Lost all my work tonight

Hi. I worked all night recording. I had gotten an error message and it didn’t seem to effect anything so I kept going. When I went to save it wouldn’t let me. I had selected all of the tracks and I was going to copy and paste the tracks when I re opened the program. It wouldn’t allow me to do that. I have hunted for the temporary files folder and there is nothing there. I am very upset. :frowning: I worked a long time and I have a deadline to meet for today. I am going to copy and paste the log. I hope that this helps. I am desperate to get my work back. I hope there is a way I can. Please help!

This is the info from the log:
08:02:05: Audacity 2.0.5
8:02:07 AM: Trying to load FFmpeg libraries…
8:02:07 AM: Trying to load FFmpeg libraries from system paths. File name is ‘avformat-52.dll’.
8:02:07 AM: Looking up PATH environment variable…
8:02:07 AM: PATH = ‘C:ProgramDataOracleJavajavapath;C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWindows Live;C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesMicrosoft SharedWindows Live;C:Windowssystem32;C:Windows;C:WindowsSystem32Wbem;C:WindowsSystem32WindowsPowerShellv1.0;C:Program Files (x86)Windows LiveShared;C:Program Files (x86)QuickTimeQTSystem’
8:02:07 AM: Checking that ‘’ is in PATH…
8:02:07 AM: FFmpeg directory is in PATH.
8:02:07 AM: Checking for monolithic avformat from ‘avformat-52.dll’.
8:02:07 AM: Error: Failed to load shared library ‘avformat-52.dll’ (error 126: the specified module could not be found.)
8:02:07 AM: Loading avutil from ‘avutil-50.dll’.
8:02:07 AM: Error: Failed to load shared library ‘avutil-50.dll’ (error 126: the specified module could not be found.)
8:02:07 AM: Loading avcodec from ‘avcodec-52.dll’.
8:02:07 AM: Error: Failed to load shared library ‘avcodec-52.dll’ (error 126: the specified module could not be found.)
8:02:07 AM: Loading avformat from ‘avformat-52.dll’.
8:02:07 AM: Error: Failed to load shared library ‘avformat-52.dll’ (error 126: the specified module could not be found.)
8:02:07 AM: Error: Failed to load FFmpeg libraries.
8:02:07 AM: Error: Failed to find compatible FFmpeg libraries.

Unfortunately the log does not tell us anything other than that you do not have the optional “FFmpeg” installed.

What was the error message?

Hello. Thank you for getting back to me. I cannot remember what the error message said exactly. I know it said there was an error with the audio. I know that probably doesn’t help much. I wish I had paid closer attention. I went hunting again and the auto save folder is empty. Do I need to enable auto save in the preferences? Is there any way possible to recover what I did? I just updated my program to the latest version. I was a version behind. I’m running Windows 7.

So were you recording but had never at the time done File > Save Project… or File > Save Project As… ?

Did Audacity crash? If not, did you quit Audacity, and did you force quit it in Task Manager (Processes tab) or using Audacity itself? If you quit using Audacity, are you saying it asked you to save changes and you couldn’t do that?

If you still have the project open and can see the blue waves, try exporting to WAV. If you need each track separately, select each one then File > Export Selection… .

When you have not saved as an Audacity Project, the temporary data is located as given in Edit > Preferences: Directories. By default it’s “C:UsersAppDataLocalTempaudacity_temp”. But if you quit without saving a project, Audacity deletes the data, unless you force quit using Task Manager.


Hello. I had tried to save the file and the program wouldn’t let me. I figured I would copy and paste the tracks so I closed the program. When i went to paste the tracks it wouldn’t even give me the option to paste. I had closed the program manually. I have searched the whole computer with anything that could possibly contain the file and I am coming up empty :frowning: I pretty much figure all is lost and I am re recording right now. I had hoped there would be a solution and a miracle would occur and I would be able to restore my work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like I will be able to :frowning:. I don’t understand why the temp folder was empty.

I don’t understand why the temp folder was empty.

Audacity clears its temporary storage when it intentionally closes. You can Save a Project before you close and Audacity will save everything except UNDO, and you can Export a sound file. Those are the two options.

Programs can’t leave temporary and cache work around after they close. Your computer would go under quickly if everyone did that. That’s why it’s important not to close Audacity if you run into problems.

It’s frequently good to Save a Project before you start recording. This establishes an identity and a defined location to save the show, all the stuff Audacity has to do on the fly if you do it later.

It’s rough to troubleshoot without knowing that that message said.

The usual suspects are running out of drive space, file structure permission issues and Virus Protection errors.


That would never work. Audacity copies to its own clipboard, not the system clipboard, and that data goes when Audacity is quit, force quit or if it crashes.


Ah. Ok I didn’t know it wouldn’t copy and paste like that. As far as the error message goes I know it said there was an audio issue. After that I couldnt save the file when I tried to. I couldn’t export it either. Nothing I did worked :frowning:
I wish the program had an auto save feature like the email sites do where something that you’re working on is saved periodically as a draft (so to speak). Then when you close the program it could prompt you and tell you that you have data in the draft and if you want to save or delete those files. Just a thought I figured I would throw out there. Thank you guys for your help. I appreciate it.

I think this is a similar problem to asking Audacity to save projects with UNDO (which it doesn’t do). The show would get very big in a hurry. The complexity would kill you, too.

Didn’t Audacity do something like that in an earlier version?

I remember. It used slippery English and it made you think you were getting a backup which was OK until you really needed it. It was a Hollywood Backup. Looks great, doesn’t work.


Audacity has autosaving of changes that have not yet been saved as an Audacity project: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/audacity_projects.html#autosave. This saves most editing actions (it is not time-based saving) and allows you to recover those unsaved changes if Audacity crashes or you force quit it.

Audacity does exactly prompt you for unsaved changes when you quit. But if you choose “No” (don’t save) as you must have done, then the tempoarary data is discarded.

What you’re asking for (I think) is to have no question when you quit Audacity. Whatever you had on screen when you quit Audacity is presented when you launch Audacity again. It’s a valid request - some users have asked for it. It does pose questions of taking up space on your drive.

Did you look where you were saving or exporting to? If you are not logged in as administrator, you can’t save to Program Files.