Troubleshooting Disabled Apollo/UAD-2 Plug-Ins

Note: This article applies to Apollo/UAD-2 plug-ins which require Apollo, Satellite or PCIe UAD-2 hardware.

UAD plug-ins can become "disabled" when loaded into your DAW or Console application for a number of reasons - when this happens, a red DISABLED message appears across the bottom of the plug-in GUI and the plug-in itself will stop processing audio. Sometimes the cause is something simple, such as running out of resources to process UAD plug-ins or a UAD device getting unplugged from the computer, and other times the cause is less clear such as a failed data cable or a corrupt software installation. The troubleshooting guide below addresses these possible causes through a number of general troubleshooting steps that we have found to reliably resolve the majority of issues with disabled UAD plug-ins. 

Authorizing Plug-ins

If you recently purchased a license for a UAD-2 plug-in from the UAD Store and the plug-in loads in demo mode after the purchase, it may not have been authorized for your UAD system yet.  

In order to authorize your plug-in purchases, you must do so from the Plug-ins panel in the UAD Meter and Control Panel by clicking on the “Authorize Plug-Ins” button.


Authorizing UAD plug-ins on Mac


Authorizing UAD plug-ins on Windows


Updating UAD Software

If you are unable to see the plug-in(s) you purchased in your list of plug-ins in the UAD Meter and Control Panel, make sure you have updated your UAD software to the latest version for your operating system and UAD device. 

Note: If you have a computer that runs an older operating system, please visit our software archives area to verify the latest UAD software version that you can run. 

Check the Error Message

The first step in understanding why a particular UAD plug-in has become disabled is to check the message that appears. Sometimes a UAD plug-in will be disabled immediately when you load it into your DAW or Console and other times the plug-in will become disabled after a period of time, but in either case a message will accompany the plug-in being disabled. The only situation where a UAD plug-in will load as disabled without showing an error message is if there is no UAD device recognized by the system, so if you don't see any error messages first check to make sure that your UAD device is turned on, connected to the computer, and recognized in the UAD Meter & Control Panel software. 

These messages always start with the text "One or more UAD plug-ins have been disabled", but will go on to give more details about why the plug-in was disabled. The messages can be broken down into two main categories - messages relating to UAD resources (i.e. DSP, PGM, & MEM), and error code messages. 

DSP, PGM, & MEM Messages

If a UAD plug-in becomes disabled when you try to load it and you get a message referring to DSP, PGM, or MEM then this indicates that you don't have enough of a particular resource available to process the UAD plug-in that you are trying to load.

DSP, PGM, and MEM are resources used to process UAD plug-ins. The percentage of DSP, PGM, and MEM currently being used is shown for the UAD system as a whole in the UAD Meter, and for each individual DSP chip of the system on the System Info tab of the UAD Control Panel.


DSP, PGM, & MEM percentages for the UAD system as a whole shown in the UAD Meter


DSP, PGM, & MEM loads for each individual DSP chip shown on the System Info tab of the UAD Control Panel

Here are some common examples of DSP, PGM, & MEM messages:


"The plug-in was unable to load because the DSP load limit was exceeded."

Since most UAD plug-ins use more DSP than PGM or MEM, this is the most commonly seen message of this type. It typically indicates that there is not enough DSP available on your UAD device(s) to load the plug-in you are attempting to load, or in rarer cases it can indicate that the DSP load limit setting on the Configuration tab of the UAD Control Panel has been manually set lower than 100% and exceeded.


"The plug-in was unable to load. Out of PGM/MEM resources and/or DSP load limit exceeded."

This message typically appears when you have exceeded your available PGM resources, making it more common with UAD plug-ins that use an exceptionally high amount of PGM such as the Ocean Way or AKG BX 20 plug-ins.

In certain situations, it's possible to receive an 'Out of PGM/MEM' message when loading an existing DAW session that uses a UAD plug-in that requires a lot of PGM resources, such as the Ocean Way or AKG BX20 plug-ins - in these sessions, the plug-in will have loaded correctly into the project originally but the message will appear after closing and reopening the session.

