Odd Project Behavior

Audacity 3.0.2, MacOS 10.13.6 - High Sierra.

I generated a five second mono tone. File > Save Project > Save Project > [Warning, Warning Will Robinson!] > OK > Name the Project > Save.

TestTone4.aup3 (1.13 MB)
I get two files, not one. I get a “wal” file.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 5.33.47 PM.png
It vanishes when I close Audacity leaving just the aup3.

If I get both files and then delete the “real” aup3 file, the wal file becomes a forever file.

File > Save Project > Save a backup Project doesn’t do this. But that can give oddities like this.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 5.37.28 PM.png


You can think of the WAL file as a temporary workspace for the project.
The full gory details are described here: https://sqlite.org/wal.html
On some platforms there’s also a SHM file, which has the same lifetime as its associated WAL file.

Normally you won’t see these files, though you may if you open a project on your Desktop, have a “tidy” Desktop, and make the Audacity window small enough, or if you look in your file browser while the project is open.

There should be some information in the Audacity manual about these files - not sure if there is yet.
The basic rule is: Don’t mess with them.

Yes, I thought there would be: Managing Audacity Projects