5 Reasons Ableton Keeps Crashing (With Fixes)

You’re busy working on a mix, and then all of a sudden, for no explainable reason, Ableton Live decides to crash or freeze on you. This is incredibly frustrating and can leave you with gray hair, a broken screen, or worse. So what are some of the reasons Ableton keeps crashing, and how can we fix them?

The most common reason Ableton keeps crashing is due to VST plug-ins. To combat this, try holding down the Alt key and then launching Ableton. This will briefly disable the initial plug-in scanning. However, VST plugins aren’t the only reason for crashes; other software and hardware issues could also be the problem.

Remember that in the end, Ableton is just software. All software can be temperamental, and often, out-of-date or underpowered hardware is the root cause. A new, fast computer is almost always going to be more stable than an older, slower machine. It will typically give you a better experience while you’re running any DAW, including Ableton Live.

There are an array of other problems and reasons which may cause Ableton to crash while in use. Let’s take a look at some of these more thoroughly, and hopefully, you’ll find your solution below.

Why Does Ableton Freeze And/Or Crash?

Issues with Ableton Plug-ins

As we have established, one of the main root causes of Ableton crashing is due to the particular plug-ins which we may have running. This can also occur when working on various projects. For instance, when you try to reopen old projects, and the program decides to crash on you.

Fixing Plug-ins

The remedy for this is to remove or disable the particular plug-in and then open the project. You can then reactivate the VST as shown in this Youtube video. It does disrupt your workflow a bit, but it’s still better than trying to work and having the program crash on you continually.

Problems when transferring music or song files

One other case where you may find that Ableton crashes is when you are transferring files from one device to another. For instance, this can happen when two individuals are working on the same project. One thing that may happen here is that the permissions are not given to the second user.

Fixing problems with transferring files

When you’re trying to transfer files from one device to another, you may experience crashes. So, one way to establish why this is happening is to utilize a program such as Visual Studio. This program allows you to analyze the data regarding the crash, and then you can troubleshoot from there. Here’s a Youtube example of how to do this, and as you will see in this case, the file merely had to be opened as administrator.

When copy and paste goes wrong in Ableton

Another potential issue that you may face is the simple act of trying to copy and paste. This issue is particularly prevalent in version 10.0.5, and it causes the program not only to freeze or crash but can close the program altogether. The reason for this is unclear, and it may merely be a bug in the program. A potential contributor may be having two sessions running simultaneously.

Addressing issues with copy and paste in Ableton

As seen in the following Youtube video, the fix for this issue is only to select what you want to transfer over or to select fewer tracks at a time. This may mean more time spent trying to transfer files over from one session to another, but it should help alleviate the program from crashing or just closing on you completely.

Problems recording external audio in Ableton Live

When you’re trying to record audio from an external source, sometimes the program may crash, which can be highly annoying. Thankfully, there are some remedies, as can be seen below. Some possible issues are that your audio interface’s drivers are outdated. Your audio interface may also not be configured properly, and this will merely require an adjustment of settings. Another problem may be with your hardware in general. You may not have enough hard drive space, or your RAM might not be adequate for the program. You may likely have too much going on at once, and your system is unable to cope. This can be fixed, thankfully, but it will mean that you will have to minimize what you are doing at any given time.

Solving problems recording external audio in Ableton Live

Make sure that the drivers for your audio interface are the latest. Another potential fix is to unplug the interface, restart your computer, and plug in the interface again before starting Ableton.
You’ll need to take a look to see if the interface is configured correctly within Ableton’s preferences. You might have to reduce the I/O (in-out) sample rate, so if it is set above the recommended 44100, then you have potentially found your problem. You can go higher, but the problem may be that your device is unable to handle it. For a quick rundown, and some more in-depth problem solving and setup suggestions, take a look at the following Youtube video.

If you find that your system does not at least meet the minimum requirements of Ableton, then you are likely going to experience a problem when recording. This can definitely be one of the reasons that Ableton keeps crashing. To be honest, the only way to fix this issue is to upgrade your hardware.

Finally, it is best to begin with a new session and only use one track when you are recording. It is also advisable to disable all virtual instruments and plug-ins which may be running and then only start recording. Also, if you want to record more than one external piece of audio, try to limit the recording to one vocal or instrument track at a time.

Your software may need to be updated

Thankfully a much easier problem to solve is the possibility that your software merely needs to be updated and that this is what is causing Live to crash.

Ensure that everything is updated. You ought to first make sure that your Ableton version is up to date, and the best way to ensure this is to turn on the auto-updates. You can do this by going to Preferences, then License Maintenance and then make sure that “Get Automatic Updates” is selected.

Other things that you need to make sure are also up to date are your operating system, the drivers for your audio interface, and your plug-ins. So, in summary, ensure that you have updated all potential contributing factors as to why Ableton is crashing.

Other Tips And Recommendations

Note when the crash occurs in order to find out what the solution might be. If you know when the crash takes place, it will be much easier to figure out the problem. You can then begin to troubleshoot and go through a process of elimination.

The template or preferences may be corrupted. If you believe this to be the case, you can test it out by holding down Shift, which will open the default set. If Live opens without any problems, this will be evidence that your current template or preferences are corrupted.

Reasons Ableton Keeps Crashing- The Conclusion

These are just some examples of why Ableton Live may decide to either crash or freeze on you. Hopefully, your issue can be resolved by some of the tips and suggestions we have given you. If your problem isn’t discussed above, there are forums that discuss user issues. Ableton also has a help and troubleshooting page specifically for crashes. Also, you can contact their support, and hopefully, they’ll be able to walk you through your problem to help you solve your predicament.

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