Authorizing Live for all users on a computer (without Sassafras)

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

When authorizing Live in a multi-user environment (such as a computer lab or classroom), there are a number of manual steps you need to take. Please follow the relevant guide (Windows or Mac) here:

(Note: if you're using Sassafras, see this article instead.)

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Authorizing Live on a multi-user Windows computer

Step 1: Install Live

  • Login with admin credentials to the computer.
  • Install the latest version of Live. You can download this from your Ableton.com 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 this hidden folder: 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 10.0.6).
  • Copy the Unlock.cfg file contained there:

Unlock_in_admin_account.png

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 10.0.6)
  • 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:

unlock_shared.png

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" (without quotations).
  • Save the text file as Options.txt

options.png

options_folder.png

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: 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 9: Repeat steps 1-8 on every computer

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

Step 10: Install additional content (optional)

If you want to install additional Packs, check section 3 here: Centralized administration of Live in a multi-user environment (without Sassafras)

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Authorizing Live on a multi-user Mac computer

Step 1: Install Live

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

  • Open Finder and click "Go" from menu bar. Press and hold "alt/option", then click on the Library shortcut which appears. (This is the user level library which is normally hidden).
  • Go to this folder: Macintosh HD/Users/[current user]/Library/Application Support/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 10.0.6).
  • Copy the Unlock.cfg file contained there:

Screenshot_2019-04-15_at_17.21.01.png

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

Now you need to manually created an unlock folder in a shared location (so that all users of the computer can access the same unlock file).

  • In Finder go to this location: Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support
  • Create a new folder and name it Ableton. Within this folder create a new folder called Live x.x.x. (replace x.x.x with the correct Live version, Eg. Live 10.0.6.
  • Within this folder create a new folder called Unlock. 
  • The entire path of the newly created folder structure should be: Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Ableton/Live x.x.x/Unlock
  • Now paste the copied Unlock.cfg into this newly created Unlock folder.Screenshot_2019-04-09_at_17.13.54.png

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 (Macintosh HD/Users/[Username]/Library/Application Support/Ableton/Live x.x.x./Unlock/)

Step 6: Disable automatic updates using a shared preferences option file

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 this folder: Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/
  • Create a new folder there called Ableton, then within that a folder with Live's version number (eg. Live 10.0.6).
  • The full path of the newly created folder should be: Macintosh HD:/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/
  • Create a plain text file (using TextEdit). In the Format menu click "Make Plain Text".
  • Add this line to the text file: "-_DisableAutoUpdates" (without quotations).
  • Save the text file and name it Options.txt
  • Move the text file into the newly created shared folder: Macintosh HD:/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/

Screenshot_2019-04-09_at_17.08.48.png

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 (Macintosh HD/Users/[current user]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/Preferences/)

Step 8: 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 9: Repeat steps 1-8 on every computer

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

Step 10: Install additional content (optional)

If you want to install additional Packs, check section 3 here: Centralized administration of Live in a multi-user environment (without Sassafras)

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