Live 8-9: Recovering a Set manually after a crash

  • Live Versions: Live 8-9
  • Operating System: All

Note: Click here to read the instructions to recover a Live set manually in Live 10 and 11.

Live's file recovery process is usually triggered by an undo file in Live's preferences folder. Clicking "No" on the restore document dialog after a crash will move the undo file into the subfolder "Crash", located in Live's preferences folder.

The same applies to the file "Crash.als" which reflects the last saved state of the Live Set file you were working on when the crash happened. To retrigger the file recovery process, please follow these instructions:

Step 1: Go to the following location, which is normally a hidden folder.

Windows - Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\Crash

Mac - Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/Crash

Note: Live x.x.x refers to the version number in which the crash occurred. For example, if it occurred in Live 9.7.4, then you need to open the folder with that name.

Step 2: In the Crash folder, you should find files named similar to the following:

  • "2016_12_06__21_52_59_Undo.cfg"
  • "2016_12_06__21_52_59_Crash.als"
  • "2016_12_16__20_45_09_DefaultLiveSet.als"

In most cases you will find pairs of files, showing the same crash time. An undo file with the file extension ".cfg" and a Live Set file with the file extension ".als".

Locate the Undo.cfg file with the latest date in its file name. Copy it along with the .als file, showing the same date, into Live's preferences folder (also a hidden folder):

Windows - Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences

Mac - Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/

Step 3: Rename both files by removing the crash date from the file name. "2016_12_06__21_52_59_Undo.cfg" for example should be renamed to "Undo.cfg" and "2016_12_06__21_52_59_Crash.als" to "Crash.als".

Step 4: Now, start Live. The file recovery process should be triggered again.

Important Information

File recovery must be done with the same Live version which created the undo file - this applies to the Live version number, the same bit version (32-bit/64-bit), and the same OS platform (Windows, Mac).

No Crash.als contained?

In certain cases there will be no Crash.als, showing the same date as the latest Undo.cfg. In this case you should put only the Undo.cfg file into Live's preferences folder (don't forget to rename it as mentioned above). Then start Live.

If the file recovery fails, please contact Ableton support and send us Live's latest Crash Report packs. Those packs normally contain the Undo.cfg, Crash.als and DefaultLiveSet/Template.als files. We will then try to recover the work.

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: