Error Opening File - PLEASE HELP!


I’m new to using Audacity, but I’ve gotten the hang of it pretty quickly. For the past few days I have been working tirelessly on a couple of work projects, saving them to the same place every time and not moving the files around. They have opened perfectly until today. Now I’m getting two error messages when I try to open the file:

First: “Could not find the project data folder”
Second: “Could not load file”

I’ve uploaded a screen shot to show that the data folder and the project file are together in the same folder, where they have been since I first saved the project.

What does this mean and how can I get my files back? I’m trying to meet a deadline and am quite frantic at the moment!


What did you rename? The project file, the _data folder or both?

Rule 1. Don’t manually rename Audacity project files or the project data folder.
Rule 2. Don’t use “special” characters (such as dots or other punctuation characters) in file names. It is safest to keep to numbers, letters, hyphen “-” and underscore "

If you need to rename a project, open the project in Audacity, then use “File > Save Project As…” and give it a new name.


Thanks for your speedy reply! I did manually rename the files a couple of days ago, but they have opened just fine since then. Can that be the cause but I’ve gotten a delayed reaction to it from audacity? They are still audacity project files.
How can I fix this?

If you can remember exactly what the names were before you changed them, then just change them back and it should all work.
Note that moving projects can also cause problems so you need to take care with that too.

If you can’t remember the exact name, or if there are still problems, post the project file as an attachment to your reply (see:

Is your computer set to always show the file extension? If not, then I’d highly recommend that you set your computer to do so. See:

STEVE! I could kiss you right now. Really. THANK YOU!!!

The problem did, in fact, correct itself when I changed the names back to the original names. Then I used “save project as” within Audacity to save with the new name.

And thank you for the link to explain how to get the file extensions to show up. This is a brand new laptop and I was wondering why I couldn’t see that.


Thanks again.


For future reference, there is a good, if rather lengthy, article about how to safely manage Audacity projects:
It is well worth reading.