Read directly or Make a Copy?

Using Version 2.12 on Windows 7

  1. If the original file is on the same computer, can I open it by “Read the Files directly from the original” option with no problems?

  2. If I “make a copy”, where is the copy saved, and is it completely deleted when I close the file?

  3. On a slightly unrelated issue, If I move a file from a Mac (running OS 10.6.8 and Audacity 2.05), to the Windows 7 running Audacity 2.12, will the file be different enough to cause me any problems?


Audacity doesn’t make a version 2.12 or 2.05. Sometimes bogus versions of Audacity are offered by other companies with version number twists like that. I’m using Audacity 2.1.2. It’s available from here.

If I move a file

Depends on the file. If you Export a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file, those will open on all three major computing platforms. If you Save a Project (Audacity will not Save a sound file), those should open, too, but you need to be a good deal more careful how you do it.

This is an Audacity Project.

If you move both the file and the folder, keep them in the same location or folder and don’t change the names, it should open just fine.

But. And here’s the first part of your question.

If you tell Audacity to work from the original files only, it will run very fast and efficiently, but you can’t move the Project without also manually moving all the associated, external sound files with you.

If you tell Audacity to make internal “personal copies” of original files, then all you have to move is the Project file and folder and everything will go with you.

Common problems.
– The AUP file is not the show. It’s a computer program to tell Audacity what to do with all that stuff in the _DATA folder.
– Do not mess with or open the _DATA folder.
– Never put the AUP file inside the _DATA folder.
– Don’t rename anything. The show name is burned into the AUP file and can’t be changed outside of Audacity.
– Don’t separate the AUP file and the _DATA folder. They will not go looking for each other.


You are not opening the file. Audacity is reading data from the file where it is. So don’t delete, move or rename the file.

If you export over the same file, Audacity saves the original contents of the file with an “-old” suffix at the end of the file name. If you are happy with the export, you can delete the -old file.

You are not opening the file. In that case Audacity is copying in the data. If you do not File > Save Project, then while the work is in the window, the audio data is stored in the temporary directory noted at Edit > Preferences…, Directories section.

If you close a never saved project without saving changes, that temporary data is deleted, bypassing the Windows Recycle Bin.

See Managing Audacity Projects.