Troubleshooting a crash

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

Here are some steps to take in order to try diagnose and prevent a Live crash:

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:

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

If you believe that the crash might be caused by your template configuration, press and hold the [SHIFT] key to temporarily open the default set. If Live opens successfully, this may point to an issue concerning your current template set. Note that the next time you open Live, it will open your default set again.

In this case, Live's template set may for example contain a problematic device or the preferences may have been corrupted. You can find and remove a corrupted or problematic template set by following the paths below:

Live 11

  • 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

Note: The folders for Live 9 and 10 are hidden by default. Here's how to access hidden folders.

In situations where the method above was not successful, you may try a full reset of Live.

Further issues that can cause Live to crash on launch:

Step 4 - Live crashes during use or export

Problematic Plug-ins, audio or video files

Certain plug-ins as well as corrupted audio or video files may cause Live to crash while being instantiated or used as well as during export.

Possible solutions:

  • Update the problematic third-party plug-ins to the latest versions. If the crashes persist, contact the plug-in manufacturer
  • Locate the track containing the corrupted audio file with the help of this method and remove it
  • Delete the video and export only the audio of your project to combine both files using audio video merging software

Crashes due to Kernel Panics (Mac)

Read our guide to troubleshooting Kernel Panics.

Further issue that can cause Live to crash during use or export:

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.

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: