I chose a wrong directory for my VST plug-ins, now Live keeps crashing at startup, reinstalling does not help

  • Live Versions: 1 - 9
  • Operating System: WIN Vista, WIN 7, WIN 8


An incorrect VST directory had been chosen, for example the root directory of the C:/ drive.

Live is always crashing when scanning the VST folder.


The location of the VST folder is stored in Live´s Preferences.cfg file. Upon  un- and reinstalling the software, it will reinstall the program, but the Preferences.cfg file will remain on the hard drive - thus copying over the setting for the VST folder to every new version installed, resulting in repeated crashes.


Delete the Preferences.cfg file:

  • Make sure Live is closed
  • Open: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live (your version)\Preferences\
  • Delete the file Preferences.cfg
  • Start Live, plug-ins should now be deactivated (and the rest of your preferences settings are reset)

Additional Information

Note that on some Windows systems the AppData folder is hidden by default. Here is how to make it visible:

  1. Launch Explorer.
  2. Select Organize/Folder and Search Options/View.
  3. Check "Show hidden files and folders."

To avoid the reset of all preferences settings, it is also possible to hold the [ALT] key during the restart of Live to temporarily deactivate the VST folder.