My .aup project won't open

Note: I am running on Windows 10

I was working on a project in Audacity (the project had been previously saved) and I finished it, so I saved it. I saved again, just to be safe, then right after that my PC does one of those Windows 10 random restarts. I try to reopen the project and I get the following error message:
“(my file directory) is an Audacity Project file. Use the ‘File > Open’ command to open Audacity Projects.”
I tried to use the open command instead of opening the file, but I got the same error. The data folder is in the same directory as my project (my desktop).
There doesn’t appear to be any saved backups either, so my project is worthless until this is solved, if it even gets solved. I’m not sure if the file is corrupted, or if there is any way to restore from a previous save.

Sorry if this has already been solved, or if I am making an obvious mistake, as I am sort of new to Audacity and I don’t know much about using data files. Also sorry if the formatting is completely awful, or if I have some errors my grammar or spelling.

If you know any way to help or if you need more info, please respond.

my PC does one of those Windows 10 random restarts.

I’d be really concerned about that. Healthy Windows machines don’t restart in the middle of a task when they feel like it. They also don’t arbitrarily destroy Audacity Projects.

This is a good place for a drive check, that long and deep virus check and if they don’t turn up anything, a memory test.

While multiple saves do stack up recovery data, they do it all on one Project. A really good backup is a Project save under a different name. Another possibility is Export as a WAV (Microsoft) sound file. You lose your edit points, but not the show.

You can open an AUP file in a text editor. It’s a text file with semi-English commands in it.

If yours is blank and you’re in the middle of an edited Project, that may be the end of the world. Did Audacity offer to recover the show when you opened it after the crash?

I would put some quality effort into fixing the machine.


I opened the project file in Notepad, and it’s just a bunch of spaces, so my project is most likely corrupted. What I found strange was that it never gave me a recovery option, just an error. The data folder is full of the usual stuff (as far as I know) so I’m not sure what happened or if there’s any way to prevent any more projects from doing this.

As far as my computer, I’m not quite sure why it restarts sometimes. It may have to do with the updates I still need to install, or some hardware I have hooked up to it.
I wouldn’t call my Windows machine healthy, because I have no idea what kind of virus could be in it. I really do feel like I should do a system check or something, even though my antivirus doesn’t say there’s any problems.

I could go more in-depth, but this is Audacity support and not Windows support (and I don’t know if this will get me banned) so I’ll stop here, but I’ll still keep the post open in case anyone has any helpful advice.

I don’t know if this will get me banned

Don’t try to sell us Bangalore computer services or Manchester kitchen cabinets. That’s a greased path straight out the door.

I missed one. You can have a mismatch between your hardware and the driver software. That’s pretty common. Careful inspection of the documents (for example) seem to stop at Win7.

So it appears this isn’t much of a mystery. Do all the computer housekeeping, updates, virus checks, driver matching, etc. etc

Then if it fails, we have something more stable to work with.


I should probably clarify on how the Audacity file may have gotten corrupted.
The computer restarted randomly after I saved, so it might have been mid-save, but there’s no way of knowing when a project is in progress of saving, and that may have corrupted the file.
I have no export backups either, so it seems my project is gone.

Maybe I’m stupid, but I don’t quite know what that means, so I’ll just assume that it means not to advertise on the forum.
If this is the case, what I said had nothing to do with advertising, as you can see here:

This means that I shouldn’t go asking for Windows help on the Audacity forum, and I don’t know if doing that would get me banned.

This may be some weird translation error or something of the sort, because I never said anything that had to do with things other than the computer.
This quote leads me to believe that this may be a translation error:

I will follow your other instructions and update anything needed and check my drivers to see if everything words, then see if the computer no longer restarts.

If you diverge too far from discussion about Audacity, we may direct you to a more relevant on-line resource (such as a Microsoft website), but such comments are not at all likely to get you banned :wink:

Is that a crash or you see a blue or black screen, or does it happen because Windows wants to restart after an update?

If it’s a restart due to Windows Update, open the Settings app, choose “Update & security” then the “Windows Update” pane. In that pane, click the “Advanced options” link then select “Notify to schedule restart” from the dropdown list at the top. Windows will still schedule a reboot for when it thinks the computer won’t be busy, but with this option enabled you can manually choose any day and time.


You could start by pressing the Windows key then type “reliability” (without the quotes). Reliability Monitor will show you whether the restarts are normal and expected or not.


The first time you save, you will probably see a progress dialogue for Audacity moving the temporary data to the project folder.

For all saves, if you move your mouse into the grey background or over the title bar, you will see a message in the status bar at the bottom that the AUP file has been saved.

It’s gone unless it was an unedited recording, in which case it is possible to piece the data together by hand.

If you see system crashes or unexpected restarts in Reliability Monitor (see above) then you can try WhoCrashed as an easy way to identify the drivers responsible.