Lost Project

Hi. I’m new to Audacity. Started a project (1 hour podcast), worked on it for a couple hours, saved it and closed it. I did however change the location of the au file at some point. Now, it won’t open. I tried a recovery tool, no luck. Temp files directory is empty…I tried manually putting data folders back where they belong, etc. no luck. Is there anyone I can pay to help me recover my project?

I did however change the location of the au file at some point

You can probably recover, but don’t do that!, or be very careful!

An Audacity project has a “file structure” with many files. See [u]Managing Audacity Projects[/u]

Also, I recommend exporting your recordings to WAV files immediately after recording. It’s safer. Of course, you can move WAV files around safely (and easily make back-ups) and every WAV file is a single file so it’s less prone to screw-ups. If you want to move or share your files WAV files are better unless you really need to move/share the project.

Depending on what you’re doing you may not even need to make/save a “project”. I rarely do. Sometimes I have several original/source WAV files and a working or final file with those WAVs edited together and I might save the “final” file before it’s complete without saving the project…

I did however change the location of the au file at some point.

You mean the AUP Project Manager file? You can’t do that. Put it back. You can’t change the names, either.

That’s an Audacity Project. They have to be in the same location or folder. They have to have the same name and it has to be the name you gave them inside Audacity.

You can’t put the AUP file inside the _DATA folder.

Sometimes you can rescue a show without the AUP file if it’s a raw performance. The instant you start editing, that’s the end of the world.

If you never closed Audacity, you may be able to Edit > UNDO to get back to the original show. If you closed Audacity, it would have “cleaned up” all its caches and memory and deleted the UNDO.

Did you save the raw, live performance? You can open that up and start over editing again.

There’s an easy way to recover the name if you don’t remember what that was. Open the AUP file in a text editor and read down to here:

Don’t save anything.


What if the project name is the same as the file name? I downloaded Notepad++ and even though I have no idea what I’m looking at, that line of code was easy to find. But its the same as the file name I changed it to but Audacity is still telling me it can open the file because it cannot be located. Any help at all would be amazing! I’ve recorded 7 episodes of our podcast and am totally new to Audacity. This would be such a huge loss for us.


I don’t understand. Did you chance the name of the “_data” folder and then modify the “.AUP” file to match? Or do you mean something else?