Why does audacity keep deleting my files?

I recently finished editing an hour long podcast, when I clicked “save project” and then also “save project as” in order to make sure I had 2 files of the edited episode (I had also been doing the same throughout editing). When I came back later however, I received a pop up that said “Audacity failed to read a file in E:.” (see below the details of the message) and I realised that my whole edited episode had been deleted. When I went to try and open the second file that I had saved, the exact same thing happened, meaning I was left only with the original edit, which I had saved when I first created the file.

Thinking it must have been something I did wrong, I went back later and edited the whole thing again, only to have the same thing happen again! Does anyone know why this has happened? I have spent to much time editing and saving documents in different places to avoid this, but it seems like after I’ve edited a certain portion of the episode I deletes the file. Please help! I know I’ll probably have to edit it again, so I’m not looking to recover the file, I just want to know how to avoid this happening again after hours of editing.

Note: it’s definitely nothing to do with lack of space, I have a lot of space on my laptop and hard drive, and even deleted extra files to make sure there was enough space to save it, and it still happened again.

Message from pop up:
“timestamp”: 1637754191,
“event_id”: “aa666d7c04bd2d47bc9bffd0f95c09b0”,
“platform”: “native”,
“release”: “audacity@3.1.2”,
“contexts”: {
“os”: {
“type”: “os”,
“name”: “Windows”,
“version”: “10.0.19042”
“exception”: {
“values”: [
“type”: “File_Error”,
“value”: “Audacity failed to read from a file in .”,
“mechanism”: {
“type”: “runtime_error”,
“handled”: false,
“data”: {
“sqlite3.rc”: “11”,
“sqlite3.context”: “SqliteSampleBlock::Load::step”

So I can not answer your question; however, if you care to zip up your .aup3 file and upload it to a public file sharing service, then post (or PM me) a link, I’ll take a look at it.

“Audacity failed to read a file in E:.”

Where is E:?

Audacity doesn’t get along very well with USB Drives, Network Storage, or Cloud Drives.

It is recommended that you do all your work on the machine’s internal drive, close Audacity and then move the work to other storage if needed. It is also recommended that you File > Export WAV (Microsoft) sound files of original performances and Edit Masters as protection before you save the Audacity Projects.

Audacity is also sensitive to drive capacity. If you can’t record/edit your show on the C:\ drive, then you should probably fix that before you go much further.

It would seem that Audacity is being unnecessarily picky about its drives, but it needs to be able to do all its tricks, tasks, and jobs on the chosen drive. You can’t do split-second accurate timing for overdubbing, for example, on a cloud drive.


Another drive note. Is your internal drive spinning metal/mechanical or a Solid State Drive? If it’s an SSD, that’s a good as it gets. If it’s Spinning Metal, you should Optimize/Defragment before you go too much further. Defragmenting is not recommended on SSDs.