Here we go again Dorico, and e-licenser

Dorico won´t start, want´s an “activation code”, so back to e-licenser, who needs to “auto-repair”, and update. The repair “failed” (again, like so many times in the past). Another hour will be lost of my little time for practicing my classical guitar.
Over the last 2 years with Dorico:
-Many, many hours were lost getting a sound from Dorico, more hours lost making Dorico and Cubase work together.
If I look at all the software I ever installed in my life, Dorico beats all by far in terms of “problem making” and time-wasting.
I would have dumped it a long time ago, I did not, cause it is simply an awesome Software.
But what a pity indeed, that people spend so much energy on a "delightful version " for iPad, when basic, serious issues remain unresolved.
All the best.

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Sorry you’ve been having problems with the eLicenser. These kinds of problems are precisely why we are engaged in a company-wide effort to replace the eLicenser system as soon as possible. Two of the developers on the Dorico team are actively involved in the implementation, and myself and one other colleague are also playing a role in defining the user experience of the new system. We are driving it forwards so that we can solve these kinds of problems once and for all.


Hi Daniel: that is fantastic news. To be honest, I was ready to “park” Dorico till the e-licenser madness would be taken away. My wife actually told me, “keep it simple, just use Sibelius.” Women are smarter.
Please tell the engineer who created the e-licenser, that he made a “genius mistake”!

All the best and thanks again for the prompt response, as usual, you guys do care.
Stay healthy and all the best.

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i too am in e-license hell. Steinberg have tried to help but have “escalated my case to development” !

It is frustrating as I suspect this is the HOLYGRAIL of Scoring DAW’s once it works smoothly



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Things are getting worse. I could run Dorico as admin. for a couple of days. Now no more, e-licenser won´t open as admin. either. I go to Steinberg, and the solutions they offer are absolutely ridiculous. Copy activations back and forth between apps. that don´t work.
So sad, I am losing my patience, guess I should follow my wife´s advice, and finally dump Dorico. Maybe someday people will solve these issues. Then I might come back.

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I’ve had more problems with the Sibelius current licensing system that Dorico’s. Which isn’t to say I will be mourning eLicenser’s departure. And we all know that Dorico and Cubase are not yet designed to work smoothly together.

I know these issues do exist, but just to show the other side of the coin, I haven’t had a single complaint from the elicenser on two computers since Dorico v1. That includes a reactivation on a new laptop at some point.

(Cold comfort to those with problems, I admit; but a useful data point.)

I’ll certainly be glad to see the replacement – particularly if it brings 2 seats to each licence.


I also haven’t had any issues on 4 different machines since v1.

Ever heard of software, that has a user name, and a password, and then it just opens, “miraculously”, over and over again? Well, that is the case of 99.9% of the ones I have been using for the past…20 years. Except…

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Dorico, Sibelius never ever refused to open…

I don’t know exactly how the current Sibelius security works for a non-sub version like my 7.1.3 but on several occasions it wouldn’t open, saying no license was available. Read the Sibelius forums and you’ll see I’m not alone. I suspect the hardware verification includes an IP check as it appears than if for any reason you have a different IP (such as if using a VPN) it can refuse to open. I would also point out that other software, such as all the VSL libraries which I have been using for 15 years, also currently use eLicenser and I have not had a single problem throughout that time.

Basically, all I’m trying to do – like @benwiggy and @Romanos401 – is to give an alternative view to your somewhat inflammatory post. Of course some, like yourself, have regrettably had problems with eLicenser and there appear to be enough of you to persuade Steinberg to ditch the system. I’m not here to defend it. But it’s not all one-sided as there are at least some who welcome being able to use Dorico on multiple machines simply by moving the dongle around. That’s irrelevant to me as I only use one PC but we’re all different.

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Inflammatory ???
Ever heard of the value of time? We live only once. A precious commodity, not to be wasted. All the best and stay healthy.

on this we are agreed! :smiley:

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Reading through this reminded me of some of the previous threads about e-licenser problems. Is there any chance the issue is the dongle rather than e-licenser?

