FAQ:About Audacity

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Is Audacity really free? Why?

Yes, Audacity is completely free, open source software. You are free to use this application for any personal, commercial, or educational purposes, including installing it on as many different computers as you wish. You are also free to give it away, sell it, or modify it for your own use, under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

The authors of Audacity decided to release it under the GPL for many reasons. Some of us do it out of generosity. Some of us do it for moral reasons, because we feel that all software should be free; others believe that there is a place for both free and proprietary software.

One reason Audacity is free is so that it will be more popular and useful. Yet another reason is to encourage collaboration. Because of Audacity's free license, dozens of people around the world have contributed code, bug fixes, documentation, and graphics.

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Is Audacity safe to use?

Yes, Audacity is completely safe for users of any age if you always download Audacity from our website https://audacityteam.org.

We codesign Audacity on Windows and Mac with Microsoft and Apple ID respectively. Please review independent verification of the Audacity software by visiting the virustotal.com search page, entering "audacity" (without quotes) in the search box and clicking the "Search it!" button. Visit siteadvisor.com to view the report for audacityteam.org.

Audacity is always completely free and open source when downloaded from us. The source code is available for anyone to study or use.

Nonetheless, virus checkers can occasionally report false positives for the Audacity installer for Windows (.exe). This can happen because Audacity uses a compressed installer. Some anti-virus applications can also block installers if you run them from temporary space. Try downloading the installer to your Desktop and running it from there. If you are concerned about the safety of the installer, please feel free to download the zip version of Audacity and check that for viruses. Please report false positives about Audacity to the supplier of the security application so they can update their virus definitions.

Also, SmartScreen filter in recent versions of Internet Explorer (IE) or Microsoft Edge may complain that Audacity is not "commonly downloaded" or say that "Windows has protected your PC" and ask you to confirm the download. This warning is normal and will only occur (if at all) with a new Audacity release or download. The warning occurs because (in addition to checking a list of known malware), IE checks a Microsoft database of files that are "well known and downloaded by many Internet Explorer users". For more help, please see this SmartScreen FAQ.

Please take care when downloading any applications from the Internet. See our advice Online safety when downloading.

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May I distribute copies of Audacity?

You can redistribute Audacity under the GNU General Public License, which gives you permission to modify, copy or sell the application as long as you keep the same license and make the source code available. We ask vendors to give proper credit to Audacity, to add some value to their product (for example by including video tutorials or openly licensed sound samples), and to offer customers technical support.

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Someone is selling Audacity on eBay. Is this legal?

It is legal to sell Audacity, as long as the vendor makes the application and source code available under the GNU General Public License (GPL). If the vendor modifies Audacity, our trademark requires that they call the application something other than Audacity. See our License page for details.

Some vendors sell unmodified Audacity under a different name, or do not give us any link or credit for the software - this is difficult to prevent under the current GPL. If you bought a product and later found out it was Audacity, we encourage you to ask for a refund or file a complaint if you feel you did not get a fair deal. See "May I distribute copies of Audacity?" for what we expect from Audacity vendors.

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A search result misled me into paying for an Audacity download. What can I do?

If you search for Audacity on the Internet, you will often see "sponsored results" that are links to companies selling Audacity (or the right to access it) for money. For example there may be a "free" download but the "small print" will commit you to a paid subscription to buy software or services every month. Or the company may guarantee to supply the "very latest version" when their version is out-of-date, or sometimes the download is really is "free" but carries spyware or viruses.

You should avoid these advertisers and only download Audacity from https://web.audacityteam.org/ .

If the advertisement is provided by Google and does not comply with their terms you can complain about it to Google here. "Audacity" is a registered trademark in the USA and recognised as such by Google, therefore if advertisements on Google.com include "Audacity" in the advertisement or link text you may report this to Google. You can also complain to Google if the advertisement did not "accurately represent the product or service" - please tell Google in what way the advertising was not an accurate representation.

If you paid money by credit card due to a fraudulent advertisement, you may be able to initiate a chargeback with your credit card company. You need to show that the advertising and website you visited was misleading. Generally you should try to sort out a refund with the retailer first, but often they are very hard to contact and there is a time limit of only a few days on requesting a refund.

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Audacity isn't displaying in the expected or desired language. Can I change this?

Audacity can display in many non-English languages. On Windows, the Audacity installer sets the language Audacity displays in, but otherwise the language Audacity uses on first run is determined by the language the operating system uses. As a result you may want to change the Audacity display language.

