How to remove HALion presets licence missing message

I have Cubase Pro 9.5 v 9.5.21 running on Windows 10.

In the Hub announcements displayed on Cubase start-up, I saw updates were available for HALion and HALion Sonic. On following the link, I was told one of the two updates was “3.1.10 for HALion Sonic and HALion Sonic SE”. As the latter is bundled with Cubase Pro I assumed the update was relevant to me.

But the installer appears to have installed HALion Sonic, which I do not have a licence for. I have uninstalled HALion Sonic itself via the Windows Program Manager, but every time I start Cubase I now get a message listing 10 HALion Sonic Factory presets where the licence is missing or expired, starting with Program Presets 01 and ending with Ethno Presets. I don’t know where these are stored. How do I get rid of these presets or do whatever else is needed to stop this message appearing?


In the Uninstall Program, try to find HALion Sonic Content. If you find it, uninstall it. If not, open the %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Content and delete all files with HS (not HSSE).

Or delete all files, and reinstall HALion Sonic SE content from the Cubase full installer.

Unfortunately no HALion Sonic Content program is listed in Windows Program Manager, and the folder %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Content exists but is empty.

The plug-ins which I want to get rid of are not listed in the Cubase VST Plug-in Manager, so I cannot get rid of them that way. It would be helpful if plug-ins for which no valid licence exists could appear in the Blacklist, but they don’t seem to.

I’m reluctant to uninstall HALion SE because I’m not sure how to, and it appears to be working OK.


Try to search for shared components Steinberg/Content.


I found C:\ProgramData\Steinberg\Content\HALion\VST Sound. I moved (not copied) the contents to a temporary folder on the desktop but, on launching Cubase, the same message appeared. So I put the contents back where they were.

With, for example, three products called HALion, it is easy for the user to mistakenly install updates for which they have no licence. They then receive a message every time they start Cubase but are given no effective means of resolving the issue. It seems to me that either the installer should not install items for which no licence is present, or there needs to be a feature inside Cubase (e.g. within the VST Plug-in Manager) which identifies unlicensed products and allows the user remove them.

Try these paths:

  • %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Content/HALion
  • %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Content/VST Sound

I assume I have to replace everything before %AppData% in those paths with [drive letter]:/Users/[my user name].

  • %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Content/HALion is empty.

  • %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Content/VST Sound has an empty folder called User Content, and 66 files. Some of those files have HS in their file name, some have HSSE in their file name, and there are other files which have neither HS nor HSSE in their name. What to do?


you could just type “%AppData%” to the path of the explorer, and then follow the rest.

  • HS = HALion Sonic content. Delete it.
  • HSSE = HALion Sonic SE content. Keep it.
  • other files = other content. Keep it.

Hi I encountered the same problem and have tracked down to the VST Sound folder in %AppData% and Roaming. However, the listed presets in the error message has more than what appeared in the VST sound so I wonder where I can find the rest?

Hi and welcome,

How does the message look like exactly on your side?

I have the same problem. Did the same thing and ran the update on Halion thinking I would get the Halion SE. I removed all the HS files from the VST Sound folder. Still get the message. A screen shot of the message I get is at


From which folder did you delete HS files?

Hi Martin,
I removed the HS files from the …Content/Halion/VST Sound folder. When I looked again I saw the Content/VST Sound folder so removed the HS files from that folder as well. When starting Cubase I got messages about files not found and I selected the “Remove” option. Then when going to Halion SE in Cubase got a bunch of similar messages about files not found. Did the remove on these and then got message some files were missing!

So next step was to put the HS files back in the …Content/Halion/VST Sound folder. Looked better, but still getting message “Halion Sonic Factory Layer Preset 01” (and … 02). So moved what appeared to be the two offending files FCP_SMT_061_HS_Layer_VST3_Presets_01.vstsound and FCP_SMT_061_HS_Layer_VST3_Presets_02.vstsound from the Halion/VST Sound folder. Then got same prompt to “Locate, Ignore, Remove” and again chose Remove.

Now seems Halion SE is working in Cubase and no messages about licenses or missing files.

Hopefully those were the appropriate changes and all will be well from here on!

Thanks for the tips.

I have lived with the problem I reported in the first post for some time now, because I did not want to accidentally remove files needed by Halion Sonic SE. On checking back here I see others have had the same issue, but I still do not understand what I have to do to sort this mess out.

  1. I have a folder called %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Content/HALion. It is empty, there is no VST Sound folder within it.

  2. I have a folder called %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Content/VST Sound. It has an empty folder called User Content, and 66 files. Some of those files have HS in their file name, some have HSSE in their file name, and there are other files which have neither HS nor HSSE in their name.

  3. I have a folder called %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Halion/VST Sound. It has 31 files, 25 of which have HS in their names.

  4. I have a folder called %AppData%Roaming/Steinberg/Halion Sonic_64, containing 5 xml files and a Presets folder with 1 file in it.

I have tried moving all the files with HS in their name from folder 2 into a temporary folder, and moving all the files with HS in their name from folder 3 into a different temporary folder. I also renamed folder 4. On restarting Cubase I get a series of ‘file not found’ messages, with Locate Ignore Remove as options.

My folder structure is not the same as blongstudio’s, and I note he had to put some HS files back into a folder which for me is empty in order to get Sonic SE working properly again. So I am reluctant to use the Remove option on all these files until I am sure I am not affecting Halion Sonic SE.

For the time being I have put everything back just how I found it.

Can anyone give me a definitive steer on how to resolve this issue please?

In case it helps others, here’s how I sorted this out.

From the message I received when starting Cubase, I made a note of exactly which components Cubase was flagging up as unlicenced. I quit Cubase.

I then used the HALion Library Manager, which comes with HALion Sonic SE/Cubase. I clicked on Installed, and looked under the Details button to see exactly where each unlicenced component was being held. Unhelpfully, the Library Manager would not let me Remove the items - the Remove button was greyed out for all of them.

So in Windows I moved each of those files to a temporary folder of my own making (as a precaution I did not delete them immediately). On restarting Cubase I had a message allowing me to Remove each item whose file I had moved. I got the same message and option a second time when I opening a project which uses Sonic SE. I chose Remove again. The next time I started Cubase the original message did not appear, and Sonic SE appears to be still working properly. So that seems to have sorted it out.

But I should not have to go to these lengths to remove unlicenced content which I mistakenly installed because I had been misled into thinking it was relevant to me.

my solution sounds similar,this is what I did: Make a note of the files to be removed when they appear on opening Cubase.(I found 10)Create a new folder on the desktop - ‘HS Presets’, for example.Press Windows logo key+R and type %AppData%,which should show you a list in Roaming.From the list click on Steinberg - Content - Halion- VST Sound. In the VST Sound list, click on the ‘HS’ files you need to remove,one at a time.(DONT copy or delete), move them to the folder created on the desktop.(I reduced window size so I could see VST Sound folder and the ‘HS Presets’ folder I created earlier on the desktop) This way you can check you have moved them to new folder.
Start Cubase,each file will appear with options as follows: Cancel-Ignore-Remove.As each file appears,click on Remove.
In Cubase open a project and activate Halion, a further message will appear for the files - remove them.Close Cubase.
When you restart Cubase the program should open normally and no further messages! I have opened Cubase a number of times without further issues.
NOTE: I have not deleted the HS presets folder I created yet,but everything seems to be running normally after months of this problem.
ASUS AIO desktop - Win 10 - Cubase Artist 9.5.41 update