Quick Help and Manual won't open from menu or splash screen

I am giving an old WIndows XP laptop (a 2005-vintage Dell D610!) a new lease on life as a companion for my new Audio-Technica LP-120-USB turntable.
I’ve run into a couple of minor issues so far.

(The first was that the installation CD supplied by Audio-Technica was unreadable on the quaint old D610’s CD-RW drive. Copying the disc to a blank CD-R burned at 4x speed took care of that problem. I’m probably an outlier in that regard, but may be worth giving distributors like Audio-Technica a heads-up that their customers might be repurposing older computers for running Audacity, so that the distribution media need to be readable by older CD drives.)

The reason I am posting here, though, is that I can’t seem to get Audacity’s splash screen or Help menu-pick to open the quick help or manual index pages. They’re there on disk, at c:\program files\audacity\help\manual, and if I click on them in Windows Explorer, or if I click on desktop links pointing to them, they open just fine in whatever program is set up to open .html files (Internet Explorer, in this case). When I click on the quick help or manual links in the splash screen, or on the corresponding menu picks on the Help menu, I get a brief hourglass cursor and then nothing. Any idea what’s going on there?

FWIW, this laptop is NOT connected to the Internet. I don’t want to put a WIndows XP machine on the Internet at this point in Windows XP’s unsupported afterlife. I intend to rip to a nice inexpensive 32GB FAT32-formatted USB drive – sneakernet for the 21st century :slight_smile:. (Actually, the FAT32 drive gets plugged right into the USB port in my car, whose internal MP3 player only understands FAT32 file systems…)

Is there a failed attempt to hit a destination on the Internet, before going to the local file system, when I click on the splash screen links or the Help menu picks? Or is the default location for the help files set up for Win7 and beyond, in 2.1.0, rather than for XP? Is there a Registry setting in that regard that needs tweaking?

FWIW, I installed Audacity on a Win10 desktop that’s connected to the Internet, and the quick help/manual links work just fine in that installation. (The Win10 desktop is not located a convenient distance from the audio system that will be the permanent new home for the turntable though – hence the desire to get Audacity working on the old XP laptop that I can set up next to where the turntable will live, when I want to rip vinyl.)


Try downloading the full-install 2.1.2 EXE file from [u]main Audacity site[/u] and sneakernet it over to your XP system. Everything* should get installed to the correct location and hopefully it will work.


  • The LAME MP3 encoder and FFMPEG Import/Export library are optional and need to be downloaded & installed separately.

Unfortunately hundreds or even thousands of hardware manufacturers bundle Audacity. We have no contact with them or control over them and the CD often includes an older versions of Audacity. So it’s usually best in any case to go to our site http://www.audacityteam.org/download/ and get the latest version (you can download it from a public library or internet café on to a USB stick if necessary).

Let us know if it still doesn’t work in 2.1.2 and we’ll see if we can suggest anything.

Waxcylinder here may know already, because he has an XP machine without internet connection. Certainly accessing the local Manual works on XP with an internet connection.

We’re dropping support for XP, so the next 2.1.3 version will be the last to officially support it and we won’t be making major changes thereafter to fix any problems with Audacity on XP.


Yes when I install 2.1.2 (and indeed the latest alpha and RC for 2.1.3) on my XP machine using the .exe installer I do get the local Manual.

As suggested eadrlier in this thread - I install it via sneakernet on a USB stick with the .exe on it (created on my W10 laptop). For safety reasons my ZP machine is airgapped and quarantined from the internet.

The other thing I can confirm from recent alpha and Release Candidate testing is that Audacity 2.1.3 runs fine on XP.