Installing alpha builds on macOS / Mac OS X

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Warning icon Alpha builds are made from the latest development code. By their nature these builds are likely to contain bugs or might even cause data loss. If you are looking for a stable released version of Audacity for production work, don't use the alpha builds. Instead get an official released version of Audacity from our normal Downloads page.

For those who want to test the latest code in these builds, we value your help greatly. Please report problems or give us feedback. This will directly help to improve the quality of the following release.

First installation of an alpha build on Mac OS X

Open Finder, the from the main "Finder" menu select "Preferences". Select "Sidebar" and enable the "Applications" checkbox (you may want to enable or disable others while you are here). Close the preferences.

Download the alpha DMG. When it has downloaded, open the DMG (you may need to mess with the security settings). This will open the installation dialog. Don't drag it directly into the Applications folder because it will overwrite your normal installation.

Go to the Finder window and click on Applications in the left sidebar. From the main menu. "File > New Folder" and create a folder called "Audacity Alpha". Click on the folder when it has been created, to open it.

Go back the the "installation" window, and drag the Audacity folder into the "Audacity Alpha" folder. You have now "installed" the alpha version.

In Finder, go into "Applications/Audacity Alpha/" and drag "" to the Desktop. This will put a shortcut on your Desktop to the alpha.

Close the "Installation" window. In Finder, look in the "Devices" section and you will see a "device" called "Audacity 2.1.3". This is the "mounted" DMG file. Eject it (click on the underlined upward pointing arrow, or right click and select "Eject".

Warning icon Known Issue: Security settings on OS X 10.7 or later may block Audacity being launched. Most users on OS X 10.9.5 and later will experience this, due to changes made by Apple.

To permanently enable Audacity launch, right-click or control-click on the Audacity application in Finder, choose “Open”, then in the dialog box that appears, choose “Open”.

Subsequent installations of an alpha build on Mac OS X

You should be able to just drag the Audacity App from the "installer" window into the Audacity Alpha folder. You will be asked whether to Replace (that is, overwrite) or Merge.

To be doubly sure that the new alpha is in fact the new version, you can delete the old version first by dragging the Audacity folder from the "Audacity Alpha" folder into the Trash.

If you Replace you will lose any files such as plug-ins that are in your Audacity folder but not in the DMG.

If you don't want a complete start-over, Merge updates your files for all files that are in the DMG (or adds new files that you don't have) just like Replace, but leaves your custom files alone.

Note that Merge is called Keep Newer in older versions of OS X.