I have always had problems recording using Audacity

I see that there are not all that many settings bit I never seem to get it just right. It always seem to prefer listening to the microphone instead of the line in. Many times, I am recording only voice lectures and they are only for my own review. After that, they are discarded. Therefore I have a large tolerance for poor sound quality. For the most part, I get a significant “hollow” or howling effect.

I made the mistake of purchasing an HP computer and it has only speaker-out and mic-in connections and it had a built in microphone. No line in option and that may be the entire problem right there.

In the past I have had considerable success if I jump the output into the mic input. and it works, to some extent.

I really don’t know what else to say.
Maybe someone help me figure out what to say/report.

I have been able to open audio files, edit them, and save them, with very good success.

“Hollow” can be due to Windows “audio enhancements” which should be disabled for faithful recording.
disable the recording and playback enhancements … https://youtu.be/eXGyAzk3fd4?t=49

Feeding line-out into mic-in will not work properly: the sound will be tinny & distorted.

If you need line-in there are ~$30 gadgets which effectively convert a computer USB socket into line-in
e.g. https://www.google.com/search?source=univ&tbm=isch&q=google+images+UCA202 [other similar products are available]

Personally, I have found my phone to be an excellent recorder. And it has built-in auto-gain or compression, so I don’t have to worry about recording levels. It makes a perfect recording every time.