VST/AU plug-in doesn't appear in Live

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

First read our dedicated articles which explains how to install plug-ins correctly:

In case a plug-in is not showing up in Live after you've installed it, take the following steps:

1. Turn the plug-in folder off and on again

Open Live's Preferences to Plug-ins (10.1 and later) or File/Folder (All versions until 10.1) and check under "Plug-In Sources".

Disable the plug-on folder and then re-enable. Wait for the plug-in scanning to complete, then check the browser list again. Alternatively, perform a full rescan of all installed plug-ins by holding ALT/Option and pressing "Rescan Plug-Ins".

2. Make sure you've activated the correct plug-in Sources

Make sure that you've installed the plug-in to one of your enabled plug-in folders.

Windows

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  • If using VST3, enable the System folder
  • If using a Custom Plug-in folder, browse and select that folder, then switch it on.

Mac

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  • If using Audio Units (AU), switch "Use Audio Units" on. 
  • If using the VST2 or VST3 Plug-in system folder, switch this on.
  • If using a Custom Plug-in folder, browse and select that folder, then switch it on.

3. Make sure you've installed the correct bit-depth (32-bit or 64-bit)

  • Live 10 is 64-bit only, therefore 32-bit plug-ins will not appear in Live 10's browser.
  • Likewise, if using the 32-bit version of Live 9, 64-bit plug-ins won't appear in the browser. Some modern plug-ins are only available in 64-bit (such as Kontakt as of version 5.1).

4. Make sure the plug-in is supported on your Operating System

  • Check the OS compatibility statement on the manufacturer's website

5. Make sure the plug-in is supported by Live

  • Live supports VST2, VST3 and AU only.
  • Certain plug-ins may not be supported in Live. Check the compatibility statement on the manufacturer's website.

6. Update the plug-in

Check the manufacturer's website and make sure you have installed the latest version of the plug-in and that it's compatible with your Operating System. On Windows, also make sure to have installed Visual C++ 2010 SP1 which is required to run 64-bit applications that have been developed with Visual C++ 2010 SP1.

7. Using Waves plugins with a custom VST folder

A special file called a WaveShell is installed to the default plug-in folder. However if you're using a custom VST folder then you need to locate the WaveShell file and move it to that folder. See our dedicated article: Using Waves plug-ins with a custom VST folder.

8. Don't move the standalone or VST versions after installing (Windows only)

  • VST plug-ins might stop working when the stand-alone application of the plug-in gets moved, renamed or uninstalled.
  • It's recommended to always install the VST file directly to the correct destination folder, rather than manually moving the DLL file afterwards.

9. Use Admin rights (Windows only)

Certain plug-ins require Live to run with admin rights. For example plug-ins which offer the possibility to drag MIDI clips from the plug-in into Live, like Toontrack's EZDrummer.