[SOLVED!] Waves Plugins not Showing up in Pro Tools 12


Waves plugins not showing up in Pro Tools 12 is an issue caused by a failed licensing process, therefore, you could fix it by determining whether the license is activated. Moreover, it’s wise to think about the location of the plugins, uninstall plugins before updating and so on. Read to the end if you like to get the most out of  Pro Tools 12.

What is Waves Plugin in Pro Tools 12?

Made by the world leader when it comes to audio plugins, Waves offers you tons of plugins that have surpassed industry standards. Why use the wave plugin with Pro Tools?

First, you can find all the best quality audio plugins like equalizers, compressors, reverbs, delays, effects, and so much more. All their plugins are pro-quality and the sound is just undeniably amazing.

More so, elite mixing and mastering engineers like Chris Lord Alge and Michael Brauer have collaborated with Waves developers to level up your experience. You may check the CLA Classic Compressors and Brauer Motion plugins to see for yourselves just how great these plugins are.

Waves Plugins not Showing up in Pro Tools 12

With over 180 plugins available, you surely can do a lot with Waves plugin and your Pro Tools 12. Not just that, it also has the best value for your money. It’s not recommended buying them all at once, though. Waves frequently give discounts, so wait for it to even save more. Hence, let’s fix this issue already, so you can continue making great music production with Waves plugin.

Reasons Why Waves Plugins Aren’t Showing

The most common reason why Waves plugins aren’t showing up is on the licensing. Even though you have the license to use that particular plugin, you still need to do something upon getting the latest update. In addition, it could be that your plugins aren’t in the right location. You can check the solutions to this problem below.

Quick Fixes to Stop this Problem for Good

It’s really a big loss if you can’t use the Waves plugins on your Pro Tools. You will miss a lot of good stuff that could be your secret ingredient to your awesome music production. One of the following solutions should be able to help you work with Waves plugins on Pro Tools again.

Verify if Your License is Activated

When Waves plugins aren’t showing up in Pro Tools 12, you know that somehow, it’s related to the license. Before anything else, make sure that your license is activated.

  1. Open Waves Central.
  2. Enter your Waves account information and log into Waves Central.
  3. Go to Licenses>Connected Devices.
  4. Check if that particular Waves plugin’s license is activated. If the license is activated, the problem isn’t related to the license. If it’s not activated, then, proceed.
  5. Go to My License Cloud tab and see if you can find the missing plugin or license. Just hit Activate, so you can see your plugins again. Yet, if you still can’t see the plugin, continue with the next step.

Waves Plugins not Showing up in Pro Tools 12

  1. Check in the Disconnected Devices and if you found your plugin there, the reason could be related to a change in the network interface. It could be that you are using a different computer, VPN is disabled or your adapter is disconnected, among others.

Make Sure Your Plugins Are in the Right Location

For Pro Tools to successfully connect with your plugins, you have to put the Waves plugin in the right location.

  • For Windows: Access File Explorer> Local Disc C>Program Files(x86)>Waves>Plug-Ins V11(or whichever version you have on your computer)
  • For Mac: Macintosh HD > Applications > Waves > Plug-Ins V11 (or whichever version you have on your computer)

As you can see, your plugins are in the Waves folder. This is the right location for these files, and only WaveShell is found in your host application’s plugins folder.

If the waves plugins are in the correct location, how about the WaveShell? It should go to the plugins folder of your Pro Tools. This serves as the bridge between your application, in this case, Pro Tools, and the Waves plugins. You have to copy the waveshell.dpm file from the WaveShell folder to the Applications>Waves>Waveshells folder and paste it in Pro Tools plugins folder. Alternatively, you can just drag and drop the file to the plugins folder of Pro Tools.

Uninstall Plugins Before Upgrading Them

Especially when you have been using Pro Tools and Waves plugins for quite a while without problem, sometimes when an upgrade comes, you will encounter this problem. Actually, it’s recommended by Waves itself that you need to uninstall and manually clean the folders. There are quite a few.

  1. Uninstall Waves License Center via the Control Panel.
  2. Uninstall Waves Central – removes everything Waves from his computer. To make sure that you have cleaned everything, you need to check the hidden files.
  3. Go to Control Panel. Find the View by dropdown.
  4. Select Small icons and now, you can see all the Control Panel items.

Waves Plugins not Showing up in Pro Tools 12

  1. Double-click File Explorer Options and a popup box will appear.
  2. Click on View tab and scroll down to Hidden files and folders.
  3. Select Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  4. Hit OK button and exit the File Explorer.

All the folders that may contain Waves files can be seen, and you can delete them. You have to delete everything about Waves, including all the Waveshell files that may be located in the plugins folder of your apps. Only the Licenses folder in C:\ProgramData\Waves Audio can’t be deleted because you’ll do this.

You are now ready to make a new installation. Download the latest Waves Central installer and make sure that you clicked the Run as Administrator upon installation.

You may check the YouTube video below to know what are other ways to get through this problem.


It seems to be a serious problem when Waves plugins do not show up in Pro Tools 12. When you rely too much on Waves, it’s impossible to continue when you have this situation. Therefore, this article is dedicated to explaining the reason why users have troubles with the Waves plugins and how to solve them. Procedures were very clear that anyone can follow through. After reading this article, you shouldn’t have trouble with your Waves plugins in your Pro Tools 12.