Cannot open .aup file... please help.

I’m an Audacity newbie and it’s showing right now.

I recorded a project on a MAC, and when finished, saved it as an .aup file and then emailed that as an attachment to myself.

I figured I could then just open up the file on my regular PC (which isn’t a mac). But it’s giving me this:

“Couldn’t find the project data folder: ‘projectname_data’”
and “Could not load file: ‘C:\Users*username*\Downloads*projectname*.aup’”

I’m really strapped for time so this is kind of a disaster if I can’t get these files. Was there something else I was supposed to save or special steps I should have taken before emailing it as an attachment? And most importantly, is there a way I can retrieve the project file without having to re-record?

The “AUP” file is only one small part of an Audacity project. The audio data is stored separately.
This article in the manual covers everything you need to know about Audacity projects, how to manage them safely, and how to move recordings from one computer to another:

Thanks Steve.

Is there any way to recover my files? I don’t seem to have a data folder anywhere.

I assume I should have exported it from the mac as a .wav and then emailed that attachment. Will I have to re-record or maybe the .aup file would open on the original mac I did the recording through?

For a recording that you saved, the audio data is in the _data folder. If you don’t have that _data folder then you have no audio. Check on the machine that you recorded on, perhaps the folder is there (also check the recycle bin). If you do find the _data folder, then you need to have the “.AUP” file and the “_data” folder in the same location. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you (makes typing difficult).

Yes, the easiest way to move a recording from one computer to another is to “export” a normal audio file. “WAV” files are quite large but excellent quality. “FLAC” files are usually about half the size of WAV files and the same quality (but less widely supported than WAV). OGG and MP3 files are much smaller than WAV files but you (permanently and irreversibly) lose some sound quality when encoding into these “lossy” formats.

If you got a good AUP file on the original computer, then chances are good you also got that _DATA folder on that same computer…somewhere. If you no longer have access to the original computer, that’s the end of the world.