Recover Deleted Material?

I’ve been working on a project for a week or so and when I opened it today, it’s blank. The file has not been deleted, but it looks like I accidentally did a “select all, cut” before I saved and exited last time. What a goof. All my tracks are there, and labeled according to what they used to be, but no audio on any of them. Any way I can get my song back? Can I recover an older version or something? Help, please and thank you!

One of the ways that Audacity Projects can be set up is to not make “personal copies” of outside songs and sounds, but reference them or point to them when they’re needed. This can be very, very fast and is beneficial on a large show, but the down side is Audacity needing to know exactly where all the music is in your computer at all times.

Did you decide to “clean up” your music library, reorganize it or move it to another computer? That will certainly produce blank clips in your show. The best way around that is to move all the music back where it was.

You can set which way to work with this setting:

Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Import/Export > [X] Make a copy…


The truly compulsive save safety projects as they go with the date and time (your option) in the filename. Use the ISO dates. Today is 2014-02-24. Do Not use slash marks in your filenames.

If you have a computer “event” that destroys the current project, you can go back to the last one you saved before lunch.

If you have a Move The Music problem, that will kill all your projects, backup or not.


Assuming AlanGrim is using a 2.0.x version of Audacity (see the pink panel at the top of this page), then reopening the project with imported WAV or AIFF files missing would produce a “Missing Aliased Files” warning.

You can’t undo changes once the project is closed. If we had that feature, or if you saved a backup project, it takes more disk space.

To make a copy of a project, File > Save Project As… and choose the name. This saves a new copy of the project to work on, which is now on the screen. The project with the previous name is closed and becomes your “backup”.