Recording Problems

Hi, I am using Windows 7 and have the last version of Audacity,a t least last time I checked, about 9 months ago, it was the latest

I am not sure I am posting under the correct subject, it is the closest I could find.So I apologize,

Am so frustrated, For some reasons I cannot understand, the last few days, Audacity, has been acting funny, when I edit the files.after recording, It is way too long to make any kind of little editing, even deleting a short stretch takes about 30 secs, at least, to amplify few seconds recording, takes one minute, and then a little blue wheel appears and it mean it is processing, and then this msg comes up on the top bar “Audacity is not responding”

And it takes even longer, also, when I apply Generate Silence, to remove breaths or so, even in very short stretches, it gives me these splitting lines, after it is done and it does not let me merge them, as it usually would do all the time before

Also, most of the time it just freezes and then closes the file without allowing me to save it as Audacity project. and I am losing so much data.

I have been using Audacity for years, and I have never had such a problem, it has always been fast and effective. Now I am losing data and just to edit 5 minutes is taking 4 hours, please help,
DO you think I have to re install it. or re download it? I am afraid that if I do, I might lose all the files on my hard drive, linked to Audacity program, please can you let me know if it is safe to re download it and what is the safest way to do that

As you are starting a new question it is best to start a new topic (I’ve split your post from the old topic).

Could you be running out of space on your hard drive?

Thank you for splitting my post,

Oh my gosh I never thought about that, how much space left is required so that Audacity would run normally again and above all how much memory usage is it required?
But, I just realized of something, each time I save the projects, then when I reopen again a little later, this msg comes up telling me to close immediately because there are orphan files, and to delete the orphan files, what is this all about? And what am I supposed to do, delete them? Or not , or close the project immediately ? Either way, it is happening all the time now with each project

Thank for your reply

HI again
I do not think is the space, I have only used 32% of space, i have 152 GB left
Is it still too low?


152 GB of disk space is adequate for most purposes. By default Audacity needs 20 MB of space per minute of visible audio, plus 20 MB per minute for each and every edit while the project is open.

However you should not let temporary data build up. If you have not saved an Audacity project and have completely finished with a piece of work, always use File > Close and say “No” to saving changes. The close project empties Audacity’s temporary directory and lets a new piece of work start with an empty temporary directory. Don’t just remove the track and start over because that keeps adding to the temporary data for ever.

2.0.6 does not require large amounts of RAM.

Please check exactly what Audacity version you have (see the pink panel at the top of the page). The latest version is 2.0.6 which came out in end September so you probably don’t have 2.0.6.

Even if you have 2.0.6, go to and download and run the 2.0.6 installer (EXE). Check (tick) the “Reset Preferences” box half way through installation. Then you can run 2.0.6 with factory fresh settings.

That dialogue gives you an option to close immediately with no changes. It does not require you close immediately with no changes.

The orphan files are AU files in the audio data that are not listed in the AUP project file. If Audacity freezes and you force quit it, there would very likely be orphan files that were meant for Undo and Redo when the project was open, but which Audacity could not delete because you force quit.

If Audacity freezes it should offer you a recovery dialogue like this when you restart:

If you choose to recover you should not lose data. Are you not seeing that dialogue?

From where you are now I would recommend leaving the orphan files where they are. Is it possible to play the entire project and make sure it plays through correctly? If it plays correctly, try exporting as a WAV (File > Export…). Then quit Audacity, save changes if it lets you, otherwise say no to saving changes. Restart Audacity, import the WAV then save that as a new project (File > Save Project…). That project should then be stable and will only have the AU files that correspond to the audio you see.

What length of audio is in your projects? Current Audacity can get slow at doing edits in projects that are longer than an hour, and this is worse than it used to be in some older versions. There are multiple reasons, so it will take us a few versions yet to get to fixing this.

If Audacity starts getting slow, try File > Close, save changes and reopening the project. This will keep the size of the _data folder down. Also export WAV from time to time when you reach milestones in each piece of work. Then you can always start over from the latest WAV if you hit project problems.


Hi Gale,
thanks for replying to my unusual question and for helping. It was very helpful
Yes I do see that dialogue and I have been doing exactly as you suggest.But the problem continues, and I notice that when I start a new file it works smoothly as usual, but then when I save it and re-open the file again, then starts to go slow and then freezes all the time,
I did save the files as a WAV first then reopened them and saved them as Audacity files, but then same thing happens again, unless is a new file, then it goes perfectly

Now I am experiencing another sort of problem, first of all, the version I have is Audacity 1.3 Beta Unicode is that the one I am supposed to use?
The new problem is as follows:
I just recorded a set of phrases, and the last one, the best, I did cut it and pasted it on a new track, underneath the main one, because i wanted to hear how it sounded by itself. But what happens is that when I try to play back to listen, the play button freezes, but only on that cut and pasted phrase,
Then I closed the program and recovered file
Now when I play back, all the rest of the file plays regularly, but that phrase it does not, the button gets stuck
Then also, if I cut it and paste it in a new file, it shows a flat line, the wave is gone
Also, I tried to select just that phrase and open the Amplify dialogue to see if I could amplify it maybe, and what it shows it shows that the amplification is set on -50
but then if I try to increase it what happens, is, it does process it, but then the wave disappears, and becomes a flat line

I also tried to save the file as WAV, and reopened it, when I do it, that phrase has disappeared, is not there, even if before saving it, it was there, beside the other phrases
This is really spooky, I cannot even attach it for you to listen to it, since if I do, it disappears
But it took me so long to finally get a good version of that phrase and I do not want to lose it, that is the best phrase among the others, what can I do to recover it, just the phrase so I can listen to it and save it without making it disappear?
The funny thing is that the wave graphic is there and shows clearly a recorded sound there, but there is no volume, please help!!!
Thank you so much for your time and help

No, that’s a really old version.
The current version is 2.0.6. You can get it here:

As you version is so old, I would suggest that you uninstall the old version first, then use the “recommended installer” version from the link above. During the installation, look out for the option to “Reset Preferences” and select that option. On first launch after installing, you will be asked to confirm resetting preferences - say yes to resetting preferences.

I suggest you ensure you get 2.0.6 and reset preferences as described. Some or all of your new problems may be because Audacity cannot write to its temporary directory. Resetting preferences will set the Audacity temporary directory to the default location in your own user space.


HI and thank you so much for replying and for the imput
I will do that, but can you plz answer to this IMPORTANT questions first:
1.WILL I LOSE ALL THE FILES saved as Audacity files, in this old version, if I download the new one? Yes? No?

  1. Will I be able to open all my old files (saved as Audacity format) in my new version?

  2. Will I lose all the added Plug Ins I had downloaded in the old version, such as non Audacity compressors, verbs and so on?

  3. How can I save them so i do not lose them, because I do not even remember where I got them from?

  4. Can you tell me step by step how to save all files and plug ins, so I do not lose them and so i can open them again, in the new version, I really appreciate it

  5. Why that part of my recording, even if the wave is there, is mute?, I just tried to the whole file again, and the play button freezes, it does not let me listen to the whole track now, will I be able to listen to the file in the new version?

Thank you soooo…much in advance for your help

Almost certainly they will open OK in 2.0.6, but make a backup copy of the projects first just in case. To do that, copy the AUP and _data folder for that project, create a new folder, then paste.

You can copy multiple AUP’s and _data folders in one go as long as you paste them into at least one different folder.

After uninstalling 1.3, any extra plug-ins you added to that version will remain, and you can move them to the “Plug-Ins” folder of the new installation.

It could be because you cannot write to your Audacity temporary directory or it could be a bug in the old version you have. You should be able to solve both those issues by updating to 2.0.6 and resetting Audacity preferences during the installation.


Hi gale, Thank you so much,

I want to make sure I understand first: if I back them up, will the newer version be able to read /open the older files, since you wrote:

Almost certainly they will open OK in 2.0.6, but make a backup copy of the projects first just in case. To do that, copy the AUP and _data folder for that project, create a new folder, then paste
By" almost certainly: meaning that you are not totally sure, correct? What happens to the older files when people upgrade? Do people have to throw away the older files?

There must be other people who also created files with the older Audacity and then upgraded to the newer? I am sure I am not the only one, do you know if there is a section dedicated to this subject here, or if there something in the tutorials about it? This information must be somewhere??? Or Should I maybe post this question somewhere else in the Forum, would you plz advice to where?
I need to be certain, because all my work is saved in the old version and that means, that if it is not certain 100% I have lost everything :frowning:

Now, lets assume that I would be able to save them and open them, and I want to make sure I udnerstand this too:
when I save the data from old version:
1. Do I need to save both the data folder connected to the Audacity file, and the file (each project) itself?
2. Or I can just save the data folder only -and the recorded project with same name, will automatically be saved too? Yes? No?