This happens due to the nature of how most DAWs load plug-ins when recalling a session. For example, the Ocean Way plug-in uses ~75.6% of the PGM resources of a single SHARC chip which cannot be split up among multiple chips, meaning that one of your SHARC chips must have this much PGM available to load the plug in. When loading the plug-in into a session in real time, the UAD system will automatically reallocate the currently loaded plug-ins to make room for the Ocean Way, however when you recall a DAW session the plug-ins aren't loaded in the same efficient manner - most DAWs will simply load the plug-ins in the order that they appear in your session left to right and will not reallocate plug-ins to different SHARC chips to get the most out of the available resources. This means that if you have a bunch of tracks with UAD plug-ins farther left in your mix window then the track that the Ocean Way plug-in is loaded to, the other UAD plug-ins will load first and there may not be 75.6% of PGM resources available on a single SHARC chip after all of these plug-ins are loaded.

Since most DAWs load plug-ins in the order they appear left to right when reopening a session, the solution is to open the Mixer view in your DAW and drag the track containing the offending UAD plug-in all the way to the far left of your screen (or to the top of the project if in Edit / linear view), so that the track containing the plug-in is the first track in the project - this will cause that particular plug-in to load first, and then all other plug-ins (which most likely use less resources) will be loaded after. This should allow you to close and reopen these sessions without receiving the 'Out of DSP/PGM' message.



"The plug-in was unable to load because a Console channel's DSP limit is exceeded."

If you're an Apollo user, you may have seen this message before when trying to load a particular chain of UAD plug-ins into a single Console channel. This message relates to a DSP limitation that is specific to Console - for more information, see this article

When any of these messages appear, the first thing you'll likely do is check the UAD Meter to see how much DSP, PGM, and MEM is being used. Depending on the situation, it can look as though there are plenty of resources available judging by the percentages shown in the UAD Meter however your UAD plug-ins may still not load because of resource availability. In these situations it's important to remember that a single UAD plug-in must be processed by a single DSP chip and cannot be split up to be processed by multiple DSP chips. For example, if you wanted to load a UAD plug-in that uses 40% of the DSP of a single DSP chip, one of the DSP chips in the system must have at least 40% of it's DSP available or the plug-in will not be able to load. The individual DSP, PGM, and MEM loads of each DSP chip in your system can be found on the System Info tab of the UAD Control Panel, as shown in the screenshot above

How many UAD plug-ins you can load simultaneously before you run into one of these resource availability messages and start experiencing disabled plug-ins depends on many things - what sample rate you're working at, what UAD plug-ins are already loaded, what UAD plug-in you are attempting to load, what UAD devices you are using, and various UAD software settings will all factor in. For additional details regarding DSP, PGM, & MEM resources and how they relate to UAD plug-in counts, see this article

Error Code Messages

The other type of messages that can accompany disabled UAD plug-ins are error code messages. These are messages that appear when there are plenty of resources available to load the UAD plug-in in question and for all intents and purposes the plug-in should be able to load, but for one reason or another becomes disabled due to a problem. Some of the more common examples of these types of error code messages are shown below:


 Code -38: A general error indicating a communication issue between the computer and UAD device(s) - think of it as a 'check engine light' for the UAD system. If the error persists after a cold reboot of the computer and UAD device(s), try the suggestions in the Basic Troubleshooting guides below. 


Code -50: Similar to the code -38, this is a general communication error. See the Basic Troubleshooting guides below for troubleshooting suggestions. 


Code -93: A FireWire communication error. Common causes of these types of errors are Sleep Mode being enabled on the computer or bad FireWire cables. See the Basic Troubleshooting guides below for additional troubleshooting suggestions. 

