Projects got laggy, and now freeze Mac when trying to open

I had two projects I was working on in tandem, and noticed my mac was starting to have slow responses when I did commands, like delete a section for example…so I saved to be safe, and closed out Audacity. I then restarted the mac to make sure everything was fine on that end…

and now I’m in a pickle. Both files are unopenable. By that, I mean they spinning rainbow starts every time I try to open either, and I have to force quit Audacity. If I just open Audacity solo, it gives me the “recover files” option, and no matter what I pick other than Skip, the system gets hosed up again.

I can select skip, then open another file but every time I quit and start back up, it gives me that “recover” window…and the process starts again. I really want to be able to save these files, or barring that, at least get Audacity to work without the Recovery prompt every time I open it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

System info:

Mac OS Big Sur v. 11.4
Audacity v. (but files were created using

Disaster averted–not resolved but I found a workaround.

If I waited long enought (15+ minutes) The files finally opened, and were still lagging but undamaged. I exported everything as a wav, then started a new project and imported the wav files individually into the new project. Saved and it seems to have resolved any lag issues. I’m deleting the old files since looking at them now gives me PTSD.

Sorry if anyone was really wanting to look at them… :neutral_face:

Did you notice how big the projects were?

Were you doing copy / paste or cut / paste between the two projects?