In the past, I’ve used Audacity version 2.4.2 without problems. This morning, upon opening Audacity, the Device Toolbar is in place but the dropdowns are blank. I figured that it’s time to upgrade and downloaded 3.1.3 32 bit and did so successfully. Same thing. Device Toolbar is in place but the dropdowns are blank.
So when Audacity starts up, it makes a list of every audio device. Sometimes Audacity will get hung up on one particular device resulting in a failure to complete the list.
So the trick here is to find the device that is causing Audacity problems and disconnect or disable it. Typically, this is a device that has not yet gathered a large following, such as HDMI audio, Bluetooth, gaming sets, droidcam, DFX software, Sonic Studio Virtual Mixer, etc.