Missing media files

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

You may see an error message that media files are missing if:

  1. Live does not have access permissions on Mac
  2. The media files were moved or deleted
  3. The media files were deleted locally when using cloud backup
  4. The media files are on a disconnected external hard drive
  5. The media files were not saved to the project folder
  6. The Live Set is in a project folder with multiple Sets or to the User Library

1. Live does not have access permissions on Mac

On macOS 10.15 (Catalina) and later, Live needs permission to access most locations on your computer. You can allow disk access in System Preferences under Security & Privacy > Privacy:

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2. The media files were moved or deleted

Files that were moved can be located and replaced using the File Manager.

If the files were deleted accidentally, check Recycling Bin (Windows)/ Trash (Mac) to see if they are still there.

3. The media files were deleted locally when using cloud backup

Some cloud backup services may delete local files and only keep a copy in the cloud.

Optimized Storage in iCloud:

The Optimized Storage feature in iCloud Drive deletes older files from the Desktop and Documents folders when storage is low. If you saved any media files in either of those folders, they may get deleted automatically.

To fix this:

  1. Re-download the deleted files from iCloud Drive, then turn off Optimized Storage
  2. Re-download the deleted files from iCloud Drive, then move them to your Music folder (or any location other than Desktop or Documents)
  3. Re-download the deleted files from iCloud Drive, then turn off Desktop and Documents from iCloud drive

OneDrive Files on Demand: 

The Files on Demand feature in OneDrive stores references to files on your computer, while the actual file is in the cloud. Make sure that "Always keep on device" is selected to store the media files locally.

See our full guide on Cloud Storage Best Practices for more details.

4. The media files are on a disconnected external hard drive

Connect the external drive and power it on, the missing files should then appear.

If the name or letter assignment of the drive has changed, or the files have been moved, you can locate and replace the missing media files using these instructions.

5. The media files were not saved to the project folder

To copy media files into a Live Project folder, you can select Collect all and Save from the File menu. See our full guide on transferring projects to another computer or user.

6. The Live Set is in a project folder with multiple Sets or to the User Library

Saving multiple Live Sets into one Live Project can cause media file management issues. This also can also happen if a Live Set is saved to the User Library. 

To fix this:

  1. Use the Save Live Set As… command from the File menu to save the Set into a new location that is not in an existing Project or the User Library. This will create a new Project folder for the Set.
  2. Then use Collect All and Save from the File menu to copy the media files used by the Set into the new Project folder.