From Audacity Development Manual
Jump to: navigation, search
  • To return later to your unfinished work in Audacity with all tracks and edits as you left them, Save an Audacity project.
  • To play your current work in other media applications or Sending your work to others, you need to Export an audio file such as WAV or MP3.
If you have a problem saving a file, have a look at the FAQ on saving projects which answers some frequently asked questions.


There are three main commands for saving projects:

  • File > Save Project > Save Project saves an .aup project file and a _data folder containing the actual audio.
  • File > Save Project > Save Lossless Copy of Project... lets you save an existing Project with a new name, leaving your existing project open for continued editing.
  • File > Save Project > Save Project As... lets you save an existing Project with a new name, opens the new project and closes the old project.

This saves or updates the .aup file and _data folder. Saving a project lets you save unfinished work and re-open it later in Audacity exactly as it was and (with the exception of the undo history), with all edits and recorded/imported tracks preserved. As with saving any type of file, certain characters cannot be used in the name of the .aup file if they are reserved for the operating system; see our information on forbidden characters.

When saving an Audacity project it is normally easiest to use the File > Save Project command, which has a default shortcut of Ctrl + S (or ⌘ + S on Mac). If you save a project again having made further changes to it, "Save Project" then updates the .aup file and _data folder silently without bothering you with prompts.

If the project does not have any unsaved changes (for example, if the project is empty or you just saved it), "Save Project" will be grayed out. In that case, use File > Save Project > Save Lossless Copy of Project... or File > Save Project As... instead.

"Save Lossless Copy of Project" is the safe and recommended way to make a copy of a project with a new name or in a different location to serve either as a single backup copy of the project, or as one of several incremental copies of the project in the state it had at a particular date and time.

Warning icon
  • The .aup file and _data folder must always be kept together as created by Audacity. Never move, rename nor change their contents manually. Don't delete them until your final exported file is exactly as you want.
  • If you are coming back to your project later, it's always a sensible precaution to export a lossless backup WAV or AIFF file (or files) before you quit.
  • A saved project can only be opened and used by Audacity; if you want an audio file that will play on your music player or to burn a CD then you will need to Export one.


To re-open a saved project:

Read more about Audacity Projects.

|< Back to: Getting Started