Can I Prevent Auto-Update?

For some reason, Audacity 3.x delays the audio output to my speakers while recording by ~15 seconds. I’ve been able to deal with it only by reinstalling an old version … yesterday I found that Audacity had somehow updated itself. The output delay was there again, so I reinstalled version 2.4.2 and then it worked fine.

However, today I find my Audacity has automatically updated itself to version 3.1.3 again. And now the audio through my speakers is 20+ seconds delayed from what’s happening on the screen. When I first reported this behavior months ago, it seemed like nobody else had this problem. So my first question here is — Has anyone seen this and is there a remedy?

If the answer to that is no, then my question becomes — How do I stop Audacity from automatically updating itself so I don’t need to reinstall version 2.4.2 every time before I can use it.

Thanks for any wisdom anyone can offer!

My guess is that you now have both versions installed - Audacity 3.1.3 in your C:\Program Files folder and 2.4.2 in C:\Program Files (x86). You can either try making a shortcut to both versions if you want to switch back and forth, or first uninstall Audacity before re-installing the old version.

That said: I wonder if you can fix the weird behavior of 3.1.3. What happens if you…

  • switch the host from MME to WASAPI?
  • Reset Audacity via Tools > Reset configuration?
  • Lower the latency in the device preferences?

This is from the older post.

You hit an impossible problem. There’s no place to hide 13 seconds of sound by accident. You may have a compromised computer (breakin) or a damaged connection to a cloud drive.

And here we are with 20 seconds of sound “going somewhere.”

1.3.1 and 2.4.2 are the two reasonable stable versions. They may still have problems, but you might go a long way before you run into one of them.

I don’t see Windows 10 standing by while something installs itself repeatedly, so I’m with him. I think you have them both installed and Windows is trying to figure out which one to use. The only way to actively prevent that is either straighten out Windows Applications, or actively delete the Audacity you don’t want.

No word on where 20 seconds of sound is going.

I don’t think we covered this. Which virus protection do you have? Have you ever run the Extended Protection tool? The one that checks everything and runs all night.


If this happens, make sure that your Edi>Preferences>Devices buffer and latency settings are close to 100 and -130, respectively, and not 10000 and -13000. Those extra zeros could cause this issue.

@btreloar: Do you remember changing either of those two settings?

It turns out that you’re not the only sufferer with this kind of problem, so if you either solve it, or just change it, do post back. Write down where those two setting are now.

@jademan: Isn’t it true 3.1.3 has a tool or some action to cause resetting everything to factory defaults? From very fuzzy memory, it’s not global, there’s some magic to it.

Can we tie this odd application launch behavior to the possibility that 3.1.3 didn’t assume/import 2.1.4’s settings accurately on install like it’s supposed to?


I think Leo is on track on all accounts. Tools > Reset Configuration should reset most settings. But I don’t think it takes Effects Parameters back to default settings. For that, I delete (or rename) the %appdata%\audacity directory.

And I agree with Leo’s suspicions that the OP has more than one version of Audacity installed. Perhaps it is best to uninstall (Add or Remove Programs) any and all versions found of Audacity. (I have a custom version of 2.4.2 attached to my taskbar, .mp3 file association for 3.0.2 and Start Menu and .aup3 associations for 3.1.3. I also have a shortcut for the most recent beta I happened to download).

Note that on Windows, 32-bit versions are installed to C:\Program Files (x86), and 64-bit versions to C:\Program Files. I suspect he has one installation in each directory.

Effects Parameters

That it.

Tools > Reset takes the program back to First Birthday, but leaves all the detailed tool, filter, and effect settings alone.

I delete (or rename) the %appdata%\audacity directory.


I suspect he has one installation in each directory.

Sounds plausible, but what’s the magic that causes either of two versions to launch?

There is a standing joke that the software waits until someone important walks onto the set, studio, or stage and then falls over. Also known as the Director Detector Service.


Why does double-clicking an .mp3 file startup 3.0.2 for me when I have both earlier and more recent versions installed ?

Does OP still have icons for both versions on his desktop? Or one icon on the desktop and a different version under Windows > Start.

That’s why I’m thinking it might be best to get rid of all versions, then reinstall from scratch.