Lost files

When I first used Audacity 2.0.20 I saved a couple of au files inside the Audacity folder in the Applications folder.
I’ve just ‘replaced’ that folder with the newer 2.0.6.
Where have those files gone (audio and data)?
Can I get them back?
Rookie mistake, I know!

Try a Spotlight Search (upper right of the desktop). Search for the filename.

If you replaced the 2.0.2 Audacity folder with the new 2.0.6 folder then it would have been overwritten. Audacity does keep preferences in a separate place, so your settings and adjustments should carry forward, but nothing else in that folder (that I know of).

So this is not news you should Save or Export your work to a convenient, graceful, predictable place rather than /Applications. I do it to my Desktop and then arrange, manage and move to show folders when I’m done. This works for me.

One other problem that cropped up several times recently: if you do a capture or recording of valuable work, Export or Save the work immediately and then edit or do production. Too many people go from a capture session direct to editing and if something goes wrong, that’s the end of the show. Bring the actors back in and record it again.


Even worse, OS-X is a UNIX-based system and they do not respond well to Disk Recovery programs. Koz

Do you have a time machine backup?

– Bill

Mac gives you no way to keep older versions of files and not install the newer versions that
are in the installer. Usually that is a good thing.

If you were shown a dialogue asking you what action to take, “Replace all” deletes any files in your existing Audacity folder that are not in the new installation.

There should or may have been a “Keep newer” option. I find that a very unintuitive name but from tests I did recently that retains any files in your existing Audacity folder that are not in the new installation (and updates Audacity files that are in the new installation, just as “Replace All” does).


Do you have a time machine backup?

If you constantly back up the Mac via Time Machine, I think it will do something like a five minute rolling backup (I could be corrected). If, however, you do it once a week like I do it, then your work is 7 days old. If you never do it, you might consider it.


If you leave Time Machine to its own devices, it will:
keep hourly backups for the past 24 hours
keep daily backups for the past month
and keep weekly backups for all previous months


Thanks for all the responses.
All my music files are in order. It was only two early files that I left in the Applications folder.
They were not precious; I can re-do them. I was more interested in where they go.
I thought (in haiku form of course)
‘they must be somewhere
there must be a trace of them
some deleted cache…’

Also immediately after* I decided to erase- 7 pass Disk Utility- my whole backed up external hard drive :laughing: !!!
part of my own clean up operation. So nothing backed up.
I’m usually very careful- very careful. I blame it on the full moon :wink:
So thanks again.
And I will now export or save all work before production- just to be on the safe side.


*for immediately after- it took 13 hours!

Assuming this is a spinning magnetic drive the space that was occupied by the files is marked as available and the files (though not necessarily their names) are theoretically recoverable until the space they were taking is overwritten. Until then you can use a number of recovery utilities such as mentioned here http://www.cultofmac.com/67472/how-to-undelete-files-in-mac-os-x-macrx/.