Clarification on purchase

Being new to Steinberg when I purchase Dorico, I must say I am somewhat confused with the whole Dongle concept. I understand the purpose and why it’s there. I am confused about this e-Licenser.

I plan to purchase Dorico next Wednesday, and I plan to purchase the box set (I have a thing about wanting a physical product I can grab). With this purchase, I think I am under the impression I will be able to download the software also from the MySteinberg account page.

If after purchasing the box set I decide to download it as well, will I be able to run the software? If so, how does that work with the USB e-Licenser coming with the box set?


Hi Robby,

I’d see this as two distinct purchasing decisions, at the time of ordering. Either boxed OR the download version. An archive is usually made available for separately downloading a full installer package, at a later stage (for those like you, who have purchased the boxed edition - DVD’s do break/get corrupted…!).

That may turn out to be different for Dorico, but either way, licensing/activation is tied to your one purchase of choice and the hardware USB license stick. Install the package wherever you may; you will only ever be able to run one instance of Dorico at a time - the one where the USB plugged is in.

This is how it all works with Cubase et al. Please correct me if any of this has changed/is different for Dorico.

Hope that’s helped.

Good luck,

If you buy the physical product, you will receive a USB-eLicenser inside the box. You will also receive a card with your license activation code printed on a label stuck to it. It’s that activation code that you actually need.

You can only download Dorico from your MySteinberg account once the software is registered to you, and it will only be registered to you after you have received your activation code. So if you buy the physical product, you will not be able to download and run Dorico until you have received the physical product with your activation code inside it. Dorico will not run at all without an activation code, not even in a limited fashion.

So you need to choose between being able to use Dorico right away after you purchase it, in which case you should buy the download version (either from the Steinberg online shop or from one of the handful of resellers who are able to sell the download, e.g. in the US that includes Sweetwater), or having the physical product, in which case you will not be able to run Dorico until you have received the box, which contains your activation code.

I hope this makes sense: let me know if you still have further questions.

Makes perfect sense! Thanks Daniel!

A couple of more questions…

I am thinking now, why must I own the DVDs? My Mac Pro doesn’t have a DVD super drive built in. Therefore, maybe downloading is the best way to go. Plus, like most other software I own, the DVD version is usually not the most up-to-date.

1.) With that said, I have had experiences of downloading software from the internet and my Mac sometimes makes me jump through extra hoops (go into settings, change settings for downloaded software, etc.) to open and run software downloaded from the internet. Is Dorico going to have these extra hoops? Or is Dorico somehow registered appropriately with Apple, so it knows it can be trusted?

2.) Also, I see that Steinberg offers a way to buy the USB e-licenser separately. If I plan to use a USB e-licenser, is this a special USB drive? Can I create one with my own USB drive?

That’s all I have for now…


Dorico’s installers are all signed using the appropriate certificates that will allow your Mac to run the software. You will still be prompted about whether or not you want to run the downloaded software, depending on your Gatekeeper settings in System Preferences.

A USB-eLicenser is not a flash memory storage device. Only a real Steinberg-manufactured USB-eLicenser can be used as an eLicenser, but you don’t have to purchase it from Steinberg’s online shop. You can purchase it from most resellers who carry Steinberg products.

Thanks for the reply Daniel!!! Always quick with an answer!

To echo what has been stated already, I have 100% confidence in Dorico because of you and your team’s tremendous efforts. Keeping up with the forum, answering questions, etc. Not to mention the programming, of course. I am looking forward to what is ahead.

Thanks for what all of you guys are doing!!!


Hi, I am extremely happy to read Dorico will be available already next week. I counted my self to those, who will purchase it on a first day. Any way all the rules of purchase are quite confusing for me. I would love to use Dorico WIHOUT USB-eLicenser, so I would purchase a download version, but…As probably some of us, I am waiting till a new MacBook Pro in October-November 2016 will be announced and I was going to purchase it as well.

