Why are my audacity files saving as PDF?

Hello - I got a new computer and had to re-download the audacity program (2.1.3) and since then all my old audacity files (.aup) we’re converted into PDF files. Additionally when I create a new file in audacity and the do save as, I select .aup as the file type then close. When I look in my folder though, its been saved as a PDF, aka a useless file if I ever want to edit/open that audacity project again.

Does anyone know how to fix this?


Did you get Audacity from here?


If you didn’t, you might want to now and when it asks to reset all preferences and settings, say yes.

If you double click one of these new PDF files, does it try to open in Acrobat or Adobe Reader? Any error messages?

Do you tell Windows to reveal filename extensions? This might be a good time to start.

Windows doesn’t always show you “real” filenames. It shows you the English part and then hides the three or four digit extension of files it knows about so as not to “confuse you.” That’s the .aup thing at the end of the name. Does that say .pdf now? Or did it used to say .aup and now it doesn’t say anything?

You may find a different one you like.


All my machines show me the whole filename.

I think they worked around it, but briefly, there was a way to open a harmless .txt plain text file in Windows and find later the “real” filename was .txt.exe and you just launched a virus program on your machine. Windows was hiding the .exe part.


Select one of your former .aup files that’s tiny (under 2MB) and post it here. Scroll down from a forum text window to where it says Upload Attachment.


Since making a Portable Document Format file is a paid service, it’s super difficult to believe your machine would take it on its own initiative to start making them without your knowledge—or without you writing a check.

Something extraordinary is happening to your machine. Do you have any Adobe products? I have Photoshop and Illustrator and the license management is not hidden or fuzzy.

You are this close to being a fake forum post.


For some reason Windows thinks .aup files are PDFs, (NB: only the icon is changed: the files have not been “converted”).
You’ll have to tell Windows to associate .aup files with Audacity, see …
Once you do that all the old Audacity projects should open in Audacity.

I must have missed something while sleeping :blush:

AFAIK that has never been a paying service. Or do you mean an added service, as in non-native to Windows?

I seem to remember Win 10 finally included a pdf writer. Could’ve dreamt that up too, of course. :laughing:

NB: only the icon is changed: the files have not been “converted”

Misbehaving icons. Nothing to worry about. Tricky to fix, as it involves some registry hacking.

Are you up tot that?

Here’s a MS article explaining the process:


Restart required afterwards, of course.

It could however, be a moment for contemplation. How/when did this happen? Any chance any malware has done this? Or a system update?

Before you resort to brain-surgery try this …
associate aup files with Audacity or Adobe.gif
Then after you refresh / restart, all the all the aup files which had a PDF icon get their correct Audacity icon, and will open in Audacity when you double-click on them.

Thank you all so much! I was able to fix by changing the file association and all my old audacity files are back :smiley: