Grace Period Update to Cubase 12

I purchased Cubase 11 Pro during the grace period, but did not activate it as I was awaiting the Cubase 12 Hardware-less activation. Now that it is released, I can’t get the grace period activation because it requires me to activate my Cubase 11 Pro key on a hardware dongle first.

Contacted support and they confirmed that I have to purchase a USB Dongle to activate 11, to get the grace period for 12…

This makes no sense and I really hope there’s a proper solution to this.


Well I’m a dunce (sort of). While getting my tooth drilled, I realized I should check the Windows Start Menu for the “Steinberg Activation Manager” and what do you know…there it is. This is the problem that I mentioned. Most everything dealing with Steinberg throws up a Desktop shortcut. So a person gets use to just clicking desktop icons. It’s these little discrepancies that throw people. Hopefully this will soon be a thing of the past.

So ran the check got a response saying I’m grace period eligible, got an email with a DAC and presently going to install Cubase Elements 12.

Thanks Again Dave and To all!

I guess I spoke too soon. It appeared like I was on my way, but now everything is saying “not upgradeable” and nothing is working.

Steinberg needs to put a freaking notice on their Webpage to forget about getting your grace period download until we can manage our customer base. Time is money and precious and I’ve wasted too much time on this crap!!!

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literally tried this alll day, went to sleep, tried next day and still same issue as you. no end in sight i suppose.


I guess we will have some tough time during the next few days, until the servers will cool down a bit. Fingers crossed, bud! :slight_smile:

Exactly the same here. Went from Eligible to not upgradeable. Absolute pain.

Please let me know if you figure a way out… It is frustrating, you pay for a product, you expect it to be downloadable and work.

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Here’s a post that may give some help or at least some answers.

Steinberg, you guys are great but you really need to figure out a better way to do this. This happens every time. You guys are making things really difficult with elicenser, Download Assistant, Activation Manager, License Activate, Hard, Soft…ugh…its way too much.

Is it too much to ask to have one place where everything is done with a click?


If it’s showing “not upgradeable” then it shows that the old license has been converted successfully. If you open Steinberg Activation Manager you should see your license for Cubase Elements 12.

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Yes I found your earlier posts. The only issue now is in Steinberg Activation Manager it shows Cubase 12 Elements and an Activate button. I clicked that earlier and got a yellow “pending” warning (or something like that) with the Activate button saying “Deactivate”. I closed things and after some time opened Activation Manager and now it’s back to Activate.

Should I just try to install Cubase 12 Elements from the Download Manager and see if it opens. I had Elements 12 installed earlier, but it was before I had a DAC or license. So it just kept saying " no valid license". I decided to uninstall and wait until things were working better.

Yes, you can install Cubase Elements 12 and it should work with that license.

If you’re seeing the license marked as verification pending then this article will help:

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No email with code. Spam checked. Also the web page that opens saying “youre almost done” gives a dead link.

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I’m sorry about that. Our technical support team are the people best placed to help you out if you’re not receiving the emails.

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This is utterly ridiculous. So its on the customer to “be patient” and not for Steinberg to have decent enough infrastructure that works as it should? We pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years and we are supposed to just “try again later” because Steinberg couldn’t conceive that this convoluted system surprisingly wouldnt have any hope of functioning with the slightest bit of FORESEABLE demand?!


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Im not holding out much hope for a quick response. Theyre no doubt extremely busy trying to fix this car crash launch

It took about 20 minutes for the email to come, but it came. You’re right about the dead link, but I didn’t sweat that. It appears things are not optimal right now, but seems like it will get there.

So after downloading 12 Pro, I just have to wait for an activation code? I’m okay with that as long as it doesn’t take too long. My Cubase 11 Pro was bought in the eligible period.

The email need to be triggered as part to the grace period process described here:

I’m really sorry that you’re experiencing these issues. We’ve tried to move as many of the processes away from needing the eLicenser servers and onto our new Steinberg Licensing system (which is working extremely well as far as we can see). However, the transition away from eLicenser has one final unavoidable check to the eLicenser servers that still causes these bottlenecks.

I’m looking forward to this being the last time we collectively have to endure this! Things will get better!


Technical issues aside, the truly irksome point I eluded to is being essentially told to “chill” whilst our bank balance is considerably lighter with nothing to show for it.
If you were a bigger company, that response would be scandalous.

Furthermore, it’s been more than twelve hours and I have no email. So much for waiting 20 minutes

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@Steinberg Support:

I have an additional question which still doesn’t seem to be covered here or anywhere in the FAQs/forums. However, before raising that question or performing any actions which cannot be undone, here is what I could achieve so far:

I have initiated an upgrade from Cubase AI 11 to Cubase 11 Pro shortly before Steinberg officially announced the release of Cubase 12. As the Cubase Pro 11 license was already properly activated on my USB eLicenser, in the meantime I could also synchronize with Steinberg Servers in order to receive the eLicenser Control’s confirmation entry “Cubase 11 Pro (Grace Period Eligible)”. So far so good.

Now, as the “Activation Manager” is a newly released Steinberg tool which only deals with the new Steinberg Licensing system, I’m not sure if I should proceed with any additional step on my PC with Internet access, because the PC on which Cubase 12 should be actually installed is another PC which is supposed to remain offline.

The “Activation Manager” might accidentally identify my Internet PC as the one where Cubase should run (which is NOT the case) which I’d like to avoid. After all, Steinberg announced that the PC’s information will be captured in order to identify the PC correctly.

My question now: Where are the exact instructions to bring over any new Cubase Pro 12 license to the Offline-PC if you once received it? Up to which point in the existing descriptions should I proceed with Download Assistent/Activation Manager etc., especially where to stop in order to avoid false installation/activation on my Internet-PC?

There was an announcement from Steinberg to release a related procedure for offline activations as well, but I haven’t found it yet. Please advise. THX.