When you open Ableton Live, it scans for each VST plugin in a folder allocated to them. This is so Ableton can pick up on any new VSTs you may have installed since the last time you opened a Live set.
This can take a long time, and sometimes the process seems to go indefinitely.
So how do you fix this problem?
In this article, I explain how to stop Ableton from scanning VSTs.
How To Stop Ableton From Scanning VSTS
Step 1: Open Notepad
If you use Windows, open a notepad.
Step 2: Type the Command
In notepad, type this command (simply as text): –NoVstStartupScan
Step 3: Save as a .txt file
This one is self-explanatory, go ahead and save the notepad document as a .txt file (anywhere where you can find it is fine), with the file name: Options.txt
You must save the file with that exact file name.
It will allow Ableton to find it once we put the file in the right spot.
This leads me to…
Step 4: Find the Ableton Preferences Directory
Usually, you will find it here: C:\Users\(Current User)\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live 10.0.1\Preferences.
Note Your version of Live in the above URL may be different from 10.0.1, depending on what version you are running.
Go ahead and Copy and Paste the Options.txt file into that directory.
Now when you open Ableton Live, it will no longer automatically scan your VSTs.
Scan For VSTS In Your Live Set
If you install VSTs after doing this, you will need to manually scan for the VST when you open your next Live Set.
To do that, do the following…
Step 1: Open Preferences in Ableton
In Ableton, select Options, then select Preferences.
Step 2: Navigate to File Folders
In the Preferences panel, navigate to File Folders on the left-hand side.
Step 3: Scan Plugins
Go ahead and left-click on the Rescan button next to where it says Rescan Plugins.
Once you have pressed that, Ableton will scan your VST folder and find the new VST without having to scan your VST folder every time you open Ableton.
If you have installed multiple VSTs since your last scan, you can do a deep scan by holding ‘alt’ and left-clicking on the Rescan Plugins button.
For MAC Users
If you are using a MAC, you can avoid a lot of these steps.
You can enable or disable VST/AU loading in Live’s Preferences > File/Folder > Plugin Sources.
How do you bypass plugins in Ableton?
If you are a MAC user, you can do this directly within Ableton by going to Options > Preferences > File/Folder > and changing your plugin sources. For Windows users, you are best to follow the steps provided above to create a manual override of the automatic scan function.
How do you uninstall VSTs?
You can ‘uninstall VSTs by removing those VST files (usually dll files) from your VST folder. Once you do that, rescan the plugins (see the second half of this article), and your unwanted VSTs should be gone.
How do you remove VSTs from your mac?
Follow the same process as the above step by deleting the VST file from wherever your plugin files are.
Why won’t your plugins show up in Ableton?
If you have changed the Scan Plug-Ins settings (either manually on Windows or within the digital audio workstation on a MAC), you will need to do a plugin scan for your plugins manually. All of your priorly used plugins should still be there, so you should only need to do this for newly installed plugins. Otherwise, you may need to find your VST folder by going to Options > Preferences > File Folders > Plugin directory.
Where does Ableton store VST plugins?
Unless you have manually created a different folder (i.e., a custom folder) for as your plugin folder and routed Ableton to it via the preferences panel, you will most likely find them in these directories:
⦁ C:\Program Files\VSTPlugins (64-bit VST2 plugins).
⦁ C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3 (64-bit VST3 plugins
) / (Live 10.1 and later).
⦁ C:\Program Files (x86)\VSTPlugins (32-bit plugin).
What does VST stand for?
Good question! It stands for Virtual Studio Technology. The things you learn…
Do VSTs work on MAC?
Most big-name VST producers make their VST plugin compatible with MAC, although not all VSTs will work on MAC. This is especially true for some independent plugins or a free VST plugin. Generally, most VSTs are compatible with Windows.
about the author
Hi, I’m Casey, a musician, and writer from the Australian surf coast.
I make midtempo bass music under the name ‘Cavedweller,’ which was inspired by the past and Plato’s cave sages. Originally from a musical background in heavy metal, I also play guitar and drums for the band Mountaris – signed to US record label Transcending Records.