Troubleshooting a crash of Live

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

We understand just how frustrating it can be to experience crashes when using Live. While there are many different reasons that Live may crash, we've outlined some of the most common here. Please follow these troubleshooting steps in order to try and diagnose what's causing the issue:

Step 1 - Update Everything

Make sure Live is up to date. On Windows click Help → About Live. On Mac click Live → About Live. Compare Live's version number to the latest version available in your User Account:

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In order to turn on automatic updates open Preferences → Licenses Maintenance and verify that "Get Automatic Updates" is active. You can also manually download the latest version in your Ableton User Account.

Important: Also make sure that the following are completely up to date:

  •     Operating System
  •     Audio interface drivers
  •     Plug-ins
  •     MIDI controller drivers
  •     Graphics driver

Step 2 - Identify when the crash is occurring

  • Does the crash occur while launching Live?
  • Does it occur when using a particular device, plug-in or controller?
  • Does it occur when performing a certain task within Live?
  • Did the crashes start after applying changes to the system like installing new software or hardware?
  • Is Live crashing outright or just hanging?

To clarify the difference between a crash and a hang:

  • A crash is when Live unexpectedly and suddenly shuts down
  • A hang is when Live freezes indefinitely and the only way to resolve it is to force quit

Step 3 - Live crashes on Launch

Problematic Plug-ins

Certain plug-ins may cause Live to crash at launch. Press and hold the [ALT] key, then launch Live - this will temporarily disable Live's initial plug-in scanning. If Live launches successfully while plug-ins are disabled then this would indicate a problematic plug-in is contained in your plug-ins folder.

Possible solution:

  • Update all third-party plug-ins to the latest versions.
  • Delete any plug-ins that you don't use on a regular basis.
  • If the crashes persist, contact the plug-in manufacturer.

Corrupt template set or preferences

Live's template set may contain a problematic device or the preferences may have been corrupted. This can cause Live to crash on launch.

Solution:

Further issues that can cause Live to crash on launch:

Step 4 - Live crashes during use

Problematic Plug-ins

Certain plug-ins may cause Live to crash while being instantiated or used.

Possible solution:

  • Update the problematic third-party plug-ins to the latest versions.
  • If the crashes persist, contact the plug-in manufacturer.

Out of Memory Crashes (32-bit Live)

If using the 32-bit version of Live you may run into Out Of Memory crashes. This is because the 32-bit version of Live can only address up to 4GB of RAM. The 64-bit version of Live can use a theoretical maximum of 16 exabytes of RAM. More info on the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Live and How to avoid Out of Memory Crashes on the 32-bit version of Live.

Solution:

  • Use the 64-bit version of Live instead, which you can download from your User Account.

Crashes due to Kernel Panics (Mac)

Read our guide to troubleshooting Kernel Panics.

Step 5 - Live is slow to start or hangs on launch

If Live is very slow to start or hangs on launch this could be happening for various reasons.

Step 6 - Requesting support

In case you are still unable to find the cause of Live crashing, please contact Ableton Technical support and make sure to include the most recent Crash Reports. Also please let us know as much information as possible about how and when the crash happens.