Troubleshooting a crash
If Live has crashed, you can use the steps below to help restore stable performance and determine the cause.
- To test with third-party plug-ins disabled, hold [ALT/OPTION] while re-starting Live.
- Although re-installing the Live application may be necessary in rare cases, before doing this please first try resetting Live's preferences to the original default state.
- In many cases you can find the cause by reading Live Crash Reports and/or macOS System Crash Logs.
- Update everything
- Identify when the crash is occurring
- Live crashes on launch
- Live crashes during use or export
- Live hangs on launch
- Requesting Support
Make sure all of the following are fully up to date and compatible:
- Live version - Updating Live
- Computer operating system
- Audio interface drivers
- Third-party plug-ins and Max for Live devices
- MIDI controller drivers and remote scripts
- Windows graphics driver
- On Windows, follow the steps here on Optimizing Windows for Audio
- When launching Live
- When opening a particular Live Set
- When using a particular plug-in, audio or video file
- When using a particular external device or controller
- When performing a certain task within Live
- After applying changes to the system like installing new software or hardware
Also, identify whether Live is crashing or hanging:
- Crash: Live unexpectedly and suddenly shuts down
- Hang: Live freezes, and the only way to resolve it is to force quit
Crashes that occur when opening a project may be caused by a third-party plug-in used in the Set. To find out whether a plug-in is the cause:
- Quit Live.
- Press and hold [ALT]/[OPTION] on your computer keyboard while re-launching Live until the Live application has fully loaded. This will temporarily disable Live's initial plug-in scanning. If Live launches successfully without crashing while plug-ins are disabled, crashing is likely related to one or more plug-ins.
- Update all third-party plug-ins to the latest versions.
Check that your plug-ins are installed as recommended, following these guides:
Using VST plug-ins on Windows
Using AU and VST plug-ins on Mac
Plug-ins Tips and Troubleshooting
- Test plug-ins individually in an empty, blank test Set.
- If crashes persist when using a particular device, contact the plug-in manufacturer directly for additional support.
Corrupt template set or preferences
To test whether crashing is caused by your template configuration, press and hold the [SHIFT] key while launching Live to temporarily open the default Set. If Live opens successfully without a crash, this may point to an issue with your current template Set, such as a problematic plug-in, or other corrupted content. You can find and remove a corrupted or problematic template Set by following the paths below.
Note: Here's how to access hidden folders.
- Windows: \Users\[username]\Documents\Ableton\User Library\Templates
- Mac: Macintosh HD/Users/[username]/Music/Ableton/User Library/Templates
Live 9 and 10
- Windows: \Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences
- Mac: Macintosh HD/Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x
If crashing continues, follow the steps here to reset Live's preferences.
Other causes for crashing on launch
- Windows - Live crashes on startup after selecting a custom VST folder
- Windows - network-related third-party apps, such as a VPN or VNC, may interfere with Live's web connector executable. Try disabling these apps and re-launching Live.
Plug-ins, audio or video files
Third-party plug-ins, corrupted audio files, or problematic video files may cause Live to crash during use or while exporting.
To isolate the track containing corrupted or problematic content, copy each track to a new, blank, empty Live Set following the steps in this guide: Merging Live Sets.
- Update any problematic third-party plug-ins to the latest versions. If crashes persist, contact the plug-in manufacturer directly.
- Delete problematic video from the Set and export only the audio of your project, then sync the audio in your video editing software.
Kernel Panic (macOS)
See the guide, Troubleshoot kernel panics (macOS).
Other causes for crashing during use
See the guide, Live is slow to start or hangs on launch.
If you're unable to find the cause of Live crashing, submit a Crash Report along with your support request to Ableton Technical Support. In your support request, please include as many details as possible about how and when the crash happened.