"Can't find project data folder"???

I’m using Audacity 2.3.3. On this afternoon I started editing – AND SAVED!!! – an Audacity project file for a podcast episode. Now this evening when I click to open the file to continue my work, the pop-up indicates that the project data file cannot be found??? Oh please please PLEASE help me fix this… I did a great interview with an elderly gentleman who is one of the founders of a 40-yr-old local non-profit organization that I belong to… he’s very nice, but in recovery from recent cancer surgery so I don’t want to bother him for a do-over… sequential screenshots attached… please help if you can. Thank you!
Felicia Renee Griffin

The titles of the works in the first two pictures don’t match the titles in the third.

The filenames have to be the same, and they have to be the name you gave them inside Audacity. No option.

Open up the AUP file in a text editor (Do Not Save Anything) and read it. The original, correct showname is burned in there.

If the AUP file won’t open or is filled with graphics characters … or it’s blank, that’s the end of the show.

Next time you do this, create/export a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file of the raw performance and save a copy somewhere not the computer. I use thumb drives and external hard drives. Cloud storage works too, although be careful with that because Audacity doesn’t like Cloud Storage very much while editing.

If you did this on a stand-alone sound recorder, never delete the original work until it is available in at least two other places.


Thanks kozikowski
I found it in the text editor (notepad). Now what do I do?

First create a safety-copy of the AUP-file and the data folder. Then start the repair process

I would suggest to rename the folder’s name from…

“05_LH…founding **class_**data”


“05_LH…founding **Class I_**data”

with a big “C” and a SPACE after “Class” and a “I” (big “i”) after the SPACE

this makes the name identical again,… but

…but as I can see from the screenshots, the folder was created/touched last time at 6/1/2020 at 10:51, and the AUP-file at last at 17:03 the same day.
I don’t know, whether the content of the folder is really the last state.

don’t know, whether the content of the folder is really the last state.

Isn’t chaos just the best?

I can’t think of a way to get what you got. Audacity saves the _DATA folder with all its little AU files first and only then, when everything is down, it makes the AUP file as instructions how to put your show together from the contents of the _DATA folder.

There should be no way to be “missing” the _DATA folder. Missing the AUP file is easier to explain. Something Happened between the two saves like Audacity was closed or the machine was shut down.

Did you do a Save As somewhere in the process instead of Save? That can give you a whole new _DATA folder and AUP file under a different name, but they should be a matched set and not be missing pieces.

Sometimes the computer’s virus protection program will decide to “protect you” from some of the files.

So if that name change gives you something, immediately export a protection WAV copy of the work. That may be all you have. If it doesn’t, that’s the end of the show.

The next Audacity version should feature a revised Project format that doesn’t have all these files, folders and split saves.