How to install plug-ins in ableton live

Updated July 20, 2017

Unlike some other digital recording programs, Ableton Live does not require you to install plug-ins within the application itself. Instead, Ableton Live scans a customised plug-in folder for any VST plug-ins already installed on the computer. Install VST plug-ins by creating a folder for VST plug-ins, then copying each VST into this folder. Scan the folder to start using the plug-ins in Ableton Live.

Click the "Start" menu, click "Computer" and double-click the "C:" drive. Open "Program Files," right-click inside the window, choose "New" and click "Folder." Name this folder "VSTPlugins." Press the "Enter" key.

Double-click the installer for the VST plug-in to launch it. Follow the program's installation instructions. Choose the folder you just created when asked where you would like to install the plug-in.

Open the Ableton Live application. Click the "Options" menu and select "Preferences."

Click the "Files/Folders" section of the window that appears. Click the button next to "Use VST Plug-in Custom Folder" to toggle it to "On." Click the "Browse" button next to "VST Plug-In Custom Folder." Navigate to and select the folder you created. Click the "OK" button.

Click the "Rescan" button next to "Rescan Plug-Ins." Ableton installs and recognises the plug-ins.

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Keith Patrick has been writing online since 2008. His articles appear on and various other websites. He is currently studying journalism and e-commerce at DePaul University in Chicago.