Cubase Elements crashes when I don't have dongle

I have Cubase Pro and several VSTs on the same dongle (like Nexus for example). I specifically got elements so that I could have a quick audio editor on my laptop when I don’t want to bother with the dongle. Elements worked fine for a while. Now on 9.0.30 when I try and open Elements, I get a warning that the Nexus VST license is not found (of course it isn’t because the dongle is not in) and then Elements crashes. I have moved the Nexus VST out of the folder and Elements still crashes-probably because I have lots of VSTs that use the dongle.

How can I make Elements work and just not require those VSTs? This sucks and has made the purchase of Elements (as an additional purchase to Pro) a total waste of time and money.

Trashing the preferences worked for now. I’m hoping I can still drag over my key commands, etc.