I had an Audacity project with several versions of some tracks (bass, drums, etc). I wanted to save some space, so deleted those tracks and resaved the project. The disc space of the xxx_data folder didn’t seem to reduce. So I deleted the xxx_data folder, thinking it would be recreated when I saved again. It gave me errors trying to save, and at one point it created an empty xxx_data folder. Tried renaming the main project file, and saving with a different name. No errors on the save doing this, but no data folder is created. Any ideas what I can do? I’m afraid I’ll lose all of my work. I guess as a last resort I could export all of the wav files and load into a new project?
And the Project obediently saved everything in case you wanted to UNDO (as I get this).
I deleted the xxx_data folder
I think the instant you did that you doomed the project. The file and folder are a married couple. What usually happens is someone deletes the AUP file and wants us to recreate the show from just the _DATA folder. They are almost always doomed as well.
Yes, by all means export everything as WAV before the show completely sinks under the waves (so to speak).
As Koz indicated, the disk space did not reduce while the project was open because the deleted tracks were stored in the data of the project in case you wanted to undo the deletion.
If you are in the middle of a project and you need to free disk space, click View > History… , select the bottom item in the list, press the up arrow in “Levels to Discard” until you reach the highest number possible, then click “Discard”. You will not be able to Edit > Undo any of your previous actions in the project, but you will now have space to do more work on it.
Do you have separate WAV files of the tracks? I hope so.
If you delete tracks, delete the _data folder, then undo the deletion, the restored track will be silenced because there is no data to restore it from.