How to crop audio in Audacity

If you search for instructions on cropping in Audacity, you’ll get a lot of people explaining how to do two things that you don’t want to do:

1. Remove a selected section (that is, cutting, the opposite of cropping)
2. Save a selection to a file

If you just want to select a range and remove everything on both sides, neither of those pieces of advice help. The confusion is caused by people answering questions they don’t understand, and the fact that Audacity uses the term “Trim” instead of crop. Of course, if you read an article like this one, you will be even more confused, because he uses the term “Trim” to mean Cut!

Anyhow, all you have to do is select the range you want, then Edit -> Remove Audio -> Trim. Or just hit Ctrl-T.

Update: Newer versions of Audacity moved Trim to Edit -> Remove Special -> Trim Audio.


  1. Rob

    Awesome, thanks!

  2. Joe

    Thanks for the helpful knowledge!

  3. Abubakar Mehmood

    Many thanks! You’re spot on regarding the variety of meanings people have associated with the words like cut, trip and so on. You’re a saviour! 🙂

    • Abubakar Mehmood

      *with words like

  4. Abubakar Mehmood

    (Gosh, really sleepy! lol)

  5. Susan

    I have tried this over and over and it still doesn’t work for me. What can I be doing wrong? I have to trim off the first “verse” of a song so that my little girls can sing (2 min limit!) in a school talent show. I selected my range, then went to Edit -> Remove Audio or Labels -> Trim Audio. Then, when I play it, it starts from the beginning again – not where I selected. Please help me! I’ve worked on this for two days already & the deadline is approaching!

    • Kirk Baucom

      It sounds like what you want to do is cut, not crop. If you’re selecting the part you want to remove and then using Trim, it’s removing everything except what you’ve selected. Try hitting the delete key instead of using trim, I think that will do what you want.

  6. james

    help i cant find remove audio and it wont let me click trim i have to do this song and need to cut it out 🙁

  7. Jill

    Wow, thanks! I didn’t know it can be this easy! Other articles really made it hard for me. I almost gave up until I saw your article! Many thanks!

  8. Matt

    At the moment in Audacity mine keeps selecting the audio in 1 second chunks, but I wanna trim about half a second off the end. Is there any way of making the cuts cover a smaller area?

    • Kirk Baucom

      It sounds like you’ve got the “Snap to” option enabled in the Selection toolbar:

      It might be at the bottom of the screen. If you don’t see it at all, enable it with View -> Toolbars -> Selection toolbar

  9. Slade

    You say “select the range you want, then Edit -> Remove Audio -> Trim. Or just hit Ctrl-T.”
    But everything in tthe “Remove Audio” menu is grayed out. So your hint doesn’t work.

    Audacity has the worst written “help” files I have ever seen.

    • greg

      you probably have it on pause. You have to have the file stopped to get the commands back to black and functioning. I just found that out by fiddling around, as I had the same problem. Good Luck.

  10. justposted

    Thanks for providing exactly the info I needed in about 3 sentences. Couldn’t find the menu option, but ctrl-t worked nicely.

  11. Brian Wilson

    I am using the Audacity 2.0.6 (portable application). After importing a midi file and selecting the portion to crop, the “Trim Audio (Ctrl+T)” option still appears grayed out under Edit > Remove Special; Ctrl+T doesn’t do anything either.

    What did work was to 1) Select the portion being cropped, 2) Choose “Duplicate” on the Edit menu (or press Ctrl+D), and 3) click the “X” close button on the title bar of the original track. Then you can Export the cropped version of the midi (under the File menu) to save it as a new file.

  12. Magnus Åman

    Ctrl+T for trimming makes the rest of the clip silent, kind of like making the pixels around your selection transparent or the background color in an image. My clip is still 18 seconds, with first silence, then what i selected, then silence.

    What’s Audacity’s equivalent to “change canvas size…”, and what’s the procedure with the less steps if you simply want your current selection to determine the new canvas, the function that graphic program’s call “crop”? Can you put them in a macro?

    • Kirk Baucom

      I’m no expert on Audacity, so there may be a better way to do this, but this will work.

      1. Select the audio you want to keep.
      2. Use Ctrl-T to silence everything else.
      3. Hit Ctrl-X to cut your selected audio. You should now have a completely empty clip.
      4. Click at the beginning of the track or hit J to seek to the beginning.
      5. Hit Ctrl-V to paste your selection.

      You should now have a clip that is only your selected audio.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2024

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