Lost Files

Just learning Audacity and am grateful for it. Can someone explain to me how or why 2 of my 3 files are saying “Could not load file:” and “Couldn’t found the project data folder”. I spent a lot of time on those files and hope someone can tell me how to fix the problem or find them.
Thank you.

I am using Windows and the latest may 13 update aka 2.3.2

I’ve had the same errors, please help

I am using Windows 10 Audacity 2.3.2

There are two parts to an Audacity project:

  1. A “_data” folder that contains the project’s audio data
  2. The “.AUP” file, which contains the instructions to tell Audacity what to do with the data.
    By default this file will have the Audacity logo.

If you save a project as “my-project”, there will be a file called “my-project.aup” and a folder called “my-project_data”.

The error “Couldn’t found the project data folder” mean that you’ve tried to open an AUP file, but the “_data” folder that goes with it cannot be found. This may be because you moved, renamed or deleted the folder.

See: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audacity_projects.html

That’s a Project. Those two have to be next to each other in the same location or folder, they have to have the same name and it has to be the name you gave them in Audacity.

If you don’t remember what that name was, you can open the AUP file in a text editor and read it (don’t save anything).


Thank you Steve & Kozikowiski here is a screen shot of the files I have

That’s not good news. Is there a margaret1_data folder around anywhere? Even if you use Windows Search?


sorry about the multiple posts, my browser kept freezing for some reason & I had to log out then back in before it would let me post so I thought the other posts hadn’t gone through :\

Nothing has come up on a search, the only thing I can think of is I’m pretty sure I originally used an older version which then got updated at the same time as a windows update because the audacity home screen now looks different

I’m currently trying a recovery program, can you tell me what formats I should be looking for? So far it has found the original aup file but still no data folder, I see a lot of au files are they audacity files?

Audacity saves your show in little six-second au files. That’s what’s in the _DATA folder. The AUP (program manager) file has the instructions how to put it all together into your show. If you’re missing either one or either is damaged, that may be the end of your show.

It’s a terrific idea to Export your show as a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit, high quality sound file backup and not depend on Projects for everything.




We are waiting for you to say what happened to the “margaret1_data” folder. Do you still have that folder?
Did you read this page: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audacity_projects.html

Thankyou for replying Steve, I posted the above on the 13th and also I’m currently trying a recovery program, can you tell me what formats I should be looking for? So far it has found the original aup file but still no data folder, I see a lot of au files are they audacity files?

Thank you for the link Steve, I just read through and nothing jumps out as helpful though and sadly no “autosave” files

OK - so what folder structure are those .au files stored in (complete file path please)


Hi WC thank you for answering, I finally figured out how to see the full path name, sorry for the confusion, they aren’t audacity files after all :blush:

Is anyone able to tell me what files the data folder would have? maybe I can reconstruct it from the recovered files

See this page in the Audacity Manual: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audacity_projects.html


When the machine deletes something, it doesn’t actually remove the work. It just removes the address of the work making that address available to put new work. All file recovery programs do is make a list of all the work with no addresses.

A sound show can have thousands of little AU files (and yes, those are the Audacity sound files), but the possibility of putting them back together is very nearly zero. You can get good recovery if you’re trying to rescue one message to a friend or a document such as a spreadsheet. Rescuing an Audacity Project is like trying to rescue a spilled box of confetti.