can't reopen a saved project

HI, I imported a file from my Dictaphone. I worked on the project (editing) and saved it on to desktop as ‘Therapy clip Audacity’. I reopened the file in audacity about 3 or 4 more times. It opened fine and saved fine. The next day I tried to open the file (tried from the actual desktop file and by going into Audacity first and opening recent file via ‘file’) and it said the following error: ‘couldn’t find the project data folder: Therapy clip Audacity_data’. I clicked ‘OK’ and it gave another error: 'Could not load file: ‘‘C/Users/Joem/Desktop/ therapy clip Audacity.aup’’. I have not moved the file about like I have seen some people say they have done when writing online about these errors. The file is on same location. Any help??? the file still seems to exist and looking at it’s properties it is 88KB so something still there. Do you think it could be a corrupt file!?

thank you for any help! getting desperate

A project is an AUP Project Manager and a _DATA folder with all the sound snippets in it, both with the same name.

Forget Audacity for a minute. If you can find the AUP file, double click on it. It should open itself in Audacity.

If it fails, what are the error messages?

A good backup idea is Export the whole show as a WAV (Microsoft). That will give you a normal, standard sound file you can work from if everything else goes into the mud. The difference is Projects will save stacked tracks, time offsets and corrections (but not UNDO). WAV files are just high quality stereo sound files with everything jammed together.


Hi, Thank you for reply and explaining difference between files. The image is helpful. The aup file is on my desktop but I cannot see the _DATA folder. I double clicked the aup file and error was same as before:
‘couldn’t find the project data folder: Therapy clip Audacity_data’.
I clicked ‘OK’ and it gave another error: 'Could not load file: ‘‘C/Users/Joem/Desktop/ therapy clip Audacity.aup’’

Is the _Data folder lost? any ideas where it could be so I can reunite them both in same location? is there any reason why this would move or delete on it’s own?

back up idea is a great one. wish had done it for this file. :frowning:

eeeeek It works!! I just found a random _Data file with a different name and thought ‘that’s odd I’ve not saved any other audacity files to create _Data files’. I changed the name to read identical to aup file on th off chance and bam!!! it opens fine in audacity! for some reason the _Data file was named something different to aup file. Very odd! may be it was me but not sure why I would. mystery over. Your advice was priceless! thak you!!

As Koz said, you must keep the _data folder alongside the AUP file. If the folder “Therapy clip Audacity_data” is not on the Desktop when your AUP file is, Audacity gives up.

So I suggest you open File Explorer and search your computer for “Therapy clip”. It should then find the folder if it still exists. Search the Recycle Bin too.


It’s a _data folder, not a file. I’m glad you found it.

Here is a tip. If you ever do want to rename projects, do it in Audacity with File > Save Project As… . This creates a duplicate project with a different name that will be given to both the AUP file and the _data folder. Then you can delete the original AUP file and _data folder.


That is really helpful info about how to rename safely. Thank you so much!

This begs a question Gale: should we have a Feature Request for a Rename Project in the File menu?


Would that be: rename the current project, or rename a saved project that isn’t currently loaded?

If the former, then how is it different from “Save As”?

If the latter, then (to do it safely) Audacity would need to parse the AUP file, verify the data, prompt the user about dependencies, then offer to “Save As”. Basically this is the same as opening the project and doing “Save As”, except that the waveforms do not need to be drawn and the user has no opportunity to listen to the project before re-saving it.

How would we make it clear what “File > Rename Project” does?

I think the main problem that this is trying to address is that users do not realise that they can’t just rename the AUP file. It comes back again to our old friend the (lack of a) unitary file format for projects. Imho, the solution to the problem is for Audacity to be able to save projects as a single file, then it would be trivial for users to safely rename projects because they could simply rename the file (which is what they expect). I think that a unitary file format would be the single best enhancement for Audacity (P1).

I recall we’ve voted about this before and the general vote was to have a “project manager” dialogue where you can rename, move, delete, backup and otherwise “manage” projects.

The rename is not the same as File > Save Project As so it’s for projects that aren’t open. It would I think be for an in situ rename in the same folder. Does it need to prompt for dependencies? It needs to change the AUP file for the new name.

The manager idea isn’t totally invalidated if we had a unitary project format, but I agree there is less need for it if we had a unitary project format. We already have a a Bugzilla enhancement issue for a “Project Manager” but not I think one to match

My main criterion for having an enhancement tracked on Bugzilla is that users are seriously impacted by lack of the feature or are frequently complaining about the lack, so “unitary project” would qualify for being tracked on that basis. I don’t personally think it’s as important as lack of warning and data loss when users run out of disk space (which is P2 right now). At least, I think we are more blameworthy for that problem than for not having a unitary format.


For safety I think it should.


Original project name = “Over the sea”
Audacity project file name: “over-the-sea.aup”
Project data folder name: “over-the-sea_data”
Dependent file: “over-the-sea.wav”

User then renames the project because they decide to call the song “Beyond”

New Audacity project file name: “beyond.aup”
New project data folder name: “beyond_data”
Dependent file: “over-the-sea.wav”

If these file are in a directory containing other files, it is now dangerously easy to forget that “over-the-sea.wav” is part of the “Beyond” project, but if the user manually changes the name of the WAV file (so that they remember that it’s part of the project), then they destroy the project.

I’d bet that more work gets lost because users don’t understand that projects have multiple parts than due to running out of disk space.

Doesn’t Windows pop up a warning when low on disk space?

I meant the former (rename the current active project) - and the big difference is that the user then doesn’t have to go into the file structure with Windows Explorer (Finder on Mac, ??? on Linux) and loacte the .aup file and the folder and delete both.

Well I think that a command like File > Rename Project or File > Rename Current Project should be pretty self explanatory.

Most Windows an MAc users (can’t speak for Linux - but I’m guessing similar) will be used to renaming files all the time (this is how a lot of users get themselves in a picjle with renaming parts of an Audacity project)- and without the OS creating a duplicate copy so you just get “newname” and not “newname” and “oldname”

Plus we can make it crystally clear in the Manual :wink:


OK, then we could do that for both the current open projects(s) and for closed projects. Or, require the user to close an open project first before rename.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if user had opened a saved project, edited it, then renames it, the original project remains unsaved. With Save Project As, we just close the original project, discarding unsaved changes. We would probably want a prompt on renaming an open project that the original project would be deleted.


That is possible, but most of those cases are recoverable if the user asks here, as long as they don’t do a copy in the same folder then open the renamed project twice.

Out of disk space data loss is not recoverable.

It might be very hard to justify a P1 for Unitary Project right now, with many bugs to be fixed for 2.1.3. Unitary project is a lot of work and a lot of testing.

Yes it “should” do, though when I test with a 100 MB partition for ease of testing, I get no warnings. The exact rules for Windows 7 warnings used to be complicated and did not apply to drives smaller than 3 GB. I don’t know how much if at all this has changed in later Windows.

More knowledgeable users who get tired of the warning can turn it off by editing the registry. So if a user turned the warning off for a drive that usually had 10 GB of space, without realising how much space Audacity projects can take, such user could easily get caught out.


OK, a good point. Though that risk is already there with Save Project As… . I do think such a warning should be capable of being turned off.


I wrongly assumed that “Save As” would prompt the user in the same way as “Save Project” does, but I see that it doesn’t. Also, “Save Project” only prompts for new projects, not when an existing project has been opened. Personally I think that the user should be prompted in each case.

Mark Young was working on this, we even had a test prototype build - but we seem to have lost touch with Mark …


You mean open a saved project, edit it, then File > Save Project should prompt if you want to overwrite that project?

I would find that annoying.


No, I mean that by default: open a saved project that has dependencies, edit it, then “File > Save Project” or “File > Save Project As” should prompt if you want to copy the dependencies into the project.