5 Ways to Fix Error While Opening Sound Device in Audacity


Error opening sound device Audacity is an issue that arises if you select Edit Preferences under Devices. Yet, there are no devices available to choose from the recording dropdown menu. The error opening can also occur if Audacity is set to use a particular kind of recording that is not supported by the sound card in your computer. Also, if Audacity tries to record more channels than those recommended by the configured sound card, then an error is likely to happen. You may also read other related topic about Audacity here in Audacityguide.

error opening sound device audacity

Error Opening Sound Device Audacity Fix

If your PC or computer is running the Windows 10 OS, and you are receiving the error opening sound device, you may need to change the privacy settings. Changing privacy settings will allow your software to access and to utilize your computer’s microphone.

  1. Launch the Windows startup button then key in Privacy and press Enter to access the Privacy Settings
  2. On the settings window, which is under App Permissions(On the left side menu) Tap on Microphone  
  3. Locate the option Allow apps to access your microphone and change the toggle switch to ON
  4. Look for the Audacity under Choose which apps can access your microphone then turn the toggle switch to ON. This command will allow Audacity to use the microphone. 

NOTE: Once you accomplish the steps above, attempt recording in Audacity again to see if the problem is resolved. If you still get find the error, move on to the following guidelines below.  

You may also want to check other related topics that will help you dig deeper information and be familiar with Audacity like FFMPeg for Audacity, noise gate in Audacity, remove background noise, and isolate vocals in Audacity.

Check for Disabled devices on Your PC

Due to the problems in Windows, sound devices can accidentally be disabled. Find any of the disabled devices and enable them to see if the change resolves the audacity error. NOTE: We are still on Microsoft Windows OS.

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  1. Exit Audacity 
  2. Launch Control Panel.
  3. Click on the Sound option.
  4. Tap the Recording tab.
  5. Where the devices are listed, Right-click anywhere and choose Show Disabled Devices, and checkmark the box next to the option.
  6. Checking disabled devices displays all devices that are disabled on the computer by default or selection. However, if there are no new devices found, that likely has the sound has other issues. Now, we suggest that you reinstall your sound card drivers. Alternatively, you can download and install the latest drivers for your sound card.
  7. If your search results display a new device, right-click the new device(s) and tap on Properties.
  8. Under the Device usage dropdown menu, click on Use this device or the enable option.
  9. Tap OK to close all other windows 

When you are done performing the above tasks, engage Audacity to record and see if the problem is resolved. However, if the problem is persistent, take on the next solution to fix the error.

Learn the basics of how to use Audacity like how to Autotune in Audacity here. We got the easiest steps you can follow!

Further Actions to Fix an Error Opening sound

If you are still receiving an error, try the steps below in the exact order to resolve the issue. We hope this would work for you.

  • Check the sample rate in Audacity, which will display at the bottom left of the Audacity program window(Project Rate (Hz) 44100 Hz and 48000 Hz). These two sample rates are the most commonly used and also supported by several sound cards. If you encounter a different sample, try changing to 44100 or 48000 and find out if it works for recording.
  • Several sound cards support 1 or 2 audio channels. Recording more channels besides the ones configured by a particular sound card will cause an error in Audacity. Select Edit > Preferences from the audacity menu at the top. Verify the Channels under the Devices section, which is set to 1 or 2.
  • Audacity may be unable to detect the sound card on your computer, or it may not be functioning correctly. Remove the sound card then install it again on the computer. This action will restart the computer. (Removing the sound card and installing it). After reinstalling the sound card, test with Audacity to see if the issue is resolved or the error persists.
  • You can uninstall the Audacity program you are using then replace it with the latest version
  • After you download and install the newest version of Audacity, some possible corruption or bugs can be fixed through the Audacity software you are presently using on your computer.
  • If the error is still persistent, you can try to replace the existing sound card with a new one. If the sound card is linked to the motherboard (i.e., onboard sound card), installing a new sound card and disabling the built-in sound card.


How to fix error opening sound device on Audacity?

1. You can change privacy settings on your PC
2. Uninstall your audacity program then download and install the latest version of Audacity
3. Replace the existing sound card

Why is Audacity having an error while opening a sound device?

1. The sound card may not support the channels that Audacity is trying to open
2. The privacy settings may be disabled which prevents Audacity from accessing and using disabled apps 

How to record from sound card audacity error opening sound device?

First, check if the device connection is right during an audacity session. A sound card recording error with Audacity means you may need to reinstall Audacity before attempting to record again. Check what channels the sound card supports as you may be trying to use a channel that is not supported.


Hopefully, this post is helpful to solve error opening sound device with Audacity. Take note to open the device after each method of trying to fix the error so that if it persists, you can try another approach. Please share your thoughts or opinions with us below concerning this post.

1 thought on “5 Ways to Fix Error While Opening Sound Device in Audacity”

  1. This was not helpful. Nothing works. I want record off my “stereo mix” device. Essentially, I want to record my wav file as it’s playing from the output. This used to work several versions of Windows 10 ago, but now it doesn’t. Why? It sees my device, the device is NOT disabled. I’m completely stumped. there are no “privacy” settings associated with a “stereo mix” device. What gives?


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