File size growing exponentially to the point of not being editable

I haven’t managed to find anything recent to this issue, apologies if I missed any relevent posts. My file size has become enormous, and I think it will just keep growing until it crashes. This has not happened with earlier versions. For an idea of what is happeing, my file started out as about 800 mb and now, after doing some editing, it is almost 9 GB! I had just recently downloaded the latest version of Audacity during this current project and, as it is, lost about a half day’s work because the original had grown to 16 GB and wouldn’t open. I don’t know if this file was corrupted from the update but it seems worth mentioning this coincidence. Since I’ve begun re-editing a saved version, it is growing again rapidly by the gigabyte. This is for a youtube channel so, of course, it wouldn’t be feasible to have fifty or a hundred of these 10 - 20 GB files stored in my computer, but I also don’t feel comfortable just deleting the file after I’ve saved it as an MP3. This has never happened before, all the other files I’ve completed are about 1 GB at the most. Does anybody know what is happening? Is it possible to downgrade back to an earlier version of audacity if this would help?

So there are different things that could cause this issue, the most likely of which is “Smart Clips”

Yes, so the developers included an “Easter Egg” in the Audacity 3.2.0 release involving Smart Clips. When you select and copy even a very tiny sliver of a very large track, and paste it into a “New” (different) Audacity project, Audacity copies ALL of the information from the original track to the new project; it is just not visible to you.

To remedy this situation, you can do a Mix and Render - this will remove all of the “extra” information. Specifically, select your audio from the OLD project , COPY it to a new TRACK in the OLD project. Do a Mix and Render on this new track in the OLD project and finally copy this newly rendered track to the NEW project. Yes this is a PIA.

The developers have added code to the future 3.3 release to ASK the user whether or not to copy this “smart” information.

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