Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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  1. About Audacity
  2. Installation, Startup and Plugins
  3. Recording - Troubleshooting
  4. Recording - How To's
  5. Playback
  6. Opening and Saving Files
  7. MP3 export problems
  8. Editing
  9. Errors
  10. Bugs

About Audacity

  1. Is Audacity really free? Why?
  2. Is Audacity safe to use?
  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 iPhone/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. How can I help to improve Audacity?

Installation, Startup and Plugins

  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 plugins 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 plugin?
  8. What can I do if the Audacity interface is slow to respond on Mac?
  9. What should I do if I get errors building Audacity?
  10. Windows: How can I make Audacity launch when I double-click a WAV or other audio file?
  11. Mac: Why do I see "Verifying" or "Damaged" messages when I launch Audacity?
  12. How do I reset my Audacity settings?
  13. Why does the computer reboot or show a blue screen message when I play or record in Audacity?

Recording - Troubleshooting

  1. How can I record without small skips (dropouts) or duplications?
  2. Why can't I 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 Audacity not 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 does recording from YouTube (or other streaming audio) not 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 (AUP3 file) do that?
  2. Audacity crashed, or I no longer have the AUP3 project file! Can I recover the data?
  3. Can Audacity import or export formats like WMA, AC3 or Apple Music/iTunes files (M4A/MP4)?
  4. How can I export to formats not listed in the Export Audio Dialog?
  5. Why do exported files not include Album Artist or BPM metadata, Album Art or Lyrics?
  6. How do I import tracks from an audio CD?
  7. How do I save my recording on an audio CD?
  8. How can I split a long recording into multiple files or CD tracks?
  9. Why does Audacity warn about the name or nothing happens when I export?
  10. How can I backup my Audacity Projects?
  11. How can I move an Audacity 3.x AUP3 project back to Audacity 2.x AUP format?

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?


Why do I get:

  1. Error opening sound device, or Error opening recording device
  2. FFmpeg Error - Can't open audio codec 0x15002 (or 0x15003)
  3. Audacity is already running ...
  4. Audacity failed to write to a file. Perhaps <drive> is not writable or the disk is full
  5. Audacity Configuration Error
  6. Unsuitable drive
  7. Pasting one type of track into another is not allowed
  8. Copying stereo audio into a mono track is not allowed
  9. There is not enough room available to paste the selection
  10. There is not enough room available to expand the cut line
  11. Audacity failed to open a file in <drive>.
  12. Audacity failed to read from a file in <drive>.
  13. Resampling failed.
  14. Bad data size. Could not import audio.
  15. Batch command ... not recognized
  16. Unable to export
  17. Errors opening an Audacity project


  1. I found a bug! Now what?
  2. Feature X is not good enough or missing.