When Importing MP3 Files Audacity Stops Responding

This started about 2 weeks ago. Earlier in December i could import fines perfectly fine but now it just tells stops responding and says “Importing MP3 Files (Not Responding)” Please help.

Please tell us what version of Audacity you are using (see the pink panel at the top of the page).

Typically this means you have almost no disk space, or Audacity can’t read the location where the file is. Audacity expands the MP3 to lossless PCM while you are editing it and by default this takes 20 MB of space per minute for stereo. Open Edit > Preferences…, Directories section. How much space does it say you have? And where are your files located?

Even if you have the current 2.1.2 release from Audacity ® | Download for Windows I would recommend installing it again, but half way through installation, check (tick) the box that says “Reset Preferences”. When you launch Audacity, it will ask if you want to reset Preferences - say yes.


I’m on the latest 2.1.2 and I’ve reinstalled it multiple times. When i check how much space i have, it says 379.7 GB. I don’t know if that’s good or not. My files are located in the downloads section of my computer. Thank You.

We told you how much space Audacity requires to import an MP3. 20 MB per minute for stereo (and 10 MB per minute for mono). Only you know how long the MP3’s are. If they are surveillance MP3’s lasting many hours or days your computer may not have the disk I/O for Audacity to import them without hanging not responding for hours, even if you have the disk space.

If they are the same three minute songs you imported before, then consider what changes you made to your computer just before the problem started. Have you installed new security software? Perhaps it scans the files Audacity creates when importing the MP3. Or perhaps you have a computer virus and need to do a virus scan. Or perhaps you need to do a Windows system restore to an earlier time before the problem occurred (if you have system restore enabled).

Or are they different MP3’s than you normally import? Are thy really MP3’s? Can your computer play them?

Reinstalling Audacity won’t help unless you also reset preferences as I described.