Ableton Live 11 Problems: 3 Known Issues (Explained)

Ableton Live 11 is the latest offering from one of the world’s leading Digital Audio Workstations (DAW), boasting a range of new tools and features and some exciting new updates.

Although Live 11 has already been shown to be a strong new update, it hasn’t come without its hiccups along the way.

In this article, we’ll jump into 3 known issues relating to Ableton Live 11, and help you figure out solutions to those problems, getting you back on track to making your next big hit!

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Ableton Live 11 Crashes Unexpectedly

Ableton Live 11 is packed with a whole bunch of powerful features, but this can come at the cost of high CPU usage. This can cause crashes and unfortunate complications within Ableton.

CPU usage refers to the amount of processing power required by Ableton to run all the devices, effects, and plugins in a project. As the complexity of the project increases, so does the CPU usage.

Let’s dive into some reasons why your Ableton Live 11 may be crashing, and help you figure out how to lower your CPU usage.

Your Software, Drivers, or Operating System isn’t Up To Date

First things first, you need to make sure that you’re working with up-to-date software. This includes your operating system, drivers, and, of course, Ableton Live itself.

Using outdated software can cause stability issues and other problems, so it’s important to keep everything up to date.

To ensure that your version of Ableton Live stays up to date, you’ll need to enable automatic updates in the settings.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Navigate to the “Preferences” menu and select “Licenses Maintenance”
  2. Toggle on the “Get Automatic Updates” option
  3. To check if you’re currently running the latest version of Ableton Live, go to the “Live” menu and select “About Live” (on Windows, select “Help” and then “About Live”)

Enabling automatic updates will ensure that you’re always running the most stable and up-to-date version of Ableton Live.

This will help you avoid any unnecessary issues and keep your music-making process running smoothly.

So, make sure to follow these steps and keep your software up to date!

Your PC’s Sound Card Can’t Cope With Ableton Live

If you’re experiencing crashes while using Ableton Live, it could be due to your PC’s sound card.

Generally, Windows PCs don’t have the best sound cards installed in them, unlike Macs. Using the built-in sound card may be causing issues with Ableton Live.

But don’t worry!

You can easily resolve this by replacing the sound card with a free low-latency audio driver like ASIO4ALL V2. These drivers allow for smoother audio processing, which can improve your overall experience with Ableton Live.

Once you’ve installed the driver, you need to enable it by going to:

  1. Selecting “Options”
  2. Then select “Preferences”
  3. From here, click on the “Audio” tab and change the “Audio Device” to A”SIO4ALL V2″
  4. Then change the “Driver Type” to “ASIO”.

Additionally, if you’re using a laptop, insufficient power delivery can also be a common cause of software crashes, especially when running demanding software like Ableton Live.

If your laptop isn’t plugged in, its performance may suffer.

So, try using Ableton Live with the charging cable plugged in, even when the battery is full. If it still crashes, then power delivery isn’t the problem.

Your VST Plug-Ins Are Causing a Crash

As a music producer, you’re probably well aware of the effect VST plug-ins can have on Ableton Live. Certain VST plugins, particularly cheap or pirated copies, can cause crashes, interrupting your workflow and being a real frustration.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of crashes from VST plug-ins.

One of the simplest and most effective solutions is to use legitimate VST plugins that are paid and licensed. This ensures that you use high-quality plugins that are less likely to cause issues.

Another important consideration is the CPU usage of the VST plugins you are using. Some plugins are more CPU-intensive than others, which can be a problem if you don’t have a high-performance computer.

To check the CPU usage of your VST plugins, monitor your CPU usage when they’re in use.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your music production process is as smooth and uninterrupted as possible.

Your CPU is Overloaded

Ableton Live 11 has been known to be very CPU intensive, meaning the chance of CPU overload is high. It’s unfortunately a common issue, especially when using demanding VSTs or multiple instruments in your projects.

One solution to prevent these crashes is to upgrade your hardware, such as getting a faster CPU that can handle heavy workloads. However, if this isn’t an option, there are other ways to reduce CPU load while working in Ableton Live.

  • Reducing the number of VST Plug-Ins and effects in your project is a surefire way to reduce CPU usage.
  • It’s also a good idea to try and contain the number of tracks you include in your project, as larger projects tend to be more power-hungry and cause more problems.

It’s important to note that a lot of factors can cause a crash in Ableton Live 11, which can be confusing when trying to figure out the root cause.

I recommend taking a  methodical troubleshooting approach, as it’s easy to miss out on simple fixes along the way.

Ableton Live 11 Freezes When Loading in Plug-Ins

One of the mainstay tools of any music producer in Ableton Live is the use of VST plug-ins.

VST Plug-ins, especially third-party plug-ins, offer a range of unique sounds and alternative functions, bringing a fresh perspective to any production.

Ableton Live freezing when trying to use your favorite plug-ins can be a frustrating problem to have.

Let’s jump into some ideas to help you solve this issue.

Your Ableton Live 11 Needs a Reset

Resetting Live can be a useful troubleshooting step if you’re experiencing issues with the software. It returns the program to its default settings and clears out any problematic customizations that may be causing trouble.