So it seams, I cannot purchase Dorico now and use it on my older Hardware. if I would like to use Dorico without thinking each time I do have my USB-eLicenser with me or not, after I install it once, I wont be able to unregister it on my older Hardware and register on a new one without obligation to use a USB-eLicenser each time I use Dorico.

And…I am not sure how long Apple will use typical USB slots on their hardware. I guess USB-C is coming. So a new USB-C-eLicenser after a wile again? I do not have a problem to purchase a USB-eLicenser, if there would be possibility to move my license to it and to bring it back to a another computer…It is just confusing that such important option you discussed here wont be available on 19. of October…


If you don’t want to use a USB-eLicenser and you need to move a Soft-eLicenser to another machine, it can be done provided you register both your Dorico license and the Soft-eLicenser with us via your MySteinberg account. You can re-activate a registered license on a new computer using our automated online system, and if you run into any problems with that, you can contact our support team.

I’m still a bit unsure regarding how crossgrade orders will be handled through the Steinberg Online shop. AFAIK such orders are automatically handled by ASKNET.

In order to get the crossgrade price, proof of ownership will obviously be required, and you have previously stated that such proof can be a screen dump of e.g. ones Makemusic account. Will this have to be approved manually by Steinberg prior to placing the order, and will Steinberg then provide a code that can be applied when placing the order? If so, can such approval be requested before Oct.19th? I’m not desperate, but as an independent consultant, I keep getting an increasing number of requests about Dorico, and would like to get my hands on the software as soon as possible in order to be able to provide som meaningful answers to my clients…

I walked through the purchasing experience with Steffi, who manages the online shop, when I was in Hamburg recently. It’s pretty straightforward. You add the crossgrade to your shopping basket/cart, and as part of the checkout process you are asked to upload the necessary proof of eligibility. That proof of eligibility does need to be checked by a human being at Steinberg, which we will do as quickly as possible, and provided we are satisfied with the proof supplied, you will then receive an email telling you how to complete your purchase.

What I can’t say right now is how quickly we will be able to verify the proof supplied, because it rather depends what the demand is like when Dorico goes on sale, which is something we can’t predict. But my hope is that you would get a decision about whether or not your proof of eligibility has been accepted within a matter of (business) hours, rather than days.

Maybe I am wrong with this, but with the recent exponential growth in the forum participation I bet I am correct… There will be a lot of people purchasing Dorico on day 1!

I will second fratveno’s request… Can we have a chance to send in our competing software’s proof of purchase prior to the release date, to be “pre-approved” for the cross-grade price?


I’m afraid not, but we will try to have a number of people on stand-by to vet the proof of eligibility so that there is as little hold-up as possible in the purchasing experience.

Hi Daniel:

Quick follow-up question – and you may have answered this before, but just to be sure: do I understand it correctly that in order to be able to move a soft e-license from one computer to another, technically I don’t need the dongle as long as (a) my licenses are registered with my Steinberg account and (b) both computers have access to the internet?

I don’t have Cubase and am trying to figure out whether I really need the dongle – if not, I might just opt to not buy one, at least for now.


No, Peter, I’m afraid that’s not quite right. Even if your Soft-eLicenser is registered with MySteinberg (which is a very good idea anyway, because it allows you to use the automated license recovery system in the event that you have a problem out of hours), you cannot de-authorise it with our central license server in order to re-authorise it on another computer. The only way to move your license from one machine to another is via the USB-eLicenser, and at the time of writing, we do not yet have the version of the eLicenser Control Center that would allow you to move the license back from the USB-eLicenser to the Soft-eLicenser on another computer, though that is still in the pipeline and will hopefully be available soon.

If you need the flexibility of running Dorico on more than one computer, you right now have only two options: use the USB-eLicenser, or buy more than one license.

Regarding this last issue, could an individual (owner of both Finale and Sibelius) buy two licenses paying the cross-grade amount for both?