Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono? Solved

Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono? Solved

Most of the microphones are mono by default. People use these; they don’t have to worry about the off-center sound. Audacity has both mono and stereo recording options available. You need to change some settings before starting the recording. 

Because Audacity is open source, it is more susceptible to developing technical recording issues. One of the issues is that sometimes it records only in mono. It can be quite frustrating. The good news is that there is a way to enable Audacity to record in stereo. In this article, we will resolve the issue. 

Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono?

This issue could be due to changes in the primary Audacity settings, wrong configurations, computer storage, Windows input settings, and hardware compatibility. These issues extend when you use Audacity without hardware or software changes. Let’s discuss each issue one by one.

Audacity Settings: Default settings are the best settings of your Audacity. These settings are well-optimized for recording in both mono and stereo. But you can change them by mistake, which can cause this problem. 

Wrong Configurations:  If you have configured your Audacity settings wrongly, this problem can also occur. For example, if you have changed the sample rate to an incompatible one, it will also not work. 

Storage: If your computer’s storage is full, then Audacity can also face this problem. Because when storage is full, Audacity can not process the data properly, so you may only get mono recordings.  

Windows Input Settings: Windows also has some input settings; if you have selected only stereo mic input, this might hurdle the mono recording. 

Hardware: Last but not least, the hardware you use to record can also be an issue. If it is not configured properly or if it is not compatible with Audacity, then this problem can occur.

Restore Audacity Settings

If you accidentally changed the Audacity settings, the best way to fix this problem is by restoring to default through the restart configuration option. It will bring back Audacity to its manufacturer’s recommended settings. To do this, follow the steps below:

  • Open Audacity, go to the tools menu, and click “Reset Configuration.”

Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono? Solved | integraudio.com

  • It will automatically reset all the Audacity settings to default.

Note: If you have set up different settings according to your device, we don’t recommend you use this restore method. Try other below-described methods.

Add New Stereo Track

Sometimes, you add a mono track instead of a stereo track; this can lead to mono recording only. So, when you start a new project, add the stereo track. To do this, follow the steps given below:

  • Once you are in Audacity, click “Tracks” to open the file.
  • Go to “Add New” and select “Stereo track.”

Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono? Solved | integraudio.com

Preference Settings

Preference settings are the initial settings. It means you can set them, and when you edit your project, these settings will be applied automatically. If you have selected the mono track in the preference settings, this will do all new projects in mono by default. You can change these settings by following the steps given below:

  • Go to the file, click “Edit,” and then go to “Preferences.” You can also access these settings by pressing CTRL+P at the same time. 
  • Go to “Devices” from the left slide bar and select the “Channel” file. Here you will find the “2 (stereo)” option. Select this option.

Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono? Solved | integraudio.com

  • Now, each project will start as stereo automatically. 

Note: Remember to change the settings whenever you connect the mono microphone; otherwise, you won’t be able to record anything.

Make Some Space in the Computer

Stereo has two channels, i.e., left and right, so it needs more space to record than mono. Audacity demands more storage to record in stereo mode than mono. So, if you need more free space on your hard disk or SSD, Audacity will only record mono. To fix this issue quickly, follow the steps given below:

  • First, go to “This PC” or “My Computer.” Here, you will find all the drives connected to your computer system.
  • Now select the drive in which you have installed Audacity. Right-click on it and go to “Properties.”
  • A new tab will open; here, you will see how much storage is used and how much is left.

Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono? Solved | integraudio.com

  • If there is not enough space, delete some unwanted files. You can also try cleaning junk files using tools like CCleaner, etc.

Window’s Settings

Windows default settings often disturb the microphone settings. In the result, Audacity detects the mono microphone instead of the stereo. So, you need to check the Windows settings to ensure it is not affecting your recording. To change the Windows settings, 

  • Right-click the sound icon on the lower right corner of the taskbar beside the clock. 
  • Click on “Sound” to open the sound settings.

Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono? Solved | integraudio.com

  • Go to the “Recording” section and open the microphone’s “Properties” by right-clicking on it.
  • Go to “Advanced” and select the recommended hertz of Audacity, 44,000 to 48,000, with the Studio Quality option.

Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono? Solved | integraudio.com


Check Attached Hardware

If you are using other studio equipment like a turntable or USB mixer, then this might be the problem. As these devices are usually in mono, they will also change the settings of Audacity to mono. So ensure you have removed all other hardware devices, and then try to record again.

If you can record in a new stereo channel, that device might be the main reason behind your problem. Try to configure the device to support mono and stereo, or remove it whenever you are recording on Audacity.


Always check your microphone type before buying. If you have bought a mono microphone, it will only support mono settings in any recording app and won’t be able to record on stereo settings. You must buy the best microphone to use both mono and stereo settings. 

You can always check the details on the microphone box or go to the company’s official website for more information.

Sound Card 

Most of the soundcards have both stereo and mono input options. If you use a mono microphone and have connected it to the stereo input, it will also change your recording settings to mono. So always check that your microphone is connected to the right input. This issue also leads to no recording. 

  • First, inspect your sound card carefully. Either your stereo mic is attached to the stereo pin port. 
  • Second, disconnect and then reconnect your mic to restart both connections. 
  • Finally, try the same sound card on different computer devices. 

Reinstall The Audacity

After trying all the above methods, if you cannot fix Audacity-only records in mono, the last step is to uninstall and reinstall it. This will also delete all your previous settings, so ensure you have saved all your work before uninstalling.

  • To uninstall Audacity, go to “Control Panel” and then select “Add/Remove Programs” or “Uninstall a Program.”

Why Does Audacity Only Record In Mono? Solved | integraudio.com

  • Now, select Audacity from the list and click on uninstall.
  • Once it is uninstalled, go to the official website and download the latest Audacity version.
  • Install it by following the onscreen instructions and then restart your computer.

Is It Possible To Convert Mono Track to Stereo in Audacity?

If you have accidentally recorded the whole track in mono and are now wondering how to convert that track into stereo within Audacity, then here I am to help you with this problem.

  • To convert a mono track to stereo in Audacity, add a new stereo track and drag it just below that mono track.
  • Now, open the drop menu with your audio’s name and click “Make stereo track.” It will be successfully converted to stereo.


Here are some of the major reasons why Audacity only records mono. We have also suggested some solutions that can help you resolve this recording issue. These methods are legit and have been tried by our professionals.

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