Troubleshooting crashes 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
- Step 2 - Identify when the crash is occurring
- Step 3 - Possible issues that might cause Live to crash
- Step 4 - Requesting Support
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 Software Updates" is active. You can also manually download the latest version in your Ableton User Account.
Important: Also make sure that the following third-party software and drivers are completely up to date:
- Operating System
- Audio interface drivers
- MIDI controller drivers
- Graphics driver
- 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
Crashes due to outdated Plug-ins
Certain outdated plug-ins may cause Live to crash at launch. Or you may notice that usage of particular plugin causes Live to crash. 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 If Live launches successfully while plug-ins are disabled then this would indicate an outdated or problematic plug-in is contained in your plug-ins folder.
- Update all third-party plugins to the latest versions.
- Delete any plug-ins that you don't use on a regular basis
- If you are using iLok plugins on Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 it may be caused by an issue connected to the PACE software.
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.
- Use the 64-bit version of Live instead, which you can download from your User Account.
Crashes at Launch due to Corrupt template set or preferences
Live's template set may contain a problematic device or the preferences may have been corrupted. In order to return to the default template and preferences they need to be deleted.
Other possible reasons:
- Mac only - because of an outdated version of Melodyne.
- Mac only - with certain Radeon HD graphic cards.
- Mac only - because of access right issues after installing an OS X system update.
- Windows only - on Windows 7 because of missing system DLLs.
An error message is displayed
- Windows and Mac - "error reading [File Path]/Preferences.cfg."
- Mac only - "Company Support Dir not found"
Further issues - Live is hanging or slow to launch
If Live is very slow to launch, this could be happening for different reasons. In Live 9 such problems could be caused by a huge browser database. On Mac Live can hang on launch due to corrupted or incompatible MIDI drivers.
- See our full article - Live is slow to start or hangs on launch
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.