These types of error code messages can appear for a number of different reasons. We have developed a set of troubleshooting steps that more often than not resolve the underlying causes of these issues in cases where the problem is not resolved by a cold reboot of both the computer and the UAD device (FireWire users: Always turn the UAD device on before turning on the computer). These steps include a complete uninstall / reinstall of the UAD software which addresses the possibility of a corrupt software installation, corrupt or missing preference file etc, a hardware reset (if using an Apollo interface) to re-initializes the UAD hardware, and replacing the data cable (FireWire, Thunderbolt, or USB) to eliminate the possibility of a failed cable causing the errors. For a full walkthrough of these steps please see the troubleshooting guides below:


Reset your device:

How to Perform an Apollo Hardware Reset


Uninstall / Reinstall UAD Software

For macOS users: Click here for complete uninstall / reinstall directions.

For Windows users: Click here for complete uninstall / reinstall directions.


Replace the cable

Bad or defective Thunderbolt/USB/FireWire cables can cause many issues with Apollo / UAD devices. If your problem persists after performing the procedures listed above, we recommend replacing your cable to eliminate that as a possible cause of the problem. 


Further Testing

In some rare cases, incompatibilities with particular plug-in, DAW, or OS versions can cause issues with UAD plug-ins. If you've gone through all of the steps suggested above and are still having issues with disabled UAD plug-ins when plenty of UAD resources are available, there may be additional testing that you can perform to narrow in on the problem. 

Check Computer, DAW, & OS Compatibility

Computer hardware and software compatibility can change pretty quickly so it's important to know and maintain the compatible versions of your various softwares in order to avoid problems. When it comes to UAD plug-ins and plug-ins in general, first make sure that the host DAW application that you are using is compatible with your operating system by checking with the DAW manufacturer. We generally recommend installing the latest updates for your DAW and OS unless there are other compatibility issues preventing you from doing so. When in doubt, check with your DAW or operating system manufacturer for the latest compatibility information. 

Check Plug-In Compatibility

In general it is always recommended to install the latest available version of all the plug-ins in use on your system, UAD or otherwise, unless you are prevented from doing so by DAW or OS compatibility issues. Keeping the most up-to-date plug-in versions installed on your system minimizes the chance for bugs and compatibility issues that can affect the performance of your system.

If you suspect another third party plug-in is causing an issue with one of your UAD plug-ins, a great way to narrow the problem down to one particular plug-in or the other is to temporarily remove one or more of the offending plug-ins from your DAWs plug-in folders and test again. For example, removing all non-UAD plug-ins from your DAWs plug-in folders and reopening the DAW will give you a chance to test the UAD plug ins in the DAW by themselves without the chance of any other plug-ins causing compatibility issues. Once you verify that the UAD plug-ins work correctly you can then add your other third party plug-ins back to the DAWs plug-ins folder one at a time and test to see if one particular plug-in is causing the issue.

Still Need Help?

If you still find yourself dealing with unexpectedly disabled UAD plug-ins after going through this troubleshooting guide, please submit a request for support with the following information/files:

  • A screenshot or exact copy of the error code or message that you are receiving when your UAD plug-in(s) become disabled
  • A Detailed UAD System Profile

Directions for generating a Detailed UAD System Profile:
1) Launch UAD Meter & Control Panel
2) Open SYSTEM INFO window
3) Click the 'Save Detailed System Profile' button
4) Re name this file to 'Your Name UAD System profile' and save to the desktop

  • A System Info report for your computer 

Mac Directions:

On macOS 13 Ventura and up:
1. Click on the Apple () Menu > About This Mac > More Info…
2. Scroll to the bottom of the General panel and click System Report
3. File > Save
4. Attach this file with your reply

On macOS 12 Monterey and below:
1. Click on the Apple () Menu > About This Mac > System Report
2. File > Save
3. Attach this file with your reply


Windows Directions:
1) Go to Start Menu > Run
2) Type "msinfo32.exe" and press enter
3) Go to File > Save to save the file to your computer

Please gather these files and submit a support request by clicking the button below:

Submit a Support Request

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