If you can read the language Audacity is currently running in, it is easy to change to another language. Open the Preferences, then choose Interface from the list on the left. Now choose the specific language required from the "Language" box, then click OK. Most of the Audacity interface will change language at once, but a very few interface elements will change next time you restart Audacity.

If Audacity is running in an unfamiliar language, please see this page in the Manual.

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Will there be a version of Audacity for iPhone/iPod, iPad or other smartphones or tablet computers?

Current versions of Audacity work internally with uncompressed audio to permit high quality editing with a wide range of effects. This requires more processing power and disk space than is available on most mobile devices. Also the wxWidgets interface library we use only has limited support for mobile operating systems and small screen resolutions.

Therefore, considerable rewriting of Audacity and its interface will be required before Audacity will work on portable music players like iPod, smartphones like iPhone, tablet computers like iPad or any of the Nexus devices running Android.

However, Audacity in principle does support a tablet PC running Windows (including Microsoft's "Surface with Windows 8 Pro" tablet), . Audacity will not run on the Windows RT operating system which ships on devices running ARM architecture (such as Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT tablet).

There are many alternatives available for lightweight recording or editing on mobile platforms:

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Can I run Audacity on a Chromebook laptop?

You cannot run Audacity on a Chromebook because Audacity does not support Chrome OS.

Chrome OS 69 or later support running containerized Linux. At time of writing, Linux support in Chrome OS is experimental - refer to Google support for information about running Linux applications on Chrome OS.

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How accessible is Audacity for motion- or visually-impaired users?

Audacity has numerous keyboard shortcuts which can be customised in the Keyboard Preferences. Most of Audacity can be wholly or partially used without a mouse, with excellent keyboard navigation of the selection. A few features currently have no keyboard alternatives, notably clips, Time Tracks and the Tools Toolbar tools except Selection Tool.

Audacity works well with most screen-reader applications on Windows (including Jaws, Window-Eyes and NVDA). However a few features, notably Label Tracks, are not read. We still have to improve screen-reader support for Linux.

For more information, see Accessibility.

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What features does Audacity have for speech transcription or speech recognition?

Audacity is not specialized transcription or speech recognition software, but has some useful features for those transcribing speech manually.

  • You can use Play-at-Speed Toolbar to play audio more slowly (also lowering the pitch).
  • You can add labels at the playback position using Ctrl + M (or ⌘ + . on Mac) then type into the label. Use File > Export Other > Export Labels to export a tab-delimited plain text file containing the text and audio position of each label.
  • Audacity has many other configurable keyboard shortcuts that can be used to control playback and editing. However as yet Audacity has no global shortcuts that work even if you have focus in another application. Some mouse gestures (not yet configurable) can also be used.

Foot pedals: Audacity has no built-in support for foot pedals, but if you can install a suitable driver so that the pedal delivers mouse clicks or key strokes, Audacity can be controlled by those. The pedal manufacturer might be able to assist, or some pedals (for example, Vpedal or X-keys) already come with software to map pedal buttons to specific keystrokes. Alternatively if your pedal is recognized by the computer as a Game Controller or Human Interface Device, you may be able to use third-party software such as AutoHotKey (Windows) to map pedal buttons to keystrokes.

Speech recognition: If you are looking for software that can recognize microphone input or speech in an audio file and convert it automatically to a text file, see Wikipedia's list of speech recognition software.

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Does Audacity run on 64-bit systems?

Windows 64-bit

From version 3.0.3 Audacity is supplied as a 64-bit app om Windows.

Mac 64-bit

With the release of Catalina (macOS 10.14) and later Macs will now only run 64-bit applications. Hence Audacity for Mac is now built as 64-bit.


If you install a 64-bit version of Linux on a 64-bit machine, the repository build of Audacity offered via the packaging system should normally be 64-bit. If you self-compile Audacity from source code with default ./configure then you should definitely build a 64-bit version. You can check whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Audacity using the file command.

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Does Audacity support low latency ASIO drivers?

Licensing restrictions prevent us including ASIO support in released versions of Audacity, but Audacity can be compiled with ASIO support for private, non-distributable use.

See ASIO Audio Interface for details.

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How do I find which Audacity version I have, and if this is the latest version?

You can click Help > About Audacity (or on a Mac Audacity > About Audacity) to check the version of Audacity you are running.

Clicking Help > Check for Updates opens the Audacity download page http://audacityteam.org/download/ in your browser and displays your Audacity version number in the browser address bar.

Whenever asking for help or reporting possible bugs, please quote Audacity's full three-section version number (for example, 3.0.0) and your exact operating system (for example, Windows 10 Home 64-bit).

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How can I help to improve Audacity?

See this page on the main Audacity website.

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