Audacity error while opening sound device when recording

This issue is caused when there are no recording devices available. For example, if you click Edit, Preferences, and then click the Audio I/O tab under Recording, there would be no available devices to click. To fix this error, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click on Control Panel.
  3. Click on Hardware and Sound, then click the Sound icon.
  4. Click on the Recording tab.
  5. Right-click anywhere in the box where the devices are listed.
  6. Click on Show Disabled Devices so there is a check mark next to it.
  7. This displays any device that has been disabled on the computer. If no new devices are found, it's likely you do not have this issue and we'd suggest reinstalling your sound drivers.
  8. Right-click the new icon(s) found and click Properties.
  9. Beside 'Device usage', there is a dropdown menu. Click on 'Use this device (enable)'.
  10. Click OK until all other windows are closed and re-start Audacity if it was open.
  11. You should now be able to record without any issues.

If the above steps do not resolve the issue, the sound card in your computer is not functioning properly and is defective. You can try removing the sound card and install it again in the computer, then test with Audacity to see if the error is resolved or if it persists. If it persists, you may need to replace the sound card with a new one.

Additional information

  • See our sound and sound card definition for further information and related links on this term.