unable to write or disk is full

I am a brand-new user to this forum, so apologize up front for asking a question that many of you may have answered a lot of times before.

We are on Audacity 2.0.6 on Windows 7. The people who originally set us up with Audacity are long gone, and it has fallen to me to figure out what to do.

Bottom Line: We use Audacity to record our church services, then trim out the sermon to post on our website. Everything has been working fine until this past week, when, as we were saving the project (.aup file), we got the following message (or a minor variation - I don’t remember) “Unable to write or disk is full”. Our hard drive is over 60% free, Audacity is not on a partition, and the folder which contains it registers at 29+ gb.

Are there any ideas out there as to what might have been ( or is ) our problem, and how to go about fixing them?


Sometimes you can freak out Windows by putting punctuation marks inside a filename. Dates cause problems. Today is 2017-08-24, or 20170824, not 8/24/17. Dashes and Underscore are OK, slashes are not.

You can also cause problems by putting a blank space as a leading character in a name by accident.

Did you recently put in Network Connected Drives? Audacity doesn’t always like that very much.


Audacity 2.0.6 is ancient. The current version is 2.1.3 and is available here: https://www.audacityteam.org/download/windows/

There have been changes to how Audacity looks at available disk space, so the first thing that I would suggest is updating Audacity.
Also, check that the folder where you are exporting to is one where you have write access.

I maintain Audacity 2.0.X (especially 2.0.6) for myself and a couple of organizations. This particular error dialog can occur due to quite a few very different problems (some which have absolutely nothing to do with hard drive access or fullness). As pointed out above, some characters in the filename can trigger this. Also, this can trigger whether you are trying to export (e.g. as wav or flac etc.) or if you are saving an Audacity project.

It’s not too late… If you are exporting or saving try both a different file name and a different folder (you can have a valid file and/or folder name and still cause Audacity to trigger this error spuriously.

However… There can be valid reasons for this error dialog to appear. Some other background operation on your computer might be temporarily blocking access to the folder (certain security programs, like Norton, do this but the amount of time that any one folder is locked is generally very brief). If you get this error, you might try the save/export operation again in the same location before trying a different filename or folder.

Quite a while back, this was a real hassle for me so I tried to figure out WHY it was happening and correct the problem in the code. Because the problem was so intermittent I was unable to pin down a specific cause but I found numerous dodgy bits in the error handling which 2.0.6 implemented. I think Paul has addressed many of these in the very-soon-to-be-released next version of Audacity. I corrected almost 100 problems and the issue went away but I can’t pin down one specific problem; I’m not sure how Paul addressed these problems but there are a few types and each type happened numerous places in the code.