Authorizing Live for all users on Windows with Sassafras

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: Windows

Using Sassafras:

Sassafras KeyServer must be installed on one computer and visible on the network to all client computers.

KeyAccess Client (available in the Sassafras KeyClient package) must be installed on each machine you want to use Live on, and the IP address or DNS name of the KeyServer computer must be supplied in the appropriate place during the client install.

Put the license file (ableton_xxx.lic) you received from Ableton into the “KeyServer Data Folder” of your Sassafras KeyServer installation. This license file is available from Ableton Support upon request.

Stop and then start the KeyServer service (a restart might not be enough).

Watch Sassafras installation setup tutorials.

Setting up Live for multi-user authorization:

Install Live

Manually create a Preferences folder in a shared location 

  • As you'll need to access hidden folders several times throughout this process, we recommend that you permanently display all hidden folders using these instructions. 
  • In Windows File Explorer, open the 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, e.g. Live 11.1)
  • Within this folder create a new folder called Preferences
  • The entire path of the newly created folder structure should be: C:\ProgramData\Ableton\CommonConfiguration\Live x.x.x\Preferences


Create an Options.txt file with the relevant entries

  • Inside this newly created Preferences folder, right-click and select New → Text Document.
  • Add this line to the text file: -LicenseServer
  • Auto-updates will break the multi-user configuration, so we recommend that you disable them for all users by also adding this line: -_DisableAutoUpdates
  • Save the text file as Options.txt


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, if it exists: C:\Users\[AdminUsername]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\


Add Live to the Start Menu for all users

  • Open the hidden folder C:\Users\[AdminUsername]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  • Right click the Ableton Live 10 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”:


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.

Repeat the above steps on every computer

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

Install Live Packs (optional)

Live Packs can be installed to a shared location.

Note: Due to the Sassafras authorization system, Live Packs that are not bundled by default with the Live license (e.g., additionally purchased Packs) cannot be authorized using Sassafras.

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


  • In Live, open Preferences → Library in order to set the Installation Folder for Packs to the folder you just created.
  • Then, download and install your Ableton Live Packs.
  • To set the location of the shared Packs folder for all users, navigate to the default Preferences folder C:\Users\[AdminUsername]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\ and copy the Library.cfg file. Then navigate to the shared Preferences folder you created at C:\ProgramData\Ableton\CommonConfiguration\Live x.x.x\Preferences and paste the Library.cfg file there. 
  • Alternatively, each user can open Preferences → Library and manually set the Installation Folder for Packs in to the shared Packs folder you’ve created. 

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: