Lost Project files

I’ve lost my project file 3 times in the last week upon exit from Audacity. After editing/recording I use the project Save followed by Close, and then it’s deleted. I’ve tried just exiting and having it prompt me for save with same result. The Recent files list says it no longer exists. I’ve scanned my entire drive and is not there. I’ve checked my trash bin with no luck. It doesn’t happen consistently, but more common after doing at least an hour of recording/editing work. Usually, I have no issue if I just open project, do minimal work, or just playback.

I’m running Audacity 3.3.3 on Windows 10 Home (Intel i5-7200U CPU @ 2.50GHz 2.70 GHz, 8GB RAM), coupled with Focusrite 2i2 interface. My preferences for Open, Save and temp files are all located in the same directory on my local drive which has 8GB remaining free space. The project file is less than 100Mb. I believe I meet minimum system requirements for OS/RAM. Is my limited disk space the issue?

This is a clue that indicate the answer to your question below may be yes.

OK, while editing an Audacity project, an enormous amount of storage may be required. Every time you make any change, all of the old audio is retained in UNDO buffers in case you change your mind. Even a simple effect such as amplify can double the size of your project as every sample is altered.

When you Save your project and then Close it, you still have to WAIT for the Close to complete . And unfortunately, this can take a LONG time if you have made a lot of changes, as Audacity meticulously removes all of the UNDO buffers and rearranges your audio in a more efficient manner. Now, the database engine that does all of this work is pretty robust, and your files should NOT be disappearing, regardless, but if you stress the process, or shut off your computer, you can be asking for trouble.

Having said all of this, if you can duplicate a case where a project gets lost this is worthwhile reporting directly to the developers here on github: GitHub - audacity/audacity: Audio Editor

Something to try: When starting a brand new project, save the empty project and close it. Then reopen it from your recent files list. In this manner you will always be “updating” an existing project and may avoid potential cleanup operations associated with temporary projects.

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