Extract .zip files = install not! Why? [SOLVED]

I have Audacity 2.1.0 installed at C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity (Windows 10) and would like to update to 2.1.2. I downloaded audacity-win-2.1.2.zip and want to direct it to overwrite 2.1.0. The instructions are to Extract the files, but if I direct them to C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity, I get a load of “can not open output file” errors and it stops at 99% without installing. What am I doing wrong?

It is best not to extract the ZIP into an existing installation because Windows “Programs and Features” will think you have a different version of Audacity than you have.

Exit Audacity 2.1.0.

Open Programs and Features in the Windows Control Panel, and use the Audacity entry there to uninstall 2.1.0.

Download http://www.fosshub.com/Audacity.html/audacity-win-2.1.2.exe and run the installer. This will replace old Audacity files with the new ones for 2.1.2.

After that you can just download the latest installer for new versions of Audacity and install to overwrite the old version, without uninstalling the old version first.



OK, I will try it, but this is what confuses me:
“Updating a previous installation: If you install a new Audacity version after installing a previous one, the installer will offer to install to the same directory as the previous installation. If the previous installation was Audacity 1.2 or 2.x, the installation directory is normally Program Files\Audacity (or Program Files(x86)\Audacity on 64-bit Windows). As long as you don’t change the installation directory, Audacity will install over the previous 1.2 or 2.x version, and any extra plug-ins you added to the “Plug-Ins” folder will still be available.”(http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html)

  1. I expected to find a setup.exe in the extracted files, but there is none.
  2. I went to http://www.fosshub.com/Audacity.html/audacity-win-2.1.2.exe and it automatically started a download of (I think) the 25mb option… which I was trying to avoid using to begin with because of diminishing space on my pc + I am usually reluctant to install any kind of updater-installers offered on almost all “Free! No malware!” download sites. (Note: I downloaded 2.1.2 at the link you provided and then went to fossshub’s homepage just now and it automatically downloaded it again - very suspicious.) Why not download the authorized version at http://www.audacityteam.org/download/windows/ ? Wouldn’t that be safer?
  3. Given the Manual instructions above, I don’t understand the need for “the installer” you mention. If I uninstall the previous version, why would Programs and Features not correctly record the zip extraction install as the 2.1.2 version?


There is not intended to be a setup.exe in the ZIP file. The ZIP file is what other applications might call a “portable version”.

“Installer” in the documentation means “audacity-win-.exe”. That installer is already compressed.

If you don’t have much space you won’t be able to make good use of Audacity. By default it uses 20 MB of space per minute for editing a stereo track.

Most of the space in the installation is taken up by the local copy of the Audacity Manual. If you delete the installed “help” folder your installation will be as lean as if you had used the ZIP file.

You can still read the Manual online: http://manual.audacityteam.org/.

Of course it will, because I gave you a direct download link to make your task as simple as possible.

If you merely want to revisit the FossHub page, go here http://www.fosshub.com/Audacity.html.

The audacity installer is safe and does not add unwanted software to your computer, if you download from FossHub. Please see this virus scan report on the file you downloaded: https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/22e0f0ada3e8d24690dd741ca9feb868dffc024d45d2cd3168f8c54c47eec3c9/analysis/.

It would not be any safer. FossHub is our download partner and we trust the steps they take to keep the site clean and to only show one, non-confusing advertisement on the download page.

Advertisements help pay the bills for serving large numbers of downloads.

If you uninstall the previous version then extract 2.1.2 into the empty folder, Windows won’t see that extraction as an installation, and you won’t be able to uninstall it using Programs and Features.

The ZIP folder by design does not include an installer or uninstaller. The ZIP is meant for users who don’t want to install the Manual, or who don’t have permission to install applications on their computer.

If you still want to use the ZIP, then you have to mange the files by hand.


A lot to chew on, but first, another glitch… I have a functioning Audacity 2.1.0 at “C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity\audacity.exe”, but uninstall says:

  • File “C:\Program Files (x86)\unins000.dat” does not exist. Cannot uninstall.

What next?
Thanks again.

That file should not exist there unless you installed Audacity into “C:\Program Files (x86)” instead of the expected “C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity”.

If the file does not exist any longer where it is supposed to be, you can’t uninstall .

If you get that error when you try uninstalling from Programs and Features, you may be offered an option to remove the entry for 2.1.0. Removing the entry does not uninstall, but you you could try that, then install using “audacity-win-2.1.2.exe” into “C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity”. If there are Audacity files in the top level of "C:\Program Files (x86)", you could delete them manually.

Otherwise, reinstall 2.1.0 into the same place you installed it before, which replaces the uninstaller files, uninstall 2.1.0, then install 2.1.2 into the same place where 2.1.0 was.


Otherwise, reinstall 2.1.0 into the same place you installed it before, which replaces the uninstaller files, uninstall 2.1.0, then install 2.1.2 into the same place where 2.1.0 was.

OK, thanks. This got 2.1.0 uninstalled, but I ended up with additional problems -

I installed 2.1.2, but then Ambience (a favored FX) crashed Audacity. When I rebooted, Audacity informed that some files weren’t saved properly, etc. and would I like them recovered?.. and something about “file inconsistencies during automatic recovery” and the availability of info in a log. (If interested, I saved the log and can post it.) Too tech for me, but mostly it appears app was looking for avformat-55.dll, but what I had was avformat-52.dll.

I shutdown, rebooted, closed & opened Audacity a number of times. Ambience continued to crash Audacity 2.1.2 + the Preferences/Effects “Rescan plugins next time” option disappeared. Also, tho I had deleted Ambience.dll from its Plug-Ins folder, it was still listed in the Effects dropdown list. I downloaded Ambience and put its dll in Plug-Ins.

Maybe unrelated: Looking around, found a not-full (no exe, etc.) Audacity at C:\Program Files\Audacity. Moved this folder to Trash.

I restarted pc. Opened Audacity. Pressing Preview button in Ambience crashed Audacity again. Uninstalled Audacity 2.1.2.

Restarted. Reinstalled Audacity 2.1.0. Ambience works fine in this version + the Preferences/Effects “Rescan plugins next time” option has returned.

Ques: What’s goin on? Is there a problem w 2.1.2? What would make “Rescan plugins next time” option disappear?

I guess I will stick w 2.1.0, since it works better for me than 2.1.2.

Unfortunately, as it says in the 2.1.2 Release Notes:

Playing audio while Ambience VST plug-in is open (including previewing any non-real-time preview effect) causes Audacity to crash.

This has already been fixed in our source code, so will be fixed in the next 2.1.3 release of Audacity.

In 2.1.2, you will only be able to apply Ambience, then Undo if you don’t like the result.

This is normal if Audacity crashes with unsaved changes.

The “inconsistencies” are probably “orphan” files which were for Audacity’s Undo and Redo but which Audacity could not delete because it did not exit normally.

Those messages are about FFmpeg, which lets you import and export extra file types.

If you want to use FFmpeg, please follow the instructions at http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html#ffdown to upgrade to the later 2.2.2 version of FFmpeg.

That option has been removed from 2.1.2. You now have to register effects at Effect > Add / Remove Plug-ins…. You use that menu to disable and re-enable Ambience.

As you are on 64-bit Windows, Audacity should be installed at “C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity”.



Thanks. You have been a great help. I look forward to 2.1.13.

(Note: FFmpg? I saw the folder and thought it was something I may have created… because my initials are FF. Wish I had a better memory.)



I’ll mark this [SOLVED] now and lock it, in case its information helps someone else.

Please start a new topic if you need more help with anything later on.