searching forum topics, and setting Audacity to be default for .mp3

Hi, All,

Newly registered here… and not generally a forum user… not too tech savvy these days, but formerly (1988-97) a programmer at Microsoft… :slight_smile:

  1. How can we (hey, we’re a family of 3!) search the forum topics??? Is this something that all forum users just of course know??? :slight_smile: (We don’t, thus this topic.)

  2. How in Windows 10 can we set Audacity to be the default program for (say) .mp3? It was so easy in Windows 7! …but now, all we’re offered under “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” for .mp3 is Groove, WMP, and some Dell program… but no option to choose anything else!

Help! Please? Thanks!

  • Ken & Thu Huong & Carlton

Top right corner of the web page:
Alternatively, use a search engine (such as Google) and include the search term:


I would not recommend doing this.
Audacity isn’t intended to be an audio player, it’s an audio production environment. Audacity’s native format is the “Audacity Project”. By default, Audacity projects are associated with the Audacity application. Best practice is to leave it like that.

“Groove” is a horrible program - often considered the worst media player of all time.
There are many excellent (and free) music players available. My personal favourite audio player for Windows is the lightweight “foobar 2000” (

  1. How in Windows 10 can we set Audacity to be the default program for (say) .mp3?

I don’t know. Do you still know anyone who works at Microsoft? :wink:

…Are you sure you want to use Audacity as your default MP3 program? Of course, Audacity can play audio files but it’s an audio editor. An audio player/media player is better for playing/listening.

Also, you probably know that MP3 is lossy compression. When you open an MP3 (or other compressed format) in Audacity (or any normal audio editor) it gets decompressed. If you then re-export as MP3 (or other lossy format) you are going through another generation of lossy compression and “damage” does accumulate. (AAC/MP4 doesn’t pile-up the damage nearly as badly as MP3.)

There are specialized applications, such as MP3directCut, that can do (limited) editing of MP3s without decompressing/recompressing. If you are working on large-long files a program like MP3directCut is faster because it’s working directly on a smaller (compressed) file and it doesn’t have to take time to decompress/re-compress.

Thanks for the replies, Steve and Doug… (so far)

No, Doug, I have fond memories of some of my colleagues at Microsoft… but haven’t kept in touch… that was a long time ago! …and then lived abroad for the past 16 years (3 in Vietnam, then 13 in Thailand). :slight_smile:

  1. searching: found that just before saw answer! …slightly embarrassed… :frowning:

  2. “Audacity to be default for .mp3”: actually, I should have said “Audacity to be default to open .mp3” - as it happens, this is for a homeschool environment (for son, born in Thailand, just turned 12) and manipulation (selecting, cutting, splicing, (de)amplifying) of small and large-ish classical music files - and it works wonderfully, serves our needs wonderfully (thanks, all in Audacity! and friend who put me onto it, years ago) - we’re not “audio” people, despite the stated purpose of Audacity, but we’d rather not change from what we know and love! :slight_smile:

So, once again: Any way to make Audacity the default program to open .mp3?

This was no problem at all in Windows 7, on our other machine, still current! …but now, looking in “Choose default apps by file type”, Audacity is not offered as an option on Windows 10, nor is the option Browse offered… somehow, Audacity is not registered/known as an “app”??? is that the difference now with Windows 7? can that be done?

Thanks for any help anyone can offer!

So, once again: Any way to make Audacity the default program to open .mp3?

To associate an MP3 file with Audacity in Windows 10, so that Audacity will open the file when it’s double clicked, start by right-clicking on an MP3 file.

When the menu opens go down and click on “Open with”.

If audacity is not shown in the menu that opens then click on “Choose Another App”. Scroll down to the bottom and click on “More Apps”.

Check the box that says “Always use this app to open MP3 files”, then click on “Look for another app on this PC”.

When the search box opens maneuver your way to the Audacity folder where the “audacity.exe” file is located.

Click on the “audacity.exe” and then click open. This should open the MP3 file that you initially right clicked.

In the future when you double-click on an MP3 file it should open inside of Audacity.

Now to reiterate what has been covered many times on this forum. If you edit a MP3 and re-save it, the quality of the recording is reduced because when you Export as MP3 from Audacity it will re-compress the files and thus you will get additional compression damage.

Yeah… dummy me! …of course we use “Open with” all the time for other things!

Almost missed the solution, however, because “More apps” was hidden, and we didn’t see the scroll bar at first… looked like there was no such thing there!

Anyway… wonderful! …thanks much, FL Coast!

But still… “how’s come” (!) Default Programs under the Control Panel doesn’t do the job any more??? …rhetorical, no answer needed now… unless there really is a good answer as to “why”… :slight_smile: