How to copy a section of an MP3 file to a new one

Hi, I am a totally new user of Audacity and know nothing about it. I am using Windows 11 and have downloaded the latest version of Audacity 3.1.3.

I have an MP3 file and basically just want to save the last 12 minutes of it to a new file. I need, ideally, detailed instructions how to:

  1. Select and copy the last 12 minutes of the MP3 file.
  2. Paste that selection onto a new track.
  3. Save the new track as an MP3 file with a different filename than the original.

It’s all pretty basic stuff basically but I found no detailed instructions on Audacity help how to do this. I found this link but it doesn’t state how to save the new track as an MP3 file.

Any help you guys could give to a complete novice would be highly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

  1. Select the section you require
  2. File > Export > Export Selected Audio
  3. In the “Save as type” select MP3 from the dropdown menu
  4. make any other required settings
  5. Press OK

BUT - be aware that you will be degrading the sound quality as you will be adding a second shot of MP3 compression. There are better tools for this job that will just make a simple edit of tour existing MP3 file - MP3cut is a good example.


Or… Audacity won’t accidently “touch” or overwrite your original file… The MP3 is decoded (decompressed) when you open it and you’re not editing the original file. It’s the same with any file except WAV doesn’t have to be decompressed. (It’s the same a word processor… The original isn’t changed during editing, it’s only changed when you save and you don’t have to save-over the original.)

So… You can select/highlight and delete the part you don’t want (Edit → Delete or just hit the Del key on your keyboard). Then export* as a new file.

It’s usually helpful to leave a little extra and then zoom-in and trim again more-precisely.

Also, assuming there is no silence where you’re cutting make sure to cut on a [u]zero-crossing[/u] (you can zoom way-way in to see the waves). If the sound kicks-in in the middle of a wave you can get a click or pop. And sometimes it helps to make a fade-in that will also kill any clicks/pops. It can be a short fade-in of a few milliseconds so you can’t hear it but it should be more “smooth”. Or, you can make it longer if you want to hear it fading-in.


  • In Audacity, Export makes a regular audio file (WAV or MP3, etc.). Save makes an Audacity Project which only Audacity can open. For what you’re doing you don’t need a project. (I almost never make a project.)

I tried MP3cut and it worked like a charm! Thanks.

I’m glad it worked ok for you.

I’m a great believer in using the right tool for the job.

Many years ago as a callow youth I lazily tried to use one of my fathers large files in his workshop as a hammer - I ended up with a sore blue-nail left thumb for some months …