First time using audacity in years. I downloaded the latest version, imported a 2GB audio file, and when I "save as" the project, it saves the audio in the project folder, so that the project is around 2gb.

I recall there used to be an option to reference the audio at the location you open it from, so that the project directory is much smaller. Since I save my source files and the project, I can't afford the space of storing the audio effectively twice.

I can't find the option to do this any more, or anything in the online manual or searching google. Is this still possible?


2 Answers 2


I did not try, but on import you can choose not to make a copy of the audio file (see Importing Uncompressed Audio Files) but to read them directly on the original file. I did not test, but I would say that if you open your file this way, it should not be saved as a copy in your project upon saving.

Hope it helps,

  • Thanks for this- I recall this dialog from last time I used Audacity, but I do not seem to get it on a fresh install of 2.4.2. Dec 7, 2020 at 15:53
  • @clearedPerson maybe check the preferences?
    – Tom
    Dec 7, 2020 at 16:06
  • Nothing about importing in the preferences, and all dialogs/warnings are still enabled. I'm hoping this options wasn't removed but I can't find any indication it exists anymore... Dec 7, 2020 at 17:47
  • @clearedPerson Arf... Hope you will find a solution!
    – Tom
    Dec 7, 2020 at 17:56
  • @clearedPerson It looks like the option was removed.
    – PiedPiper
    Dec 7, 2020 at 18:56

This option was removed in Audacity version 2.3.3, see: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/on_demand_loading.html

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