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How to recover a Live Set manually after a crash?

  • Live Versions: ALL
  • Operating System: ALL

Live's file recovery process is usually triggered by an undo file in Live's preferences folder. Clicking "No" on the restore document dialog after a crash will move the undo file into the subfolder "Crash", located in Live's preferences folder.

The same applies to the file "Crash.als" which reflects the last saved state of the Live Set file you were working on when the crash happened.

To retrigger the file recovery process, navigate to the following location on your system:

Windows XP

\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Application Data\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\Crash\

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8

\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\Crash\

Mac OS X

/Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/Crash/

Note: the article How to access hidden folders on Windows and Mac OSX provides help, in case the above mentioned location is hidden on your system.

In the Crash folder, you should find files named similar to the following:

  • "2013_12_06__21_52_59_Undo.cfg"
  • "2013_12_06__21_52_59_Crash.als"
  • "2013_12_16__20_45_09_DefaultLiveSet.als"

In most cases you will find pairs of files, showing the same crash time. An undo file with the file extension ".cfg" and a Live Set file with the file extension ".als".

Locate the Undo.cfg file with the latest date in its file name. Copy it along with the .als file, showing the same date, into Live's preferences folder:

Windows XP

\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Application Data\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8

\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\

Mac OS X

/Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/

Rename both files by removing the crash date from the file name. "2013_12_06__21_52_59_Undo.cfg" for example should be renamed to "Undo.cfg" and "2013_12_06__21_52_59_Crash.als" to "Crash.als".

Now, start Live. The file recovery process should be triggered again.

Additional Information

It's mandatory that the file recovery is done with the same Live version which created the undo file. This applies to the Live version number, as well as to the bit version (32/64-bit) and the OS platform (Windows, Mac).

In certain cases there will be no Crash.als, showing the same date as the latest Undo.cfg. In this case you can try to put only the Undo.cfg file into Live's preferences folder (don't forget to rename it as mentioned above). Then start Live.

If the file recovery fails, please contact Ableton support and send us Live's latest Crash Report packs. Those packs normally contain the Undo.cfg and Crash.als files. We will then try to recover the work.

Related topics: Crash File handling