Authorizing Live for all users on Windows (without Sassafras)

  • Live Versions: Live 9.1 and above
  • Operating System: Windows

This is the suggested method for installing Live in a multi-user environment such as a computer lab for the majority of circumstances. If you will need to frequently wipe your machines and reinstall and re-authorize Live, you may wish to instead follow an alternate method that involves the creation of a “master unlock file”. In that case, please reference the steps here: How to Create a ‘Master’ Unlock.cfg file for a Computer Lab Environment

Step 1: Install Live

  • Login with admin credentials to the computer.
  • Install the latest version of Live. You can download this from your user account.

Step 2: Authorize Live

  • Launch Live. The authorization screen will pop up.
  • Follow the instructions to authorize Live online (the easiest method). You can also authorize offline if the computer is not connected to the internet.
  • Once successfully authorized, close Live.

Step 3: Copy the Unlock.cfg file

Live's authorization is stored in a file called Unlock.cfg.

  • As you'll need to access hidden folders several times throughout the course of this task, we recommend that you permanently display all hidden folders using these instructions.
  • Open C:\Users\[AdminUsername]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Unlock\
    Note: The x's in the folder paths mentioned above, (i.e Live x.x.x) are placeholders. On your system, the name of the this folder will be the version of Live you have installed (eg. Live 11.0.5).
  • Copy the Unlock.cfg file contained there:


Step 4: Manually create a new Unlock folder in a shared location

Now you need to manually create an unlock folder in a shared location, and paste the Unlock.cfg there so that all user accounts can access it.

  • In Windows explorer open this hidden folder: C:\ProgramData\Ableton
  • Right click to create a new folder and name it CommonConfiguration
  • Within this folder create a new folder called Live x.x.x. (replace x.x.x with the correct Live version, Eg. Live 11.0.5.)
  • Within this folder create a new folder called Unlock
  • The entire path of the newly created folder structure should be: C:\ProgramData\Ableton\CommonConfiguration\Live x.x.x\Unlock\
  • Now paste the copied Unlock.cfg into this newly created Unlock folder:


Step 5: Delete the default Unlock folder

In order for Live to use the unlock file in the newly created shared location, the default unlock folder needs to be deleted:

  • Delete the default Unlock folder
    C:\Users\[AdminUsername]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Unlock\

Step 6: Disable automatic updates using a shared Preferences folder option

As creation of the shared folder is a manual process, if Live auto-updates it will break this configuration. Therefore we recommend that you disable automatic updates for all users on the computer:

  • Open the newly created shared folder:
    C:\ProgramData\Ableton\CommonConfiguration\Live x.x.x\
  • Create a new folder there called Preferences
  • Right click and select New → Text Document.
  • Add this line to the text file: -_DisableAutoUpdates
  • Save the text file as Options.txt



Step 7: Delete the default Preferences folder

In order for Live to use the preferences file in the newly created shared location, the default Preferences folder needs to be deleted:

  • Delete the default Preferences folder
    C:\Users\[AdminUsername]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\

Step 8: Add Live to the Start Menu for all users

Live will not automatically appear in the Start Menu for all users, so this must be done manually:

Open C:\Users\[AdminUsername]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Right click the Ableton Live 11 application shortcut and select "Copy" from the context menu:


Then go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs. Right click and select "Paste" from the context menu. If prompted to grant administrator permission, click “Continue”:


Live should now appear in the Start Menu for all users.

Step 9: Log-in as a standard user and test

Login with a standard user account and test to see that Live launches without asking for authorization.

Step 10: Repeat steps 1-8 on every computer

This process needs to be repeated on all computers in the lab.

Step 11: Install Live Packs (optional)

Live Packs can be installed to a shared location.

• Create a folder for Live Packs in a shared location on the computer, for example C:\Public\Documents\Ableton Live Packs


• Open PreferencesLibrary in order to set the Installation Folder for Packs to the folder you just created.

• Download and install your Live Packs.

• Each user can then set the Installation Folder for Packs to the folder you’ve created to access the installed Packs.

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: