/man/Installing_and_updating_Audacity_on_Linux#purge

@Koz: can you please review the Mac page.
Would it be better if I advised using the Go command (i.e. Shift+Cmd+L to show the Library folder the click on “Application Support” and then “audacity”) :question:

@Steve: can you please review the Mac page. And also note the P1 for an image update for the “FFmpeg library not found” on that page

Once we are happy with these I will tweak the FAQ on burn/hose reset …
This one: http://alphamanual.audacityteam.org/man/FAQ:Installation_and_Plug-Ins#reset
Then you’ll just need to link to this FAQ for reset queries :sunglasses:


In the green note div I’d expand on the first two bullet points:

  • • In the sidebar of a Finder window, click on your username (it will have a house icon beside it)
    • Click on the View menu and select Show View Options

There is a possibility that the user has turned off display of the home/username in Finder Preferences, so perhaps we need to give the Go menu alternative to finding the Application Support folder? There’s also the possibility that they’ve hidden the sidebar.

BTW, in the dialog that results from Go > Go to Folder … you can type “~/Library/Application Support” so no need to confuse things by mentioning “username” in this context.

– Bill

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 13.31.34.png
I’ve never done that in my life. None of those displays has my username.

I think GO is the universal technique.
Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 13.43.50.png
That should give you one of these two windows (scroll sideways):
Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 13.46.08.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 13.46.28.png

To complete the loop. I got there from Go at the upper left of the desktop.
Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 14.00.15.png

Thanks for the feedback Bill and Koz, much appreciated - I updated the Mac hose-down section based on that:

And I’ve updated the FAQ with links to those three sections:


I wonder if CleanMyMac does all this? When I uninstall an app, I always get a dire warning that everything but everything associated with it is about to be trashed. (Presumably all my projects aren’t included in that!)

I’ve had problems with the new version that I’ll detail in a separate post, but I may opt to let CleanMyMac purge it all and start over. If so, I’ll look for those files and report back if it did indeed find and remove them.

CleanMyMac is very high on my personal “take outside and shoot” list.

What problems have you had with it, and do those relate to Audacity per se?

Many OSX’es with strange behviour that could only be fixed with a clean re-install…