Cubase Pro 10.5 to Cubase Elements

I’d like to have a limited version of Cubase on my laptop for times when I do not want to worry about bringing a USB dongle. It seems like Cubase Elements does not require the dongle. I’ve compared the versions, and understand the limitations.

  • Is there a way to use Pro in something like “Elements mode” when traveling without a physical dongle?
  • If not, what is the process for downloading Elements as an existing Pro license holder?
  • Are there any “best practice” tips for maintaining both programs on one system?
  • Are there any issues when opening an Elements project in Pro?


  1. There’s no Pro Elements mode, no.
  2. If you want to use it without the dongle you need to buy it from the store, otherwise download using the Steinberg Download Assistant.
  3. I have both on my Laptop, no special tips required.
  4. No, Elements projects open just fine in Pro. If opening a Pro project in Elements you may find issues as obviously not all features are available in Elements. the projects will still load, however.

A lot of interfaces, microphones and other hardware comes with Cubase AI and is very close to Elements version.
I have Pro on my main PC and AI on my laptop and both work fine when it comes to moving projects from one to the other.

The only issue you may have is if you are working on Cubase version lower than 10.
A friend of mine has Cubase 9 Elements and when I try to open some of his projects I get the message that Cubase run into some problems and won’t open the project.
It is still possible to open it but you have to try a few times.

Other than that you shouldn’t have any problems.

this is strange and not something I’ve ever experienced. My version of Elements on my Laptop is 9 whereas my Pro version is 10.5.x and I’ve never had a problem.

I have in the past also imported very old projects from version SX and (using its converter) even older versions (>20 years) from when the files were a completely different format. This versatility is one of the things I really like about Cubase.

I got AI with some hardware and installed it on my “civilian” PC. Intended to upgrade it to Elements but after comparing versions didn’t see a need.

I think I still have my Elements 9 version on my old PC, I have to dust it off and check but yes, in 80% of times I struggle with my friends sessions.
I don’t know, maybe it is something on his end that corrupts the files/session and causes my Pro 10,5 to run into problems.
I’m working on upgrade to 10,5 (or 11 if it’s out by then) for him. We live 1000 miles apart and he is not the best with computers so it takes time… :confused:

PS: This is the message I’m getting and Cubase usually crashes right after I click “OK”.

Bizarre…I shall check this again as I haven’t done it recently but never had an issue before (and have been doing it for years).

Just checked and created a project in Elements on one Windows 10 PC, copied to a different PC running Pro 10.5.20 and it opened and ran without any issues.

Thanks for checking, but don’t stress yourself too much over this.
We’ll work on it next time I see him.

Thanks for checking, but don’t stress yourself too much over this.
We’ll work on it next time I see him.

No problem, it was anyway useful to me to know it still works! Best of luck.