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

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 even two soundcards) 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?


  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"?
  2. Why do I get "FFmpeg Error - Can't open audio codec 0x15002" (or 0x15003)?
  3. Why does the computer reboot or show a blue screen message when I play or record in Audacity?
  4. I found a bug! Now what?
  5. 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