Protect a track from accidental changes?

I’m a beginner, using Audacity 3.0.2. Is there a way to protect a track from accidental changes?

For example, say I import an original recording into Audacity, and then want to try applying filters or effects to improve the quality of the recording. To keep the results of my attempts within the same project, it seems that I could duplicate the original track, and then apply fixes to the duplicate. Yet while I’m applying fixes, I don’t want to accidentally apply them to the original track, or to the results of a previous attempt. So, I’d like a way to lock those tracks, or mark them “read-only”. I can’t find any menu commands to do that.

Am I going about this in the wrong way? Should each of my editing attempts be saved as a separate project? Can I do that while still making it easy to compare the results?

You’re right there is no track locking - and I can see that that might be a useful feature.

What I would do would be - when my project is in a known good state, before embarking on experimental edits with filters I would backup a copy of my project that I could reverto to.

Use File > Save Project > Backup Project

If it was just one track in a complex project I would consider exporting a safety copy of that track as a 32-bit float WAV file - then later that could always be re-imported.


I cannot overemphasize the importance of “locking/Freezing” tracks from accidental changes.
It is an importance discipline to follow in projects. Locking/Unlocking may be fleeting or long lasting.
Alternate ways of doing this, as suggested like taking backups is not proper approach to the problem - just creates proliferation of unnecessary backups/versions - with complicated management of locking information.

I have been wanting this for a long time. and glad the original poster raised this.

Hope this capability is added ASAP – given that Audacity has been missing this all through its long, so much liked, existence.


What’s to stop someone from accidentally unlocking a track and modifying it?

Wouldn’t it be easier to zip the original file / folder before working on it.

When I’m working on a project (either audio, imaging or desktop publishing) I always do a “save as” during the session, and give the project incremental file names. Very easy to go back to a particular point if you review the project at a later date and don’t like the mix.

Found out the hard way when you’ve made changes and cant undo.

Practical solution, found this works.