Recovering Audacity Projects from an External Harddrive

Hi all,

I’m a long-time audacity user who recently accidentally formatted the external harddrive my projects were stored on. Luckily it was a soft format, so using EaseUS data recovery software, I was able to retrieve most files on the drive. Unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to find my audacity projects!

Does anyone have any experience with this? Or tips for recovering project files and their associated folders?


There are lots of recovery programs. Sometimes they work sometimes they don’t. A long-long time ago I had some success with Ontrack but the version I have is way-outdated. They have a free version and trials for the higher-end versions. (I think the trial versions give you a list of the data that can be recovered so they are not “fully-functional” trials.)

…The last time I had a “crash” nothing I tried worked and I never recovered the data.

There are companies that can recover almost anything (sometimes from drives that have been physically damaged) but it can take many hours (many dollars). That seems to be Ontrack’s main business now but they still sell DIY software.


Do you have any associated WAV files (or other regular audio files)? I always recommend making a WAV immediately after recording whether you make an Audacity project or not. Since WAV files are self-contained they are harder to mess-up (and maybe easier to recover) than an Audacity project that contains many files.

Then of course you can make back-ups, possibly on another drive, possibly stored at another location (or in the cloud) etc., depending on how critical your data is. You can find lots of back-up strategy recommendations on the Internet.