Live asks for authorization again at every launch (Mac)

  • Live Versions: 9.1 and higher
  • Operating System: Mac

If the authorization dialog is displayed every time Live is launched, this could be happening for two different reasons:

  1. If you've upgraded to High Sierra (10.13) and a stable Mac address can't be determined automatically
  2. If you've authorized a prior version of Live for all users on a Mac by copying Live's unlock file into the local library (only necessary in multi-user environments)

Read below for the respective solutions.

1. A stable Mac address can't be determined automatically on High Sierra (10.13)

In order to solve this, then the authorization method needs to be updated in Live's Options.txt file:

  1. Navigate to this hidden folder:
    /Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x*/ 
    *x.x.x refers to the current Live version number
    Note: This folder is located in the User level library which is hidden by default. Here's how to access it.
  2. Open the Options.txt file and find the line which reads -ChallengeMethod=2
  3. Change that line to -ChallengeMethod=3 instead
  4. Save the Options.txt file
  5. Launch Live
  6. You'll need to authorize one last time, and then it should not ask again at the next launch

2. Live has been authorized for all users on a Mac

There are two ways to solve this issue.

A. In Finder navigate to this location:

Macintosh HD:/Users/[Username]/Library/Application Support/Ableton/

Copy the Unlock folder of the previous Live version into the most current Live folder, e.g. the Unlock folder from "Live 9.7.4" into "Live 9.7.5"

Important: This folder is created automatically by Live and is located in the user level Library which is hidden by default. Here's how to access hidden folders on your Mac.

B. In Finder navigate to this location:

Macintosh HD:/Library/Application Support/Ableton/

Important: This folder would need to have been created manually as it is not created automatically by Live.  It is located in the local level Library (not the user level Library). Here's how to make the local level Library visible on Mac. (Scroll to the very bottom of that page).

Remove the "Ableton" folder from this location by moving it for example to the Desktop. You can trash this folder after making sure that it doesn't contain any user-created data.