Can't save project or really do anything

Here is a video of my issue:

Any ideas?

While I’m struggling to get the video to play, can you describe the issue?

One common problem: Audacity will not do much while the timeline is in Pause rather than Stop.

Will Audacity let you Export a WAV (Microsoft) sound file? Where does it fail?


Thanks. Yes, it’s definitely stopped and not paused. Just can’t save, export audio, etc.

No popups ever come up to be able to do these things and I have to hit esc to get back. The video is really the best way to see what’s going on because it’s hard to explain.

Thanks for replying!

Thanks for the reply. It’s kind of hard to explain so that’s why I put the video together.

I’m definitely stopped and not in pause. I just can’t really do anything at all. I have my project open and I really want to save it. The popup that is supposed to come after you click save never comes and things just kind of lock up until I hit esc on my keyboard.

Your posts are inspected before they become visible. Don’t double post. We’ll get there.


You mean File > Save, right?

There have been times when Audacity tries to save work to a forbidden system area. Either Windows or your Virus software may not like that.

Try intentionally saving or exporting work to the Desktop rather than letting Audacity guess at the location.

Disconnect the computer from the internet, disable the Virus software and try it again (you may need to restart).

All these things have caused troubles in the past.


So not only does Save not work, but the tools fail, too. This isn’t a vanilla drive access problem (that I can tell).

Are you on a Network Connected Drive or are you editing with one foot in a cloud drive?

Has this ever worked?


Does the work Play and Stop with the Spacebar? Does P Pause work?


Chicken and Egg question. Do you leave the screen recorder running at all times?

Audacity doesn’t “Play Well With Others.” If two applications struggle for machine access, Audacity is likely to lose.


Since it’s possible this can’t get any worse, the desperation method is to record the show on Something Else. Do you have an iPod or iPhone? Get the free MusicMemo APP. Run it and place the microphone of the device opposite the highest quality speaker you have, pick a quiet time, press Record in MusicMemo and Play in Audacity—assuming Audacity will still play.

If you have one of the more modern iPods, your microphone is on the back next to the lens of the camera. That’s how I do it.

If you have an iPhone, you have two microphones (that I know of) and I’m not sure which one does what. I haven’t sweet-talked anyone into letting me mess with it.


There is a totally poisonous technique of intentionally crashing Audacity and invoke Auto Recovery. That may actually work, but I think I would analog-record the show first.

We’ll let one of the senior elves tell you how to do a recovery. I’m not rated for brimstone odors and singe marks on my cape.


That’s what I’d do.
Use Task Manager to kill Audacity, then restart Audacity an hopefully it will ask if you want to recover the lost project. There will probably be a warning about “orphan” block files due to old “Undo history” data files that are no longer used by the project.

Yes, this has worked. I use Audacity all the time. I’m not doing anything new here.

No network drive or cloud. Just regular local hard drive.

I’m not sure I have another option at this point than to try this :confused:

Ok I killed Audacity and then when I reopened it it recovered the file and all was back to normal. Sounds like it was just a glitch. Thanks for the help!

Obviously Audacity is not supposed to seize up, so if it happens again, do let us know, and try to recall exactly what you were doing when the problem occurred. If we can reproduce the problem then it should be possible to fix it (but very difficult to fix a problem if we can’t reproduce it).

I recorded a long file. I listened to it. I saved the file as a WAV. File size is 1.17 GB. I cannot play the file or edit it. How can I fix this?

YouTube would be better. My browser security blocks that video.