Unable to open AUP (Windows 10)

So, before anyone tells me I need to have my data folder present - I do. That doesn’t even factor in. My issue is that when I try to open the aup file it tells me it is an audacity project and I should open it my using File > Open but I am. It doesn’t matter if I open it directly, drag it in, ect. it always produces this message. I’ve been using audacity for years and this has never happened to me. I’ve tested it and some projects do open, some say this. I updated audacity and still nothing. Any help would be appreciated…

I updated audacity and still nothing.

So you know already to actually reset Audacity with the tick box in the Windows installer? If you don’t, Audacity will just install itself with your old preferences and settings, whether or not they’re damaged.

I need to have my data folder present

That’s just the beginning of the Things That Can Go Wrong.

Assuming you have a plain stereo or mono production, do you Export a WAV sound file backup in addition to the Project?

Have you tried to change the names of the Projects? You can’t do that and the names have to match exactly the name burned into the AUP file. See: projname="

Do you like to put punctuation marks in your filenames? That’s not recommended because that can give you unstable or unusable Projects. Only use underscore or -dash-.

Try saving your Projects to your desktop, even only as a test. Some Audacity default installs caused Projects to save in the System area and operating systems don’t like that.

What’s a typical Project name? Could you have included a leading blank space or dot . by accident?


Yes, there was actually a space in the original project name. I didn’t realise that would be such an issue but that’s probably what caused it to become unusable. Is there nothing I can do to salvage it? You said I can’t change the project name.

Leading space? I don’t think putting a plain space anywhere else matters.

You said I can’t change the project name.

What I meant was Normal Mortals can’t change it.

First step: Make a backup of your AUP file and _DATA folder. Anything. Thumb drive. Make it so you can’t damage them if something goes wrong.

Someone will correct me, but use the regular Windows tools to change the AUP file and the _DATA folder names to something correct, but they need to match. Open the AUP file in a text editor and change the projname=" name to whatever you called the AUP file.

This is what my Project looks like on my desktop.

Save the correction and see if the show opens.

I know someone is going to post about a step I left out, but if that’s all you did wrong, I think that should do it.


Please note that my graphic has Hollywood Magic to make the text look nicely laid-out, neat and orderly. That’s for humans. Computers don’t need that, so your file will be all crunched together and rough to read. Use the text editor search tool to find the projname=" entry.

Let us know, and let us know if there’s more than one entry.


it seems that this has been a pointless endeavour and the file is completely unusable. I can open aup files in the text editor and see the code structure but when I open the one I want to repair it simply says NULL.

So you got the nuclear option where it’s possible you interrupted saving the project before Audacity got done writing the AUP file. It does that last.

If this is an edited project, you’re dead. If it’s a raw, mono capture, there is a technique to try and rescue it. Which is it?


Nope, it’s just dead. Empty file. I think a windows update might have screwed it up. Thanks for trying, though.

Nope, it’s just dead. Empty file.

Let me do that again. Is this an edited Project? Forget the AUP file for a minute.


Yes, it is.

If the project is a raw capture, particularly mono, then there is the possibility of rescue via the time and date stamps.

Editing scrambles the work inside the _DATA folder. Without the AUP file, there’s no way to unscramble it.


I will just have to learn from this and move on. Make something better. It was several multitracks.

Multi-track is rough. You can’t use the common recommendation to export everything as backup WAV files. You could be there all week. You could Export a WAV of each track just after you perform it, and then go on to editing and production.

As you produce the show, Save Audacity Projects at time intervals under different names so Audacity doesn’t try to keep stepping on and correcting one three-week old project.

You should know Audacity Projects do not save UNDO, so that’s an important reason to have all the backup WAVs of each live performance.