How to Fix Audacity Error Opening Recording Device

Audacity is a popular open-source audio recording and editing software and it available for Windows, Linux and macOS. With each new version, it keeps adding some of the very exciting features. In the older versions of Audacity, we could export the recordings only as PCM WAV audio files. But the newer versions have added support for exporting the recordings into a number for formats such as MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MP2, M4A, AC3, AMR, Opus, WMA and more. It can also use external FFmpeg binaries to export the audio data into all the FFmpeg supported formats and FFmpeg supports everything under the sun.

When using Audacity on Windows 10 or Windows 11, you might encounter an error: Error opening recording device. After this an error code is displayed and some explanation about the host.

Audacity Error Opening Recording Device

The host is the Windows machine and therefore the problem is in the settings of Windows 10/11. Here is how we can fix it quickly:

  1. Press Win+I to open Windows settings. Alternatively, you can click on Start and then on the cogwheel icon to open the Windows settings.
  2. In the Windows settings, open Privacy section and then select Microphone sub-section.Audacity Error Opening Recording Device
  3. Enable Microphone access and Let apps access your microphone.
  4. Scroll down after enabling the above mentioned and then enable Let desktop apps access your microphone.Audacity Error Opening Recording Device
  5. Close Windows settings. This is all that was needed to be changed.

Now you can try recording something using Audacity, you won’t have any trouble now. Even though this Windows Privacy setting is meant only for the Microphone, it works for all kinds of recording devices. For example, if you are trying to record the stereo mix device output from your PC, even in that case Audacity will show the same error (but different error code). In that case, the same steps can resolve that error too.