i export a file to an MP3-i see it-then i can't find it!

hi there,

need help with this!!- i am working on Windows Vista on a PC
ok, so i have recorded my music etc…exported to an MP3…see the folder it is Saved to.
then, i go to find the MP3, either by File-opening or trying to attach the file in an email etc…-and CAN NOT find it!!!
i usually get a message saying something to the effect-CANNOT FIND FILE-MISSING SHORTCUT-
i hope someone understands what i’m saying & can help!
much appreciated!

i’ve recorded all these MP3’s and can’t find any of them?


You can get file management insanity if you put punctuation or other non-spoken characters inside a filename. The computer might interpret, for example, 5/5/12Music.wav as two different directories or folders and a filename instead of just a music file with a date. Did you do anything like that? What exactly did you call the files?


hi thanks for replying-
i understand what you’re saying-however, i didn’t put any punctuation marks in my file names-
let’s see the latest files have been-
all audacity files and then i exported them to MP3’s-
it looks like it works & saves it to a folder i’ve made-
then, when i go to search for the MP3-my computer can’t locate it?
this is what i get when i put in the “search” jbtoolate-
in a system “notepad”?; for 16-bit app support


i am completely confused-


Where is that folder? What is that folder called? If you have that folder open in a file browser window, do you see the files appear when you export them?

it’s in the C:Program FilesAudacitytrouble (folder)
BUT, ready for this- i can ONLY access this thru the Audacity (meaning, when i have the audacity program up & running?) i can see every folder i have thru Audacity (thru FILE,OPEN etc)
but NOT thru my regular folder search tab you know on the computer- does this make sense??..hope so!
thanks again-
i should say, i’ve been using Audacity for a while & i used to export MP 3’s no problem-now it’s acting this way? am i missing a step?


You should not be saving work to “Program Files.” That’s where the computer puts the information to actually run Audacity and it’s dangerous to park musical work there. I noticed this when I recently installed a very fresh version of Audacity. I brought it up to the other elves and we are working on a way to prevent this.

Until we finish, you need to intentionally save work to your desktop or other location.


oh wow! so this could explain it all~
OK, so now what do i do with all of my files? can i move them? or do i now “save as” all of them?
do i take them all out of program files - put them on the desktop? or a new folder-but where? sorry all the questions!
also, should i just upgrade to the newest newest version of Audacity-but will my files crossover???

If your work is MP3s, you should be able to copy them to wherever you want. We need to wait for an actual Windows person for the mechanics, but there is a way to open up Program Files in such a way that you can copy work out.


Just a note that Audacity doesn’t Save sound files. It saves Projects and those are a little complicated. To get a stand-alone sound file that you can email to your mom, use Export.


Is this your computer? If not, your computer administrator may impose restrictions on what you can do and see. If it is your computer, log on with your administrator account.

Click the Windows globe and type “explorer” (without quotes). Then open Explorer and choose Organize > Folder and Search Options, then the “View” tab. You can find options there to show hidden and protected files. I don’t honestly think those should prevent you seeing Program Files (again, unless someone else owns this computer).

You should be able to copy a file from Program Files to somewhere else. Use File > Open in Audacity and select an MP3. Hold SHIFT then use up or down arrow on the keyboard to select adjacent MP3 files. Right-click > Copy. Open Explorer at your Desktop or somewhere you have permission to write files. Right-click > Paste.


thanks for all the replies!

so i took your advice & saved all of the MP3’s i needed as a Save As & then exported them to my Desktop and
it WORKED!! SO HAPPY! and now i know, i will not save any MP3’s to Audacity- i understand what you were saying-a bit about the sound files-
and YES this is my computer-so i will try those steps you suggested (Gale) just to see what’s going on etc-thanks.
one more question would be when the latest version of Audacity comes out-do my “projects” automatically transfer again? or do you have to do it manually?

again, thanks for all of your help-at least this problem seems to be fixed!
ps…& mom will be so happy now :slight_smile:


The desktop is one of the worst places to store data files, you really should be creating folders/subfolders to save your production audio in.

The “Windows desktop” is like a physical desktop - it’s not a filing cabinet - if you put too much stuff on the desktop you are likely to lose it.

But glad you found 'em …


ok, i was kind of thinking the same thing-i was just glad i could access them_
so, i will create folders/sub-folders-…but where?..if not in audacity & not in program files-do you have suggestions?

The Desktop wouldn’t overflow if you saved the MP3 files inside a folder residing on the Desktop. The Desktop is safe and non-confusing to find.

If you prefer you can save in C:UsersMy Music. If you have not changed any settings, that is the same location as “Libraries > Music” which you may see in Explorer. I would not use the Libraries feature unless you know exactly what you are doing.