How to Fix Audacity Error Code 9999 ‘Unanticipated Host Error’ ?

Some Audacity users are encountering the 9999 error code (Unanticipated Host Error) whenever they attempt to record something. This issue is primarily reported to occur on Windows 10.

Audacity Error Code 9999 (Unanticipated Host Error)

After investigating this particular issue, it turns out that there are several reasons why you might see this error code when attempting to record something in Audacity. Here’s a list of potential culprits:

  • Microphone access is disabled for Audacity – If you’re encountering this problem on Windows 10, chances are this problem is occurring due to a security setting that denies 3rd party tools access to your default recording device. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix this problem by modifying the default Privacy settings for recording devices from the Settings app.
  • Conflict with Skype – One of the most popular conflicts that will cause Audacity to display this error is a conflict with Skype. As it turns out, you can expect to see this error code in an instance where both programs are attempting to use the recording device at the same time.
  • Restriction enforced by antivirus – Another fairly common culprit that might cause this problem is a security option called Host Intrusion Protection. If this scenario is applicable, you can fix this problem by disabling this setting (or it’s equivalent) from the Setting menu of your antivirus. If that doesn’t work you should disable the 3rd party suite or uninstall it to eliminate the conflict.

Method 1: Allowing Apps to Access the Microphone

If you’re facing this issue on Windows 10, the most common problem that will cause this error code is a new privacy setting that cuts microphone access to 3rd party apps such as Audacity by default.

Keep in mind that after the Creator’s Update, this setting is enforced by default. So unless you take the time to specifically configure your computer to allow 3rd party apps access to your microphone, you’ll keep encountering this error.

Follow the instructions below to allow Audacity access to your microphone:

  1. Ensure that every instance of Audacity is closed.
  2. Open a Run dialog box by pressing Windows key + R. Next, type ‘ms-settings:privacy-microphone‘ and press Enter to open up the Microphone Privacy window of the Settings app.
    Running the ‘ms-settingsprivacy-microphone’ in Run command
  3. Once you’re inside the Microphone privacy tab, move over to the right-hand pane and enable the toggle associated with Allow apps to access your microphone.

    Allowing apps to access the microphone
  4. Once access is granted at a system level, scroll down through the list of allowed apps and see if the toggle associated with Audacity is enabled. If it’s not, enable it.
  5. Once microphone access is allowed, open Audacity once again and see if the problem is now fixed.

In case you are still encountering the error code -9999, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 2: Closing Skype

As it turns out, Skype is one of those apps that can conflict with Audacity. According to some affected users, Skype can cause the 9999 error with Audacity even when running in the background.

The reason for this is that with certain headsets, Skype will ‘reserve’ the default recording device, which will make it unavailable for Audacity.

If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix this conflict by closing Skype whenever you want to use a recording device in Audacity.

Even if there is no active Skype window open, you should close off any background process by right-clicking on the Skype icon in the tray bar icon and choosing Quit Skype from the context menu.

Quitting skype

Once Skype is successfully closed, open Audacity and attempt to use the recording feature again to see if the error is now resolved.

In case you are still encountering the same error code 9999 when using the recording feature, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Disabling the Host Intrusion Protection in Kaspersky Antivirus

If you’re using Kasperksy or a different 3rd party suite, chances are you’re seeing the 9999 error code due to a security feature protecting you from untrusted apps listening in to your microphone – on Kaspersky, this feature is called Host Intrusion Protection.

If you are indeed using Kaspersky as your main AV, you should be able to resolve the issue by going by opening the Settings menu of Kaspersky Endpoint Security and going to Advanced Threat Protection->Host Intrusion Prevention.

Accessing the Applications screen of Kaspersky Endpoint Security

Inside the application screen, simply move Audacity from the Low Restricted group to the Trusted group before saving the changes.

Note: Keep in mind that if you’re using a different antivirus, this security feature might be called differently and be found in a different location. In this case, you should search online for specific steps of disabling the Host Intrusion Prevention features.

After you do this, launch Audacity again and see if the issue is now fixed.

In case you are using a different antivirus suite and you can’t find the equivalent of Host Intrusion Prevention, follow the next method below to get rid of the conflicting antivirus.

Method 4: Disabling or Uninstalling the 3rd party AV (if applicable) 

If you are using a 3rd party suite and you suspect that it might be conflicting with the Audacity software, you should try disabling the real-time protection or even uninstalling the security suite temporarily – this will allow you to confirm whether you’re dealing with a conflict or not.

The ideal place to start is to disable the real-time protection feature and see if this ends up resolving the problem. With the vast majority of 3rd party security suites, you can do this by right-clicking on the tray bar icon of your antivirus.

Click Antivirus Icon From The System Tray and Select Disable

However, if this problem is related to a firewall restriction, disabling real-time protection will not be enough. In this case, you should take the time to uninstall the security suite and see if the error code stops occurring in Audacity.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to uninstall the conflicting 3rd party suite:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ inside the text box and press Enter to open up the Programs and Files menu.
    Type appwiz.cpl and Press Enter to Open Installed Programs List
  2. Once you’re inside the Programs and Features menu, scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate the antivirus that you wish to uninstall.
    Uninstalling Antivirus Using Control Panel
  3. Inside the uninstallation screen, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the uninstallation of your 3rd party suite, then restart your computer and wait for the next startup to complete.
  4. At the next startup, open Audacity and initiate a recording session to see if the problem is now fixed.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.