Everything Has Disappeared - Help

Hi forum people, I really really really hope one of you is able to help me–I’m feeling really lost and dejected.

I’m running Mac OS X 10.13.6 and Audacity v 2.3.2. I’ve been editing the same Audacity project for the past 3 months. Earlier today, I imported an audio file. While I was copy/pasting it into the main track (as I often do) the application crashed without warning. When I re-opened the audacity project file, it told me it couldn’t find my files anymore. It gave me the option to quit the application, continue editing the project with the old audio as silent, or to silence the audio altogether. I chose to continue editing silent after quitting and re-opening and trying to find an answer


, but I was really intimidated to download new software that I didn’t understand (I don’t have a lot of experience with computers). All of the audio is in the exact same project folder it was before, but it seems like Audacity can’t read it anymore. Now when I open, it’s telling me there are over 1,000 orphan files, which are the files the app needs to use but clearly is not reading. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to tell the app that all the files are there and I want to edit them!! This is my first time making a podcast, and it’s one that’s edition-heavy–this crash is a good 20 hours of work right out the window. Please please please let me know if there’s anything I can do

Thank you so much,


I was copy/pasting it into the main track

I’m pretty sure that’s not the best way to assemble a show, although it seems like it should work.

I would open each song and segment in its own track and then use the Time Shift Tool (Sideways Black Arrows) to push each track sooner and later so the end of one and the beginning of another line up.

And then leave them there. Audacity will push all the tracks into one show (squashed top to bottom) when you export. This track juggling act also lets you fade between two songs by simply overlapping them and use the volume tools to fade one out while you’re fading the other in.

That also lets you talk over music by dipping the music volume while you’re speaking at normal volume. Those are all overlapping tracks which would be a nightmare if you tried to do it all one one pasted track.

Do you have WAV sound files as backup for all your work? It’s a common New User error to cut and edit with the one and only copy of the sound. If anything happens to the edit or the computer, you have to record or download it all again.

What I think may have happened is you ran out of resources. Most times when you make a change or edit, Audacity makes a very high quality copy of the whole show as UNDO. If you’ve been editing for weeks, then there are that many copies of the show taking up space. It goes away if you save a Project and close Audacity, but if you never closed the program, there’s tons of data back there. Sooner or later, you’re going to run out of space.


You’re producing an 8 to 12 minute podcast, right? That’s the sweet spot for high audience appeal. Even when I listen to half-hour and hour long broadcast shows as podcasts, they’re cut down into much smaller segments. All the content is there, but the segment lengths are appropriate to one jog, run, or walk while listening.

Nobody is going to listen to a three-hour podcast unless you’re the president of a country.

Or a gamer. I think the gamers routinely produce multi-hour commentaries, but those are videos.

There are joke video podcasts. One puppet and animation podcast produced a 10-hour video of one of the characters playing ping-pong…with himself. You get admiration points if you know which side won.


Hi, Morgan -

Have you ever received an answer to this question? I’ve had this happen to multiple files of mine. Thankfully, I had already exported. But, I can’t find a reason why it happens, or a way to fix the error. Everything you’ve described related to my scenario. None of the responses I’ve ever seen in multiple threads addresses the issue. Thank you to anyone who can provide a solution. God bless!

~ Ryland Junior