Could not Save Project. Perhaps Disk is Full

I’ve been working on a project for many hours and went to save it, and it won’t save. I get an error that says, "Could not save project. Perhaps…is not writable or disk is full. My hard drive is nowhere near full, but I also tried to save the files in two other locations, and I get the same message. I am able to export the file as an mp3, but I’m not done working on it, so that is not good enough. I have read online about this error for the last 30 minutes and all I can find is things that say this is a common problem, but no solution. Please help!

What did you call it? Save the Project and call it a name with no punctuation marks in it. You can put the date in as 20160214. That’s now (in Los Angeles).

Did that work?


Thanks for the suggestion but not that did not work. I tried resaving it as multiple names with no punctuation, no spaces, no capital letters. It won’t save anywhere.

Sometimes Audacity will try to save Projects to the System or Applications folder. Change the export panel so it saves to your desktop.


I was saving it to my desktop all along. I also tried saving it to an external hard drive with tons of space on it and also tried to save it to dropbox. Finally, I tried saving it to a thumbdrive too. I get the same error every time. Any other ideas what is wrong with it?

How long is the show? How many tracks does it have? I would suggest exporting the show as WAV rather than MP3, but if it’s a very long show, that’s not going to work.


We may need to wait for one of the senior elves. Don’t turn the machine off.

I already exported it as an mp3 successfully. It’s about 10 minutes with about 15 tracks.

I really need to save this in Audacity so I can continue work on it. Can anyone help me?

The elves cover nine time zones and sometimes it takes a while for a response to come around.

I’m at the west end. I’m in Los Angeles. Many of the senior elves are in Britain.


I already exported it as an mp3 successfully.

That burns MP3 compression damage into the work. Export as default WAV (Microsoft). We recommend doing that when you’re recording live works in addition to Saving a Project—if you have time. Both can be used to master edit finals later. Not so much MP3.


The desperation method is select each track one after the other and Export > Selected Audio: WAV (Microsoft). You can import all those into a fresh Audacity later and be nearly where you were.

I think it’s still true that will not preserve leading blank spaces if your show has any. So that part will need to be recreated.


Okay, thanks… Its been just over 12 hours since the problem began and I posted on this site, so I’m just worried that the program might crash at anytime. At this point, given the posts online that cite this as frequent issue with Audacity, I’m starting to think there may be no fix and I may just lose the work.

Not but one minute after my previous post, Audacity crashed and I lost all my work.

It was recommended by someone else that I try to copy and paste all tracks into a new project, and I was about to try that when I lost everything.

It would have helped to give your Audacity version (see the pink panel at the top of the page). Do you have the latest 2.1.2 version from

If you have any 2.x.x version or almost any 1.3.x version Audacity should offer to recover the project when you restart Audacity. Don’t reboot the computer though, or the temporary data will be wiped.

If you still cannot save the project to your Desktop, please post the log from Help > Show Log… .


I’m in 2.1.0 and I will update, but during the crisis, that wasn’t a possible solution since I would have needed to close the project to update.

The log is attached here. Please note, the first comment I received in this forum was not to save a file with punctuation marks. I immediately tried saving the file with other names that were only letters. I tried saving four different names with just a couple letters. All saves failed, AND the actual project continued to have the title at the top that said the original name I had saved under: literacy narrative 2-14-16. In sum, I could not save under any title and I could not change the project’s name from the original that contained hyphens.

When I rebooted, it offered to recover the project. However, that did not work and it said it could not find the file which it continued to call by the original title with hyphens.

It’s becoming clear that the first time I saved it and accidentally used a hyphen in the title appears to have caused the whole problem.
log.txt (1.67 KB)

Copy and paste

I said Export your tracks. Opening multiple Audacity windows is asking for trouble.


Hyphens and underscore should be safe (it says here).

Hyphen, N dash and minus sign. Only one is safe.

Are ya feelin’ lucky?


It’s Koz’s thing that punctuation marks cause save failures.

The fact is that any character in a file name is legitimate on Mac except colon. There are a few specific Audacity/wxWidgets bugs where a few characters cannot be used, for example backslash when saving a project causes a specific “Path not found” error (in other words not the error you gave).

The not saving issue is thus not related to specific characters used in the file name.

Only using letters, numbers, hyphen-minus and underscore is still recommended if you are giving the file to someone else or sending it over the internet.


No, as I said characters are believed irrelevant to this issue.

Please open Finder, Go > Go to Folder and type or paste:

~/Library/Application Support/audacity/AutoSave

In that AutoSave folder, attach the “Literacy Narrative 2-14-16 - 2016-02-14 22-04-54 N-176.autosave” file.

If there are any “Literacy Narrative 2-14-16” files ending with TMP extension instead of AUTOSAVE extensions, attach the latest file with TMP extension.

If looking at the AUTOSAVE file fails, you still have the option of opening the original AUP file you saved. It may have a lot of consistency errors but should be better than nothing. It won’t of course have the changes you made since saving the project first time. Where exactly did you originally save
“Literacy Narrative 2-14-16.AUP” and where exactly is the “Literacy Narrative 2-14-16_data” folder?