How to Install VST Plugins: Windows, Mac, FL Studio, Reaper, Audacity, Ableton

Here are helpful video tutorials on how to install VST plugins on Windows, Mac, FL Studio, Audacity, Reaper, and more.

Our website has tons of free VST plugins, so we want to provide you with helpful information on how to install VST plugins to your computer and favorite music software.

Related: What Is A VST Plugin

How to Install VST Plugins

Here are the different music software programs covered below.

  1. Windows ( General )
  2. FL Studio
  3. Garageband
  4. Audacity
  5. Reaper
  6. LMMS
  7. Host Windows VST Plugins On Mac
  8. Ableton Live
How to Install VST Plugins on Windows, Mac, & FL Studio
How to Install VST Plugins

How to Install VST Plugins on Windows

This video is for the general installation of VST plugins on Windows computers.

Instructions to install a VST plugin on Windows:

  1. Download the VST to your computer.
  2. Unzip the VST file.
  3. Copy the .dll file to the VST plugin folder. This folder may be named differently.
  4. Rescan your plugin directory in your music software.
  5. Search your music program for the VST plugin.

The VST plugin folder can appear in different locations on your computer.

Windows (*.dll)

  • C:/Program Files/VSTPlugins/
  • C:/Program Files/Steinberg/VstPlugins/
  • C:/Program Files/Common Files/Steinberg/Shared Components/
  • C:/Program Files/Common Files/VST2
  • C:/Program Files/Common Files/VSTPlugins/

Mac OS (*.vst)

  • /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/
  • ~/Library/Audio/Plug-ins/VST/

You can learn more here


How to Install VST Plugins in FL Studio

  1. Download the VST to your computer.
  2. Unzip the VST file.
  3. Copy the .dll file to your VST plugin folder. This folder may be named differently for you.
  4. In FL Studio, click Channels up top and click the Refresh button to scan your VST plugin folder.
  5. Look for the new VST plugin you added and check the box next to it. Done!
How to install VST Plugins in FL Studio

How to Host Windows VST Plugins on a Mac

This video shows you how to run Windows .dll VST plugins. You will need to install the VFX Host Software on your Mac and a program called SoundFlower.


How to Install VST Plugins in Garageband


How to Install VST Plugins in Audacity

Audacity is an excellent audio editing software.


How to Install VST Plugins to Reaper

  1. Close the Reaper music program.
  2. Download and copy the VST plugin DLL file to your VST plugin folder.
  3. Open the Reaper program.
  4. Insert a new track.
  5. Click effects on the new track and the VST should appear.
Tutorial: How to Install VST Plugins to Reaper

How to Install VST Plugins in LMMS

  1. Copy the DLL file to your VST plugin folder.
  2. In LMMS go to Edit > Settings > Folder Icon
  3. Update the VST file path to where you saved the DLL file.
  4. Restart the LMMS music program.
  5. You should now be able to see the VST plugin in LMMS.

This video tutorial will show you how to install VST plugins in the LMMS music app.

How to Install VST Plugins in LMMS

How to Install VST Plugins in Ableton Live

  1. Download the VST plugin to your computer and unzip it.
  2. Copy the DLL file to the VST plugin folder, or if there is an Installer app, install the VST to the VST plugin folder.
  3. Once done, launch Ableton Live.
  4. In Ableton Live go to Preferences > Plug-Ins > Plug-In Sources
  5. Set Use Custom Folder to “On”. Click the browse button to select the folder you selected during installation.
  6. Ableton will scan the VST folder, and the plugin should appear.
What Is a VST Plugin & How to Install One in Ableton

Where Do I Put VST Plugins?

The most common location for VST plugins on Windows computers is C:/Program Files/VSTPlugins/ or C:/Program Files/Steinberg/VstPlugins/

Other possible locations include:
C:/Program Files/Common Files/Steinberg/Shared Components/
C:/Program Files/Common Files/VST2
C:/Program Files/Common Files/VSTPlugins/

What Is A VST Folder?

The VST folder is a common folder on your computer where music programs will scan for installed VST plugins and instruments. Your music program may create this folder by default, or you may need to create the folder. Most music programs allow you to select and change the VST folder location under the program’s settings.


Check out these free VST plugins:

We hope you find these tutorials on how to install VST plugins helpful.

Mark V.

Written By Mark V.
Hip Hop Makers is a music production website launched in 2008 to teach music lovers how to make music, sell beats, and make money from music.

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