3. When you say to “save all in another folder” -do you mean that I can transfer all of the data folders (related to each individual project) in one new folder?
or that I have to create another new folder for each of the Audacity data folder? (hope not) :slight_smile:

4. also, when you say COPY AND PASTE, do you mean DRAG AND DROP the Audacity files in another folder, correct?
Or did you mean i have to open each project, select and copy each track and then paste them somewhere else? I do not know not how to do that, I hope we are talking about DRAG AND DROPPING the files :slight_smile: ???

5. You are saying that I do not need to transfer or save in a new folder, all the extra plug ins, correct? just leave them there in the old audacity program, not touch them at all? Yes? No?

6. But my concern is, BY UNINSTALLING the old Audacity program, wont all those plug ins (all those PDF format and Zip format plug ins) that I dragged and dropped into the old Audacity plug ins folder, be uninstalled too and disappear??? No? Yes?

Thank you so much again, I know is a lot of questions, sorry for that

Generally speaking if you merely open a 1.2 project in 2.x and don’t save it in 2.x, 1.2 can still open the project. But if you save a 1.2 project in 2.x, even if it saves correctly, 1.2 won’t be able to open it again, because the 2.x file system is different.

Audacity 1.2 also had a bug that meant it could occasionally write AU data files larger than the expected maximum size of 1 MB. If that does happen, Audacity 2.x will not read the project correctly. Although the data will be retained, the data files that are over 1 MB will appear as silence in the waves, and 1.2 won’t then be able to read the project again either, even if you don’t save it in 2.x.

So the idea of the backup is just to cover the very rare cases where you might open the 1.2 project in 2.x and 2.x would corrupt the project, then you would not be able to open it again even in 1.2. If that corruption happened and you had a backup, you would then open the backup in 1.2 and export a WAV file for each track in your project. That overcomes the problem and you can import the WAV file(s) into 2.x and save that as a new project.

Where Audacity 2.x imports a 1.2 project file correctly, you can then delete the AUP file and _data folder for that project from your backups.

No you don’t have to open the projects in Audacity to back them up. You can do so, then File > Save Project As… to copy then, but that will be slow for a large number of projects.

I mean copy and paste, as I said.

Drag and drop moves the file or folder if the target folder you are dropping into is on the same drive as the file or folder you are dragging. Drag and drop will only copy if the target folder is on another drive. The tooltip when you drag will say whether you are copying or moving.

So if the target folder is on the same drive, you must copy and paste. Click the first item once to select it, then hold the CTRL key and click once on the other items you want to copy. This selects all the items you clicked on. Then right-click over any of the selected items and select “Copy”. You can paste by holding CTRL and pressing V, or by right-clicking in empty space in the target folder and choosing “Paste”.

If the AUP files and _data folders to be copied are together in a folder you can save time by clicking once on the first item, then hold SHIFT and click once on the last item. That multiple selects all the items between first and last.

To make it simple I suggest you create one new folder, called “1.2 backup projects” or similar. For each folder where you have Audacity 1.2 projects stored, multiple select all the AUP files and all the _data folders together, as described above. Copy (as above), move to the new folder you created, then paste.

As I said:

The 1.3 uninstaller only removes files it put there itself in the first place.

Yes you will have to then move those plugins you added to the Plug-Ins folder in 2.0.6.


I am not sure this is the correct place to post this question I hope so (if not, could you plz redirect me, thanks)
After downloading Audacity 2.1.3 on my newer laptop, (Windows 7) I am experiencing the following issue
While editing, if I listen to a very small part of the recorded vocals file, (one word or a part of one word) more than one time, out of a sudden, the sound disappears, and I cant hear anything anymore, the volume is what I have been doing is this:
Uninstall the sound then restart the laptop and automatically Windows re-install the sound all over again
But this is happening every 10 minutes now and I have to restart the pc may times during one hour
I wanted to know if anybody has been having the same problem and/or if you have any tip to prevent this problem from happening again
I was not experiencing this problem with the older Audacity (Beta)
Thanks so much in advance

If you have WASAPI selected as the recording device, when you attempt to play-back very short sections, (less than a tenth of a second), there is silence. The solution is to select another recording device other than WASAPI, (even though you’re not recording).

Thank you so much for your reply. No the WASAPI in my Audacity is only listed in the play back devices option, not in the recording option, in the recording devices options or list, there is only USB mic or Windows recording, But in the playback device list, yes I see WASAPi and no, I dont select that option I have selected Window direct sound,
But the problem still occurs, every 5 minutes the sound, while editing (not if I record) while editing, just disappears and have to uninstall and reboot any remedy for this problem, any other possible cause or option to prevent this from happening?
Thank you so much

Are you seeing this type of “Files missing” error message ? …
Files Missing warning.png