Can I use the dongle for activating Cubase 12 instead?

I’d like to still use my eLicensor for activating Cubase. When I entered the download key, I received an activation code, it activated the upgrade on my eLicensor but that was erroneous because the software ignores the license on the dongle. What was the point of activating it to the dongle if the software doesn’t need it and won’t use it? I hope this is making sense. To confirm, when activating the software to my account, once I purchased it, it updated the license on my eLicensor. I would like to still use it for activating Cubase but the software just auto-activates, which is great, but I’d like to still use the dongle. Is this still possible?

No, you can’t use elicenser for Cubase 12, but you can still use your USB key to run Cubase 11 (and below) if you upgraded to 12 from an older version.

You can turn off the auto activation from Steinberg activation manager (but this is just to prevent an accidental activation when the user just want to deactivate from that computer). This is not to be able to use elicenser instead.

To add to what @Makumbaria said

See Steinberg Licensing: A New and Exciting Era Begins | Steinberg for the info about the new system.

Since this question has been asked and answered many times, I’ll close this one. You can always start a new topic if you have further questions.