How to deal with "No license found" without restarting?

The short version of this question: When Dorico hangs because of a stupid license error and I have to force-quit it, is there any way to avoid restarting the computer? Are there other processes I can force-quit (using the Activity Monitor, or whatever), to get me to the place where I can start Dorico again? It’s incredibly annoying to need to restart.

The long version:
I have a licensed copy of Dorico 4 on a Mac (macOS 12.1). When I open Dorico, most of the time it loads fine, but for the past two days, I’ve had near-constant issues with the licenser. I get the error “No license found” (“No license for Dorico 4 AudioEngine has been found in your account”) and Dorico hangs. Clicking Retry or Dismiss does not help. Eventually I give up. Meanwhile, Dorico has completely stalled in loading, and I force quit it.

Now I re-open the Steinberg Activation Manager and I see Dorico Pro 4 is “Activated.” But when I try to open Dorico again, it does not open – the loading screen stalls out. The last time it froze on something like “Initializing SKI Plugin Controller…done”.

This is so incredibly annoying. I have a valid license, nothing about my system has changed, and not only am I getting error messages but I can’t easily start the program. Restarting my computer is a huge pain and interruption in my work — is there any way to get back to a place where I can open Dorico, without restarting the computer?

I used to religiously open the e-Licenser and run the license clean-up (or whatever it was called), to try to avoid these issues. What can we do to avoid these problems, as legal users of the software?

The situation you describe, where Dorico starts up but then hangs at the loading screen, typically means that Dorico is hanging trying to communicate with the audio engine. The audio engine runs as a separate process from the Dorico application itself, so if you look in Activity Monitor it will be listed separately as “VST Audio Engine”. If you have had to Force Quit Dorico for any reason (licensing or otherwise) then you may find you have to Force Quit the audio engine too - Dorico tries to reconnect to the audio engine on startup, if it is already running, but this is hard to do reliably, particularly on Mac.

As far as the actual problems go with the licensing, which version of the Steinberg Activation Manager are you running? If you are still on 1.0.0 then it might be worth upgrading to 1.0.1, which you can do either by running the Steinberg Download Assistant (which will upgrade it automatically) or by manually downloading it from Steinberg Activation Manager | Steinberg

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Thanks for the reply, @Richard_Lanyon, I was indeed still on so I’ll upgrade to 1.0.1, and I’ll try force quitting VST Audio Engine next time this happens.

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This has happened to me once as well, and I also had to restart. My heart skipped a beat when the error first popped up.