Corrupt or Otherwise Broken Audacity Project Recovery

I am running audacity-win-3.0.5-64bit.

So, is this an older project you are working on? If this project was created by “audacity-win-3.0.5-64bit”, then your .aup file will actually be a .aup3 file. When you follow the instructions, be very very careful to follow them exactly. Otherwise, it is garbage in, garbage out.

Normally, Windows does not display file extensions by default. To have them displayed, open File Manager (click on the File Explorer icon located in the taskbar), then near the top of the box, click on the “View” tab. Then about 3/4 of the way over, you will see a column with 3 checkboxes. Check the box labelled “File name extensions”. Then Windows will start showing the extensions of you files.

idk if i did this right, but i got a recovered project file with no audio but the right amount of channel tracks. what should i do now?

Although the recovery procedure does recover a great many projects, there are unfortunately a few projects where recovery is incomplete - in your case 100% incomplete. There is nothing that I know of that can be done. Thank you for your report. :frowning:


Hi Jademan. Your help would be greatly appreciated. I recorded this audio with a guest for my podcast and I am having a difficult time recovering the recording.

I have gone thru your step by step process. But, once get to "9: 9) Type “audacity-project-tools -drop_autosave broken.aup3”

I am receiving the information below on the black screen. “unable to open database file”

Any thoughts here? Thanks!

06/23/2022 08:57 PM .
06/23/2022 08:49 PM …
06/23/2022 08:57 PM audacity-project-tools-1.0.0-win64
06/23/2022 08:51 PM 1,419,160 audacity-project-tools.exe
06/23/2022 08:13 PM 407,502,848 broken.aup3.aup3
06/23/2022 08:51 PM 1,199,512 sqlite3.exe
3 File(s) 410,121,520 bytes
3 Dir(s) 204,180,873,216 bytes free

Downloads\audrepair>audacity-project-tools -drop_autosave broken.aup3
unable to open database file


So the database file could not be opened because the file you specified did not exist.

Your file is named broken.aup3.aup3. (It has an extra .aup3 on it). It should be named simply broken.aup3.

This problem is likely due to Windows’ habit of hiding file name extensions - but the problem could be in my instructions :slight_smile:. To show file name extensions, in File Explorer, click on the “View” tab, then check the box “File name extensions”

Thanks for making this available

I literally created an account just to tell you how much I love you for posting that file recovery solution. I was at my wits end and thought I was going to have to re-record several chapters when I finally stumbled across this fix after hours of scouring every forum I could find. Again… I cannot thank you enough. May you be blessed you wonderful person you.

:blush: (Blush) I’ll pass your note along to the developers who put this package together.

You saved my AUP3 project! You’re a genious sir. Your tool should be officialy released by Audacity team. Thank you again!

Thanks for the word. This tool was written and released by the Audacity team - just as it is now.

Hello, thank you for this guide! I get to step 9 and get the message “File is not a database.” (Multiple times, I even re-downloaded the tool and started from scratch just in case.) I am on Windows 10 and have the latest version of Audacity, and the broken file is aup3, not aup. Any idea what might be going wrong for me?

This error message is misleading. The only time people see this error is when the name of their database is misspelled. The error really should be “File does not exist” - but it is a catch all error. Usually the reason the file does not exist is because you have named it broken.aup3.aup3 instead of just broken.aup3.

Sometimes, things can be made a little clearer by asking Windows to show file name extensions. This can be done easily by going to File Explorer (that is the folder icon on your Windows taskbar, selecting the View tab, then checking the box labelled “File name extensions”.

Hm, it can’t be the file extension, I do have those enabled. Maybe I messed up somewhere else? I’ll attach a screenshot, maybe you’ll see something relevant. Thank you so much for being so helpful!
audrepair screenshot.png

Well, that looks right. :open_mouth: :confused: Zip it up. Upload it somewhere. I’ll try to take a look at it tomorrow.

Thank you! It looks like I can’t use DMs (probably because I just created my account today), so here’s the link:

Downloading now…

The beginning of this file has .WAV file headers and looks and plays like a .WAV file. How did you create it?

OK, I have looked at your .aup3 file. The first 1MB or so of the file have somehow been written over by a .WAV file, which you can see if you do File > Import > Raw > 16-bit PCM, Big Endian. Unfortunately, I don’t have any tools which could allow you to recover from this disaster. You can import the remnants of your .aup3 project as raw data, using File > Import > Raw > 32-bit Float > Default Endian, where you can almost see your project, but I suspect this will be useless to you. :frowning:

??? I just saved it like normal, I thought? I was in a hurry, my kittens came running in and I wanted to get it saved and closed before they could walk all over the keyboard. I thought I had managed it, but maybe they pressed something? Somehow I created a horrible FrankenWAV?