Transferring Live Projects to another computer or user

  • Live Versions: 8 - 9
  • Operating System: All

Live Projects are cross-platform compatible, they can be opened in both the Windows and Mac versions of Live. The same projects can also be opened in the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Live. By default an Ableton Live set (.als) file contains references to any audio files, Max for Live devices and plug-ins used (but not those files, devices or plug-ins). Some of these can be collected and copied into the project folder. Follow our instructions below on how to do this:

1. First Steps

  1. Install the latest version of Live on both machines
  2. Where possible authorize the same edition of Live on both computers, e.g. Live Suite
  3. Install the latest version of Max for Live on both machines
  4. Install and license the same Packs on both machines
  5. Where possible, install the same third party plug-ins on both machines

2. Transferring individual projects to another computer or user

  1. Copy all used audio files and Max for Live devices into the project folder by using "Collect all and Save" from Live’s File menu. 
  2. Plug-ins are not collected to the Ableton project folder when using "Collect All And Save", therefore Freeze and Flatten any tracks containing them (unless both computers have the exact same plugins installed)
  3. Note: The VST format is cross-platform, but AU is not (Mac only).
  4. A Live Set created with Live Suite will switch into demo mode when opened in a less fully featured edition like Standard, Intro or Lite. More information on opening sets in a lesser featured version of Live.
  5. Locate the project folder on your computer
  6. ZIP/Compress the folder and transfer to the other user/computer

3. Transferring all your projects to a new computer

In case you are moving all of your projects to a new computer, it is not necessary to "Collect all and Save" the projects if you are storing your personal samples in the Samples folder within Live's User Library. 

  1. Transfer all your project files to the new computer
  2. Transfer the entire User Library to the new computer and update the location in Live's preferences (Library tab). Live automatically remembers sample references when the samples are located inside the User Library
  3. If you are moving cross-platform (from Windows to Mac or vice versa) remember that only the VST format is cross platform. Any tracks containing AU plug-ins will need to be frozen and flattened first.

If you are not storing your samples with Live's User Library then use of the following options:

  • "Collect all and Save" all of your projects
  • Transfer your entire sample library and use automatic search each time you open an old project. Once the samples have been updated with their new locations, save the project to update the references