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“There was an error when closing the file” Ableton (Fixed)

Ableton is a fantastic DAW, and when it works, you can create some incredible music, design some phenomenal sounds, and create stellar live sets for performance, or DJ’ing etc.

However, if you’re reading this, you’re encountering the “there was an error when closing the file”, which means you’re probably feeling frustrated, and want to just get on with your music.

In this article we’re going to show you 3 steps that will help you to fix this error.

1. Disable Your Antivirus

If you have Avast antivirus on your PC, then this is most likely the reason that you’re running into the annoying error message. It seems to have become an issue with the latest update of the Avast software, causing some problems with Ableton to render audio.

Sometimes antivirus software can prevent programs that the software doesn’t recognise, from writing files to your computer.

This is a safety precaution that needs to be taken, to ensure that you don’t get any nasty viruses on your PC. The Ransomware App is Avast is a common culprit for this Ableton issue.

To disable your antivirus:

Open Avast -> Settings -> Blocked or Allowed Apps -> Remove ableton

2. Clear Ableton’s Temp Cache

Sometimes Ableton’s temp folder can cause issues, and it will bring up the same error message that you’re experiencing. Deleting the temp folder can fix the issue you’re having, so it’s worthwhile doing this if the antivirus trick hasn’t worked for you.

Once you’ve found the cache folder, you can delete all the files inside, and it won’t affect your Ableton from running as usual.

However, please make sure all your projects are collect all & save before doing this, otherwise it could mess up some project settings you have.

On Mac


If you can’t see the Library folder, it’s because these files are hidden on Mac by default. So to get these to show up, all you have to do is hold the option key while finder’s “Go” dropdown menu at the top of a finder window.

finder go menu

As you can see, there’s no option for Library. If you hold your option key, it will show up. Then, you can navigate to the cache folder (using the directory listed above), and then empty the cache.

Please make sure your projects are collect all and save before doing this, as it may cause some issues with project settings that are saved in your cache.

On Windows

C:\Users\Computer(Name of your computer)\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Cache\Cache\
C:\Users\Computer(Name of your computer)\Documents\Ableton\Live Recordings\

You can simply empty the cache, and then open Ableton and try to save your file or arm your track for recording.

Please make sure your projects are collect all & save before doing this!

I Can’t Find My Cache Folder

ableton temp folder find edited

If you can’t find your temp folder, you can find out where yours is on your computer. The usual places are listed above, but if you have a custom directory (like I do), then luckily you can check where it is in the Ableton preferences pane.

To do this:

  1. Open up Ableton
  2. Open the preferences settings
  3. Navigate to File/Folder
  4. Look for Temporary Folder
  5. What’s listed is where your temp folder is

3. Contact Ableton Support

If none of the above has solved your error message, then you don’t have a common issue, and it could be something specific to your system. We recommend that you contact Ableton support. They will most likely ask for some system file logs, and then they’ll be able to help with your issue.

The “There was an error when closing the file” error is a known error by the Ableton support team, and they’ll be happy to help you with this. So, you might have to wait a bit, but someone can help!

How Do I Recover Lost Work From A Crash?

If your Ableton has crashed during this error message, and you’ve lost some work, it can make your heart drop. We’ve been there, and it’s not fun at all. But don’t worry there’s a way to recover lost files manually if Ableton doesn’t prompt you upon opening.

Here’s how to recover your files in Ableton:

  1. Go to Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\Crash\ or Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/Crash/
  2. Rename the crash files so they have no date
  3. Move the renamed files from Crash -> Live x.x.x
  4. Reopen Ableton Live

Step 1

  1. Go to:
    1. Windows: Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x.x\Preferences\Crash\
    2. Mac: Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live x.x.x/Crash/

In this folder, you’ll find the required files that you need to recover a set, and prompt the recovery message to open again.

ableton crash files

Step 2

You’ll then want to rename these files so that they have no date, and then drag them out of the crash folder, and into the Live x.x.x folder.

Step 3

Restart Ableton Live and you’ll have the recovery prompt show up again. It will run through the recovery process and bring back your project settings how they were when it last autosaved.


Error messages when you’re trying to make bangers are not ideal. In this article we’ve covered everything you can do to fix this issue. If you’re still having problems, make sure to contact Ableton support about the issue. They will help you fix anything you can’t find a quick fix for on the web.

We hope you found this article useful and it fixed your problem!

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