Missing files

Hi All - Have just returned to Audacity after a couple of months and find that all of my music files have disappeared from ‘Recent Files’ & have been replaced by some temporary files.

Have I done something unknowingly or have changes taken place that I don’t know about?

Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.

You can confuse “Recent Files.” Did you actually go down the directory path to see where your files are rather than depending on Audacity to find them? If you remember what names you used, can Windows search find them?

Did you save Audacity Projects, or did you actually Export real sound files?


Hi Koz - Thanks for the message.

You can confuse “Recent Files.”

Sorry. Not really sure what you mean.

Did you save Audacity Projects

Yes. I Saved As & named all the files.

Did you actually go down the directory path to see where your files are

The directory path has become so convoluted over the years I think I would be up all night.

I just wondered why the files weren’t there anymore?

Only the twelve most recent projects or audio files are stored in Recent Files:
http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/file_menu.html#recent .

Did you open audio files from the internet in Audacity without downloading the files first? This might add temporary files to the Recent Files list.

Please show us a picture of the Recent Files menu if you think we should see it. See https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-attach-files-to-forum-posts/24026/1 for how to attach files.


Hi Gale - Thanks for the message.

Did you open audio files from the internet in Audacity without downloading the files first?

Well, yes. I opened Audacity from the shortcut on my Desktop & went straight to ‘Recent Files’.

If only the 12 last files are saved does that mean all the previous stuff is lost or will it be on the harddrive somewhere?

As I guessed, you’ve been opening MP3 files from the internet in Audacity.

The other projects (the AUP file which you open and the _data folder that goes with the AUP) will be on the hard drive. It’s just the links to them in Recent Files that have been overwritten.

If you usually save AUP’s in your Documents folder, that will be where the other AUP’s are too.


Hi Gale - Thanks very much for your informative message. I didn’t realise I was doing it like that.

O.K. I looked for the ‘Audacity Projects’ file but found an ‘Audacity’ file instead. Some of the missing files are there but they seem to be all chopped up into 4 or 6 second pieces. Sorry to be so thick but I don’t understand what is going on.
Are the complete projects to be found elsewhere on the HD?

Thanks. I really appreciate your help.

As I said, the AUP file is the file you have to look for and open.

When you open the AUP it has to look in the _data folder for that project, because the AUP is nothing more than a text file that tells Audacity how to string together the short AU files that live in the _data folder. It’s no use opening the small AU files.

The _data folder has the same name as the AUP and must live in the same folder as the AUP.

So if you found some of the AU files, they should be inside a _data folder. The AUP file you want should be in the same folder as that _data folder. For example, “Guitar.AUP” must be in the same folder that the “Guitar_data” folder is in, or “Guitar.AUP” won’t open.

We can’t tell you where you saved the AUP files because you choose where to save them.

I suggest opening Windows Explorer and using the function to search for files. Assuming you are on Windows Vista or 7, select your hard drive in the list on the left of Explorer then type in the search box top right:


This should find all the AUP files you have. If you don’t find all the ones you were expecting, show hidden files and folders then search again.


Hi Gale - Thanks for the message - again very helpful.

I found the files & opened the right one this time ( thanks for explaining).

So all is not lost, as I feared, & I am wiser & happier thanks to you.

Many thanks indeed for your help & patience - the learning curve continues!

Jackmon, a good filing structure will help you organize and find your music files - see this post I made a while back: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/tag-format/15443/4


O.K. Thanks for that Waxcylinder.

Yes, it is a good idea to sort out all my files of course.

I know it makes sense & I do intend to - when I have the time, which will be soon I hope.

Many thanks for the message & screenshots - very helpful.