Please let us know of any reproducible problems you encounter with Audacity and Windows 7. Before writing, please check this page, the Release Notes for the current version and Known Issues for any issues discovered since release of the current version.
Windows 7 minimum system requirements cited by Microsoft are as follows for all versions of Windows 7, including the "Starter" edition with least features that is shipped with many netbooks. Unlike the Vista Starter Edition, Windows 7 Starter does not have a limit of three programs running at a time. For a comparison of features in different versions of Windows 7, click here.
1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit), or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
For best performance if you are working with an hour or more of audio or multiple shorter tracks, we recommend 2 GHz processor and 4 GB of RAM on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7.
Note: Windows 7 Starter is 32-bit only and does not support more than 2 GB of RAM. Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium will recognize only one physical CPU, but support multi-core processors as do all versions of Windows 7.
Sound Device driver requirements
Sometimes, new computers only come with generic Microsoft sound device drivers, but you should ensure you have sound device drivers intended for your particular computer model and particular version of Windows 7. The drivers should be provided either by the manufacturer of the motherboard or by the sound device manufacturer. This is especially important if you are upgrading an older machine from Windows XP to Windows 7. See Updating Sound Device Drivers for help.
If drivers for Windows 7 are not available, it is possible that drivers meant for Vista will work reasonably well, because Windows 7 is largely based on Vista. If in doubt, seek advice from your motherboard or sound device manufacturer.
Recording and playback
Select inputs in Devices Preferences or Device Toolbar: The new audio stack introduced with Windows Vista makes each input source on the sound device a separate input, so requires that inputs be selected in Audacity at or Device Toolbar.
Error opening sound device (incorrect input selection): Audacity is subject to Windows 7 and driver behaviour that can cause recording inputs to be hidden by default. Also, physical input ports such as microphone or line-in ports may not be automatically listed by Windows if there is no input connected to them. As a result of these behaviors, an error may be received when trying to record.
To solve this, ensure physical inputs are connected, go to "Sound" in the Windows Control Panel, show the disabled and disconnected inputs, enable and make default the required input, then restart Audacity or use .
Gale 22Feb15: ToDo-1 The below advice about using WASAPI to make a silent recording needs tweaking as some machines on 2.1.0 may no longer be able to record silently using that method.
No "silent" recording of computer playback using stereo mix: Unlike Windows XP and earlier, Vista and later have no "Speaker" or "Master" system volume slider independent of the "Wave" or "Device" output slider. Therefore on Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 you cannot record computer playback using stereo mix while turning down the output volume (for example, if you want to work). If you need to do this you can do the following.
Unplug or turn down your external speakers.
Plug a pair of headphones or a headset into the audio out and turn the volume down, or plug in a 1/8 inch (3.5 mm) minijack plug with no lead attached.
Use which records at a fixed level even if you turn the audio device output level down to zero.
Inputs seen by Windows as "microphones" default to mono recording: While most microphones and microphone inputs are mono, some external microphones such as USB microphones or microphones connected through external mixers or interfaces may be stereo. However any input regarded by Windows as a "microphone" (including not just USB microphones but USB turntables and cassette decks) will default to mono recording. If this happens, recording a stereo device with two input channels chosen in Audacity's Device Toolbar will merely duplicate one channel into both channels of the track, making it dual mono. To make Windows send stereo input to Audacity:
Recordings fade out or sound as if they were made in a tunnel: Many Windows machines (especially laptops and notebooks/netbooks) have recording features designed to minimise distortion when recording internet calls. These features are unsuitable for high-quality audio recording. You can turn them off by following the steps in this Frequently Asked Question.
Playback suddenly becomes quieter, especially when recording over an existing Audacity track: This is a Windows 7 setting designed with internet calls in mind. To fix it, right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock > Sounds, click the "Communications" tab, then choose "Do nothing" for adjusting sound levels.
- In the Windows System Tray (by the clock), right-click over the or click Windows Start, navigate through the Control Panel to "Sound", then click the "Recording" tab
- Right-click over the device you are recording from and choose "Properties"
- On the "Advanced" tab, in the "Default Format" section, change the dropdown menu to one of the "2 channel" options ("2 channel 16 bit 44100 Hz" will usually be the optimal choice).
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