I have almost never had problems with Audacity, except when I did something stupid. If you’d like similar success, try the following and share any suggestions and experience you have.

1. Use the latest version

Older versions of Audacity are missing great features and certainly don’t work well on the latest operating systems. Always make sure you download the latest release.

2. Have the latest drivers

If you’re recording straight into Audacity, you’re relying on Audacity to properly communicate with your audio hardware. This is done through drivers. So if you don’t have the latest for your hardware, Audacity may have problems communicating and then crash.

3. Don’t have many other programs running

Although Audacity is a simple program, it can hog system resources depending on your project. So make sure you’re running as few other programs as possible, especially any intensive programs (like VNC/remote access or backups).

4. Have plenty of RAM

RAM (often called “memory”) allows your computer to handle more things at a time. Audacity decompresses any audio you give it, so a 55-megabyte (MB) one-hour stereo MP3 will decompress to around 500 MB in Audacity. Most modern computers probably have enough RAM, but you should have at least 2 GB if you’re going to edit an hour or more audio.

5. Don’t get impatient

Processing progress

When Audacity runs a process, you may not like how long your computer is taking. Don’t start clicking around the window or trying to launch other programs. Let it do its thing! (Basic web-browsing would be okay, if your browser was already open.)

5.5. Potentially reference WAVs instead of embedding

Although I can’t verify this, my theory is that Audacity is more stable when it’s looking at an external WAV rather than all of the information in its own project file. If you make basic edits to the audio, this won’t change your WAV file. But if you run any effects or other processes, then Audacity must embed the audio in order to save it as processed.

6. Don’t move files

Gather all of your audio files together before you start your Audacity project. This will make linking, embedding, and general organization much easier.

7. NEVER touch the “_data” folder

Audacity _data folder

When you save an Audacity project, it creates a “.aup” file with a similarly named “_data” folder. This folder is crucial to your project. Don’t move it, rename it, or even breathe on it. Also don’t rename your “.aup” file.

8. Save often

Although this is a great practice to save yourself if Audacity does crash, it can also prevent crashes by clearing some cached resources. Especially save and maybe even restart Audacity if you recorded straight into it.

9. Dial-back your effects

When Audacity seems to crash while running an effect, try slightly lower settings in the effect. The surprisingly works with little noticeable difference.

10. Check your plugins

You may have plugins designed for an older version of Audacity. While they should still work, ensure your have the latest versions. If you don’t need one of the plugins you installed, remove it. If you want to start from scratch, remove and reinstall Audacity.

BONUS: The tool for when Audacity does crash

Audacity has built-in recovery that works quite well, but if it doesn’t work for you, look at Audacity’s manual recovery tool.

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About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.

11 comments on “10 Tips for How to Keep Audacity from Crashing – TAP040

  1. nonniequiltingdreams says:

    HELLO,

    I just want to say that I am enjoying your podcast and learning a lot from the program. I do a little podcast and am trying to improve it. I have a really long way to go….

    Just wanted to add that I had downloaded a program called … UNIBLUE: SPEED UP YOUR COMPUTER … it remove unnecessary files to speed up the computer…. not only did it not speed up my computer …. IT DELETED AUDACITY FILES as unnecessary… BUMMER.

    http://nonniequiltingdreams.wordpress.com/
    Nonnie's Quilting Dreams
    http://nonniesquiltingdreams.podbean.com/
    Pod cast about quilting, life, rants and raves

    1. Thanks for listening and for commenting, Nonnie! I hadn't seen a program to that before, but I'm not surprised. Many of those "speed up your computer" kinds of programs don't do what they claim. The only things I've actually seen work were GameBooster to temporarily shut down services and background programs to release more resources for gaming; and CrapCleaner (CCleaner) for finding and deleting unnecessary files, but it tells me what it found first.

      I hope your podcasts do well! Please remember me when you decide to get your own website instead of using PodBean or WordPress.com. I would be happy to do some freelance work for you.

  2. DaVince says:

    I’m glad you almost never have issues. Three years have passed and Audacity is STILL a crashy piece of shit on Linux. Press play, stop, play, stop and bam. Lockup. Almost every time. Nothing you can do about it.

    Sigh.

  3. DaVince says:

    Pfff. Yeah. Nice. I suppose. And now for the golden question: how to stop it from crashing when all you do is play back your sound a few times?

    1. Maybe it’s your soundcard drivers.

      1. DaVince says:

        Hmm, not likely. Crashes happen on both Windows and Linux as well as on other computers, and obviously they’re using a vastly different sound architecture, so…

        1. Then you’ll have to get help from the developers. Sounds like an incompatibility, but I’ve never had that happen.

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  5. brent says:

    I am a 10yr radio dj vet. Ive used Audacity for at least 7 or 8 of those years. I continually update my drives, (Win 7 S Pck 2, my laptop runs amazingly fast, no issues w start up/s and my laptop is always smooth sailing). I just want to let folks know, that in my experience, Audacity (as a 100% free software) does things that ive paid software to do for me. The special effects in regards to audio manipulation, is unreal.
    However, after sounding like a shill for Audacity I want to very quickly pointout, and Im being 100% serious here, I NEVER USED IT AND IT HASNT FROZE UP ON ME. From 15sec lock outs to 35 min lock outs. Its a pain in the arse at times. But I love it, so I put up with it! lol
    My 2 cents – take care

    1. Yup! “Free” often comes with a cost in other ways.

  6. Brian Pearce says:

    My audacity is not loading or frozen?

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