cannot open .aup file

After modifying and saving an .aup file, I tried to open it the following day. Failed with messages “couldn’t find the project data file” and then “could not find file …”

Please help

An Audacity Project is not a single audio file but is a complex set of files managed by Audacity.

  • Audacity projects have a top-level AUP file and a related folder containing the sound files (the audio data). The AUP is not a sound file, it is merely a list of instructions that tell Audacity how to construct the project from the sound files in the folder. Audacity projects can only be used by Audacity.
  • To make an audio file (such as WAV or MP3) for playing on your music player, or for use in other programs, use one of the Export audio commands.

More information here:

With help, discovered what I did wrong: renamed the aup file, but not the data folder.


Manually renaming projects will break the project unless you also manually edit the AUP file, which is NOT recommended as it is very easy to mess that up and make the project unrecoverable.

The safe way to rename a project is to open the project in Audacity, then use “File menu > Save Project As…” (as described in the blue box in this section: