Cubase 12 on Windows hangs/freezes on startup and exit

After starting Cubase 12.0.30 (Elements) on Windows 10 (fully patched), this happens:

Cubase problem

If I delete preferences folder in C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase LE AI Elements 12_64 it starts fine.

Cubase also hangs (sometimes, it is unpredictable when) on exit. Deleting the preferences also solves the issue.

ASIO driver is not an issue (I’ve tried it with two different audio interfaces), and disabling all 3rd party VSTs did not solve the issue. Audio interface is not a problem as well, it works fine in other DAWs and shows up fine in Windows.

Does anybody know what else to try so that Cubase does not hang/freeze on startup and exit, on Windows?


Could you please attach DMP file(s)?
Win: Documents/Steinberg/Crash Dumps

Cubase Elements 64bit 2022.6.22 (875.2 KB)
Cubase Elements 64bit 2022.6.23 (696.5 KB)
Cubase Elements 64bit 2022.6.2 (597.3 KB)

Do these help?

Also, FYI crash dumps folder does not have any dumps from yesterday and today, and I have had 4-5 crashes/freezes in that period for sure. So these dumps are at least a few days old.


Could you be more specific about the freezes, please?

Do I understand you right…?

  • Delete Cubase Preferences.
  • Start Cubase
    → Cubase starts. Sometimes it freezes while quitting after this or while working.
  • Quit Cubase.
  • Start Cubase again.
    => Cubase freezes during the start.
  • You Force Quit Cubase.
  • Start Cubase again.
    => Cubase freezes during the start.

It’s always reproducible, until you delete the preferences folder again.

Am I right, like this?

Would you be willing to ZIP and share the Cubase preferences folder, please?

2 of the crashes are not usable. They don’t provide any information, sorry. 1 of the freeze is in MIDI area. Do you use any virtual MIDI Port by any chance?

Reported to Steinberg. Thank you.

Hi Martin,

thanks for helping out. It froze again right in front of me, although I upgraded to Windows 11 just in case that might solve the issue in some way (obviously, it didn’t). It froze so badly that not even the OK button was rendered on the dialog, see below:

I was watching the CrashDumps folder while it was happening, and it generated the file Cubase Elements 64bit 2022.6.24 BUT the file is completely empty (zero bytes). I gave it a lot of time in case it actually writes something into the dump, but it didn’t so I killed Cubase via Task manager.

I then deleted the preferences (they are attached here as you requested), and Cubase started fine.

Cubase LE AI Elements (1.9 MB)

All of this time I had my Arturia Keylab Essential 49 MIDI controlled plugged into USB, and the builtin MIDI Remote inside of Cubase is running when the keyboard is connected (and when Cubase starts, obviously).

“1 of the freeze is in MIDI area. Do you use any virtual MIDI Port by any chance?” - Can you please explain how I can find out and send you the info you need?

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Thank you very much for the details. I have updated the Steinberg report.


Could you try to switch to WinRT, please?

I upgraded to Windows 11, and applied all updates afterwards. The problem remains.

Let me also update you with another scenario where Cubase freezes, which is closely related to my original description above.
If, by some miracle, Cubase starts fine, and exits without freezing - next time I start it, it freezes with the message as in the screenshot I originally sent. Again only the empty file Cubase Elements 64bit 2022.7.2 (zero bytes) is created so not very useful. Obviously this is something related to saving of preferences under the hood, but not sure it is user-fixable, it looks like a bug. Thanks for the help.

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Here is another thing which might help the developers: after a clean restart of windows (Win 10 or 11, it was the same thing) Cubase works fine on first run and exit. No freezes. But subsequent runs freeze like explained in previous posts.
So “workaround” is to restart computer each time you want to run Cubase 12. :slight_smile:
Obviously, there is some problem in preferences saving which is causing these problems.

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I am having the same exact issue, really time consuming and nerve wrecking

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In the end, it was so annoying I switched to Logic Pro X on my laptop, which is a shame. I am an amateur so I can get away with it. But if I was a pro using Cubase 12 to make a living, I would be really upset with Steinberg. It seems they tried to develop various new features for v12, and change licensing model implementation (for the better I would say) at the same time, which resulted in numerous bugs that will take them a lof of time to fix. This thing with crashes at the exit is related it seems with saving preferences on exit of the application. I cannot imagine why they haven’t fixed it, it sounds like a simple issue, and not some incredibly difficult bug in the sound engine where you need to debug for half a year to find it. It just shows that something is not right with how Steinberg is approaching fixing things, and how they prioritize bugs internally.

I have been using cubase since cubase 5…never had so many issues as with this update.

Please contact Steinberg Support or your local distributor if you’re facing repeatable issues that you haven’t been able to find a solution for. They might be able to help:

Steinberg Distributors
Steinberg Support

Same Issue here! Windows 10, Cubase Pro 12.



Could you attach the crash dump file(s), please?

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I have been having a similar problem (Windows 10 Cubase 12.0.40). Cubase freezes on shutdown and the tool bar hangs with no Crash Dump files. I used to have this with C9,5. It has only just started around about the time I installed Amped Electra. I can’t find out hoow to uninstall it other than deleting the files which did not solve the issue.

What about a fix?!?!
Upgraded from Cubase LE AI Elements 10.5 to Cubase LE AI Elements 12. Since then the app crashes as soon as the start screen shows up. Can’t even choose anything, empry project …nothing can be selected.
The update to 12.0.51 didn’t help either. Also it doesn’t matter if I deactivate ALL third party plugins. It still crashes so that’s not the point. Only work around

  • close with task manager
  • open again with all program settings deactivated
  • select generic low latency ASIO Driver
  • open a project set ASIO back to how it should be (Yamaha Steinberg USB Audio)

With that approach it works like a charm and I can work without any problems. Close projects and open new ones effortless UNTIL I try to close the app again. Freeze-Crash of death!

Please fix this. It’s terrible to work like that and a total motivation killer.
Cubase Elements 64bit 2022.11.26 (719.6 KB)
Cubase Elements 64bit 2022.11.30 (694.4 KB)

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Thats the file that causing this and its a Windows system file… It handles sound etc.

I would try and run the Command Prompt as an Administrator and then type sfc/scannow.

" What does sfc scannow do? *

The sfc /scannow command will scan all protected system files, and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache. This means that you do not have any missing or corrupted system files."