I opened Ableton Live (6 LE - Mac Version) last night and none of the instruments or effect presets were in the Library pane. The instrument and effect unit names were there, but when I click on the arrow to expand the tree view...nothing appears.

I moved the application to the trash and inserted my Live DVD to reinstall, figuring that would fix it, but had no success.

I reinstalled the impulse live pack and that fixed impulse, but I didn't find a simpler or effect preset pack to install.

Why would all the instrument and effect presets disappear?

How do I get them back?

How do I perform a clean reinstall of Live?

Update: I contacted Ableton support and they indicated that the only way to fix this is to update to a newer version. Of course, they offer free upgrades from one LE product to the next online.

I found an additional preference file in user/libraries/preferences/ableton and deleted it, then reinstalled Live 6 LE from disc. It worked fine after that.

2 Answers 2


Had the same problem (Ableton Live 6, pc version).
When re-installation was the only solution every time it happened, I chose to update to a newer version (8.34). This seemed to resolve the Library issue.

  • Did the upgrade solve the dissappearing instruments and effects problem? What version did you upgrade from/to? A bit more information will make this answer much more useful to future visitors. Cheers!
    – JoshP
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 13:14
  • Yes - the upgrade as for me, stopped these library issues. You're welcome!
    – Gal Margalit
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 14:53
  • I edited your answer to include that info.
    – Warrior Bob
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 15:52

Go to Preferences, select the "Library" tab and click "Repair Library".

This will instruct Live to look at the library and correct any known errors, replace missing files that it knows should be there, and so forth. The library is a collection of files, so it's possible for them to be modified outside of Live. Live is able to do basic repairs to the library based on what "should" be in there.

  • Thanks for the tip but Live 6 LE doesn't have an independent Library tab. The library info is grouped "Files/Folders".
    – kevtrout
    Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 14:33
  • Could you expand on this a bit? What does "repair library" do exactly?
    – Warrior Bob
    Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 21:15
  • "Repair Library" should do what it says on the label ;) . it will look at the library and correct any errors, replace missing files and so forth. for example if i have Ableton Live Suite installed and somehow my girlfriend accidentally deletes the Operator instrument while checking her email on my computer... If i click "Repair Library" then Live will say to itself "huh, Operator is missing, ok, lets fix that", and when it's done all should be well again.
    – Shane Kilkelly
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 10:01
  • just to clarify, Live keeps its instruments and other bits in a big "Library", you can find it under username/Library/Application Support/Ableton on a Mac, I'm not sure where it is under windows but you get the idea. If instruments suddenly disappear from Live then my first bet would be that the Library has been damaged somehow.
    – Shane Kilkelly
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 10:05
  • @kevtrout, ah, it's been years since i've seen Live 6, but did you find a "repair library" option in there at all? also, I think you can get a free update to Live Lite 8 from your LE 6 license ableton.com/free-upgrade
    – Shane Kilkelly
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 10:07

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