how to move Ableton files to external hard drive

How To Move Ableton Files To External Hard Drive

Ableton Live is an excellent DAW with a vast number of files, sample tracks, and an extensive library that takes a lot of space. It makes sense that many would be worried about moving Ableton-related files to another location, but the question is how. In other words, how to move Ableton files to external hard drive?

Can I Move Ableton Files To External Hard Drive?

Yes, yes, you can. In fact, this can be a beneficial solution to ensure that you have space on your computer, and if there isn’t on your hard disk, you can free some space without any problem.

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How To Move Ableton Files To External Hard Drive:

First of all, what files are you talking about? Plugins, VSTs, presets, samples, or Ableton racks/clips? There are a lot of tools and types of files, to be honest. Most can be moved with the same method, but some need special attention.

Here are step-by-step guides on how to move different Ableton files to external hard drives.

Moving Ableton Live Library Packs To External Hard Disk:

  • Get a hard disk and plug it into your computer.
  • Open the Ableton interface.
  • Go to the Live on the menu bar.
  • A drop-down box will open. Chose Preferences.
  • Go to the Library tab.
  • Under Content Locations, go to the Installation Folder For Packs, and click on Browse.
  • Choose the external hard drive that you want to move your Ableton files to.
  • A dialogue box will open: Move existing Packs to the new installation directory? Chose Yes.
  • The Packs will start to be copied to the external hard drive. However, it might take some time.

Moving Entire Ableton User Library To External Hard Drive:

  • Get a hard disk and plug it into your computer.
  • Open the Ableton interface.
  • Go to the Live on the menu bar.
  • A drop-down box will open. Chose Preferences.
  • Go to the Library tab.
  • Under Content Locations, go to the Location of User Library, and click on Browse.
  • Choose the external hard drive that you want to move your Ableton Library to.
  • A dialog box will open: Move existing Library to new installation directory? Chose Yes.
  • The Library will start to be copied to the external hard drive. However, it might take some time, as Libraries are much larger than Packs.

Moving Ableton Temporary Folder And Decoding Cache:

A temporary folder in Ableton Live is a temporary space where we store recordings made before the entire recording is saved. On the other hand, the Decoding cache is the file generated when you drag in a file that is not native to Ableton Live, say an mp3 file. That nonnative file will be decoded.

  • Get a hard disk and plug it into your computer.
  • Open the Ableton interface.
  • Go to the Live on the menu bar.
  • A drop-down box will open. Chose Preferences.
  • Go to the File Folder
  • Go to the Temporary Folder, and click on Browse.
  • For decoding cache, go to the Cache Folder and click on Browse under the Decoding Cache section.
  • Choose the external hard drive that you want to move your Ableton files to.
  • A dialog box will open asking for your consent to move the files. Chose Yes.
  • The files will start to be copied to the external hard drive.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can Ableton plugins be moved to an external hard drive?

Ans: Yes, the plugins can also be moved to the external hard drive. It may free up a lot of space, and you can still access them if you keep your external hard drive plugged in.

Q: What is the disadvantage of moving Ableton Live files to an external hard drive?

Ans: The only disadvantage that comes with doing such a thing is the loss of easy accessibility. In other words, you would need to keep the device plugged in to access the files.

Q: What are external hard drives best for moving Ableton Live Files into?

Ans: Ableton recommends moving the files into Thunderbolt or USB 3 hard drives for maximum transfer speed. You are looking for at least 50 to 60 gigabytes of data to be transferred, so make sure that the storage capacity is higher. Here is a small list of external hard drives.

  • WD 10TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive HDD 

  • Samsung SSD T7 Portable External Solid State Drive 1TB

  • WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive HDD 

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