Can't upgrade from Cubase Elements 11 to Cubase Artist 12

I’ve created this thread as a follow up to a similar one I just read from a year ago and my support ticket has also been ignored. I only have a few days left before the verification pending time period expires.

I bought Cubase Elements 11 in 2021 and it’s been working great. 3 weeks ago I took advantage of the Steinberg spring sale and purchased the Upgrade to Cubase Artist 12. I double checked several times before purchasing that it was the correct upgrade version. I received the DAC (Download Activation Code) via email and the Steinberg Downloader confirmed I had a valid purchase to upgrade from Cubase Elements 11. However, when I clicked on the activate button, it took me to the eLicenser Control Center and said “currently, there is no license available which can be upgraded by your upgrade license. Please insert a USB with a correct license to upgrade your product”
Steinberg Activation Manager displays "Cubase Artist 12 Verification Pending (expires on 2023-04-25) so I have a few days left to rectify this issue. I sent in a support ticket a week ago and I haven’t heard anything back.

To make matters worse, I’ve been told that activated products can’t be refunded.

I have read through the thread on this same topic from a year ago and it seems the issue was that the licenser was trying to upgrade from Cubase 11 Artist to 12 Artist despite the fact they had Elements 11. In my case, the eLicenser Control Center displays the correct upgrade using the provided Activation Code.

I’ve also tried refreshing the Steinberg Activation Manager, logging out, restarting and even doing the maintenance option in the Actions section of the eLC.

Also, the process of attempting to upgrade from Cubase Elements 11 to Artist 12 has evidently done something to my Elements 11 eLicense because if I try to launch it now, it says there isn’t a valid active license, even though the eLicenser Control Center clearly shows the product as activated and valid.

I need help urgently as I now don’t have a working DAW.

I don’t work for Steinberg, but maybe I can help…

That’s the point in the process where the new license is activated, and in my experience here on the forum that error message is usually correct.

So, as maddenning as it might seem, could you have a look at your receipt and re-confirm the name of what you bought?

The product name should be exactly:

Cubase Artist 12 Upgrade from Cubase Elements 6 - 11

If you bought did buy the wrong thing, they will refund that.

Thanks for the reply. I just checked the invoice and can confirm I bought item number 110093105 Cubase Artist 12 Upgrade from Elements 6-11 /download version priced at £133. So, it’s definitely the correct version.

Hmph… I put that product in the shopping cart At the Steinberg shop, and it came up with a price of £222. I guess you did not buy it on the Steinberg shop site?


By default Cubade Elements license is stored in the Soft-eLicenser, not at USB-eLicenser. In the past you had to move your Elements license to the USB-eLicenser first, to be able to update the license to Artist.

Nowadays we are not using eLCC at all. Start Steinberg Activation Manager and enter the Download Access Code. The eLCC makes its job in background and you will get Cubase 12 license in the Steinberg Activation Manager. Then you don’t need the eLCC anymore.

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I did use the Steinberg shop. They had a sale on nearly a month ago. That’s precisely why I bought it. It was a great price.

Cubase Artist 12 is already displayed in the Steinberg Acrivation Manager as activated but says “Verification Pending”. It’s waiting for verification from eLC but that’s where the error occurs. My version of Cubase 11 Elements is not on the Steinberg Activation Manager because I bought it in 2021 before Steinberg migrated to the other licensing system. The problem happens in the eLicence Control Center. I can’t see any other options in the Activation Manager. Cubase 12 Artist just displays verification pending and the expiry date.


Cubase 11 was not using the new licensing system. It has to sit at the eLCC. Please read about the verification pending here.

Hi. Thanks for the info but I’ve already read all that and tried the things mentioned. It’s during that process that the eLC states that “currently there is no license that is able to be upgraded” and asks for a USB that contains a license that can be upgraded. It means the Steinberg Activation Manager can’t receive the verification it needs to update. That’s who I contacted support and put all this in a ticket and, as I said, it’s been ignored and the expiry date is only a few days away. Nothing I try seems to help. I’ve done all the things like logging out and refreshing. I get the same message each time. It’s as if the version of Cubase Elements 11 is somehow not upgradable but it’s a valid version bought from a retailer using a valid Download Access Code, activated and registered on the eLC. The issue here is transferring that license over to the new Steinberg Licensing system. The verification process is supposed to do just that. That’s why I don’t know what to do now as it likely needs someone in support to take a look… hence this thread.

Is your version of the Elc

Could you upload an image of the elc with serial numbers blurred?


I believe this is because you have Cubase Elements 11 (Grace Period Eligible) license. So in fact you get Cubase Elements 12 license for free from Steinberg and you should update to Cubase Elements 12 (for free) first and then buy an upgrade from Cubase Elements 12 to Artist 12 (which is cheaper).

I could do that but I was told that I couldn’t get a refund for the Cubase Artist 12 Upgrade I bought because it’s been activated. It just hasn’t been verified, so effectively will be unusable in a few days.

I think you should try to get a refund from Asknet. The license actually has not been activated.

I can contact them but, as you’ve already proved, the products are no longer on sale and would cost twice as much as I’ve already paid to resolve, so I wouldn’t be able to afford to get the full price upgrade right now. That’s why I asked for support to try to resolve this problem as it’s quite clear there shouldn’t be any issues upgrading from a valid Cubase Elements 11 license to Artist 12 via the product I’ve already bought. Until support tell me it’s impossible to do, I’d rather not just give up and ask for a refund. Also, this update procedure has somehow disabled my Elements 11 so if I try to run it, it says it can’t find a valid license so it means I have no DAW at all.

If you want some troubleshooting help on that please upload screenshots showing the error message.

The license in your ELc should be valid, according to what it says in your screenshot.

Hi David, I’ll send you a new DAC in a private message. Please try that one.


Please see below screenshot when trying to launch Elements 11:

When I click “Licenses”, I can see my license in the list but it’s not clickable or selectable in any way.


Uninstall VST Transit component, please.

Thanks to the help from Matthias, this issues is now resolved.

I hope the thread helps anyone else with similar problems.

Many thanks