VST plug-ins don't show up in Live or run in an unauthorized or demo mode (WIN)

  • Live Versions: 8 - 9
  • Operating System: Windows Vista, Windows 7


After installation, certain VST plug-ins don't show up in Live's plug-in browser. It can also be that they show up but run in an unauthorized or demo mode.
Under certain circumstances, users can also get the error message “This plug-in is not compatible with Live!”


Live 8 has problems to access certain 3rd party VST plug-ins, due to missing read/write permissions.

Usually affected are plug-ins from IK Multimedia and Native Instruments.

Please note that the 32-bit version of Live supports 32-bit plug-ins, only. Whereas the 64-bit version can only run 64-bit plug-ins. Further information can be found in the article 64-bit - Myths and Facts.


Run the Live application as Admin:

  • Browse to the Live application:
  • Prior to Live 8.3:
    • C:\Program Files\Ableton\Live 8.x.x\Program\Live 8.x.x.exe
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Ableton\Live 8.x.x\Program\Live 8.x.x.exe
  • Since Live 8.3:
    • C:\ProgramData\Ableton\Live x\Program\Live x.exe
  • Do a right-click on the Live 8.x.x.exe and select 'Run as administrator'

Additional Information

Please refer to the following knowledge base article for further informations how to access hidden folders on Windows and Mac OS X.