Why is a .data folder created when recording?

When I record a song from my keyboard to Audacity, it creates an .aup file and a .data file. Why does it create the data file? They are very large and take up a lot of room. I don’t really know what these are and can I just delete them or prevent them from being created in the first place? Thank you.

Audacity does not save sound files. It saves Projects. The _DATA folder is the show in tiny fragments and the AUP file is the text file to tell Audacity what to do with the fragments when you open it up again. A Project will not open up in anything but Audacity.

If you need a real sound file you can Export one. WAV, AIFF and FLAC are three perfect-quality sound file types. You can make an MP3 lesser quality sound file, too, but you need to install the Lame software to do that.


You should not use MP3 as your sound archive because you can’t always make MP3 into anything else or edit an MP3 without causing a quality loss – sometimes a serous one. Those tiny files come at a price.


Yes, I have been exporting the .aup file as MP3; however, I might try WAV. I am still wondering if it matters if I delete the data folder if I only want the MP3 file. Thank you.

AUP isn’t a sound file. It’s a text file. It’s got words in it, not music.


You can open yours up in a text editor and read it. Yours will be harder to read. I edited mine for the illustration.

You can export an MP3 directly from Audacity without either the AUP file or the _DATA folder by not Saving first.

Every time you pass an MP3 file through Audacity, the quality gets worse, so if you have the room, WAV (the Audacity default) is the way to go. You can get smaller files by using FLAC, but fewer sound programs know how to open those.