Pro Tools / iLok

Installation and Usage

Support Resources

 External Links



Upgrading Pro Tools  

You can install updates to Pro Tools or upgrade to a new version of Pro Tools within one (1) year after registering your product.

What happens after the first year?

After the first year, you will be prompted to purchase an optional upgrade plan if you wish to install further updates. You are not required to purchase an upgrade plan, and you can keep your current version for life.

  We strongly caution against upgrading macOS as this can break Pro Tools compatibility. Please see MacOS Compatibility for more information.

How do I update Pro Tools?

Pro Tools updates can usually be found in the Avid Application Manager. If you have already installed Pro Tools, you can Spotlight Search (⌘+Space) for "Avid Application Manager" to open it, then check the Apps tab for your update. 


Updating to Pro Tools 12.8.x

Updating your existing Pro Tools to version 12.8.x takes a little more work.

  1. Are you eligible? You must have a current Support and Upgrade plan. If you are within your first year of registering Pro Tools, you are eligible. If you are outside of your first year, updating to Pro Tools 12.8 is not required, although you may purchase a support plan renewal, if you wish. 
  2. Install the latest iLok License Manager found here (You must use the latest version).
  3. Run iLok License Manager and sign into your iLok account (the one linked with your Avid account).
  4. Locate your new license. If your support plan is current, you will find a newly deposited Pro Tools license bundle in your iLok License Manager.
  5. Drag your new license (bold font) in the manager onto your iLok (which should be plugged in). This will prompt you to "surrender" your old license bundle for the new one. 
  6. Download Pro Tools 12.8. You will find your most recent Pro Tools installer in your Avid account under Products and Subscriptions > Product Details and Download Links. Download and run the installer.
  7. Launch Pro Tools found in your Applications. You should now be updated to the latest version.



MacOS Compatibility  

If you have Pro Tools installed on your Mac, we strongly caution against upgrading macOS without first gaining approval from your degree program and checking the Pro Tools Compatibility Chart

Before upgrading MacOS:

  • Check your degree program's page on Connect. Check the News or Feed areas for any information on upgrading macOS.
  • If you do not see any info on Connect, check with your instructor and/or your degree's Program Director to see if the latest macOS version has been approved for your degree.
  • Check the Pro Tools Compatibility Chart to find out if your Pro Tools will run on the latest macOS.
  • Consider other apps on your Mac that could potentially have problems with the latest macOS. You can check with the developer or research sites such as RoaringApps to find out whether they are compatible.

For more information on Pro Tools and MacOS Sierra (10.12), please see this post.  



Known Issues/Troubleshooting  

Pro Tools crashes while scanning plug-ins 

  1. If the launch is stopping on a third party plugin, open iLok License Manager and verify the authorization is on the iLok.
  2. If the launch continues to crash on a specific plugin, go to Macintosh HD>Library>Application Support>Avid>Audio>Plugins, find the plugin and drag it to the "Unused Plugins" folder. This will not be part of the scan during the launch moving forward.
  3. Verify if the plugin is compatible with this version of Pro Tools on this operating system.
  4. If launching Pro Tools by double-clicking a session, is it possible the session contains a plugin which was once inserted as a trial version that is no longer authorized?
  5. If launching Pro Tools by double-clicking a session, try holding down Shift during the double-click. While Pro Tools will still scan the plugins during the launch, the session will load with no plugins active. They could be activated one a time or by using Option to activate several at a time.
Pro Tools crashes toward the end of the launch screen
  1. Hold "N" during the launch to force Pro Tools to launch into the Playback Engine window to allow the user to set an available device. (It is likely the Playback Engine is not set to a useable device and it will crash if it can't establish communication with a sample clock.)
  2. Never use "Pro Tools Aggregate Device" as the Playback Engine as a student. Use either Built-in Output or the LaunchBox interface if it is connected.  
  3. Once Pro Tools is open, consider going to Setup>Peripherals>MIDI and/or Ethernet and uncheck or un-assign any software controllers which are not connected that Pro Tools may be trying to communicate with. IF this is the case, the launch may just seem to hang for a bit at the end and you just need to wait a few minutes.
Pro Tools crashes randomly during launch
  1. Certain Pro Tools system files can create conflicts between different Pro Tools versions. Go to Macintosh HD>Users>Shared>Pro Tools and delete this Pro Tools folder.
  2. Go to Macintosh HD>Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility. Select the system drive at the left and choose "First Aid" to repair the disk. The utility will scan the OS for errors.
  3. Relaunch Pro Tools. 
iLok does not light up/ isn't recognized
  1. Consider plugging the iLok into another USB port.
  2. If all of your gear is plugged into a hub, consider moving a USB interface off the hub, and plugging it into a computer port alone. It is possible the interface or other devices are drawing too much power for the iLok to be recognized properly.
  3. Update or reinstall the iLok License Manager.
Pro Tools does not see an iLok license
  1. Be sure you have created an iLok account and the iLok Manager is installed on your computer. The student should put the iLok Manager on their dock so it's easy to get to.
  2. Be sure the Pro Tools authorization has been dragged to the iLok.
  3. Be sure the iLok is recognized and active in the iLok Manager.
  4. Be sure the proper iLok is connected if more than one iLok are available.
  5. Update or reinstall the iLok License Manager.
Pro Tools is missing plugins
There are several installers part of Pro Tools 12:
    • Pro Tools 
    • AIR Instruments
    • AIR Effects
    • Xpand!
    • Additional Value Content plugins
There is a rare chance that the first launch of Pro Tools, in which all of the support files are installed, failed. In this case:
  1. Go to: Macintosh HD>Library>Avid - Delete this folder.
  2. Go to: Macintosh HD>Users>Home>Documents>Pro Tools - Delete this folder.
  3. Launch the Pro Tools app and reinstall the plugin installers.
  4. Verify track types and number of channels for the track. For instance, a guitar amp plugin may only be available for mono tracks and some instruments may only be available for stereo tracks.
Clip-based processes are crashing Pro Tools
There is a rare chance that the "WaveCache" file within the session folder has become corrupt during any one or combination of Elastic Audio, Clip Gain, or AudioSuite processing whereby the waveform of the clip cannot be established from the live processing of the CPU and has become corrupted. In this case:
  1. Undo the last process, save the session, then Quit Pro Tools.
  2. Go to the session folder and delete the WaveCache file.
  3. Relaunching the session will populate a new WaveCache file of the clips and "recalculate overviews".

