Export Audio

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Exports one or more audio files in any format that Audacity supports from the whole project or the current selection:

  • It lets you set the folder location, file name, format and encoding options for your exported file
  • You can use Export Audio to export multiple tracks as a mono or stereo mixdown, or as a multi-channel audio file by enabling Advanced Mixing Options.
  • You can use Multiple Files to export multiple audio files (based on labels or multiple audio tracks) in one process.
What you hear by previewing with playback prior to export is what you will get in the Exported audio file.
Accessed by: File > Export Audio  Ctrl + Shift + E
Export Audio dialog 3-5-0.png


  1. Summary
  2. File name, folder location and format
  3. Format options
  4. Audio options
  5. Export Range
  6. Trim blank space before first clip
  7. Metadata
  8. Mixing
  9. Cancelling the export process
  10. Export progress dialog
  11. Export to your computer or Muse's Cloud


In summary, there are several steps to follow when exporting:

  • Choose the file name to export to.
  • Choose the folder to export to.
  • Select the Format required for your exported file.
  • Select the sample rate required for your exported file.
  • Choose the export range: whole project, current selection or multiple files.
  • Optionally, press Edit Metadata to edit the metadata tags for your exported file.
    • The Metadata Editor dialog will then appear. This lets you enter embedded information tags in the file such as artist, year or genre.
  • Press Export.

File name, folder location and format

File name

Type the required file name. The correct file extension - preceded by a period (dot) - will be added automatically to the end of the file name, according to the format selected in the "Save as type" list (see below). For example, typing "08 Voodoo Chile" (without quotes) will produce a file "08 Voodoo Chile.wav". For M4A and WMA formats (for which the optional FFmpeg library is required), you can add alternative extensions as specified in "FFmpeg formats" below.

Any other extensions can be added after a file name as required, but Audacity will display a warning that this is not the normal extension for this file type, and that some applications might not play files with non-standard extensions.

Tip Help with choosing the file name:
  • Avoid periods (dots) in the file name, or you will have to add the extension such as .wav or .mp3 at the end of the name.
  • Some characters cannot be used on all operating systems or for email or Internet use, for example colons, semi-colons and slashes.
  • For maximum compatibility use only:
    • A to Z or a to z characters
    • whole numbers (0 to 9)
    • underscores "_" and dashes "-"


Clicking the Browse button opens a standard File Export Dialog in which you select the location to which the files will be exported.


Tip You can install the optional FFmpeg library to import a much larger range of audio formats including AC3, M4A, MP4 and WMA.

Clicking in the input box opens a dropdown menu enabling you to chose the file format you wish to export to:

Hover over each row in "Save as type:" in the image to see the tooltip and click in that row to learn more. Skip the image

Dropdown menu for selecting the required file format. Click to learn more.WAV is a lossless format that can both be played on Windows or Mac computers. WAV 16-bit PCM is eminently suitable whenever you want to burn your exported file to an audio CD. There are no options for this format. Click to learn more.Other uncompressed files includes all the uncompressed audio formats that Audacity can export, including 4-bit (A)DPCM, 8-bit U-Law/A-Law, 24-bit, 32-bit and 64-bit options. Also GSM 6.10 WAV (mobile) which produces a mono WAV file encoded with the compressed, lossy GSM 6.10 codec as used in mobile telephones. This menu item defaults to WAV (Microsoft) signed 16-bit PCM on Windows and Linux and to AIFF (Apple/SGI) signed 16-bit PCM on Mac. Click to learn more.MP3 is a popular compressed, lossy format producing much smaller files than WAV or AIFF, at the expense of some loss of quality. You must download the optional LAME encoder to export to MP3. Click to learn more.Ogg Vorbis is the compressed, lossy Vorbis codec in an OGG container. Vorbis offers higher quality than MP3 for the same file size, and is useful for good quality small-sized mono files, but fewer applications can play the OGG format.  Click to learn more.Opus file format (also called "Ogg Opus") is a lossy audio format developed for Internet streaming. It uses both SILK (used by Skype) and CELT (from Xiph.Org) codecs and supports variable bit rates from 6 kbps to 510 kbps.    Click to learn more.FLAC is a compressed but lossless format, giving much larger file sizes than MP3 and OGG but only about half the size of WAV. Click to learn more.WavPack is a completely open audio compression format providing lossless, high-quality lossy, and a unique hybrid compression mode.AAC: Advanced Audio Coding is a compressed, lossy format used in Apple applications, generally achieving slightly better quality than MP3 for the same file size. By default, the exported file will be given an "m4a" extension. Optional permitted extensions: .mp4, .m4r (ringtone) and .3gp (mobile).  Click to learn more.AC3 is the common name used for the compressed, lossy format used in Dolby Digital. Click to learn more.WMA: Windows Media Audio v2 is a compressed, lossy format developed by Microsoft. Optional permitted extensions: .asf or .wmv.  Click to learn more.Custom FFmpeg Export allows interface-based export of some additional compressed or uncompressed formats not listed above, and options for exporting formats containing alternative codecs (for example, WAV format containing MP3 or OGG format containing FLAC). Note: not all formats and codecs are compatible, and some exports might result in zero-byte or invalid files if FFmpeg does not support the combination chosen. Click to learn more.MP2 is a compressed, lossy format similar to MP3, producing slightly larger files than MP3 for the same quality.  Click to learn more.(external program) sends audio via the command-line to any executable binary application either for processing or for encoding as a file. This is a method to export using an alternative compressed or uncompressed encoder or to a format not otherwise supported by Audacity. Click to learn more.Export Format selection 3-4-2.png
Click for details
Click on the image to learn more

Advice WAV files are limited to a maximum size of 4GB - see this page for details of how that relates to maximum times.

Format Options

Some formats offer options for making settings like quality or encoding.

Export options vary from one audio format to another:

Tip Custom FFmpeg Export:

Using the Custom FFmpeg Export provides access to a much wider range of export formats and codecs. For more information on this please see Custom FFmpeg Export Options.

Be aware that not all combinations of format and codec that are offered in the dialog will work properly, you will need to experiment.

Audio options


Sets the number of channels for the exported audio file. There are three options:

  • Mono: single channel
  • Stereo: stereo pair with left and right channels - this is the default setting even if you only have mono tracks for exporting
  • Custom mapping: use this to export multi-channel (surround sound) files or to make customized assignments between Audacity tracks and the channels in the exported file.

Sample Rate

Sets the sample rate for the exported file. Default setting is 44100 Hz, which is CD quality.


This option is for the default WAV exports, selecting other file formats will cause different options to appear in this position.

It sets the encoding to be used for the exported WAV file. Default is Signed 16-bit PCM, which is CD quality

Export Range

Entire Project

Choosing this will export the entire project less any tracks that are grayed-out by use of the Mute or Solo buttons in the tracks and are inaudible on playback.

Multiple Files

This allows you to do multiple audio file exports from Audacity, either based on the multiple tracks in the project, or based on the labels in a single audio track. As with Export Audio muted tracks are not exported.

Selecting this will cause the Export dialog to be expanded - see Export Multiple for details.

Tip A great time-saver for splitting up long recordings into separate CD tracks, or archiving multiple working tracks.

See the Tutorial - Copying tapes, LPs or MiniDiscs to CD for an example of how this is used.

Current Selection

When choosing this, Audacity will Export the selection from all selected tracks even if some if those tracks are grayed-out by use of the Mute or Solo buttons in the tracks and are inaudible on playback.

Audacity will try to re-use your last-used setting for Export range, but only when it is appropriate:
  • IF you last used Entire Project THEN Entire Project will be offered
  • IF you last used Current Selection AND you have a selection active THEN Current Selection will be offered, ELSE Entire Project will be offered,
  • IF you last used Multiple Files AND you have a label track with at least one label THEN Multiple Files will be offered, ELSE Entire Project will be offered.

Trim blank space before first clip

If this is unchecked (default setting) when exporting audio any leading blank space offset in the tracks or project to be exported is treated as silence and appropriate leading silence will pad the exported audio.

If you check this box, leading blank space will be ignored on Export.

Tip A use case for turning this "on" is track-based multiple export where you have "songs" lined up one after the other on different tracks

In this case you probably do not want the offsets exported as long silences at the start of "songs".


If you press the Edit Metadata button then the Metadata Editor dialog will appear.

This lets you enter embedded information tags in the file such as artist, year or genre.

Metadata Tags editor - with off setting.png


Automatic Mixing on Export

By default, multiple stereo tracks are mixed down to a single stereo file on Export.

Also by default, multiple mono tracks are mixed down to a mono file, but if you pan any mono tracks to left or right or if there are any stereo tracks among the tracks to be exported, the tracks are mixed to a stereo file.

Note that the mono tracks are mixed to both the left and right channels of the resulting stereo file.

Advanced Mixing Options

The Advanced Mixing Options dialog appears when you click on the Configure button in the Export dialog.

Use this dialog to export multi-channel (surround sound) files or to make customized assignments between Audacity tracks and the channels in the exported file.

For details please see Advanced Mixing Options.

Cancelling the export process

You may abort the export process without writing the file by pressing the Cancel button in the Export Audio dialog. If you Cancel, any changes you made to the "Save in:" directory or file type will not be preserved for next time you export.

Export progress dialog

Once you have clicked the Save button in the export dialog and OK in Edit Metadata, Audacity will display a dialog displaying the progress of writing the exported file:

Export Audio progress dialog partial completion.png

The colored progress bar is a visual indicator of how much of the file has been written. The Elapsed Time and Remaining Time are estimates and may change as the export progresses.

Stop and Cancel

Clicking the:

  • Stop button will halt the export where it is now, leaving the partially exported file in place,
  • Cancel button will abort the export leaving no exported audio file.

Export to your computer or Muse's audio.com Cloud

The first time you make an export the following dialog will appear.

Export to Cloud or computer.png

This enables you to choose whether to make your export to either:

  • Muse's Cloud (audio.com) which will export an uncompressed audio file to audio.com
  • Directly on your own computer. This will bring up the normal export dialog.
Tip If you check on the checkbox for "Don't show again" Audacity will remember your previous choice and not show this dialog the next tome you export an audio file.

If you want to turn this back on again this can be done in Cloud Preferences.

Share Audio button

Exporting to Muse's audio.com cloud is exactly the same as using the Share Audio button in Audacity.

See Sharing audio online om Muse's Support site for more details.


>  Importing Audio

>  LAME MP3 Export

>  FFmpeg import/export libraries for more formats

>  Metadata Tags Editor