A Little Licensing Help Needed Please

This is so confusing… I bought some hardware that came with full version download of Cubase LE.

After installing and trying it out for a while I liked it so decided to upgrade it to Cubase 12 Pro. So I bought the upgrade version of LE to 12 Pro on the official site. But now I can’t figure out how to activate the 12 Pro license and it is expiring in a few days.

I’m guessing that the version of LE I got is not considered upgradable? If so, I should have bought the full version, which would have been fine had I known (about another 50 Euro). So, how I can I upgrade this upgrade version to the full version?

I believer Steinberg should verify existing license before selling upgrades. The irony here is that the full version is now ‘on sale’ for about 350 Euro… Any help will be appreciated.

Hi and welcome to the forum,

LE license is upgradable, if you buy upgrade from the LE edition.

Activate the license in the Steinberg Activation Manager, please.

What upgrade exactly did you buy, please?

Hi Martin,
Thanks for the fast reply. I bought this:
Cubase Pro 12 Upgrade from Cubase Elements 6 - 11 or AI / LE 4 - 11

I think the problem is with the LE License since it was a bundled version. The eLicenser pops up with the Cubase Pro 12 information filled in as it is supposed to but there is no upgradable license to apply the upgrade to. Do I need to buy a license for the LE version?

I should mention that the Cubase LE version is listed as:
Used on 1 computer:
activated Jan 23, 2023, 11:01 PM


If your Cubase LE license is in the Steinberg Activation Manager then it’s not Cubase LE 4-11, but it’s Cubase LE 12 instead. Maybe there is other upgrade from this license?

So, you bought the 499€ upgrade you mention above ? It is currently on sale for 299.40€. Is that correct ?

  • I know that Steinberg considers it tough luck if you bought it before the sale. Steinberg often has these sales at certain times. So it is usually best to wait for the sale before upgrading, as it saves quite some money.
  • I am not sure if activation codes expire. But at least the license shouldn’t expire since you bought the Pro upgrade. So, IF the activation code expires, I think you should at least be able to download a new activation code.
  • Cubase 12 got rid of the eLicenser. It now uses account based licenses. So your 12 Pro license should be in your online Steinberg account. I don’t remember exactly, but I guess that is also where you use your activation code (but I’m not sure about it). But since you are upgrading from your LE version, you still have to use the eLicenser to activate the LE version and for the upgrade process. Once your 12 Pro is activated, you shouldn’t need the eLicenser anymore.

Hey Martin,
Nice job. You are correct - the name of the actual program is Cubase LE AI Elements 12. At this point I can’t recall why I thought it was 11. The eLicenser just shows it as Cubase LE and I don’t see any upgradable license available. Is that because it was a free bundled version?

Technically, I bought the slightly more expensive upgrade. Not sure what I can do at this point…

  • You should have indeed bought the upgrade right above the one you bought. It is indeed slightly less expensive.
  • Since you bought the wrong upgrade, I guess it won’t work with your LE 12. So I would contact Steinberg for a refund. And then buy the correct one at the sale price.

Thanks Ken, yeah I just happened to notice the sale price when I was investigating this otherwise would be totally oblivious… I’m in Asia - I see there is a local number listed so I will call and ask for a refund and then get the correct version… THANKS!

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If you bought it from the Steinberg internet shop, get in contact with AskNet who operates the Steinberg internet shop. Ask for the refund and buy the correct upgrade then.

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Great tip Martin, I will try that. Thanks so much!

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