Delay After Making Edits

Hello - I’m hoping someone can help me with a problem. I have Windows 8.1 and am using Audacity 2.1.0 which i believe is the most current version. I use Audacity only for voice over work. So I record an audio track and then sometimes import a music backing track (mp3). Whenever I make edits to clean up the voice track, there’s a delay and sometimes a message that says “Program is not responding” before I’m able to do anything else. I find that the larger the area of the wave form I’m editing, the longer the delay. For example, if I highlight a voice track that’s about 2 minutes long, go to Effect > Equalization, select the EQ settings that I want and then save, the status bar shows that it’s doing the work and then closes just fine. No problem so far. But then when I click somewhere to make another edit, nothing happens for at least 5 seconds until it allows me to continue. It’s like it’s still processing the previous effect. It’s very frustrating and often doubles the time necessary for me to edit a track since I’m constantly moving through effects like noise reduction, fade in/out, normalize, compress, cutting out garbage, generating silence, etc. Again, the longer the wave form I’m editing, the longer the delay before I can continue. It happens when all of my other programs are closed, and I have 2GB of RAM. Could it be something with my settings? Maybe a driver issue? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Maybe a driver issue?

How about a Virus Protection issue? Take the machine off-line and suspend the virus protection. Did that help? Did the problem change?

It could be a driver issue if you have a custom soundcard and depended on the Windows drivers. Go to the maker’s web page and try there.


2 GB RAM is not very much - if it’s 64-bit Windows 8 then you only have the minimum RAM that Microsoft and Audacity recommend. If you have long tracks or very many tracks, 2 GB RAM may not be enough. See

That said, we know Audacity can be slow when editing due to the way it parses a text file called the AUTOSAVE file that serves as a temporary AUP file in case Audacity crashes. The next 2.1.1 version of Audacity will have an improvement for this that might help. If you are not already doing so, you can subscribe to our announcements list so that you’ll receive an e-mail when we release 2.1.1. Fill in the form at to subscribe.

If you are fitting or unfitting the project to the window, that is still slow and won’t be improved in 2.1.1.


Meantime if you open Edit > Preferences… and in the “Quality” section, change “Default Sample Format” to “16-bit”, this might speed things up.

Be aware that this may degrade the audio somewhat if you are running lots of effects on the audio.