Constant crashing - wits end!

I’ve used Audacity on Macs for many years, but now with Catalina I simply cannot get it to stay stable.

Every edit crashes within minutes and while I can successfully restore, it’s just taking up too much of my time.

As a 30-year professional broadcaster and audio person - I think I know my tools. For most of my work (interviews, simple multitrack, etc) Audacity has been the perfect tool.

I love you, Audacity, but this is no good.

iMac 2017 OS Catalina
Audacity 2.4.2

Audacity 2.4.2 is stable for me on Mac, so we need to try and find what is different for you that makes it unstable.

Does this happen with one specific project or with any project?
Are there any specific commands that trigger a crash?
Does it happen on a saved project, or on a new project that has not yet been saved?
Anything else that you think may help us to identify the cause?

– Network Connected Storage? iCloud?

– Audacity > Preferences > Import / Export > Directories.

Does the system let you manually search down that pathway?

Desktop > Go > Go To Folder and type or copy that line in.

/Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/audacity/SessionData

Or does it start complaining about permissions?

– Save all your work.
Apple (upper left) > Shut Down… > Shutdown. Not Restart. Time it. Do you get a very long delay and then a spinning daisy in the lower center of the screen? Does it complain it can’t shut down?

Wait a bit then Start. Do you get the opening chime?

When it comes back up and settles, Shut down again. Are the two Shutdowns very different?

Do you have an SSD or Spinning Metal?



It’s crashing on every project I work. No specific commands and not particularly complex or high-load work (4-5 tracks).

Happens on saved and unsaved projects.

I wish I knew! LOL!



No complaining about permissions
Shutdown 1 - split second of spinning beach ball then normal shutdown
Shutdown 2 - no beach ball, 14 seconds until black
No chime on startup [but I thought this was something done by Apple?]
1TB Fusion drive [whatever that is]

Let’s try Tools > Reset Configuration.

– Bill

1TB Fusion drive [whatever that is]

That’s a tiny, fast as a speeding rabbit Solid State Drive, married to a conventional, motorized spinning platter, much slower but larger hard drive.

I think the idea was you were supposed to be able to get most of the advantages of an SSD without the stiff cost. You and the apps saw the SSD, but the older, larger, slower drive was doing all the heavy lifting.

You can take out your machine by bumping it at the wrong time or getting too close with magnets. The very early iSight video camera had a magnetic mount on the bottom. I parked it on my laptop just left of the left-hand shift key and destroyed the machine.

Don’t do that.

No chime on startup [but I thought this was something done by Apple?]

I have a relatively new machine and it does still have an opening chime. ???


You know, just thinking about this. I wonder if Fusion Drive support could be causing problems. If you ran out of the SSD portion of the Fusion System and was forced to start running in real time on the much slower hard drive, Audacity would not like that at all. It would see it as a drive failure.

That’s the problem Audacity has with Cloud Storage. You’re doing a complex task and next door neighbor, who is on the same cable node that you are decides to download adult entertainment and Audacity crashes.

Where did my speedy drive access go?

This wouldn’t make any difference at all if you were saving spreadsheets or Photoshop pictures, but Audacity is expected to run perfectly in real time.