Dorico + Old Dongle = Trouble

Then again, if you’ve got Cubase working well - I guess not. Very puzzling.

The e-licenser.Not a dongle.
But the question remains, why, please why an e-licenser?
Not even my online Bank needs one.
My e-licenser (when it works), needs to run a “repair” every single time!!
Please ask yourself: how many apps. did ever need an “e-licenser” to open.
If the thing would at least work properly, but it does not, and that is a widespread issue. I still cannot believe people try to justify the existence of such a faulty piece of software, that just makes people´s life complicated and wastes precious, I will repeat myself, precious time.

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I realise there are problems and fully appreciate your frustration but I don’t think it’s fair to call it “widespread.” There are tens (hundreds?) of thousands of users of Dorico, Cubase, Nuendo etc. who don’t have any of these problems and, consequently, wouldn’t see it - in any way -as faulty.

In answer to the question why an e-licenser? … because that was Steinberg’s solution to stopping its software being widely pirated. Without it, it’s debatable whether either Cubase or Dorico would be here today. For what it’s worth I also have Vienna Ensemble Pro Server licensed to my e-licenser and a separate dongle for iLok (for East West, Isotope and Melodyne). All are working as they should, thankfully. That said, the sooner dongles disappear, the better.

I hope someone from Steinberg can get to the root of why e-licenser is causing you so many problems.

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Luckily I haven’t had any problems with this yet, though my cubase trial has expired and now I keep getting an elicenser pop up error when I start dorico because of cubase which is annoying. Not sure how to make that go away since I don’t want to use Cubase.

Glad to hear the dongle is going away though!

What Steinberg is doing is not unusual - it is important to look at this from a historical basis.

It has been the case for many years, since the early 2000’s at least, that all professional DAW applications like Cubase, Pro Tools, Digital Performer, etc. need some kind of license dongle (normally USB, maybe parallel on some really old solutions) to prevent piracy. Due to the high cost of DAW software, it is natural that they would want to prevent piracy with a dongle. I presume they implemented a corporate rule at that time that all Steinberg software for PC or Mac needed to use the eLicenser solution for copy protection. This would have been fine for a long time since Steinberg for the most part made Cubase, Nuendo and Wavelab, all of which are applications that it would have been considered acceptable and normal to use a dongle to authorize since all of their direct competitors also use dongles. Most people using such software programs only did so on a desktop PC and did not use laptops in those days, since they were often not powerful enough to run the software.

Notation software has been a different thing however. Usually people need the ability to use notation software on a few systems - a desktop for working at home, and a laptop while working on notation on travel. So the rule of thumb for notation programs was quite different from “Pro Audio” software like Cubase. In this case, the eLicenser solution was not the greatest fit for something like Dorico, since this “multiple systems, one user” scenario was not really considered in the original eLicenser design. However, it is understandable that the Dorico developers wanted to temporarily use the eLicenser solution for Dorico, due in part to the fact that it was Steinberg’s standard solution and avoided extra red tape, but also that it saved them from needing to create an authorization system from scratch before releasing Dorico 1.0.

I’m sure it isn’t a quick thing either to develop a new system. It might be faster if only Dorico was being considered, but if they are developing a new licensing system, it makes a great deal of sense to use the same new system for future versions of Cubase, Nuendo, Wavelab, Spectralayers, and other products. Since laptops have become more powerful in the past decade, it is not unusual to want to be able to use a DAW on a desktop and laptop, and some newer DAW’s like Reaper have challenged the long standing assumption that all DAW’s are licensed with a dongle. Apple followed suit by removing the dongle requirement for Logic. As a result of these changes to the market, it is now in Steinberg’s best interest to create a licenser solution that will fulfill these new expectations (where licensing dongles are now increasingly viewed as a relic of the past) while still creating a system as secure as possible to prevent piracy of their software (and as Daniel has stated, that is precisely what they have been working towards).


can’t you simply “remove license” on the eLicenser “Actions” menu for Cubase? At the very least if it’s on the dongle it should work.