Knowledge Base

Ableton multi-user Licencing: Avoiding the need to authorise when students first login.

Applies to
Multi-user licences of Ableton Live or Live Intro in multi-user environments, usually schools

This information was taken from the following help page on Ableton’s website, which covers a number of scenarios in detail surrounding centralised administration of Ableton Live in a multi-user environment, including how to enable floating license use with Sassafras KeyServer.

Help page for centralised administration of Ableton Live in a multi-user environment.

Unlocking Ableton Live on each machine with a multi-user licence

Authorization data is contained in a file named ‘Unlock.cfg’. By default, it is created in the following locations for Windows or Mac respectively when a user authorizes Live.

Mac OS X

/Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Ableton/ Live 10.x.x/Unlock/


C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live 10.x.x\Unlock\
To Authorize each machine and ensure it is authorised for all user accounts

1) Install Live on each individual machine, and authorize it.

2) After quitting, copy the ‘Unlock.cfg’ file mentioned above to the following location, so all users on the machine have reading permission; Live will automatically look for unlock information there:

Mac OS X

/Library/Application Support/Ableton/Live 10.x.x/Unlock/


C:\ProgramData\Ableton\CommonConfiguration\Live 10.x.x\Unlock\
Note: Users must NOT try to (re)authorize once this is done.

It is also possible to create a Master unlock file

Note: If you’ve already processed all your activations at this stage then don’t worry about this for now. It’s something to consider next time you go through the activation process though, as it makes dealing with Ableton multi-user licencing more convenient.

The fact that authorization information stored in the file “Unlock.cfg” is different for every client machine makes it difficult to routinely wipe client machines and restore from a central place (e.g. using a disk image).

To create the ‘Master’ unlock file that will work on all clients

You can do this by copying the file “Unlock.cfg” from client to client prior to authorizing a new client, which means the authorization information will be added to and will accumulate in the same file.

After all clients have been authorized once always using the same “Unlock.cfg”, this single file will contain valid response codes for all machines.

Consequently, the resulting “master” unlock file can be used on all clients, i.e. it can be distributed to the client machines from a central place.

If you keep a copy of this file, you can wipe and re-install client machines without having to request more unlocks or repeat the process of unlocking on every single machine. 

Ableton LIVE
If you are not using KeyServer licensing, Ableton Live needs to be authorized for each user the first time they log on. This article will step you through a resolution for this.
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