Here’s how to reset Ableton Live 11 on Mac:

  1. First, close Live.
  2. Next, in “Finder”, navigate to the “Go Menu”, holding down the “Option” key on your keyboard.
  3. In the drop-down menu, navigate to “Preferences”, then select “Ableton”. This should open a previously hidden path: “Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton”.
  4. Open your current version of Ableton Live’s folder, for example, “Live 11.2.4”
  5. Next, drag the “Preferences.cfg” file to your trash.
  6. If the “Undo” folder is present, delete it as well.

Finally, open Live’s “User Library” and delete the “Templates” folder. After completing these steps, relaunch Live to see if the issues have been resolved.

Here’s how to reset Ableton Live 11 on Windows:

  1. First, close Live.
  2. In your Windows Explorer address bar, type in “%AppData%”
  3. Next, click the down arrow, selecting “Users\[username]\Appdata\Roaming”
  4. Open up the “Ableton” folder.
  5. Locate and open your current version of Live’s folder, for example, “Live 11.2.4”
  6. Next, open “Preferences”.
  7. Delete the “Preferences.cfg” file.
  8. If the “Undo” folder is present, delete it as well.

Next, open Live’s “User Library” located in “Users[username]\Documents\Ableton\User Library” and delete the “Templates” folder.

Finally, relaunch Live to see if the reset has resolved the issue.

N.B.: After resetting Live for either Mac or Windows, keep in mind that you’ll need to re-enable your hardware devices and plug-in folders, re-enter custom input/output names, and re-select any custom settings in Live’s Preferences.

Instead of deleting files, you can move them to a different location to preserve your customizations and restore them later if resetting Live doesn’t solve the problem.

You May Have Problematic Plug-Ins

One of the possible reasons for Ableton Live 11 freezing could be problematic plug-ins. Here’s what you can do to resolve this issue.

  • Try temporarily disabling Live’s initial plug-in scanning by pressing and holding the [ALT] key while launching Live.
  • If Live launches successfully while plug-ins are disabled, it could indicate that a problematic plug-in is causing the issue.

To resolve this issue, consider the following solutions:

  1. Update all third-party plug-ins to their latest versions. This can help fix any compatibility issues between the plug-ins and Live 11.
  2. Delete any plug-ins that you don’t use regularly. This will help reduce the number of plug-ins that Live has to scan and load, which can improve performance and stability.
  3. If the crashes persist, contact the plug-in manufacturer. They may be able to provide specific troubleshooting steps or updates to resolve the issue.

Ableton 11 has Performance Issues and Glitches

Experiencing dropouts, crackles, or glitches in your audio, and a sluggish response when you’re writing or producing in Live can be frustrating.

One potential cause is excessive CPU load, which can happen when you have too many processes running at once.

  • To prevent this issue, it’s important to keep your third-party plugins and hardware drivers up to date.
  • In Live 11, you can use the improved CPU meter to monitor your CPU usage.
  • The meter now displays both the current CPU usage and the average CPU usage, making it easier to identify potential issues.

If you’re experiencing performance issues on Ableton Live 11, the first port-of-call is to make sure your machine is powerful enough to keep up with Ableton’s CPU-intensive interface.

Here are the minimum requirements to run Ableton Live 11:

Windows Specs

  • Windows 10, Windows 11
  • Intel Core i5 processor or AMD multi-core processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 1366×768 display resolution
  • ASIO-compatible audio hardware for Link support
  • Approximately 3 GB disk space on the system drive for the basic installation (8 GB free disk space recommended)

Mac Specs

  • macOS High Sierra 10.13 to Ventura 13
  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • Apple silicon
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 1280×800 display resolution
  • Core Audio compliant audio interface recommended
  • Approximately 3 GB disk space on the system drive for the basic installation (8 GB free disk space recommended)

You should also read our article about how much RAM you need to run Ableton Live.

You need to lower the Sample Rate

Lowering the Sample Rate in Ableton Live is also recommended.

You can adjust the sample rate in Live’s “Preferences ” in the “Audio” tab.

A value of 44100 or 48000 Hz is a good starting point, but it’s best to choose the correct setting before starting a new project instead of changing it while working on an existing one.

You need to increase the Buffer Size

Another solution to try is to increase the “Buffer Size”.

Increasing the buffer size can help reduce CPU load and help your project run smoother.

Aim for a value like 128, 256, 512, or 1024. However, keep in mind that higher buffer sizes can cause higher latency.

Ableton Live 11 Pros and Cons

Ableton Live 11 is by far the strongest offering by the well-known and loved company, but it does not come without its faults.

Here are some Pros and Cons for Ableton Live 11.


  • Ableton Live 11 boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface and a wider range of built-in instruments and effects.
  • Live 11 also offers a new look into “Take Lanes”, a great tool when tracking.
  • And it offers the new “Group” option even within existing Groups.


  • Live 11 is prone to crashing
  • Live 11 has compatibility issues with certain VST and third-party plug-ins.
  • High CPU usage


Live 11 Minimum Requirements

Troubleshooting a Crash