Can't Open Project File!! Please Help

Hi there,

Last night I saved an audacity project file and today it won’t open.

Error Message reads:

Error Importing (the the file name and path) is an audacity project file.

Use the ‘File > Open command to open audacity projects’.

Thing is, I AM using the File / Open command to try to open the Project File.

I have noticed that by mistake I do have “.mp3” in the file name. But the project still won’t open when I make a copy of the file and rename it to remove this from the file name. The file name is “RMH 01- Postive - Mix 02.mp3.aup”

Please help - this project took me ages !!

I’m working on a macbook pro.

Many thanks,


What is the copy called? The dot in the file name should not matter if the name ends in .aup, as long as you saved it as that name in Audacity.

Attach the copy for us to see. Please see How to attach files to forum posts. Or open the file in TextEdit (don’t save it). Is it empty?


I saved an audacity project file

Those are dangerous words. This is an Audacity Project.

Can you find both parts? The AUP file is a Project Manager. It tells Audacity what to do with all that stuff in the _DATA folder. That’s where the actual show is.

project still won’t open when I make a copy of the file and rename it

The show name is burned into the AUP file. The burn-in and the actual file name have to match.


Hi Gale,

The copy I made of the .aup file is called “RMH 01- Postive - Mix 02”. I made this copy to try to see if it made a difference if I removed the text that read “.mp3” in the original file name. I copied the .aup to another part of hard drive and also copied the folder that contains all the data. When I renamed the .aup file, I also renamed the data folder with EXACTLY the same name. But Audacity didn’t want to open the .aup file that I renamed either.

When I open the .aup in text editor, there IS text there.

Do you want me to send you a download link for the whole .aup file?

Many thanks,


Hi Koz,

Yes I have both the .aup file and the data folder. I understand that the project file is reading the data and organising it.

The project file name and data folder name have identical names.

Any further help you could offer would be much aoporectaed,

Thank you!

Perhaps you can sense the puzzled puppy look across multiple time zones.

Open up your AUP file in TextEdit. Somewhere in the first bunch of text lines should be an entry:

Followed by the exact name you used for the AUP file and the _DATA folder.

Don’t save anything.


Hi Koz,

The first chunk of text reads like this, but I can’t see a reference to projname=

ID3jTALB#Greg and Pauls Positive Vi brationTIT201TPE1&Greg and Pauls Reggae Reggae Receipesˇ˚ÄdInfoÒØ¢i$
!$&)+.0358:=@BEHKMPRUWZ_adfiknpsuxz}ÄÇÖáäåêíïóöúü°§¶©´Æ∞≥µ∏∫Ω¿¬≈« Ãœ—‘◊⁄‹fl·‰ÊÈÎÓÛı¯˙˝9LAME3.98rúp$•Np¢i$ò¶Øˇ˚Äd
aA‡–‡.‘ú¬P7ˇˇˇˇ˛M?ˇÁ˜AgPa˘r雡ˇ˜u8ÉÁ¡,º≤1ê.uÖùóñ÷T√>Ô=ëNC“Ø™—û —ëıiΩ◊˝5\∆|Ü÷N§Úwô—’…>:tè-ˇˇ˙Ú’Œ˚‰Êk˚"ıGªLc∫Fùgùà Á<Â~tEπm∑fl€Ì›Oà]<ˆEPËaS$qJ1@ÛˇˇÁ^‰fb≤=JÏ\䨴•®œO 49ôQàeS≥≈#Ñ$ÈÏÛn⁄?˝‰∂˘∂Q˱E≤L•ê.∞:%@9Ì)2éeûkÍب-ê{¥p|#(¸´ˇ˚Çd.å“
†VÚˇˇÙIzù3ù±–ÕF1Ç&¿‹R®“ûÃ≈k∫TÜU äßüEjHÍú≤◊K∑ÎÔÎ≥Á~˚à˜óñäç<B3å,HÅˇ˚ÇdXå¡®<Eò§6LHÉ"™H=ã◊»Ó.°åä—-?ˇ˝d6˜jº¢Q~‘ÃÈ)Àj*NÂsªùœÓg;ùå®åè1Ø÷≈oˇˇÔ{µgVWä*√“,“FġˇˇÁe¨á

Any thoughts?

Thank you

Renaming the _data folder as well isn’t sufficient. As Koz suggested, “projname” in the AUP file also has to be changed so that it points to the renamed _data folder. Renames of projects (when you can open the AUP file) should be done by opening the project and using File > Save Project As… .

This doesn’t explain why the original project would not open. The error that you should use File > Open when you are already using it usually means the AUP file is corrupted (more so than just pointing to the wrong _data folder).

You can send a download link if you must, but the AUP file is only small. You should be able to attach it to your post.
Please see How to attach files to forum posts.

I’ve found that editing AUP files in TextEdit in Sierra can corrupt the file. I am not sure what is going on there, but if I were you I would attach both the original and copied AUP file and not edit them.


Audacity can’t open that. An AUP file should be human-readable text. Please just attach the original and copied AUP file.


Hi Gale,

The .aup is about 95MB. Is that small enough to upload as an attachment?

Also, would you mind having a look at the first part of the text that I sent to Koz? I can’t see reference to the projname= in it?

Many thanks,


The AUP file should not be anything like as large as 95 MB. The Forum maximum attachment size is 2 MB.

As I said, Audacity cannot open that. It is not an AUP file, or if it was, something has corrupted it.


I’ve found that editing AUP files in TextEdit in Sierra can corrupt the file.

That’s delightful news. Editing or just viewing?

This is a graphic version of an early AUP file. The newer files are more complicated, but follow a similar idea.

It’s XML programming. Mostly English words spelled wrong. I don’t expect the AUP file to contain little houses, aces of spades or Greek lambdas. That suggests a badly corrupted file. That and the size is way wrong.


Editing. I’ll have to test further.


Text edit, despite it’s name, is NOT a text editor. At best, it’s an rtf editor. You could switch off its pesky habit of inserting rtf commands, but I believe that’s no longer possible (or easy).

Use Text Wrangler (there’s a free version) or one of the other pure text editors out there.

This behviour is very old. In the days of resource forks, there was no such thing as pure text on MacOS. Resource forks have been depreciated for many years, but some of the inheritance is still there. I’m sure Apple could clean that up, but since nobody’s complaining…

I believe that’s no longer possible

It was never straightforward. You had to open up a Rich Text document, change the Preference to Plain Text, close the document and then the next time you opened up a document, it would arrive with zero formatting or fonts.
Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 10.00.22 AM.png
Plain Text is the form that allows screen magnification, Command +. RTF doesn’t.

I wrote/am writing most of in TextEdit. It does do one thing I’m not fond of. There is no Save As:. Your changes are automatically written to the file. Save is almost an afterthought. You have to remember to make a backup copy of the work ahead of time if you want to retain the original.

Watch me and get off the bus one stop before I do.

And yes, I’m perfectly clear I’m supposed to be using an HTML editor and I regularly get burned by not having line numbers. “There is an orphan tag at line 673!!”

Well, shucks.


You can still do that in El Capitan…


Apple support claims that still works in Sierra.

It also claims to directly support HTML…I need to read about that.


Still, have a look at Text Wrangler…

Supports HTML color formatting. Makes code so much easier to read. Also saves anything you typed, in the event of a crash. And still has “save as”, as well as a built-in FTP/SFTP client. And of course all of the other goodies you’d expect from a real text editor, like hard wrapping, a find-and-replace on steroids, tabs to spaces and vice versa, indenting…

It’s also a hex editor, useful for finding out what that strange file is you’re dealing with. And for bit level hacking of plists and stuff like that.

And in case of text files already polluted, there’s the “zap gremlins” command :sunglasses:

I created a more up-to-date graphic with the lines spaced out a bit. This is what the left-hand side of the AUP file for Audacity 2.1.2 looks like.


I’ve had a copy of TextWrangler for some years but it has become extremely slow to launch on Sierra, and sometimes never launches properly.

I also know of Brackets which is certainly fast and perhaps easier than TextWrangler for a simple edit.