Cubase 11 e-license fails

I bought Cubase 11 (as an update from 10.5) but the activation code is not working! Here is the process I followed:

  • I recently tried the Cubase 11 pro trial version.
  • I then bought the full license.
  • Went to download assistant and entered the “download activation code”
  • I received a license activation code.
  • I was asked if I wanted to directly activate the product license. But when I clicked OK, the e-licenser programs says “The activation code is intended to be used by software installation programs only. Please either run the appropriate software installation program, or contact your software vendor to get the appropriate activation code.” And the “activate license” button is greyed out. I always use the most updated e-licenser.
  • I asked Steinberg for Assistance and the person basically asked me to “make sure the USB-elicenser is plugged-in…” (I hope he meant well…). I replied by showing screenshot of my activation code being rejected but I didn’t get answers after that…
    Anybody has any suggestion?
    I’m now eager to ask for refund if I can’t get it to work and keep working on 10.5. I hope the 14 period "right of withdrawal’’ works…
    Thanks for any help!

(I use Windows 10 - updated)


I would open eLCC application and try to activate the update license there directly (avoid Steinberg Download Assistant for this task). If you do so, can you see Cubase 10.5 license on your USB-eLicenser?

Are you sure, you bought an update from Cubase 10.5? Didn’t you buy an update from Cubase 10 or other, by mistake?

ScreenHunter_26 Apr. 17 10.49

Thanks for the reply Martin,
I’m uploading a screen shot of my order - as you can see it is an update from 10.5.
I already tried to go directly to the e-licenser (although Steinberg recommends using the download assistant) I get the message I mentionned earlier (see attachment).
ScreenHunter_26 Apr. 17 10.56
Currently I can still use the trial version and the expiration date is 2053 !? I don’t know if it was like that before (I used the trial for like less than a week now) but it doesn’t look right. I don’t want to go on and realise in a month that the trial expired and I can’t get a refund because the 14 days period expired…
What am I supposed to try now?
ScreenHunter_26 Apr. 17 11.00


Please, make sure, your Windows System Time (even the day and the year) is set correctly.

Please, make sure your eLCC application is up-to-date and you installed it as administrator.

Please, make sure you are entering Activation Code (not Download Access Code). Activation Code always starts with 0240.

Yes I did / checked all that.
The year is 2021. 17th April :slight_smile:
The eLCC is set-up as you mentionned and it worked all fine for my earlier versions of cubase (10, 10.5, etc).
And no I did not confuse the download access code and the activation code (see attachment).
I sent the activation code to Steinberg (as they recommended) - I’m sure they could figure out what went wrong with the codes but they haven’t followed-up (they only asked if I had plugged the dongle…).
ScreenHunter_26 Apr. 17 10.56


I’m sorry, I run out of ideas. I agree, someone from the support should double-check the code.

Thanks Martin - I appreciate that you at least looked at this issue.
Just as an update to my case:
Steinberg still has not provided any solution to this date.
So I cancelled my order.
I just feel too uncomfortable with how little effort Steinberg is providing to its customers. Dealing with dongle, e-licensers, download assistants, download codes, activation codes, etc is already a pain - if support is also poor I can’t see myself keeping supporting this company.

1 Like

Hi Martin

Is there no one else who can assist with this query? I am experiencing the same issue and I’ve been a Cubase user for years so I’m not prepared to just cancel. Surely someone there can assist with this. It has actually happened to me before but I just can’t remember how I resolved it. PLEASE HELP! You can’t just leave the query unresolved.


The easiest way is to rise a ticket for the official Steinberg Support. Here on the forum, we don’t have much possibilities to work with the Activation Codes and licenses.

These kind of errors are the user errors most of the time. Most of the time, the user buys a wrong update (for example update from Cubase 10, but he is owner of Cubase 10.5 license, even though he is using Cubase 10.0).

I’m afraid, I cannot help more here, sorry.