Unable to open .aup files

Problem using Audacity software (October 23, 2017)

Operating system: MAC OS Sierra 10.12.6

Audacity Version: 2.1.3

Problem: I have been working on sound editing projects in Audacity. I recorded 15 interviews each of about 30 minutes. I record and open them as WAV files but I save them in Audacity as “aup” files. In editing each one as an aup file, I copy clips from tracks into shorter separate tracks so I can easily find the clips later. For some of these files (so far, 2 out of 5 that I have opened and worked on— “STROLL” is the name of the most recent one), when I try to reopen them, I get two messages that come in this order:

Error Opening Project
Couldn’t find the project data folder: ”STROLL first edit_data”

Error Opening Project
Could not load the data project “/Users/thomasjflynn/Desktop/interviews Sex4Sale Oct52017/STROLL/first edit.aup”

How can I get back to those files?
The file appear on my computer, in a file titled “interviews Sex4Sale.” This is a radio series I am working on.
For some reason, the problem does not happen with all the .aup files I’ve created, just some, although I record and process them all the same way.

Tom Flynn

I save them in Audacity as “aup” files.

No, you didn’t. You saved them as Audacity Projects. This is a Project.

The AUP file is list of information how Audacity should deal with all the stuff in the _DATA folder of the same name. The AUP file and the _DATA folder have to be in the same location, directory or folder and they have to have the original Save name. As long as you didn’t delete anything yet, we can usually get your show back.

Unless you need Projects for some clear reason, you should probably stay with WAV files through your shows. Why did you go to Projects? There are valid reasons. If you have a multi-channel show with a million edits, you might want to save the Project to retain the track pile and spacing, but be careful. Projects do not save UNDO and they make terrible archive.


Thank you for addressing my problem. I do have everything in one file, and nothing was deleted: the original WAV files (recorded in Adobe Audition), the DATA files and the .AUP files. But I think I may see where I went wrong based on what you said. I changed some of the .AUP file names so they are a little different from the corresponding DATA files. Since I only changed some of them, not all, that would explain why the error message comes up in just a few of the cases…Could that be my problem? If it is, is there a good way to get the original file names back, exactly the way they were? Should I just copy the .AUP file names to replace the DATA file names? Thanks again for your help.

Changing the name of the AUP file will not in itself damage the project.
Changing the name of the _data folder will destroy the project.
Changing the name of the AUP is strongly discouraged.

The safe way to change the name of a project is to open the project in Audacity, then use “File menu > Save Project As…” to save the project with the required name.

There’s not a “good” way, but there is a way.
Open the AUP file in a plain text editor (such as NotePad++)
Look for the line near the top of the file that begins with:

<project xmlns="http://audacity.sourceforge.net/xml/" projname="xxxxxxxxxxxxx_data"

“xxxxxxxxxxxxx” is the name of the project.
“xxxxxxxxxxxxx.aup” is the correct name for the Audacity project file
“xxxxxxxxxxxxx_data” is the correct name for the Audacity _data folder.

The original names are burned into the AUP file. Open the AUP files in a text editor (NotePad, TextEdit. Don’t save anything) and read the semi-English XML programming. Look for a listing called projname=". That’s the original name of the Project.

Third line down, about two-thirds from the left.

Yours will be more dense than this. This was edited to be graphically pretty with extra spaces. The computer doesn’t need the spaces when it reads the file.


Thanks, Koz. I need a little more help. I can open the file in TextEdit, and I can find the “projname” in the third line, where you said it would be. Do i then go to the File>Save command and try to use that projname, or what. In other words, after opening the file in TextEdit and finding the name, what then?

I have all the past files but don’t know how to reconnect?
That is, restore the connection between the app file and the original data file.
Anyone know how I can do that?

Do i then go to the File>Save command and try to use that projname, or what.

No. Don’t save anything. Write down that name and exit the text editor without saving. That’s the name that should appear on both the AUP file and _DATA folder, like this.

If they don’t have the same name, use the computer’s file management to change them so they do, like in that pix.

Move both the _DATA folder and the AUP file to your desktop and try to open the show from there. If everything lines up, the AUP file will only open one _DATA folder and a desktop launch should work.