Dorico on two computers? Solution?


I recently bought a laptop to be able to do some work from home. I am new to Dorico and still learning the application. My production studio has internet, my apartment doesn’t. What is my best option to be able to use Dorico on my laptop and also in my studio. I am the ONLY user of my software and it will NOT be used on two computers at once. I have never encountered this issue before as all of my other software allows for at least 2 installs. In fact, FCPX allows for up to five installs on a single license! Please advise me as I would love to get up to speed on Dorico!


Devin Thomas

The only solution is putting your license on the USB eLicenser dongle, then plugging the elicenser into whichever computer when you want to run Dorico. You’re not limited to a particular number of computers; you are limited to using the dongle if you want to run Dorico on more than one computer.

The USB eLicenser is available for sale from the Steinberg online store, from many music and music tech retailers, and from Amazon.

I recently changed my config to have Dorico run only on the laptop and connect to desktop peripherals through a docking station. Works very well. In fact I dumped my ancient desktop and run everything from the laptop through the dock. I have Dorico wherever I am. I get two screens when at home as a bonus. The dock cost about $70.

USB ports are not made to last forever. Actually, it is quite common to find wore connectors in older computers. So, not something one can do one or more times a day.


It’s really unreasonable to not allow two computers for Dorico. As an artist and educator I need to have my programs on both my home iMac and my MacBook Pro. I hope this policy changes soon.

Welcome to the forum, zelinsky.

For what it’s worth, I am in complete agreement (and always have been!) that it should be possible to use Dorico on two computers for your own personal, non-simultaneous use without requiring use of the USB-eLicenser. For technical reasons this is not something that is supported by the current eLicenser system when using the Soft-eLicenser. However, a project is underway to develop a successor licensing system that we will use in future for Dorico, though introducing a new licensing system is an enormous task that touches every part of our business, so we can’t commit to a specific timeline at this point.

Thanks for all the replies. I would love to be able to use Dorico on my laptop without a dongle. For one thing, my new MacBookPro doesn’t have standard USB connectors, so I would need to use an additional adapter which, although isn’t a deal breaker, makes it all a bit more untidy.

Devin Thomas

I wish you guys had something such as Ilok cloud…
I am even ok to open my dorico on my labtop then run to my room to confirm it on my mac that has the dongle …

I recently bought Dorico and installed it on my iMac. I bought a dongle so that I can use Dorico on another computer. Yesterday I bought a new MacBook Pro (lucky me) and set it up by cloning the iMac. I can’t use Dorico on it. Any advice?

Welcome to the forum, Karen. Have you already moved the Dorico license from the Soft-eLicenser on your iMac to the USB-eLicenser? What kind of error are you seeing on the MacBook Pro when you try to run Dorico there? If you run eLicenser Control Center on the MacBook Pro and let it perform its routine maintenance tasks, what does it say?

I’ve been using Cubase for well over 15 years and have never stopped being irritated by the dongle. All power to Daniel’s elbow in getting an alternative.

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Hi Daniel, thanks for your reply. I moved the Dorico license from the Soft-eLicenser on my iMac to the USB-eLicenser, and now I can only run Dorico on the iMac when the USB-eLicenser is connected. On the MacBook Pro, if I plug in the Dongle before starting Dorico I get the message

‘Your system finger print is not valid anymore. The systems’ hardware configuration has changed …’

Then the message ‘Necessary files or information for the validity of the Soft-eLicenser have been changed or corrupted … Please contact your software vendors’ support …’

When I start Dorico without the USB-eLicenser, it says no license was found, and asks me to either Exit, Retry, or Enter Activation Code. I tried entering the original activation code that I used when setting up Dorico on the iMac, but it said that it was no longer valid. Do I need to get a new activation code?

I’d forgotten about doing that – I have run it and Dorico is working fine! Thank you!

I wonder if an intermediate solution could be found, even with the eLicenser. For example, releasing a time-limited secondary license to owners of a license. Something to be renewed each six months, or so. With a dialog warning, at startup, that this is a secondary license. If someone will resell that secondary license, the purchaser will make justice of the illegal seller.


It seems a secondary licence would have been a solution but Daniel said recently that his proposal was rejected by ‘the company’s senior management’.

I bought Dorico, and then went back to Sibelius, an inferior product, because it allows me to use it in two locations. I’m keeping my Dorico license hoping that some day Steinberg will update its copy protection to 2010 standards. (Yes, I know I could use it on two if I trust my musical reputation to a USB dongle’s integrity).

We’ve been hearing about this for years — at least three that I can recall.

Without dwelling on all the reasons about why it’s useful to have a better licensing scheme, let me add that the eLicenser dongle is not friendly to those of us with certain handicaps. It’s long past obsolete and time to be gone.

Dorico is not very handicapped-useful anyway — getting better but having to try to use two dongles with my laptop is not practical. Not using my iLok is not an option, unfortunately, and I hadn’t considered that when I bought the damned thing. This means that, even though I have the USB eLicenser, Dorico only gets used on my desktop which defeats the purpose.

The irony in this is that, since the COVID-19 situation, I have never been busier. Didn’t see that one coming.