Drop Downs for Effects and Generate will not come up

Audacity 2.1.2 Windows 10 Lenovo notepad. Drop downs will not come up on screen. They go to the Audacity program link at bottom of screen and can be seen from there but not brought up to be used. When I leave computer for a while and come back and try they will come up, but only that one time. Grrrrxxxx. Windows driver problem???

Drop downs will not come up on screen.

Are you talking about the menu system to the left of a sound track?

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 12.10.15.png

No. The dropdowns from the "Generate’ and “'Effects” at the top.

We have been through this on the feedback@ address recently.

As I understand it, lloydbr has done all the following which I suggested.

  1. Download the current Audacity 2.1.2 installer (EXE file) from http://audacityteam.org/download/windows .

  2. Run the installer and in the “Select Additional Tasks” screen, put a checkmark in the “Reset Preferences” box. Complete the installation. On launching Audacity, a dialogue will appear where you can confirm if you want to reset preferences just this once, or not. Say yes.

  3. Go to Effect > Add / Remove Plug-ins… , select the plugins you want to use, then click Enable and OK (http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/manage_effects_generators_and_analyzers.html).

I cannot understand that description. There is no web link to Audacity at the bottom of the Audacity software interface.

Are you saying if you are at the computer all the time, there is nothing in the Effect Menu except Add / Remove Plug-ins and Repeat Last Effect? That sounds most like memory corruption, or you don’t have the correct video drivers for Windows 10.

Or you may have viruses on your computer (or conversely, there is interference by a benign anti-virus application).

If you right-click audacity.exe, choose Properties, then look at the Compatibility tab, are you running Audacity in compatibility mode for some old version of Windows?


I am explaining myself badly. I have a desktop icon for Audacity on the bottom of my screen, which brings up the program. I then select an audio file which I made previously. Then if I go to Effects—Change Speed and the drop down menu for that function will not appear on the screen. I left click on the Audacity icon at the bottom of the screen and can see the program as well as the drop down for Change of Speed, but when I click on that menu it will not come up on the screen to make use of it. Hope that explains the problem better.

Are you saying Change Speed is not in the Effect Menu at all? Or that it is only there when you have been away from the computer?

Or are you saying that Change Speed is always in the Effect Menu, but clicking Change Speed only brings up the effect dialogue after you have been away from the computer?

Did you check Audacity compatibility like I suggested?


Change Speed and all the other effects are in the ‘Effects’ menu. I only used it as an example. They only drop down into the program icon at the bottom of the screen and then cannot be induced to come up on the screen to be used. I will tell you something even crazier. I found that when I bring up another program like ‘Firefox’ and then to back to the Audacity icon I can bring up the drop down successfully. (Who knew) I wish you could see into my computer. This is nuts and you probably think I am.
I did uninstall Audacity and reinstalled installed 2.1.2 again with the compatibility with Widows 8. There was nothing for Windows 10 that I could see. I have been really, really hating Windows 10 since I foolishly got it.

What does that mean, exactly? That you click on an effect in the Effect Menu list and then Audacity and all other applications minimise, and you only see the Desktop?

Or does Audacity lose focus, so that the yellow border around a track is removed?

Are you using ALT + TAB to task switch between Firefox and Audacity?

What do you mean by “bring up the drop down”? You seem to be saying that you can always bring up the dropdown, because you say that all the effects are in the Effect Menu.

Note that if it says “Effects” menu it is a hacked version of Audacity not made by us.

You can use the Windows Steps Recorder to show us what you are seeing. It does not produce a video file, but produces a file with pictures that tells us what you did. You can record a live video of your steps if you install other applications that can do that.

You can roll back to Windows 10 if you upgraded over previous Windows.


Here is the Steps Recorder you talked about. I’m seeing things on the screen shots that I can’t see on my computer.
AudacityProblem.zip (840 KB)

Thanks for the steps recording. Please don’t refer to effect dialogues as dropdowns just because they are accessed from a dropdown menu. That caused some confusion. :wink:

In your Step 8 comment you say

At this point I take the cursor down to Aud icon on the bottom and without clicking anything I see the program on the screen and I see the drop down effect.

Does this mean that you see the two small preview windows, the preview on the left being the Audacity window with the blue waves, and the preview on the right being the Normalize effect?

There is something weird that Normalize appears maximised. What happens if you do the following?

  1. Edit Preferences…, Keyboard section, type “Normalize” (without quotes) in the Search box.
  2. In the list below, click on the “Normalize…” row.
  3. Below that, click in the text box to left of “Set”, and press F8 on your keyboard. Or hold ALT and press Q then release both keys. It does not matter what you choose, we are just trying to create a keyboard shortcut to access Normalize, instead of using the mouse.
  4. Click “Set” then OK.

Then after opening your project, leave the Effect menu alone and use your shortcut. Does Normalize appear?

By the way, it looks like you may have the Ask Toolbar. It is usually regarded as malware. Did you have that in your previous version of Windows? You could uninstall it and run a thorough antivirus check using Malwarebytes.

Did you buy this Lenovo machine with Windows 10 already installed on it? Or did you update it from a previous version of Windows? If so, what version of Windows was that? If the machine had previous Windows before, it would be an idea to go to the Lenovo site, find your computer model and install or reinstall the recommended video drivers, regardless of what Malwarebytes finds.


Thanks very much for all your help in this. I tried everything you said. Still the same. I am going to go ahead and use it with my quirky fix of bringing up firefox and then go back to the “Preview Windows” in Audacity. Very, very strange.

So pressing a shortcut you created for an effect does not show you the effect either?

Suppose after trying to open an effect you:

  1. hold ALT and press TAB twice, then release ALT
  2. hold ALT and press TAB once, then release ALT again.

This should (step 1) move focus to the last application you used before Audacity, then (step 2) move focus back to Audacity.

Is that sufficient to make the effect appear, or do you still have to hover over Audacity’s icon in the Taskbar then click in the Preview window for the effect?