Problem saving project

When I try to save a project, I get a pop-up saying
“Audacity failed to write to a file.
Perhaps N: is not writable or the disk if full”
I have access to the drive and there is over 100GB free
But if I make it to force close/not responding, then open Audacity again, it detects the last project, I can restore it and save it without any problems until it happens again after 20-30 mins and I have to do the same thing.
I have tried the latest version and still the same problem.

Perhaps the problem lies within this particular project. If this is a 3.x.x project and you wish to zip it up and upload it to a public file sharing service then post (or PM me) a link, I’ll see if I can’t duplicate your issue on this end.

It happens with almost every new project I create. It is not the same project with the problem.

Make sure your project does not reside on the cloud or on a networked device. If you are still having issues, someone else will be around to help.

Before I was able to save it directly onto a networked drive without any problems. And yesterday I was able to save at least 1-2 projects before it stopped letting me save and started giving me errors.

Is there a right way of saving a project? as I have been opening Audacity, then “Save project as…”, give it a suitable name and then open it whenever I need to record. This way I was prepared for a lot of recordings I had to do back to back.

“Audacity failed to write to a file.
Perhaps N: is not writable or the disk if full”

If you’re using Windows, all your Audacity work should be on the local drive, usually C:.

Also, you can have filename problems.


**Filename Hygiene

Filenames can cause problems because not all printable characters are acceptable to all computers.

You can go all week on your computer creating files for your client or job only to have a Hindenburg Event when you actually try to send the work.

Use Upper Case Letters, lower case letters, numbers, -dash- and underscore. That’s it. Those characters are safe in filenames.

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


If you need dates, Do Not use slash marks. Use ISO forms. Tomorrow is 2021-12-13. This works without the dashes if you’re comfortable with that and even without the 20. I have a sound recorder which does that.

That’s the 94th sound file from November 19th, 2017.

Some computers have magic filename problems. On Microsoft machines, you should avoid using the MS-DOS 1982 reserved device names such as AUX, LPT1, COM1, and NUL. Did you see the Youtube video of all the trouble when somebody tried to use the word NUL as a car license plate? Same problem.

Run away.

“Save project as…”

Audacity 3 versions offer Backup Project. That produces a stand-alone project not linked to the current edit. That might be more stable for what you’re doing.


Audacity needs to be able to do all its jobs and tasks on whatever drive you select.

That means you need to be able to do time-critical jobs such as Musical Overdubbing where you sing harmony to yourself multiple times using clever management of backing sound tracks. That would be impossible with network or cloud drives.

Do all your work on your local drive and shuffle files off to backup drives after Audacity is closed.


This way I was prepared for a lot of recordings I had to do back to back.

There is a note about saving your work.

Export or Save perfect quality WAV sound files of all raw recordings and edit masters.

When you get to the end of recording your podcast or other work and before you do anything else, Save (or in the case of Audacity, Export) a WAV Microsoft-16 bit sound file. After that, you can do whatever else in whatever format you want.

Legacy, uncompressed, perfect-quality WAV sound files are less brittle and prone to failure than Audacity Projects (as you may be finding). If you’re pre-creating empty projects (normally a good idea) with the idea of rapidly blasting through important recordings, you’re also increasing the chances of not being able to open the recordings when you’re done.

Jademan stands ready to try and rescue an AUP3 project file that refuses to open. If you have the WAV files, just open the appropriate one and keep going.