Tracks Disappeared While Working on Project

I record my band using audacity and when i was tracking my guitar, suddenly all the tracks were gone. The tracks were all still there, actually, but the wave forms were gone. Just blank tracks. But not all the tracks were there, only some but with no wave files.

I’m not sure what happened, I might have hit a key near the spacebar. but i could not play back anything. I got some strange message saying that the record button was set before zero or something. I saved and closed out and when i opened it back up nothing had changed. If anyone has any idea as to what happened or if there is any way i could get my files back to how they were, i’d be incredibly grateful. I lost all the drums and my guitar to a song.

I’m using windows 8, also. I wish i had more info for you, but i dont know what happened. Ive been using audacity for around 5 years and have never ran into this issue.

Please tell us your version of Audacity (all three numbers, see the pink panel at the top of the page). The current Audacity version with the latest bug fixes is 2.1.1 from

Have you recently installed Norton or a cleanup or security app? That may have deleted your temporary Audacity files. In future, if you save a project first of all to your Desktop or Documents folder, that problem won’t happen.

If you hit a button in Audacity by accident, use Edit > Undo while the project is open.

If you saved the project with silent tracks, that is what you have - the actual music will be gone. Audacity will think that is what you wanted. If you need to quit Audacity, force quit it in Task Manager, then any music data there is will be retrained and offered to you when you restart.

From where you are now, if you had never edited the tracks, just recorded them, you could try following to piece together the AU files in the project’s _data folder. This will only help if the project’s AU files are somewhere else than they should be and that is the reason the tracks were silenced. This is very unlikely, so before you try a manual recovery, I would drag some of the AU files in the _data folder into Audacity and see if they contain music or silence.