Cubase 11 is not finding Native Instruments Kontakt

I just upgraded to Cubase 11. All my third-party plug-ins are working fine (as in 10.5), but none of my Native Instruments stuff is showing up in 11. It’s just not there. Any suggestions?

Do you mean when you add an Instrument to the Rack, add an Instrument Track - or do you mean in the Plugin Manager - Instruments tab?

If it’s missing in the latter, is the NI stuff in the Blocklist tab?

Also of interest:


It happens when I try to add an instrument track - all the other plug-ins are there - only NI Kontakt is missing. It’s not in the blocked list - it’s nowhere to be seen. As I mentioned- everything is fine in 10.5. The problem is only happening in Cubase 11.

Did you check if VST2 locations that Cubase knows about also contain your NI Instrument plugins as per the links I attached to my prior post? (depending if you’re on a Mac or on Windows)?

The Native Instruments plug-ins are in C:/Program Files/Native

If Cubase 10.5 finds thing properly, why doesn’t Cubase 11?


As Nico5 says - are you plugin paths setup correctly in the plugin manager ?

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Go to the Plugin manager. Look at the directories in the lower pane (go to cogwheel if you can’t see them) Ensure NI stuff is within these paths. If not add a new path. Then in the upper pane press refresh. Check if they show, if they don’t show they are probably blacklisted. Cubase 11 does not recognise VST2s

VST2 are still supported - 32 bit, on the other hand, haven’t been supported for quite some time…OP says he’s running 64bit.

I’m also willing to bet that “C:/Program Files/Native Instruments/” isn’t the actual plugin location…


In Plugin Manager, you can check what the folder locations are that Cubase will check to find VST plugins. Click on the little cog-wheel at the bottom of the Plugin Manger Window to see the folders that Cubase will search for VST plugins. Here is my current setup:

So maybe open Cubase 10.5 and check what folders Cubase 10.5 was including in its search for VST plugins.

And then make sure Cubase 11 has all the same folder locations listed. If needed, add the missing folder locations to the Plugin Manager in your Cubase 11.

After you’ve made changes, you may have to click on the little “Rescan All” icon, just to the right of the search field at the top of the Plugin Manager window.

p.s. The actual VST plugin filenames end with .dll. So for example some of NI plugin file names are:

  • the Kontakt 6 plugin file name is Kontakt.dll
  • the Kontakt 5 plugin file name is Kontakt 5.dll
  • the Massive plugin file name is Massive.dll
  • the Massive X plugin file name is Massive X.dll

So if needed, you can also use the Windows Explorer search function to see where those plugin files are located.


Thank you, Thank you, thank you. I added the correct path - rescanned
the plug-ins and voila! I’m back in business.

All the best in 21.



Glad you’re back in business!

If you want to make it easy for others to find this solution, you could mark the appropriate reply to your original question as “solution” in this thread.

This was incredibly helpful.
What I’m wondering about is why this doesn’t work by default?
I found the kontact.dll files in the standard VST3 directories for Cubase 11 c:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3 but the instrument didn’t show up until I added the Native INstruments folder to the VST2 search path.
And now Kontakt is showing up as a VST2.4 instrument.

Does Kontact not have a VST3 plugin? I’m wondering why that c:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\kontakt.dll file didn’t make it work out of the box


Kontakt doesn’t have a VST3 plugin - neither do most Native Instruments plugins (as of this writing).

I think c:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\ should only be used for VST3 plugins so everything else in there may get ignored.

Maybe you inadvertently chose that folder when originally installing Kontakt, since you assumed there was a VST3 version of Kontakt available?

The multitude of different plugin versions can be very confusing until one gets used to the fact that there are up to 4 different VST versions: VST2 and VST 3 each for 32bit and 64 bit versions. And some installers don’t make that very obvious at all.

It’s just one of the many little idiosyncrasies in the world of DAW software due to the entire environment evolving over time and various manufacturers adopting the new standards and/or dropping old standards over widely differing time periods.

Confusing at best - infuriating at worst, depending on how the rest of your day (or life) is going. :smiley:

That’s exactly what happened.
I came across this post about VST3 folder locations while trying to debug this
and just assumed that I MUST be trying to get the VST3 plugin to work since it’s been almost 15 years since VST3 was released (facepalm) so I set the install directory on Native Access to there.
It was the VST2 search path not including the NI path that was the problem all along.
Glad I finally found this thread. Thanks for the help.