Troubleshooting a crash

If Live has crashed, you can use the steps below to help restore stable performance and determine the cause.

Important tips:

Troubleshooting steps

  1. Restart Computer
  2. Update everything
  3. Identify when the crash is occurring
  4. Live crashes on launch
  5. Live crashes during use or export
  6. Live hangs on launch
  7. Request Support

1. Restart Computer

2.Update everything

Make sure all of the following are fully up-to-date and compatible:

3. Identify when the crash is occurring

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

4. If Live crashes on launch

Problematic Plug-ins

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:

  1. Quit Live.
  2. 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. 

Next steps:

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.

Live 11 and 12

  • 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

5. If Live crashes during use or while exporting

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.

Next steps:

  • 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

6. If Live is slow to start or hangs on launch

See the guide, Live is slow to start or hangs on launch.

7. Requesting support

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.

Note: Sending a Crash Report to allows us to analyze crash data. However, it does not create a support request, and you will not receive a reply unless you also contact Support

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: