FAQ:Errors

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Why do I get ...?

This page lists some of the common error messages in Audacity and tells you how to deal with them.


Error opening sound device" or "Error opening recording device

These error messages ask you to check the recording or playback device settings and the Audacity project sample rate. If the message mentions "recording device", it means there's a problem with your Audacity, operating system or sound device recording settings. If the message mentions "playback device", it means there is a problem with your playback settings.

There are two forms of this message:

  • Error opening recording device - Error code -xxxx this means there is a problem with your Audacity, operating system or sound device recording settings, where xxxx is replaced by a numeric code see here for details.
  • Error opening sound device ... this is a generic message that is associated with a failure to start the audio playback stream.

These messages can suggest a problem with the drivers of the sound device, or possibly that you are asking the device to do something it cannot do. For example you will see this error if you attempt to Record to more channels than your device supports, or if you try to overdub on a device that can either record or play back but not both.

The recording device message most commonly occurs on Windows when one of the sound device inputs is not properly enabled or otherwise cannot respond to Audacity's request to start recording.

For details of how to fix this please see Error opening sound device.

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FFmpeg Error - Can't open audio codec 0x15002 (or 0x15003)

Error 0x15002 occurs if you export more than a 2-channel M4A file (such as a 5.1 surround sound file), using the "M4A (AAC) Files (FFmpeg)" export choice. To correct the error and export up to 8 channels, choose (external program) and specify a command that tells Audacity to explicitly use the native FFmpeg AAC encoder.

Error 0x15003 occurs if you export more than a 6-channel AC3 file. Six channels is the maximum possible for AC3.

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Audacity is already running ..." error message

This can occur if an old Audacity "lock file" is still present (we believe that this error only occurs on Mac computers).

Tip On Mac the lock file is in:
  • ~/Library/Application Support/audacity/SessionData

Look in the SessionData folder and delete any files and folders you find there.

See FAQ:Installation, Startup and Plug-ins for details.

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Audacity failed to write to a file. Perhaps <drive> is not writable or the disk is full

This error message is telling you that the disk you are using is full, or possibly the disk or file you are trying to write to is write-protected.

For details of how to fix this please see Error: Disk full or not writable.

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Audacity Configuration Error

This error message is telling you that (at least) one of your audacity settings files has become unwritable. Possibly the file of the drive it is on has become locked.

For details of how to fix this please see Error: Audacity Configuration Error.

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Unsuitable drive

This error message is telling you that the drive you are trying to use is unsuitable for Audacity ...

For details of how to fix this please see Error: Unsuitable drive.

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Pasting one type of track into another is not allowed

This means that you have tried to paste a track of one type (audio track, label track, note track) into another track not of the same type.

This does not make sense and is blocked by Audacity.

For details please see Error: Copying or Pasting.

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Copying stereo audio into a mono track is not allowed

While it is possible to copy from a mono track to a stereo track (Audacity places the same content in both the left and right channels) Audacity cannot paste from Stereo to mono as the two channels are likely to have different audio data.

For details please see Error: Copying or Pasting.

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There is not enough room available to paste the selection.

If there is sufficient room to paste the selection that you placed on the Audacity clipboard with Cut or Copy without moving the succeeding clips then the Paste will take place.

If there is insufficient space then this error message will be shown and the clipboard contents will not be pasted.

For details please see Error: Insufficient space in track.

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There is not enough room available to expand the cut line.

If you have turned "on" "Enable cut lines" in Tracks behaviors preferences you can then click on the cut line at any time to restore the cut audio.

If there is insufficient room to restore the cut audio without moving succeeding clips the this error will be shown and the cut audio will not be restored.

For details please see Error: Insufficient space in track.

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Audacity failed to open a file in <drive>.

Audacity was unable to open a file - the file or the drive may be bad.

For details please see Error: Opening or reading file.

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Audacity failed to read from a file in <drive>.

Audacity was unable to read a file - the file or the drive may be bad.

For details please see Error: Opening or reading file.

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Resampling failed

This only happens if:

  • resampling attempts to resample samples it does not have
  • the resampler says it has produced a negative number of samples.

For details please see Error: Resampling.

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Bad data size. Could not import audio.

You should not encounter this message in normal Audacity use.

This can only be produced with a carefully doctored bogus non-WAV file.

For details please see Error: Importing raw audio.

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Batch command ... not recognized

This error may sometimes occur for one or more commands in a Macro when updating from a previous Audacity version. The error may also occur if users sharing Macro have different Audacity versions or different versions of the plug-ins used in the Macro.

See the Macros page for more details.

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Unable to export

There are many Unable to Export traps in Audacity. These all have a help button wg=chich links to the following landing page this landing page Error: Unable to export.

They additionally give a code number that tells us what the error was.

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Errors on opening an Audacity project

You may get an error if you try to open an AUP3 project file that was created in a later version of Audacity.

You will need to upgrade to the latest version of Audacity in order to open this project file.

Cryptic system/database errors

In rare situations you may get what looks like a cryptic database error message. These messages contain valuable data for the developers to help the resolve the issue.

If you ever encounter one of these please report this on the Audacity Forum in full details, preferably accompanied by a screenshot of the message.

The message may have a Show Log button. If it does please press that and send us a screenshot of the full error message with that log, as that will give us valuable data for analysis of the issue.

See the FAQ:Errors on opening or recovering an Audacity project page for more details.

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<  Back to: FAQ:Editing

|< Index of Frequently Asked Questions