recover recording after force quit

I recorded about 45 minutes worth of material using the line in on my MBP and have done this several times before. I was in a rush, closed the MBP and went home to edit and save the project later. When I reopened my MBP, Audacity was frozen and had to be force quit. Everytime I force quit and restart Audacity, it asks me if I want to recover the unsaved file. WHen I do, it’s nothing but silence. I know it recorded sound because I monitored it while it was recording.

I was able to find the temp folder, copied the contents and moved them to a folder on my desktop - any advice on what to do next or a different route to take to recover this recording would be great.

What was in the temp folder?
– Bill

see the attached screenshots. I copied the folders & subfolders and moved them to a folder on my desktop named “recorded files”
at the end of the rabbit hole were several “.au” files
Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 12.22.03 PM.png
Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 12.21.50 PM.png

Your first screenshot shows 2 separate projects (two recordings). Did you have two Audacity windows open at the time? If not, one must be an old project.
Hopefully Bill can tell you how to find the autosave file on a Mac, then it should just be a matter of matching up the autosave file with the project data folder that belongs to it.

Yes, I recorded a song then stopped the recording when it was over and started a new one in a new window.
The second recording is the one I need over the first, so I assumed it was the second folder which is what I followed through a few subfolders to come up to the .AU files

On Mac, the autosave file is in ~/Library/Application Support/AutoSave/

In there you should find at least one file named “New Project - YYYY-MM-DD HH-MM-SS N-x.autosave” where
YYYY-MM-DD is the date
HH-MM-SS is the time
x can be any number.

If you can find one of those files, please copy and paste the first few lines of the file into a message here, and I’ll see what can be done from there.

– Bill

I’m not sure I follow, sorry, but I can’t find the autosave folder.
Can you give me the entire address?

NVM to my previous comment. Using go to folder I was able to find the autosave folder easily.
Unfortunately the autosave folder is empty

If there is nothing in the AutoSave folder then I don’t understand why Audacity is offering to recover a project.

It appears you have lost the AUP file for the original recording. I’m out of my depth here - I don’t know of any way, on Mac, of arranging then importing the AU files to reconstruct a recording.

– Bill

It is the presence of the autosave file that tells Audacity that there is a project to recover. If there is no autosave file then Audacity will not attempt to recover anything, but will silently delete any old data files that may exist in the temporary directory.

Perhaps we have a confusion between the autosave directory and the temporary data folder.

On Linux, the temporary data is (by default) written to:
The autosave file is (by default) written to:

So what should happen when you close the Mac Book Pro (if that is what the “MBP” is)? Is it meant to sleep? Or had it turned off (no power)?

The AutoSave folder is inside the same folder as the audacity.cfg settings file, so on Mac, exactly where Bill said:

~/Library/Application Support/audacity/AutoSave

Some autosave file must exist in that AutoSave folder. The autosave file is reappearing and offering recovery because you force quit Audacity after it fails to recover the audio. Force quit is the correct thing to do when Audacity recovers incorrectly because that preserves the autosave file. if you were to File > Close the projects without saving changes (or to save the silent projects), the autosave files (and the temporary audio data) would be deleted.

The only other way the autosave files would be retained would be if they were corrupted (which would probably mean that Audacity could not attempt to recover at all).

Even if the two autosave files can be found, they will presumably not find the data they are looking for because you moved the data from the temp folder to a “recorded files” folder. This is probably why the projects open as silence. So you will have to put both those “project…” folders back in the top level of Audacity’s temp folder, or find the autosave files and adjust the path to “datadir” in line 3 of those files.

To find out what the autosave files are called, can you launch Audacity again. Look in the Automatic Crash Recovery dialogue that appears and note the names of the autosave files listed in the window. Then search your computer for all or part of those names.

If all you have is the AU files with no autosave file to piece the AU’s together, then it means the usual story of using Automator to sort the AU files by timestamp and rename them while time-sorted into a consistent alphanumerical sequence. Then recover the renamed files with the appropriate Intel or PPC version of the Audacity 1.2 recovery utility (according to whether you have an Intel or PPC Mac).

This process is explained at and you can download the 1.2 recovery utility from the links on that page.


Hi, i have the same problem.
at the time of the recording i bounced it out to an audio file and then thought it would have worked. i closed the laptop and then went back to it a few days later. On trying to bounce it out again because the first bounced file came up as 2GB with no audio in it. the program then crashed with the recording when i tried to save it. i closed it down and tried restart cycling and other stuff but to no avail. i still have the bounce out, one of the attempts has almost three hours from a 7 hour recording but a lot of people have been asking me for this recording and i would greatly appreciate helkp trying to recover this recording.

i tried to find the au files but i only found one with the 2hrs and also have a .ogg file that is just white noise

these are the lines i have in the autosave from that day (9th july crash date 6th recording date):

<?xml version="1.0" standalone="no" ?> \ \ Cheers heaps Dave

Audacity does not have a “bounce” feature. It has File > Export. Is that what you mean?

What exactly did you do before closing the laptop lid - did you File > Save Project? Were you still recording when you closed the lid?

If you export as WAV 16-bit PCM it is advisable to not exceed 2 GB because many applications won’t read such files. For a stereo WAV file at 44100 Hz sample rate that means don’t go over about 3 hours 10 minutes.

Was the recording tall blue waves or silence (or blue waves with silence in-between the waves)?

Do you see complete, tall blue waves now? How long is the recorded audio if you do View > Fit in Window? Look in the TImeline above the blue waves to see the length. How many Audacity tracks are there that say stereo or mono?

Do you mean Audacity or the Mac?

Do you mean Soundflower or something else?

No single AU file would contain 2 hours. They are all about six seconds long by default.

Did you save this as a Compressed Copy of Project at some stage? Saving a compressed project exports an OGG file. Please see this link for how compressed projects work .

The only data that particular autosave file refers to is the file “Audio Track.ogg”. If you saved as a compressed project, that OGG would have been exported to /Users/davidsheehan/Documents/ambar vinyl_data".