how to restore Project File from Raw files only? [SOLVED]

Version: 2.0.1 .exe installer

Because I absent-mindedly renamed a file and then its data file before doing exporting, I lost/destroyed the Audacity Project (and didn’t successfully restore older versions in time).
I do still have about 6 folders, each with several dozen very small raw files…
is there a way to bulk import them so that they return to order? They’re not even in sequence in the folder, so if I try to do it one-by-one it could take hours and hours…
any insights would be much appreciated, the more specific the better.

Thank you very much in advance,


Although not relevant to the issue, 2.0.1 is very old now. The current version is 2.1.2 from

When you open the AUP file now, what is the exact error message, word for word?

Unless the project is an unedited recording, the AU files cannot be made into the original project except by dragging each one into the project and rearranging the clips by hand. If you drag a few of the AU files into Audacity, do they still contain your audio, or are they now silence?

If they are not silence then it may be possible to revert your renamings. As part of that, you may need to open the AUP file and change the “projname” to the original name of the _data folder. If you need help, please attach the AUP file. Please see here for how to attach files:


Hi Gale,

thank you very much for your response. I’m attaching the aup file just in case it’s worth any information/relevance, but I don’t think it will be.
It is a version that came after I unsuccessfully tried to restore the earlier version when I got the warning message that included “save a copy and continue without orphan files…” etc.

I’m also attaching a screen shot of one of the subfolders, which I’m sure you’re familiar with.
It sounds like from what you’ve said that my only option to restore the original project is to load each of these hundreds of sub-clips into a new Audacity project…is there any way that they can be sorted by time stamp order, or do I need to use trial and error or try to go by the ordering of the letters and number combos? if it’s the latter I’ll probably abandon the restoration and just ask the guest if we can re-record, as it wouldn’t be worth the potentially couple full days of work to do a restore this way.

thanks so much again,

Audacity subfolder screen shot.jpg
shara main.aup (201 KB)

This original show was called shara part 1. The name is burned into the AUP file. Does that ring a bell? You can put the AUP and _DATA folders back to that name and the show should open.


Yes but unless this is an unedited recording, the time stamps don’t relate to the position of the AU files in the Audacity waveform.

So you should try what Koz said. Get the name of the AUP file, “projname” in the AUP file and the name of the _data folder the same.

To rename a project safely in future, open it in Audacity, File > Save Project As…, close the renamed project then delete the original AUP file and _data folder.


Yes, Koz- simply renaming the project and data folder worked! Thank You!
And thank you Gale!

I imagine you have some idea of how huge a relief this is-- and that it really gives me extra faith in this program that indeed it does have a solid logic to it (even if i’m still back on version 2.0.1.)

Also gives me a lot of faith in this forum- thank you so much again to both of you!! :wink: