The Preferences dialog
The Preferences dialog is split into 17 sections. The description page for each section (accessed by the links below) shows an image of the default preferences settings for that section.
Section What it controls Devices Choose audio host, playback and recording devices and recording channels. Playback Length of previews for cuts and effects; playback seek times. Recording Settings for playthrough, latency, Sound Activated Recording and naming newly recorded tracks. MIDI Devices Settings for MIDI playback on your system. Quality Choose sample rate, sample format and options for rate and format conversion. Interface Interface behaviors, dB display range, choose language and location of Manual, show initial "Help" dialog. Tracks Tracks display management. ⌊ Tracks Behaviors Settings to control the behaviors of Tracks. ⌊ Spectrograms Settings for presentation of spectrograms in the audio track. Import / Export Importing: if uncompressed audio is copied into projects or read directly, if tracks are normalized. Exporting: how audio is mixed, if Metadata Editor appears, content of Allegro exports. ⌊ Extended Import Specify different importers to open specific audio file extensions. Projects Whether to copy in dependent audio files when saving projects, or ask. Libraries Download and locate the optional LAME and FFmpeg libraries. Directories Sets the location of the temporary files directory and displays how much space is available on that drive. Warnings Warn or not when disk space is low on startup, when saving projects, mixing down or importing uncompressed audio files. Effects Enable or disable effects by type: LADSPA, LV2, Nyquist, VAMP, VST, Audio Units. Sort or group effects. Check for updated plug-ins or rescan all plug-ins. Keyboard List, search for and set keyboard shortcuts for commands. Mouse Mouse shortcuts for commands. Modules Loadable Modules for Audacity.
Where the Preferences are stored
Audacity Preferences are stored in a configuration file called audacity.cfg. It is a text file which saves all your settings when you exit Audacity normally. The audacity.cfg file can be edited with any text editor and changes to it can be saved if Audacity is already closed. You can find audacity.cfg inside Audacity's folder for application data as follows.
- Windows: Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Audacity\
- Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/audacity/
- Linux: ~/.audacity-data/
|In order to see audacity.cfg on Windows, OS X 10.7 or later or GNU/Linux, you must show hidden files and folders or type the folder location into your file manager's address bar.|
You can create a folder called Portable Settings in a special location relative to the directory you installed or extracted Audacity to, so that audacity.cfg and Audacity's other settings will be stored in that "Portable Settings" folder instead. The permitted locations are:
- Windows: in the folder Audacity is launched from (for example, in Program Files (x86)\Audacity on Windows 64-bit)
- macOS: in the "Contents" folder inside Audacity.app (for example in /Applications/Audacity.app/Contents/ (to access the "Contents" folder, right-click or Ctrl-click over Audacity.app and choose "Show Package Contents")
- GNU/Linux: in the folder where the "audacity" binary is (for example, for Audacity installed by the package manager for your distribution, in usr/bin/).
The "Portable Settings" folder becomes active after restarting Audacity.
- You can then use the "Portable Settings" folder to store a different group of settings for a specific purpose, then delete or rename the folder and restart Audacity when you want to use the previous settings as stored in Audacity's folder for application data.
- If you copy the "Portable Settings" folder to a USB stick or CD this lets you take your current Audacity settings with you if you use Audacity on another computer.
|The Portable Settings folder must be given full permissions for everyone who wants to use it.
Upgrading from previous versions or reinstalling
By default, Audacity settings are not changed when you upgrade from a previous release of Audacity or explicitly uninstall or reinstall Audacity. This allows you to upgrade from a previous Audacity version (legacy 1.3.2 and later) and retain your previous preferences wherever current Audacity still has an equivalent setting.
Therefore it is not necessary to reinstall the optional LAME or FFmpeg libraries after upgrading Audacity unless the Release Notes for the current Audacity version indicate there is a new recommended version of LAME or FFmpeg.
Resetting Preferences can sometimes fix freezes, crashes or unexplained Audacity behavior.
You can reset Preferences to factory defaults by exiting Audacity, deleting the audacity.cfg settings file in Audacity's folder for application data then restarting Audacity. On Windows, you can also reinstall Audacity, making sure you select the "Reset Preferences" box during the installation.
Reset Preferences using Windows installer
- Run the EXE installer from https://web.audacityteam.org/download/windows.
- Navigate to the "Select Additional Tasks" screen then put a checkmark in the "Reset Preferences" box and complete installation.
- Launch Audacity then in the "Reset Audacity Preferences" dialog, choose .