Can't open .aup projects anymore


I was a grateful user of audacity to record and edit audio for online yoga programmes.
But on 6th of June something went terribly wrong.
Now I cannot open (nor import) the recent files.

When I click Menu/open… and select the audacity project, it says: '…aup is an audacity project file. Use Menu->open to open it…
But that is exactly what I do.

Also when I try to import it, it gives the same error.
Could you please help me?

I was using 2.4.1 but now I’ve updated 2.4.2, hoping that would work. But it didn/t…

That error message is misleading in this case. What it actually means is that Audacity has tried to open it as a project, and has tried to import it as an audio file, and all attempts have failed. Most likely it is because the .AUP file is damaged.

If you attach the .AUP file to your reply, we can take a look. (See:

Hey steve!

i had the same problem a few days ago, can you take a look also to my .AUP file, please??
thanks :slight_smile:
02 It Girl.aup (143 KB)

Unfortunately that file is totally corrupt.
If you’ve not done so already, I’d recommend updating to the latest version of Audacity (2.4.2): Audacity ® | Download for Windows

So no chance to recover it? Even if i the folder of the project i can find all the recordings??
Thanks for the reply anyway :slight_smile:

The .AUP file tells Audacity how to reassemble the “.AU” blocks of audio data into the complete project - it’s like a jigsaw puzzle, with possibly hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of pieces (the “.AU” files are the pieces).

This is what a “.AUP” file should look like:

This is what your .AUP file looks like:


Thank you so much for answering @steve. I will enclose the .aup file.
I think indeed it is damaged, but I don’t know how/why.
Hopefully we/you can recover it, because otherwise I would have to do it all over again…
And I have more files like this from the same week, unfortunately.

Now I have to record a new yoga session (for blind people), but I notice that I postpone because of fear it might go wrong again… please help.
Thank you so much,
de maangroet nog 1 keer.aup (28.4 KB)

I’ve not seen one quite like that before, but unfortunately it is trash.

As above (depending on your text editor), a normal AUP file looks something like this.

Note the name of your project is burned into the code which is why you can’t change the names of the files after you save the project.

The little 6-second sound snippets in the _DATA folder are randomly named and you really need a working AUP file to put it all back together.

There’s three common failures. The AUP file is blank which gives you a really tiny file with nothing in it. The AUP file has a bunch of NUL characters in it which gives you an AUP the right size, but not useful, or an AUP file with nonsense characters. That’s the one with Latin, Greek, and Spanish in there. That’s not useful, either. In older computers, those characters would include “little house” and “ace of spades.”

The AUP file is the last thing saved when you make a Project, so it’s kind of on the bottom of the pile if anything goes wrong. The new Audacity program doesn’t work that way.


Lol, this trash is made with Audacity :wink:
And I have a new HP Pavilion Game computer.
But I’m glad to read that the new Audacity works differtently. Now I will try it this weekend.
Thank you so much.

Now I will try it this weekend.

The current Audacity release is 2.4.2 which still uses the old Project format. Version 3 is still in very active development and it has a different, more robust Project format.

There are things you can do in the mean time. I export all original work or recordings as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound files. I Export all Finals or Edit Masters the same way. WAV files are perfect quality, uncompressed, stable, and will open on all three computer types.

If an edit goes into the dirt, I’ll open up the original backup WAV files and cut it again. Keep all these WAV files on separate storage so you don’t damage one by accident. The WAV edit master is handy, too because you can’t edit, cut or change an MP3 file without causing some sound damage.

Never do production directly in MP3.

This WAV business doesn’t work if you need to save a multi-track project in the middle of a crazy edit session or your shows go to hundreds of hours. WAV files won’t do that—you’re stuck with Projects. But for more “normal” shows: podcasts, voices-over, or audiobook chapters, it works a treat.

I’ve never lost a paid job.


O wow, I will definitely do that!
Thank you!