Project file size very large...

Yes, I understand that, but Audacity “should” be compacting automatically. Is it doing so for new projects that are in normal directories and don’t have apostrophes?

Would it be possible for you to upload a project that is not compacting so that we can investigate further?

Sorry, I had extracted the tracks and imported them into a new project and deleted the “Hog” file, before I saw your response. If I encounter the issue again I will save it. Thanks for your response.

Hopefully not, but if you do encounter the problem again then yes please do let us know.

Windows 10, Audacity 3.03

Over 100 audacity files, all music, typical length 4-5 minutes.

The change from .aup to .aup3 really clogged my system, eating about 30GB of drive space in a few days. When you open an .aup it converts the file to .aup3. That takes 3-5 minutes depending on file size for each file. The typical .aup3 file size is 800-1000KB. The typical .aup folder is the same size, so you now have double the storage. Yes, you can delete the .aup but only if you have already converted the file.

In addition, a new feature of this version is “file compacting.” The implication being that the output is being condensed, ie made smaller. This morning a 4.5 minute song track took over 20 minutes to compact (see attachment). No choice but to wait until it is finished to continue the project or move on.

My experience is that since the conversion to .aup3 everything is slower (open, close, compact, etc.), I get a lot more recording drop outs, I get a lot of play back stops with the stop button freaking out by itself. I have used audacity for over three years for music production, even though I have DAWs like Studio One, because I know how to use it. But now it is slowing me down, so maybe its time to move on to a real DAW.
compacting run time.png

Yes, the first few releases of Audacity 3.x can be very inefficient.

Try updating to Audacity 3.1.0, and update as soon as possible for the next couple of releases - There have been some significant improvements to AUP3 project efficiency, and more on the way.

Windows 10 Audacity 3.1.2

I’m having the same problem - Audacity rarely compacts on exit - I have no apostrophes in the file name and it’s not synchronised (just on my C Drive). Last night my project file was half a megabite, today I added 2 more tracks and the file is now 4.8gb. The project has 6 tracks, total length 30 mins - almost all is speech (so mono tracks) with about half a minute of stereo music. Previous half hour project files have been between 700mb and 1.5gb for a similar number of tracks/length.

Today I copied all the tracks into a new project file and the file size was 5.3gb. What am I doing wrong?

That file size is going to eat my storage in no time!

We should be careful not to microscopically inspect the work instead of wider view. The only unconditionally safe filename characters are Upper Case, lower case, numbers, -dash-, and underscore. Others are to be avoided.

By the way, after just making some level changes on a few of the tracks, and saving the project, the size of the file jumped from 814 megabytes to 1.718 Gigabytes!

Also, it’s good to know that under some conditions, Audacity will try to construct UNDO for an effect by saving an additional copy of the whole show. That would double the size. That may be a good conspiracy theory, but it’s good not to ignore coincides like that. That is how Audacity forms UNDO.


I wonder if your issue has anything to do with the new collapsible smart clip feature. See: and

Regardless, if you care to zip up your .aup3 file and upload it to a public file sharing service, then post (or PM me) a link, I’ll look at it.

I don’t think so, as I edited all the clips I used in their original recording files, only copying across the segments I wanted, so nothing (I don’t think) to “undo”. That said, within each segment there was stuff cut out, but not huge amounts. Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to send for you to look at - I’ll look at that tomorrow.

I have uploaded a new file which only has less than 10 mins of audio but is already 1.4gb. I assume whatever is causing the file size will be evident in this one, so hopefully you can help jademan? :slight_smile: Thank you.

OK, I looked at your project and indeed you have well over 2 hours of audio in the project :exclamation: That explains why your project is so big.

When I expanded your clips (note they expand on the left AND on the right) I get this:

(Un)fortunately, when you drag the left (or right) edge of a clip to shorten it, the audio is NOT deleted from the project. It is retained, only “hidden”. For some reason, the developers thought this was a “good” idea. It is probably a “good” idea to revisit the video here:

Others may want to comment on how they adjust the sizes of their clips. :smiley:

Wow, that’s really helpful, thank you. I assumed as I was cutting and pasting these clips from another file, I would bring in just the elements I wanted. I guess I have 5 copies of the full recording. This means whenever I want just a couple of minutes of audio from a recording, I end up importing the whole thing. I had watched the video but still didn’t realise this is what was happening :frowning:

It would be great to know if anyone else has managed to reduce the size of their clips. Otherwise I’m going to have to live with these HUGE files!

It’s a bit awkward, but if you put each clip onto its own track, you can then apply “Tracks menu > Mix > Mix and Render” to each track (one track at a time).

When Mix and Render is applied, only the visible part of the clip survives.
The resulting project should be around 84 MB.

That’s really helpful Steve, thank you. Does the mix and render degrade the audio in any way, do you know? It seems from what I’ve read that it just cements everything you’ve done on that piece in place, so it can’t be undone.

That’s pretty much it. You still have the full sound quality.

If you apply Mix and Render to more than one track at a time, then they become permanently mixed down to one track, so you need to be careful if ever you are doing that.

Top tip: If in doubt, have a practice with something unimportant. :wink:

I understand and have been doing just what you suggested and it works fine. I have 4 tracks with a total of 30 mins of speech - it’s 240mb - much more reasonable. I understand I can’t “undo” but I always keep the original recording files so I can go back to the base material if I need to. Thanks again - really helpful.

Very nice, I got 7 minutes final audio, 82MB exported wav file, aaand… 2,105,344,000 bytes project file. Genius.
For the developers, just FYI, when we press ctrl+x we’re really really absolutely just want to cut that piece of waveform, not to bring the whole full length clip to new track.


Thank you so much for that tip! I was in the same exact boat and noticed that any time I would import audio from a different project, the file would grow by the exact size of the full project. Editing a clip show, I had one file at 63 gbs which was becoming very cumbersome.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, @howard.1, for raising this problem, and @steve, for your solution. I have been at my wit’s end editing episodes for my storytelling podcast using Audacity 3.3.2.

My production process is to record 2 takes on separate tracks and then create a 3rd “raw” track by copying and pasting the best bits from the takes. I then copy and paste this track to an “episode” file where I apply audio effects to my narration and add sound effects.

My .aup3 files can grow huge during the process, and Audacity often hangs when joining clips. It never occurred to me that copying and pasting a section of the audio clip was bringing across the full-length clip to the new track. (And yes, tropicalwind, I add my voice to your message to the developers, if I Ctrl-X or Ctrl-C and piece of clip, I only want that piece pasted into the new track!)

As an example, before running Tracks menu > Mix > Mix and Render on my one-track WIP episode (2.5 minutes of narration), it was 217,000 KB. Afterwards, it had compacted to 25,600 KB.

I hope this post helps others because I’m sure it’s a common problem. And after recording 74 podcast episodes with Audacity, I don’t want to learn a new app!

Regards, Robert