Stops saving to desktop after awhile

Audacity stops saving files to desktop after a random amount of time. It works fine at first then nothing appears on the desktop after I export the file. If I save the file to a folder on the desktop then that will work but not directly on the desktop. Using latest version 2.0.3. and Win 7 64. I don’t remember experiencing this with the previous version.

Edit: Spoke too soon. It also stops saving to folders on desktop after while as well.

How many files and events do you have on your desktop? What did you call the file – the exact name if possible? What kind of file? What’s a typical folder name?


How full is your hard drive? Start > My Computer > C: > Properties.


I have 21 files/folders on my desktop. I don’t know what you mean by “event”. There were various files that I tried to save but there was nothing out of the ordinary about them. They were all .wav files. Some of the filenames were “shotgun_fire_1.wav”, “pistol_fire.wav”, “rifle_slideforward_1.wav”. I used the default names for my folders like “New folder”, “New folder (1)”, etc.

I have about 8 GB left on my SSD drive.

I’m wondering if this is not just limited to the desktop but anywhere I try to save.

We have to get the obvious out of the way first. Nothing like loosing the hounds and alerting the papers for what turns out to be a dead simple problem.

OK, so you’re doing everything completely correctly. That is too bad. So much for low-hanging fruit.

I don’t know that I can come up with any other kind of fruit. Do you get an error message or code?

I don’t think Audacity natively runs in 64 bit. One of the other elves will be along.


No there’s no error message. After I click export and save, nothing happens. No file.

I downgraded to 2.0.2 just now and the problem also happens on that version.

Another problem that I just experienced but happens a lot less frequently is when I drag a file into Audacity it gets deleted. The file just disappears from its location. Audacity gives me an error message saying the file can’t be found or something. I have Audacity set to read the file directly from original.

So you have very serious destructive activity on your Windows machine. When was the last time you did one of those virus scans where you can’t use your computer for about a half-hour?

I think Microsoft still has their free on-line scan, too.

You can also try reinstalling Audacity.


Audacity is a 32 bit application. 64 bit operating systems can run 32 bit applications.

cazorla, try this test.

  1. Reboot the computer.
  2. Launch Audacity.
  3. Generate menu > Tone. Generate a 30 second tone.
  4. Export to your Desktop as test-tone.wav (select “WAV” as the export format).

Does that work?

Unless I have a virus that only uses Audacity to screw with my computer I’d say it’s ok. Nothing else is wrong with my machine. I’ll try uninstalling and reinstalling Audacity. Maybe it’s just a quirk of the program and my computer.

Yes I can create a test tone.wav. I didn’t need to reboot my pc. If I quit Audacity and open it again the problem goes away. But if I use it long enough it comes back. I think I was using Audacity for a couple hours at least until the problem occurred. When it stopped saving directly to the desktop I saved it to a folder on the desktop. When saving to that folder stopped working I was able to save it directly to the desktop again. Strange. This is more of a minor inconvenience really. Not a big deal to close the program and restart but if there’s a fix for it that’d be nice.

I’m not sure exactly what you are doing, but I suspect that the problem may be to do with the amount of disk space that is being used.

While an Audacity Project is open, Audacity maintains an “Undo history” of each operation. This allows “unlimited” undo levels.Each time you do something that changes the audio data, a new copy of the audio data is made so that it is possible to “undo” back to the earlier state. Of course the number of undo levels is not really “unlimited” because eventually you run out of disk space.

When a project is closed, the undo history is deleted, which then frees up the disk space that was being used by the temporary “undo” files.

If you are working with large projects, the temporary data can grow to several GB in size. Could this be an explanation?

Do any error message boxes appear when you cannot export the WAV file? Are there any error messages in Help > Show Log… ?

Are you deleting the track and the original WAV file then exporting to the same file name and location as the WAV you deleted? See . If that is the problem, change the Import / Export Preferences to “Make a copy…” (the first radio button at the top).


I don’t think that’s the case. I never get a low disk space warning from Windows and the .wav files I’m working with are small. Most are under 500 Kb. After I edit one file I save it and remove the track from Audacity. If I ran out of disk space I shouldn’t be able to save files anywhere on that drive. But I can. Just not the location I’d been using for the previous dozens of files.

No I don’t get any error messages. I never looked in Show Log.

I think this bug is what I’m experiencing. I was able to reproduce the bug a minute ago. I do export with the same filename as the previous file I worked on sometimes. That must be it. I’ll try the fix and see if this doesn’t happen again.

Thanks for the help guys.

I do export with the same filename as the previous file I worked on sometimes.

While it is intended that you can do that (which makes the failure a bug), it’s not recommended. Traditional file systems lock a file while it’s open and being used and for good reason. If the file remains open for writing and you save new work on top of old work, pray nothing happens in the transition because any damage will take out your new work and your old work permanently destroying the show.

This is also the reason we recommend backups of any original material.

Glad you found the problem.


This particular bug doesn’t occur if the file still exists, only if the file has already been deleted.