Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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  1. About Audacity
  2. Installation, Startup and Plug-ins
  3. Recording - Troubleshooting
  4. Recording - How To's
  5. Playback
  6. Opening and Saving Files
  7. MP3 export problems
  8. Editing
  9. Errors
  10. Errors opening/recovering an Audacity project

About Audacity

  1. Is Audacity really free? Why?
  2. Does Audacity contain any spyware, malware or adware?
  3. May I distribute copies of Audacity?
  4. Someone is selling Audacity on eBay. Is this legal?
  5. A search result misled me into paying for an Audacity download. What can I do?
  6. Audacity isn't displaying in the expected or desired language. Can I change this?
  7. Will there be a version of Audacity for iPod, iPad or other smartphones or tablet computers?
  8. Can I run Audacity on a Chromebook laptop?
  9. Does Audacity work with screen-reader applications for blind users?
  10. What features does Audacity have for speech transcription or speech recognition?
  11. Does Audacity run on 64-bit systems?
  12. Does Audacity support low latency ASIO drivers?
  13. How do I find which Audacity version I have, and if this is the latest version?
  14. Why doesn't Audacity ship with an MP3 encoder?
  15. How can I help to improve Audacity?

Installation, Startup and Plug-ins

  1. How do I install or update Audacity?
  2. How do I uninstall Audacity?
  3. What should I do if I have problems downloading or installing Audacity?
  4. How do I download and install the LAME MP3 encoder?
  5. How do I download and install the FFmpeg Import/Export Library?
  6. What Effect, Generator and Analyzer plug-ins does Audacity support and how do I install them?
  7. How can I solve Audacity not appearing or crashing on launch, or crashing after I add a plug-in?
  8. What should I do if I get errors building Audacity?
  9. Windows: How can I make Audacity launch when I double-click a WAV or other audio file?
  10. Mac: Why do I see "Verifying" or "Damaged" messages when I launch Audacity?
  11. How do I reset my Audacity settings?

Recording - Troubleshooting

  1. How can I record without small skips (dropouts) or duplications?
  2. Why can I not record in Windows?
  3. Why do I get a flat line and no sound when I record on Mac?
  4. How can I prevent clicky recordings on Mac?
  5. Why can't Audacity see the audio device I just connected?
  6. Why can’t I hear what I’m recording?
  7. Why is there a delay or echo when listening to what I am recording?
  8. Why do my recordings fade out or sound as if they were made in a tunnel?
  9. Why is my new track out of sync with the previous ones, or sounds crackly or at wrong pitch?
  10. Why can't I record my electronic keyboard or electronic instrument using the USB cable?
  11. Why doesn't recording from YouTube (or other streaming audio) work?
  12. Why do I get crackles, pops, or distortion when the recording is loud?
  13. Why do I see a lot of vertical red lines in the track I just recorded?
  14. Why is the Audacity recording slider grayed out on maximum?
  15. Why does my recording keep pausing automatically or why is my recording cursor stuck?
  16. Why do I get only a flat line and no sound when I try to record?
  17. Why do I get a periodic noise every 6 - 12 seconds when recording?
  18. How can I prevent a half-volume mono recording?
  19. How can I prevent unbalanced or poorly separated stereo recording?
  20. How can I correct an unbalanced stereo recording?
  21. Why is the recorded waveform not centered on the horizontal line at 0.0?
  22. Why do I get a burst of sound at the splice point when using Punch and Roll Recording?

Recording - How To's

  1. How can I record in stereo?
  2. What is an optimal recording level to aim for?
  3. How do I record from vinyl records, cassette tapes or MiniDiscs?
  4. Can I play a track while recording a new one on top of it?
  5. Can Audacity record YouTube, internet radio or other streaming audio?
  6. What is the maximum recording length?
  7. Can I set Audacity to record at a certain time?
  8. Can I record from a multi-channel device (more than stereo)?
  9. Can I record from two microphones (or two audio interfaces) at the same time?


  1. Why have I lost sound after connecting a USB device on Windows?
  2. Why does playback go quiet when I record or adjust the recording volume?
  3. Why do I hear clicky playback on Mac?
  4. Why is there a very low level hiss on exported files?
  5. How can I pause playback so I can edit there?
  6. How can I play or export multi-channel (surround sound) files?

Opening and Saving Files

  1. How do I save my audio for use in other applications? Does saving a project (AUP file) do that?
  2. Why does Audacity create a folder full of .au files when I save a project?
  3. Audacity crashed, or I no longer have the AUP project file! Can I recover the data?
  4. Can Audacity import or export formats like WMA, AC3 or iTunes files (M4A/MP4)?
  5. How can I export to formats not listed in the Export Audio Dialog?
  6. Why do exported files not include Album Artist or BPM metadata, Album Art or Lyrics?
  7. How do I import tracks from an audio CD?
  8. How do I save my recording on an audio CD?
  9. How can I split a long recording into multiple files or CD tracks?
  10. Why does Audacity warn about the name or nothing happens when I export?
  11. Why does my file import with a hatched pattern then slowly change to a waveform?
  12. I copied the .aup file to another computer or sent it by email to a friend; but now when I open it there's no sound, why?
  13. How can I backup my Audacity Projects?

MP3 export problems

  1. Why does Audacity crash or use excessive processing time on MP3 export?
  2. Why is my exported MP3 invalid / will not play?
  3. Why does my exported MP3 play too fast?
  4. Why does my exported MP3 have low volume or no sound?
  5. Why is my exported MP3 larger than the imported one?


  1. Why can't I use the effects or other menu items?
  2. Why can't I select less than one second or click between whole seconds?
  3. Why do I hear clicks when I remove or paste audio, or at the start or end of the track?
  4. How do I select audio in one track?
  5. How do I extend or move the selected region into other tracks?
  6. How do I combine two files into one longer file?
  7. How do I mix two tracks together?
  8. Can I remove the vocals from a recording to make a Karaoke track?
  9. Can I create Ringtones or IVR messages with Audacity?
  10. Why do I see a lot of vertical red lines in the track I just recorded?
  11. Can Audacity preview or apply effects live, in real-time?
  12. How do I convert a stereo track to mono, or mono to stereo?


  1. Why do I get "Error opening sound device" or "Error opening recording device"?
  2. Why do I get "FFmpeg Error - Can't open audio codec 0x15002" (or 0x15003)?
  3. Why do I get "Audacity is already running ..." error message?
  4. Why does the computer reboot or show a blue screen message when I play or record in Audacity?
  5. Why do I get "Batch command ... not recognized"?
  6. Why do I get "Errors on opening or recovering an Audacity project"?
  7. I found a bug! Now what?
  8. Feature X is not good enough or missing.

Errors opening and recovering Audacity projects

  1. Why do I get "Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line x"?
  2. Why do I get "Error: Reference to invalid character number at line x"?
  3. Why do I get "Error importing" when opening an AUP file?
  4. Why do I get "Error Opening File or Project: File may be invalid or corrupted"?
  5. Why do I get "Error Opening Project: mismatched tag at line x"?
  6. Other errors opening projects