Can I restore a previous save point?

Due to glitching when a file becomes to big I export it, feed it back in to audacity and then resume work. I can only record my music when my neighbors are not home, so to get as much work done as possible in the time I have I often move to the next version before the previous one is perfected and then, later when they get home and I have to be quiet, I fine tune the previous versions and then feed them back in
to the master copy.

Today I was rushing and accidentally saved over one of the older files that still needed post production.(I forgot to use “save as” and used the same file name)… I quickly pressed cancel but it overwrote it anyways.

I literally injured my vocal cords getting this song done and I’m not sure the lost work is replaceable, while the version I have needs post production that can no longer be done.

I cannot use system restore for I have no valid save points.

Is there a way to restore a previous save point?

The “undo history” is not saved in a saved project, it’s just the current state of the project that is saved.
While a project remains open you can undo each action (in order, starting with the most recent), all the way back to the start of the current session.
When a file is overwritten, then the old version is no longer available.

In short, if you made a backup copy, or if the project is still open and the changes were made during the current session, then you can get back to the older version. If not, then I don’t think there is any way back.

Audacity can’t overwrite projects, so do you mean that you exported the file to the same name?

If the import was a WAV file and you imported with the option to “read directly”, the original WAV might still be there with an “-old” suffix, in the same folder as the overwritten export.


If you open a project, do something to it, then “File > Save”, the original version of the project is “over-written” (updated), which is what I took to be what vainjangles did. If this was the case, then while the project is still open, it is possible to “undo”, but once the project is closed the undo history is lost.

Yes, File > Save Project… won’t let you choose another file name if you already have a project open, but vainjangles said (s)he used the same file name, as if they had a choice to do that or not. That was why I thought there was a possibility of another interpretation.

If vainjangles had never saved a project then Audacity will not let you choose an existing project and overwrite it. That’s what I meant.


The project was already closed. when I exported it into audacity to do the percussion track I forgot to give it a different name, so that when I saved it, again without changing the name, it overwrote the previous version. I immediately cancelled but to no avail. the only previous version I have has only guitar and no vocals or piano.
Thank you for the quick response…it’s gone…I’ve come to an acceptance of this…

Is this what happened?

1 Import a file, let’s call it mysong.wav.
2 File > Save Project, mysong.aup will be offered, choose that name.
3 File > Close Project.
4 Import a file with the same name, mysong.wav.
5 Make some change, or not.
6 File > Save Project, or File > Save Project As…, mysong.aup is offered again in the same folder, choose that name.
7 Save.

Yes that will overwrite the project in 2.1.3-alpha (our current code). I would call it a bug that there is not even a prompt for the overwrite, because the project is not yet saved. You could then undo any change while the project was open, but in your case, I assume the only change is the import.

8 File > Close Project.
9 Import a different WAV file from the same folder.
10 File > Save Project or Save Project As…, choose the mysong.aup file you overwrote in step 7.
11 Save. You’re outright not allowed to save the project.

The two groups of steps are the same. You are saving a project not yet saved over an existing one.


Yes that’s a bug. Is it logged as such?

I don’t think so. I was amazed to see the overwrite would happen. I think it should be a release blocker, assuming it is a simple and safe change.


Fixing it is probably not so simple, though should be safe. The problem is that if a file is imported, where the file name is the same as the name of a project that is in the same directory, then the name and path of the new project is identical to the name and path of the old project, so Audacity thinks that it IS the old project, and so “updates” the project.

The simplest solution that I can see is to set a flag when the project name is allocated by Audacity on import into a new unnamed project. I’m not sure if James will agree that this is the ‘best’ solution (James wrote some of the related code, so I think he’d be the best person to decide whether to use this solution or some other approach).

I’ve logged the problem here:
and posted a fix here:
The fix is also available in my “master” branch: