eLicenser fails mid-upgrade, can't upgrade Dorico license to 3.0


I recently upgraded to Dorico 3. While trying to run it the first time, the eLicenser opened. I was able to enter my activation code, and it asked me to upgrade my existing Dorico Pro 2 license.

I see 2 choices, “Upgradeable Licenses” and something with a bunch of numbers that is apparently a Soft-eLicenser. In both cases, no matter what I select, I get a failure with this:

You can see the eLicenser version in the screenshot. Any ideas?

update: followed the instructions to download eLicenser and upgrade succeeded. The only reason I didn’t do this initially was in the installation process of Dorico Pro 3, I explicitly saw it install eLicenser.

Could Dorico Pro 3 be shipping with an old version? I downloaded the full version, not the upgrade.

In any case, this is a confusing error that is easily remedied, for those searching in the future.

I went to: https://www.steinberg.net/en/company/technologies/elicenser.html for the download

Each product installer includes a specific version of eLicenser Control Center that was the latest version when the installer was built. Dorico 3.0.10 was built a couple of weeks ago, but there was a new update to eLicenser Control Center yesterday which is now required. When we next update Dorico 3 we will, as we always do, include the current version at that time, but in the meantime you will need to download the latest version of eLCC to activate Dorico 3 (or indeed any of our products).

The way elicenser updates are managed leaves a lot to be desired. I just launched it because I heard it had to be updated prior to a Cubase update. It just started spewing errors at me about being too old.

  1. It shouldn’t be necessary to update the eLicenser SOFTWARE just because some new version of a client software is released, this should be just managed by the existing version of eLicenser (e.g. download a signed JSON or XML file which contains the new set of licenses it needs to recognise).

  2. If it does need to be updated, it should manage that itself. Without errors.

These hoops we need to jump through (dealing with errors, warnings then having to manually download and install new elicensers) are just mindless work that a small amount of effort and prioritisation at Steinberg could easily make a thing of the past.

p.s. clicking on the link in elicenser about getting the latest version takes me to this page;


which does not work. Neither does the link on it.

Edit: maybe it did work, it just downloaded the exe, but didn’t say anything on the page so it looked like it didn’t work since the bottom of my chrome window was off the bottom of my screen so I didn’t see the download sitting there.

Hi Daniel,
It’s now Feb 2020 and I have to continue this subject with you as I’m having problems with the elicenser and Dorico 3.1.
On trying to open up for the first time after installing it, it just wouldn’t because of various errors with the newest version of elicenser. I turned to your support team who eventually solved it by giving me an older a 32bit version of elicenser.
The problem I have now is that I bought Cubase 10.5 which of course will not open with the 32bit version. Of course I don’t want to have to keep de-installing and re-installing the appropriate elicenser depending on which programme I’m using. I read in one of the forum entries that a new usb dongle could be the answer but it all sounds a bit trial and error. Is there an update or way to fix this problem?
I’d appreciate your thoughts.
Many thanks
Jon Mortimer

There are indeed two different kinds of USB-eLicenser. I’ve attached pictures of each of them. The older one is longer, and if you’ve got one of those, that might be the reason why you’re having problems: the older ones do not work reliably on more modern computers (I’m not sure of the exact reason for this, but I believe it to be due to changes in the USB controller hardware; the USB-eLicenser is a special bit of kit that’s particularly sensitive to system performance, etc., as it’s actually carrying out certain calculations relied upon by the Dorico and Cubase audio engine, for example). The newer one is shorter, and is more reliable on modern computers.

If you have an older, longer USB-eLicenser, you should find that transferring your licenses to a new, shorter USB-eLicenser makes everything work reliably on your system for both Dorico and Cubase.

Dear Daniel,

I managed to jump through some of these hoops installing Dorico 3.5 but have now reached a new obstacle. When I try to open Dorico 3.5 I am unable to gain access, and it keeps saying “No license was found. Click enter activate code to launch elicenser and enter your activation code.” What activation code? I am simply updating from Dorico 3.0 and my short USB licenser contains the Dorico 3.0 Pro License Number and the Cubase Pro 10.5 License number. I tried copying the Dorcio license number from my Steinberg account but it won’t allow me to update the license. Do I not have access to this new version of Dorico? I just updated the licenser software today, so that is no the issue. I am using a Mac running Mac OS Catalina 10.15.5. Thanks.

Welcome to the forum, Nathaniel. I’m sorry to say that your Dorico Pro 3 license isn’t valid for Dorico Pro 3.5: Dorico Pro 3.5 is a paid update. If you would like to buy the update, you can do so from the Steinberg Online Shop.

@dspreadbury Hi, I have purchased the very expensive 3.5 version and uploaded the license and follow the complex licenser steps. Still, whenever I open Dorico, it loads the old 3.0 version. How do I access the software I paid for?

Dorico 3.5 is an entirely separate application to Dorico 3, and when you install 3.5 your 3 installation will remain intact (unless you uninstall it).

In order to run Dorico 3.5, go to your Applications folder, or your Start menu, and find the program that is called Dorico 3.5. Click on it.

If you’ve not yet installed Dorico Pro 3.5, you can find the installers either in Steinberg Download Assistant, or here.