Can't activate the software


I just reset my pc, and can’t activate my Dorico 3.5 Pro. After inputting the activation code, I get a message that license activation failed, due to a connection to the license server being unable to be established. Is it currently maintenance work, or what is the issue?

Thanks in advance.

Cubase 11 was just released today - various users in various places have mentioned license server issues. It could be something else, of course, but it’s certainly possible that too many people are trying to upgrade Cubase just now.

I’m having the same issue with Dorico right now. Going to try it again later tonight…

A connection to the license server could not be established, either due to incorrect network settings or because the license server is currently not available (e.g. due to maintenance work).

Please verify your computer’s network settings and try again later, or contact your software vendor’s support department in case the problem persists.

Support has started answering tickets saying the license server is swamped. Nothing to do but wait. Let eLCC do maintenance first before attempting license downloads.

Right, one must do maintenance. The licenser has been updated (and uses a different length code for Cubase 11 activation).

Yes, I’m trying to do maintenance too.

Seems to me like Steinberg needs to add capacity to their license servers. This seems to happen every time they release a new major version of Cubase. It’s not very good to take people’s money and then deny them access to the software, or worse screw them by breaking their license because they can’t be bothered to adequately provision their license servers for the load they should know by now is coming (because it happens every time it seems).

The eLicenser software is some of the worst I’ve seen as well. It was written by someone whose thoughts on software usability are stuck in the 1990’s. It does way too much work for a license system. And I have written several license systems, so I know a little bit about it.

Anyway, not a Dorico problem. Truck on!

Not a Dorico problem…yet…

Trying to upgrade to Cubase 11 my dongle has had the 10.5 license wiped - luckily Dorico is still there. All rather worrying.


it is a Dorico problem for me. I installed yesterday evening the latest Windows 10 Kernel hotfix and now all Dorico licenses are gone from my USB Dongle.
New activation fails, because the “A connection to the license server could not be established, …”


And when I start Dorico I get this error message: Application "has caused the following error: Could not connect POS. Options: -Click to abort.

I already installed the latest eLicenser Software from the Steinberg homepage.

Any help is very much appreciated.



Felix, hopefully all you need to do is to find the eLC.exe executable (for eLicenser Control Center) and right-click it to choose Run as Administrator. That will then get everything up and running.

Derrek, you state above that Cubase 11 is using a “different length” activation code than other products. That’s not correct. When you buy Cubase 11, you are sent a Download Access Code (DAC), not an activation code. DACs cannot be entered into eLicenser Control Center: instead, they are entered into the latest version of Steinberg Download Assistant. SDA can then both activate your license and download the appropriate installer for you, reducing the number of steps required to get the software up and running.


Running as admin did not help. I tried this after reading the hint in the forum.
It helped to start Tools->Recover within the eLicenser.

What I do not understand at all: What is the purpose of having the licenses on the Dongle when they can vanish with the installation of Windows Patches or during attempt to install other products???

Best regards, Felix

The licenses on the USB-eLicenser themselves don’t vanish: but due to something changing as part of the Windows update process, it can temporarily appear that the USB-eLicenser shows no licenses. I don’t know the technical details as to why this can sometimes happen.