Error while opening sound device??

I have a Macbook Pro Mac OSX 10.11.6. I’ve used Audacity for a quite a while but now I’m getting this error trying to play a file I just opened. I’ve removed and resinstalled, but I don’t think the uninstall is removing all the files, since after re-installing it has recent file list. Therefore, I’m not sure if re-installing will help. Any ideas?

Update…I was able to completely uninstall/re-install Audacity effectively, even the hidden folder items, but there was no change to the problem. I re-checked all the settings recommended in the guide and previous posts. I verified the sample rates matched at 44100 in the Midi Setup and in Audacity. Everything appears as it should as far as I know. I can playback .mp3 files with itunes, quicktime, and vlc without any issues. Again this started happening all of a sudden…I used Audacity fairly recently.

As a further step in troubleshooting I downloaded and installed another audio editing application and it too threw a similar error. The error I’m getting in Audacity is “Error while opening sound device. Please check the playback device settings and project sample rate.”

So I can play back mp3 files with VLC (& apple programs) without issues, I can airplay without issue, but the Audio Editing programs can’t play back, so this is not a problem specific to Audacity.

Anyone have any ideas?

I started a new topic for you. It gets too confusing otherwise because relevant details may differ between the user in that other topic and you.

You did not tell us what version of Audacity you have and where you got it from. Please see the pink panel at the top of the page. I recommend the current 2.1.2 release from

Reinstalling Audacity does not change its settings. To do that, exit Audacity and delete the folder ~/Library/Application Support/audacity/.

Are you looking at a guide for an external recording or playback device? If so please give us the make and model number of that device. Also please post the information from Help > Audio Device Info… top right of Audacity.

Might the issue be the upgrade to 10.11.6? What is the other audio editor?


I downloaded from version 2.1.2 without the help files.

Yes. I was able to peform a clean uninstall/re-install.

So I’ve tested a few of editors now for more insight:

Not working same exact error - Audacity and Wavepad

Working fine - playback and edit then import/playback in iTunes- twisted wave, Apowersoft Audio Editor tool

It could have been an update to the OS…I can say with certainty I’ve used Audacity within the last couple of months.

Exactly what playback device are you trying to use? You could post the information from Help > Audio Device Info… top right of the Audacity menu bar.