Ableton Live Tutorial: How to install new Skins

Edit: Updated for Live 10, for which the skins were improved and are now called themes.

I've created 6 new Ableton Live skins that you can download for free. In case, you don't know how to install them, here are the instructions for both Windows and Mac. It's a good idea to have Live closed while adding the skins. It's not tragic, if it's open, but the skins will only show once you restart Live anyway.

Windows

  1. The zip-file with the skins should be in the designated downloads folder of your internet browser. If you're unsure where that is, check the preferences of your chosen browser for the location.
  2. First you need to unzip the folder. For this, right-click the folder in the Windows Explorer, click 'Extract All', and then follow the instructions.
  3. Open the unzipped folder, select all with the command Ctrl + A, then copy them with Ctrl + C.
    • With Live up to version 9, navigate to C:\ProgramData\Ableton\Live x Version\Resources\Skins (Windows 7 and up)* or C:\Program Files\Ableton\Live\Resources\Skins (older Windows) and paste the skins in with Ctrl + V.
    • From Live 10, skins are now called themes. Navigate to C:\ProgramData\Ableton\Live x Version\Resources\Themes (Windows 7 and up)* or C:\Program Files\Ableton\Live\Resources\Themes (older Windows) and paste the skins in with Ctrl + V.
  4. Once you open Live, go to the Preferences>Look/Feel with Ctrl + , and choose your preferred skin under, you probably already guessed it, Skins (up to Live 9) or Themes (from Live 10). Done.

* depends on the respective Live version you have, e.g. Live 9 Suite.

Mac OS X

  1. The Skins zip-file will most likely be in the Downloads folder.
  2. Unzip the folder by double-clicking it.
  3. Open the unzipped folder, select all with the command Cmd + A, then copy them with Cmd + C.
    • Up to Live 9, navigate to Ableton Live in your Applications folder, right-click (or ctrl-click) it and select 'Show Package Contents', then go to Contents/App-Resources/Skins and paste them in with Cmd + V.
    • From Live 10, navigate to Ableton Live in your Applications folder, right-click (or ctrl-click) it and select 'Show Package Contents', then go to Contents/App-Resources/Themes and paste them in with Cmd + V.
  4. Once you open Live, go to the Preferences>Look/Feel with Cmd + , and choose your preferred skin under Skins (up to Live 9), or Themes (from Live 10).

If you want to create your own skins, you can use the Skin Editor. It's available for free for both Windows and Mac. The created skins work with all versions of Live up to 9.

Any questions or comments left?

There are plenty more Ableton Live tutorials where this one came from.

By | 2018-03-04T13:20:54+00:00 February 14th, 2013|Ableton Live Tutorials|34 Comments

About the Author:

Madeleine Bloom is a musician, producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer from Berlin. She studied Electroacoustic Music at the Franz Liszt Conservatory. In the last few years she's worked as a technical support for Ableton and has helped countless people with her in-depth knowledge of Ableton Live, various other music apps as well as audio engineering.

34 Comments

  1. James May 14, 2013 at 14:57 - Reply

    Thanks for sharing these Madeleine! I especially love the “Darkness” skin! It’s even better than Ableton’s new Disco skin!

  2. Dan May 14, 2013 at 21:54 - Reply

    Nice work! I could use some change from time to time :)

  3. chris May 23, 2013 at 12:47 - Reply

    very nice! thanks for sharing

  4. marcos May 23, 2013 at 20:38 - Reply

    Just noticed in windows 8 the skins folder was here: C:\ProgramData\Ableton\Live 9 Suite\Resources\Skins

    • Madeleine May 23, 2013 at 23:39 - Reply

      Thanks for posting the file path in Windows 8.

    • Mark December 31, 2015 at 21:44 - Reply

      Yes thank you for posting this path! Its the same on Windows 7. Sonic Bloom should show this in the instructions!

  5. Martin March 27, 2014 at 22:30 - Reply

    Thanx4ALL!!!

  6. Stew April 21, 2014 at 10:34 - Reply

    Hey Madeleine,

    I wanted to tweak your ‘Elephant’ skin a little (selection area in clip view is a little dark), but when I open it up in the Skin Editor all elements are shown as black! I’m on OSX 10.6.8. Any thoughts?

    • Madeleine April 21, 2014 at 14:37 - Reply

      I presume you tried it with the Skin Editor from Sonic Transfer? I’ve used the Max for Live one.

  7. Terreurs April 25, 2014 at 18:21 - Reply

    thanks. Very helpful. Thanks for all of the skins as well, my eyes are grateful.

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  10. Montana April 17, 2015 at 16:26 - Reply

    HI there… I downloaded a skin from the website.. and it just came as .Ask so i just copied it and put it in the correct folder.. but when i went into ableton and checked… it wouldn’t give me the option to set it as the new skin. Please help..

    • Madeleine Bloom April 18, 2015 at 10:32 - Reply

      If Live was open while copying the skin into the right folder, the skin wouldn’t turn up. You need to quit Live and restart it for that.

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  18. hi September 23, 2016 at 16:49 - Reply

    hi where can i get the 3rd skin in the picture? cant seem to find it?

    thank you

    https://sonicbloom.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/ableton_live_skins13.png

  19. ANTHONY N.L. January 4, 2017 at 08:24 - Reply

    Thanks Madeleine.

  20. Brendan April 16, 2017 at 23:44 - Reply

    I have ableton live lite, and there is no skin folder in resources.

  21. neal November 6, 2017 at 21:39 - Reply

    thanks great skins

  22. jacob May 27, 2018 at 10:07 - Reply

    hey madeleine,
    there are very few people that do things like this to benefit others without making a profit, because quite frankly not everyone can afford things on the internet.
    mad respect.
    thank you

  23. Ben June 28, 2018 at 17:59 - Reply

    Do the skins get overwritten when Live updates?

    • Madeleine Bloom June 29, 2018 at 11:54 - Reply

      Not with auto-updates. Only if you update manually it can happen, but most of the time doesn’t. They’re not brought over when you upgrade though. It’s still good to keep the skins/themes backed up somewhere else as they’re small in file size.

  24. yez July 13, 2018 at 03:22 - Reply

    thank you so much great skins!

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