Windows Bugs

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Revision as of 14:06, 20 December 2016 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (application)
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Gale 19May14: ToDo-2 I removed unwanted / fixed legacy issues from this page and updated the information about soundcards and drivers. I can't think of a lot of issues that might go here that are not already covered on Windows 7 OS and the other Windows OS pages. Perhaps the material here would be more useful incorporated into Mixer Toolbar Issues which it is suggested should become a Windows only page, possibly called Windows System Mixer.

This page is solely for recording Audacity issues that are specific to the Microsoft Windows operating system (or to different versions of it), and are thus issues which do not occur with Audacity on Mac or Unix/Linux systems.

If you are looking to request a new feature for Audacity, please go to our Feature Requests page.

This page is intended as a reference point only. It is not constantly monitored by the Audacity team and is thus not meant as a direct method for obtaining technical support.

Before adding a report here, please:

  • Check the existing reports below thoroughly, plus our extensive online help resources as listed on our Reporting Bugs page, to see if your issue is already known.
  • Only add an issue on this page if you're sure it is something specific to Macs only, you're sure of your facts, and that there is not some other explanation for the problem. In all other cases, please follow the instructions on Reporting Bugs to get help and/or give us a useful bug report that we can follow up.

Soundcards and drivers

A limited number of high-end professional PCI soundcards are reported to be incompatible with Audacity. As a result, Audacity will crash on launch if its Devices Preferences are set to use the card. This can occur not only when the card is explicitly selected in Preferences, but also if "Microsoft Sound Mapper" (Audacity's default option as shipped) is selected when the soundcard is the current default Windows device. As a workaround, explicitly select a different device in Preferences.

If you've already set Audacity explicitly to use your soundcard and it now won't launch, you must clear the Audacity preference settings for PlaybackDevice and RecordingDevice before you can use Audacity again. To do this, reset your Windows default sound device to your inbuilt sound device, then install or reinstall the latest version of Audacity and enable the checkbox "Reset Preferences" half way through the installer.

Note that certain other custom devices or applications may similarly be incompatible with Audacity. A known example that has been reported in the past is the Total Recorder application which uses "virtual drivers" to capture sound directly before it reaches the inputs of any other installed sound devices. If you want to use Total Recorder as the default Windows device you may need to set Audacity explicitly to use your inbuilt sound device. Alternatively you can leave Audacity set to "Microsoft Sound Mapper" but set the Total Recorder preferences so that the Total Recorder drivers load only when Total Recorder is in use. If you've already explicitly set Audacity to use the Total Recorder drivers and it won't launch, reset the Windows sound device then Audacity's preference settings as per the above paragraph. As a possible alternative to Total Recorder, you can try SoundLeech which is a free application running from the system tray. It records to lossless WAV format only.

If your high-end card or device consistently crashes Audacity, make sure you are using the latest drivers supplied by the manufacturer (but note Audacity will not work with any kind of ASIO driver). Also please try the latest version of Audacity. This will always incorporate the latest available version of PortAudio, which might solve the problem. If that doesn't help, please report the soundcard or device to us here or by writing to our feedback address.

Some high-end soundcards will work with Audacity but don't use the Windows standard mixer interface. As a result, you won't be able to select your input sources such as microphone or adjust their recording levels in Audacity. You can do so in the custom mixer application shipped with the card.

Audio devices built into the computer motherboard almost always are compatible with Audacity, but may exhibit crashing behavior due to being supplied with outdated or generic sound drivers. This is a common problem on Windows systems. For the same reason, built-in audio devices may fail to record properly or not allow you to select input sources or recording levels in Audacity. To solve these problems, you can try selecting your sources and levels in the Windows Control Panel. If problems persist, we strongly recommend you update your sound device drivers so that you have the latest drivers for your computer model made by the manufacturer of the device or motherboard.