No input available in Pro Tools / Duplicate Scarlett outputs
There is an odd issue with macOS Sierra 10.12.2 which affects Scarlett Solo, 2i2, and 2i4 users. 
The issue causes the Scarlett interface to show up as two separate devices, one for input and one for output. Thus in DAWs where you select the Scarlett (such as Pro Tools), you are only able to use Inputs or Outputs, but not both, resulting in either no Input or no Output depending on which you select. 
Here is the current workaround:
  1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup.
  2. Press the small + sign to create a new Aggregate Device.
  3. In this new Aggregate Device add both the Scarlett 2i2 Inputs and Outputs.
  4. Then select this Aggregate Device in your DAW (such as Pro Tools).
  5. This should allow you to use both Inputs and Outputs of the Scarlett until we find a better fix.
  6. Note: Logic Pro X has no issues with the Scarlett interface and the Sierra 10.12.2 update.



Get help from Avid Support  

Contact Information:

Phone: 650-237-1700 / Toll-Free: 888-456-3444
Monday - Thursday 8am-5pm PST, Friday 8am-4pm PST
Avid Support Page:

Each copy of Pro Tools and Sibelius includes a Standard Support and Upgrade Plan. It is activated upon registration and is valid for one (1) year. It provides Avid Technical Support via phone or internet.

The Standard Support and Upgrade Plan includes:
  • One (1) standard phone support incident per month
  • One (1) year of product updates & upgrades
  • Unlimited web support
  • Unlimited access to support forums


For Students - Start here:

To get help from Avid Support:

  You must be within 1 year of registering your product, otherwise you will be prompted to purchase support.

 1. Locate your System ID. This can be found in the Avid Application Manager under "Account."

2. Start a support case via one of the following:

 Phone Support

Call 1-888-456-3444, press 1, then enter your System ID.  (Phone and one-to-one support is only good within the first year - then you will need to purchase phone support or use the web/forums.  Avid's support team does monitor the forums so you should receive an answer at some point after posting.)

 Email Support 

Use these links:



Get help from the Audio Tech team  


For technical help with Pro Tools, iLok, or other audio-related Project LaunchBox materials, you can contact the Audio Tech support team on chat, 7 days a week from 5pm-9pm (EST).

Chatrooms: - For technical questions or issues (i.e. Pro Tools, Logic, installation, troubleshooting, etc.) - For music theory questions or issues (i.e. help with composition, reading music, etc.)

You can also contact your instructor for help with degree-specific hardware/software.



Lost, Stolen, or Broken iLok  

If your iLok is lost, stolen, or broken...don't panic. iLok and Avid have a specific process in place for you to report your iLok, purchase a replacement iLok, and replace any of your licenses that were on it. As part of the process, you will be asked to report the incident by submitting a return merchandise authorization (RMA) to iLok. You will then need to submit a support case to Avid to replace your license(s). 

Optional: After your RMA has been filed, you may be eligible for iLok's ZDT program (zero down time), which will give you a 14-day temp license to use the software, however, you will need to provide a new iLok (2nd/3rd Gen) and pay for the ZDT service ($100 per emergency if you are not already covered at the $30 per year rate).

  If you cannot complete your coursework due to a lost, stolen, or broken iLok, please contact your instructor and/or FSO Support (877.437.6349) immediately.

To get started with the replacement process, carefully follow the steps outlined in this article

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