File Menu

From Audacity Development Manual
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The File Menu provides commands for creating, opening and saving Audacity projects, importing and exporting audio files.
This menu has items to open, save, import and export files.The Edit Menu provides standard edit commands (Undo, Redo, Cut, Copy, Paste and Delete) plus many other commands specific to editing audio or labelsSelect Menu has commands that enable you make selections of tracks or parts of the tracks in your projectView Menu has commands that determine the amount of detail you see in all the tracks in the project window. It also lets you show or hide Toolbars and some additional windows such as Undo HistoryTransport Menu commands let you play or stop, loop play, scrub play or record (including timed and sound activated recordings)Tracks Menu provides commands for creating and removing tracks, applying operations to selected tracks such as mixing, resampling or converting from stereo to mono, and lets you add or edit labelsGenerate Menu lets you create audio containing tones, noise or silenceAudacity includes many built-in effects and also lets you use a wide range of plug-in effectsThe Analyze Menu contains tools for finding out about the characteristics of your audio, or labeling key featureThe Tools Menu contains customisable toolsThe Extra menu provides access to additional Commands that are not available in the normal default Audacity menusThe Help Menu lets you find out more about the Audacity application and how to use it.  It also includes some diagnostic tools.Creates a new empty project window, to start working on new or imported tracksPresents you with a file selection dialog box to open filesLists the full path to the twelve most recently saved or opened projects or most recently imported audio filesCloses the current project window, prompting you to save your work if you have not savedVarious ways to save a projectFor exporting audio filesFor importing audio files or label files into your projectOpens the standard Page Setup dialog box prior to printingPrints all the waveforms in the current project window (and the contents of Label Tracks or other tracks), with the Timeline aboveCloses all project windows and exits AudacityThe MenusFileMenu.png
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New  Ctrl + N

Creates a new and empty project window to start working on new or imported Tracks. This new work environment can then be saved as an Audacity Project File (.AUP) for easy and full retrieval of its contents via the Save Project or Save Project As... File menu functions.

Audacity will warn on start up or when using File > New to create a new project if you have 100 MB or less space in the temporary folder for recording or editing.

100MB is approximately 5 minutes of stereo or 10 minutes of mono at default settings.

Warning Low Disk Space at Startup.png

Open...  Ctrl + O

Launches a file selection window where you can Open one or more Audacity AUP3 Project files.

If an empty project window exists, that window will be used for the first project or imported file. Any subsequent opened projects or audio files will create new project windows.

Tip Old AUP files from earlier versions of Audacity can be opened with File > Open.

Audacity will convert these into modern AUP3 format, you will need to Save them for them to be stored in AUP3 format. Once an AUP project has been converted like this it can no longer be opened in Audacity 2.4.2 or earlier.

Note that this will leave behind the old AUP file and its associated _data folder which you will probably want to delete to recover disk space.
The Open command can be used to Import a set of audio files with with lists of files (.LOF)).
Advice Note carefully that this does not actually "open" your audio files for editing, rather it copies them into Audacity in Audacity's internal project format where they can be worked on.
Tip You are strongly advised not to open a project that is on networked storage or cloud storage (or an external USB stick/disk) as it is unlikely to be fast enough for satisfactory recording and editing.
  • Instead copy the project file, the AUP3 file, to an onboard disk on your computer and open it from there to work on it.
  • Audacity blocks you from opening a project that is on a FAT/FAT32 drive as they are limited to a maximum 4GB per single file and this can easily be exceeded when editing.

Recent Files ("Open Recent" on Mac)

Lists the full path to the twelve most recently saved or opened projects or most recently imported audio files. The oldest item at the bottom is removed when a new item is added to the top. When you delete an Audacity project or audio file it will remain in the list, but will be removed from the list if you select it.

  • To clear the entire list, choose "Clear" underneath the last item in the list.

Close  Ctrl + W

Closes the current project window, prompting you to save your work if you have not already saved.

Save Project  Ctrl + S

The Save Project submenu enables you to Save your project in full uncompressed mode. You can also store projects as backup safety copies at stages throughout your project. Note that Audacity projects only work in Audacity, they cannot be read and played by other applications.

The current zoom level is saved in the project when you save the project. When a saved project is opened, it should automatically be zoomed to the same place and zoom level as when you saved it.

Tip It is not advisable to save your project to be on an external USB stick/disk as it is unlikely to be fast enough for satisfactory recording.
  • Backups are fine saved to an external USB stick or disk.


The Export submenu enables you to Export audio from Audacity into audio file formats that can be read and played by other applications. Additionally you can export label files or MIDI or save a compressed copy of your project in a set of Ogg Vorbis formatted files.


The Import submenu enables you to import audio files or label files into your project. Files in various audio formats can be imported into Audacity.

For details of the available imports see this page.

Page Setup...

Opens the standard Page Setup dialog box prior to printing.


Prints all the waveforms, spectrogams and Note Tracks in the current project window (and the contents of any Time Tracks or Label Tracks, with the Timeline above. Everything is printed to one page.

To include the Track Control Panel, or to print other parts of the interface, you could use use the Tools > Screenshot function to capture a screen print to a file, then use the print function of your favorite image editor.

Exit  Ctrl + Q

Closes all project windows and exits Audacity. If there are any unsaved changes to your project, Audacity will ask if you want to save them. Note that it is not necessary for you to save changes if you have already exported your mix as a WAV or MP3 and you are now happy with it. But if you are working on a mix and plan to continue later where you left off, saving an Audacity Project will let you restore everything, exactly as you left it.

On a Mac, the Exit command is not in the File Menu. Instead, use Audacity > Quit.