Turn off opening banner?

Is there a way to disable the loading banner that appears in the middle of your screen while Audacity is loading? Audacity takes a very long time to start up on my machine (windows 10, though this was the same on windows 7 and 8) and it is very irritating that during that time I have to work around this banner if I want to do something else.

The How To Get Help banner is a preference setting.

Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Interface > [_] How To Get Help (de-select)

If it’s not the How to Get Help banner, you may have a non-supported version of Audacity.



Sorry, I mean this “banner” in the attached image.

Not unless you modify the source code and build the Audacity executable yourself.

That’s the real problem isn’t it?
On my machine, Audacity takes about 5 seconds to start up, and the “splash screen” tells me that Audacity is doing something. I wonder why it is taking so long on your machine.Try launching Audacity, then, before you do anything else, open “Help > Show Log”. Copy and paste the contents of the “log” screen into your reply.

Here’s the log.

01:02:31: Audacity 2.1.2
01:02:31: Trying to load FFmpeg libraries…
01:02:31: Trying to load FFmpeg libraries from system paths. File name is ‘avformat-55.dll’.
01:02:31: Looking up PATH environment variable…
01:02:31: PATH = ‘C:\ProgramData\Oracle\Java\javapath;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\iCLS Client;C:\Program Files\Intel\iCLS Client;C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\System32\Wbem;C:\WINDOWS\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\OpenCL SDK\2.0\bin\x86;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\OpenCL SDK\2.0\bin\x64;C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\DAL;C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\IPT;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\DAL;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\IPT;C:\Program Files\Intel\WiFi\bin;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intel\WirelessCommon;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft ASP.NET\ASP.NET Web Pages\v1.0;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Windows Performance Toolkit;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn;C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Web Platform Installer;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Shared;C:\Program Files (x86)\nodejs;C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\PhysX\Common;C:\Program Files (x86)\QT Lite\QTSystem;C:\Program Files (x86)\QT Lite\QTSystem;C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\System32\Wbem;C:\WINDOWS\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0;C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone;C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.7.0_40\bin;C:\Users\Alexander\AppData\Roaming\npm’
01:02:31: Checking that ‘’ is in PATH…
01:02:31: FFmpeg directory is in PATH.
01:02:31: Checking for monolithic avformat from ‘avformat-55.dll’.
01:02:31: Error: Failed to load shared library ‘avformat-55.dll’ (error 126: the specified module could not be found.)
01:02:31: Loading avutil from ‘’.
01:02:31: Error: Failed to load shared library ‘.dll’ (error 126: the specified module could not be found.)
01:02:31: Loading avcodec from ‘’.
01:02:31: Error: Failed to load shared library ‘.dll’ (error 126: the specified module could not be found.)
01:02:31: Loading avformat from ‘avformat-55.dll’.
01:02:31: Error: Failed to load shared library ‘avformat-55.dll’ (error 126: the specified module could not be found.)
01:02:31: Error: Failed to load FFmpeg libraries.
01:02:31: Error: Failed to find compatible FFmpeg libraries.

I don’t notice anything problematic there. Audacity is looking for FFmpeg and doesn’t find it, which is normal if you’ve not installed FFmpeg.

When you say it takes a “long time”, how long are you talking about?
What’s the specifications of your computer? (CPU, RAM, etc.)
Do you leave your computer on over night? Have you ever defragmented the hard drive? Is Windows fully updated?
What anti-virus program do you use?

“A long time” could mean anything from 45 seconds to three or four minutes.

I do often leave the computer on overnight, though rarely without a reason (large download, extensive process etc) and restart it about every day and a half when those nights chain. I haven’t defragmented recently (I probably should remember to, thank you) but this problem is older than the last time I did, pretty sure. Windows is bugging me to restart to finish some updates but they’re all from the last day so it’s otherwise fully updated. The machine is a Lenovo ideapad Z500 touch with 6144MB of RAM and a terabyte hard drive. Up until recently it just ran windows essentials for antivirus and as long as I kept my nose clean that seemed fine but a few months ago I paid for the full version of Malwarebytes, which runs regularly.

Is MalwareBytes “helping” you run Audacity?

There’s a Windows virus program that eats Audacity audio files.

You do have lots of free space on the hard drive, right?


Windows 10 ‘should’ look after defragmenting and other maintenance tasks by itself, provided that the computer is left on long enough to do so. Maintenance tasks can take a very long time on Windows 10 (many hours) and can consume a large amount of computer resources while it is working. At some convenient time (when you don’t need to use the computer for a whole day), it may be worth manually starting system maintenance and let it run until it is complete (you may need to reboot one or more times before it completes and it could take all day). I don’t think this is “the problem”, but if there’s a backlog of maintenance tasks, that will certainly have an impact on the performance of the computer (on low spec machines the impact can be severe. I’ve not tested on a high spec machine).

Anti-virus / anti-malware programs can massively slow down the launching of applications. If the security product does not have the application listed as “safe”, then it will be scanning like mad before allowing the application to run. This ‘could’ be the problem.
This is the safe way to test:

  1. Run a full in-depth scan of your computer to ensure that it is clean (best to do this overnight because it takes a long time).
  2. Assuming that no problems were found, reboot the computer and continue to step 3
  3. Disconnect from the internet. If you use wifi, turn it off. If you use a wired connection, unplug it. Double check that the computer is completely isolated from the Internet.
  4. Disconnect any external drives and ensure the CD/DVD drive is empty.
  5. Your computer is now isolated from the outside world, so it is safe to turn off your anti-virus anti-malware security. Turn all security products off now.
  6. Now try launching Audacity. How long does it take. Close down Audacity and relaunch. Do this at least 3 times - the launch time should be about the same each time.
  7. Restart your computer and ensure that your security products are back on-line (enabled).

How did that go?

You can change the time when Automatic Maintenance occurs, though many on Windows 10 find that Windows Update can occur at any time regardless. Windows Update is what is likely to be draining of resources, not defragging, though I rarly find more than 30% CPU use when Windows 10 Update is running.

If you have Windows 10 Home Edition you don’t have any official control over all updates being pushed to you immediately, or over whether you are asked before the pushed updates are installed.

On other editions of Windows you can “Defer upgrades” in Settings, or use Group Policy Editor to defer for longer or to “Notify for download and notify for install”. The latter is the most useful option because Windows Update will then not run automatically without consent.

Winaero tweaker lets all Windows 10 uses including those on Home Edition configure Windows Update with the “Notify for download and notify for install” Group Policy. See http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Windows_10_OS#Windows_Update for more details.

http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/3090-automatic-maintenance-change-settings-windows-10-a-2.html#post559980 mentions a registry setting to disable Automatic Maintenance. I don’t know if that really stops Windows Update happening, but it will stop defragging and other background optimisations when the machine is idle, which I don’t think is a good idea. Defragging is important but is not very resource intensive on modern Windows and in any case it should not occur unless the machine is idle.