Changing the current language

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Audacity saves your language choice the first time you run it in its Preferences settings, and this setting persists even after reinstallation of Audacity. If you need to change the language Audacity runs in (e.g. because you chose the wrong language when you first ran the program), you can either change your language preference in the program, or change or delete the language preference in the system settings.

Change language in the program

To change the language in the program, simply go to the Interface tab of Preferences, choose your language in the "Language" dropdown box, click OK , then exit and restart Audacity. Preferences are under the Edit menu, or under the Audacity menu on a Mac.

If you cannot read the menus because the text is in a foreign language or has ??? characters, try this:

1) Click on the second tab from the left in the Audacity menus then on the bottom item of that menu. This opens the Preferences.

2) Click on the 6th tab reading from the left (you may have to click on the pointing arrows top right of the Preferences window to reveal this tab). In this tab you will see a dropdown box containing a list (in English) of the language choices. Select the language you want and press "enter" on your keyboard. Note: if you are using Audacity 1.3.2, the tabs of the Preferences are laid out in a panel on the left, so click on the 6th tab from the top in that left-hand panel.

3) Exit Audacity by clicking on the first tab on the left in the Audacity menus then on the bottom item of that menu.

4) Launch Audacity and you will have your chosen language.

Change language in the system settings

To change language in the system settings, first close Audacity.

In Audacity 1.2.6 the settings are stored in an "audacity" file in your Library (OS X), in the file ~/.audacity (Linux) or in the Registry (Windows) at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Audacity\

If editing the Windows registry you are strongly advised to back it up before editing it, or (on Windows XP or Vista) create a Restore Point in System Restore which you can revert to if necessary.

In the settings there is a preference value under "Locale" called "Language" and if you set this value to that of your preferred language, Audacity will run on that language. For example, if you set this value to "en" (without quotes) the language will be English.

Alternatively, either delete the "Locale" line in the "audacity" file or the "Locale" Registry key at


You will then be asked to choose the language again the next time you run Audacity.

In Audacity 1.3.2 the settings are stored in a configuration file called audacity.cfg. It is a text file and can be edited by the user with any text editor. The configuration file is stored at:

Windows: Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Audacity\audacity.cfg

OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/audacity.cfg

Linux: ~/.audacity-data/audacity.cfg

To change your language, either change the line under [Locale] to your preferred language, e.g. "Language=en" (without quotes) to choose English, or delete the [Locale] line. Then restart Audacity. If you deleted the [Locale] line you will be asked when launching Audacity to choose your language again.