Lost Project

For whatever reason I have lost the .aup file for a project. I found the data folder, can I reconstruct the project from the data folder?

Bob H

Did you do any editing, filtering, or production? Then no. Production scrambles the clip order.

You should go to extraordinary effort to find out what happened to the AUP file. Unless you know exactly what happened, it’s likely to happen again. Did you use standard characters inside the filename? No standard dates or anything with slash or other punctuation marks.

How long was the show in minutes or hours?

Did Audacity crash or did you finish up a project and saved it, closed the computer and the AUP file was gone when you turned everything on the following day? Describe step-by-step what exactly happened.

What do we know about your computer? Which Windows? Which Audacity in actual numbers?


Ok, here’s the deal
I left the project on my desktop and when I went back to it I clicked on the fit project button and all the data disappeared from the Audacity desktop. I had only recorded the file, I did name the file which is how I found the data folder. The filename was simply Little Big Horn.
I did a search for all aup files and that one didn’t appear in the search.

Audacity 2.0.3
Windows XP SP 3

Do you mean that the waveform in Audacity disappeared (became a flat line)? Or did Audacity crash, or freeze, or something else?

The waveform became a flatline. I wish Audacity had crashed, that way I could recover anything lost…

I’ve since recorded the project but I just want to know that it won’t happen again.


Bob H

My first guess is that you moved, renamed or deleted “dependent” files. (see here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/audacity_projects.html#dependencies)
Is that possible?

I would doubt it, if it was one of Bob’s voiceover recordings.

Where did you save the project - have you lost permission to access that folder?

Have you left the project open since this happened?

Is there an autosave file at Documents and SettingsApplication DataAudacityAutoSave?


The project was never saved, it was left open on my desktop while I tended to some other business.
Once I determined that the project was no longer on my hard drive or any of the removable drives, I closed Audacity.
No file from yesterday’s session exists in the Auto Save folder in Applications, Audacity Auto Save

Bob H

The project was never saved

Then where did the Project folder come from? You only get one of those when you Save a Project.

On the other hand, if you did not Save a Project, then the temporary cached sound clips would have been cleared when you closed Audacity.

Leaving an unsaved or unexported show open while you go shopping is a very bad idea. If anything at all happens to the machine or any of the parts that Audacity is standing on, the show goes straight into the dustbin. I believe it’s still true that we recommend opening Audacity and Save a Project before you even start recording anything.


Trust me I learned that. Thanks for you help but the project is rerecorded and being edited as we speak.

Always a pleasure dealing with you folks.

Bob H

Not really. If the cat pulls the plug out while you are gone, Automatic Crash Recovery should work. The autosave file should recover unsaved changes to either saved projects or to projects that were never saved.

If you close the project normally then the autosave file is deleted.

Bob, if you Edit > Preferences then look at “Directories” what exactly is the location of the temp directory? Select and copy the location from the text box and paste it in here. If it’s a truncated short name, it might be the explanation, in which case you should try the “Choose…” button and try selecting a suitable directory.


Hi Gale

This is the directory I found in the preferences section of Audacity


Hi Bob,

Yes that’s what I meant by a “truncated name”:
8.3 filename - Wikipedia .

Later Audacity can lose access to the temp folder if it has the short name inherited from older Audacity. I think that is what happened to you.

Did you try the “Choose…” button in Directories Preferences and selecting another temp directory? I’m not sure on XP, but I think if you do that the file path will appear in the Directories Preferences with a full name, and you should not have another problem.


If the cat pulls the plug out while you are gone, Automatic Crash Recovery should work.

No, I don’t mean anything straightforward like that. I mean you get back from the Tesco and the screen is partially unresponsive or having any one of a number of “pre-crash” symptoms. Or Audacity just isn’t on the screen any more.


Does that happen more than occasionally? If so, on what operating systems?

Do you have a better chance if you are standing there when it happens?


Not sure what you’re asking Gale but…
It was a one time occurence and most likely my own fault. Your suggestion about naming and saving a project at the very start is a wise one and one which I will do from now on.

Thanks to the team for all your help now and in the past.

Bob H

I mean the temp directory name with the ~1 in the names is probably the problem, but if you always save a project by choosing the folder (so avoiding the temp directory) it’s also a solution.


Help guys…same project another problem

I managed to re record, edit and proof this project. I saved it but when I try to open it I get the 'Audacity does not recognize this file message. I named it properly and I have both the aup and data files saved.

Bob H

If you are using File > Import Audio or dragging in the AUP file, try File > Open instead.

If that does not help, please attach the AUP file.