Crackle/Click/Pop throughout playback and WAV export

VERSION: Windows Vista on Dell Studio 1535 with Audacity 2.0.5 installed by .exe

PROBLEM: I have used Audacity for years and never encountered anything like this. Very occasionally there would perhaps be a ‘click’ or glitch owing to some background process, but this is of a different order and magnitude entirely.

The DETAILS: Since yesterday, playback in Audacity of recorded files, all previously fine, have begun to crackle/click/pop every second or so, persistently and yet sort of randomly. This does not appear to be related to any specific files but to a bug or conflict within Audacity. Files on which I had done some USB interface recordings two days ago and files that had not been altered - all files seem to be affected throughout the whole track. So, again there appears to be an underlying issue.

Having read many other forums on similar crackle/pop issues, including recent Aug 31 posts, I have uninstalled and reinstalled 2.0.3, to no effect, then uninstalled and reinstalled 2.0.5 but with no effect either. I have adjusted various “Quality” settings as suggested as well and this has made no difference either. I deactivated Avast to no avail. I uninstalled the only recent updates on my computer (Adobe Flash and Active X from two days ago) but likewise to no avail.

NO matter what I do, the files still crackle, and when I export as WAV they crackle as well. I’ve posted a short WAV sample. Oh, man, I really hope there is a solution to this because I have a year’s worth of recording and mixing and editing on here! Help!

This is where you tell us it still does it on a machine different from yours. I don’t hear any crackling.

Does this short test file crackle?


No crackle on Windows 8.1 for me. Koz is on Mac.

Is Windows Update set to do its work automatically? It’s possible it might have updated drivers for your sound card for the worse.

Have you tried going back to an earlier Restore Point? That is probably the simplest way to cover all the possibilities. If you don’t have System Restore turned on and you suspect an audio driver change, see .

Also post the contents of Help > Audio Device Info… top right of Audacity in case someone can see something unusual there.


Thanks for the replies. The problem has been inconsistent since my original post, and I have discovered that my Audacity files do not have this problem on my other computer (work-issued HP laptop), and I have discovered that YouTube files often also have the same problem, so I guess there is some underlying issue unrelated to Audacity. I have tried updating everything I can think of, performed Malware scans, uninstalled RealPlayer just in case it was interfering, etc. Still no full solution. Any suggestions are appreciated; and I will post the solution if I discover one.

Thanks also for the sound card driver update / restore point suggestion. I’ll investigate this.