Opening Any Audacity Project File Crashes Audacity

I am running Windows 10 Home Version 1909, and Audacity 2.4.2.

I recorded two projects yesterday, and this morning, went back to open them - but any time I try to open either file, Audacity freezes upon loading, and then crashes (the Windows “Not Responding” error report message comes up). I was worried maybe these two specific files/databases were corrupt, so I plugged in a backup drive and tried several other files from over the past year - same result for all of these as well.

I have tried the following troubleshooting:

Restarting my PC. Same problem.

I uninstalled and reinstalled Audacity (again to 2.4.2) - same problem.

I uninstalled again, this time deleting the Audacity folder from Documents, the Audacity folder in Program Files, and resetting preferences upon a clean installation of 2.4.2. Same problem.

At this point I am at a loss. Nothing has happened to my computer or these files in the ~12 hours since I last worked on these files, and now Audacity cannot open any projects whatsoever.

A couple things to try:

  1. Restart Audacity, and Generate a DTMF tone. Can you File>Export this as an MP3 file or WAV ? Does it play ?

  2. File>Save Project>Save Project. File>Close. File>Recent Files. Does this open your DTMF tone file ?

If this works OK, it indicates that everything is OK with Audacity, that the issue may be something in your files.

Note that Audacity does not like to have it’s projects RENAMED. It does not like to work on Project files that are stored on memory sticks or are on a network or cloud.

Also note the Audacity file structure: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audacity_projects.html

  1. I doubt this will help, but since you like to try resetting things. Try the other steps first. Then exit Audacity.
    One more folder to delete: C:\users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\audacity, where USERNAME is your user name.
    AppData is hidden, so in File Manager, you may need to select the “View” tab, then tick the box “Hidden items”.
    This folder contains your configuration settings (which you already reset), your customized macros and your customize plugins.


    I hope this helps. :smiley: