Moving Audacity Project files from one drive to another

Hi all–

I’m using Windows 10, the latest version (21H1) and the latest version of Audacity.

I was trying to free up space on my local drive by copying Audacity project files (and the attendant “project_data” subdirectories) to an external drive. However, when I open any of these files, it says it can’t find the associated data (the subfolder I assume).

Is there any way to fix this? I’d prefer not to copy back and then “Save As…”, as we’re talking about a large number of files.

I’d kind of assumed that the project file would look in the folder where it lives for it’s attendant subfolder, but I guess not.

Thanks in advance for any answers or advice.

The latest batch of Audacitys is not great at dealing with “non internal” drives. Do any of them open if you move them (not copy-paste) to the internal drive?

I expect a show to open if the AUP project manager file and the _DATA folder are in the same location or folder. It is required that they have the same name and be the name that Audacity gave them.

You can do an inspection by opening the AUP file (do not save anything) in notepad or other text editor.

It should be possible to see the original name of the show buried in the coding. The contents should look roughly like this with similar words. It should not have black blocks, NUL NUL NUL, graphics characters, or be blank.

This one has been cleaned up for the picture. Yours won’t look as neat and orderly.

Another possibility is dropping back to Audacity 2.4.2.

Scroll down.


One Secret Oral Teaching has you Zipping the AUP file and the _DATA folder into one file for transport and management. I believe that’s the recommendation if you post a project to a file management service (Drop Box) for forum inspection.


Good ideas, I’ll check when I’m back at the PC.

You can nail yourself to the wall with filenames. Never put conventional dates inside a filename. Underscore and -Dash- are the only two punctuation marks allowed. Use ISO dates if you need them. Today is 2021-11-17.

If you put the wrong characters inside a filename, a computer may think you’re trying to point it to a completely different folder or directory. I’m not making that up. Filename errors can be deadly if you need to ship files around to different clients or computers.

Being obsessive, I don’t use spaces, either.


All three major computer types are happy with that.


Well, when I got home I tried to open a couple of other moved files and…they opened just fine, no issues.

It may be a problem with the first file I tried, unfortunately I don’t remember which one that was (I’ve got hundreds of Audacity files).

Anyway, it seems to be working as it should. Thanks to all for suggestions and advice.