I have 2 licenses/dongles. Now only need one?

After years of working with a single license of Cubase Pro on my desktop, I went ahead last year and bought a second license (plus dongle) to use on my laptop.

Now Cubase 12 is out with the new Steinberg Licensing scheme and the ability to activate a single license on both my desktop and laptop.

I’ve gone ahead and upgraded my desktop to 12.0.30 but am uncertain how to go about dealing with the laptop (running Cubase 11)

Do I (on my laptop)

  • uninstall Cubase
  • remove the dongle
  • run Download Assistant
  • enter the SAME Download Access Code I received when upgrading my desktop license
  • and continue with the activation…etc as described on the *Steinberg Licensing: Upgrade from eLicenser-based products" web page.

Will I need the 2nd dongle on the laptop for anything else?

Thanks for any insights
(Win 10 latest, i7, Cubase 12.0.30)

All you got to do is install the activation manager and log into your Steinberg account through it, it will show the products that you have registered in the computers

All you do on the laptop is install Steinberg Download Assistant, install Cubase 12 and sign in to Steinberg Activation Manager. You do not need to enter any Download Access Code - the activation has already been added to your account.

You can sell your second dongle with the Cubase 11 Pro licence if you no longer need a second licence for Cubase version 11 and earlier.

Thank you for the replies. I’ll give it a go and report back.

This is another example of an unintended consequence of the new licensing system.

People who have in the past purchased multiple licenses on USB-eLicensers don’t get anything extra … in this case, the OP doesn’t get 6 activations, but 3, the same as someone who only bought one license on a USB-eLicenser.

While I accept that few individual users are likely to ever want 6 activations, and the end effect is the same (being able to use Cubase on both desktop and laptop), it does feel a little bit unfair.

@Zeid, I would suggest you don’t upgrade the Cubase license on the laptop’s USB-eLicenser, but instead sell it with that Cubase license as per the Resale Wizard.


Are you saying that if you own 2 Cubase 11 licenses and upgrade both, you will not end up with 6 Cubase 12 activations!? :thinking: Sure about that?

There are a few plugins and instruments in 11 that are not included in 12. To use these plugins in 12 you will still have to have the dongle to authenticate them. The same goes for other Steinberg plugins, should you have any, that does not come free with Cubase, such as Groove Agent, HALion, etc.

No, I’m not sure about it at all … but it’s another grey area yet to be clarified. The way I see it, wouldn’t it be nicer to get one license cost compensated, rather than having 6 activations, 4 of which I don’t need?

Nothing gray about it at all. If you own a Cubase 12 license you get 3 activations. Doesn’t matter if you buy the license new or upgrade from a previous version. Where is the ambiguity?

Even nicer yet if I could just get everything for free! :smiley:
But, of course that is not so nice if you happen to work at Steinberg. :worried:
Sarcasm aside, Steinberg’s upgrade paths are fair and their products are cheaply priced for what they do. In the end, if OP does not have any use for their dongle’s, they should find no problem selling those licenses.

The grey area is the question of whether or not you get six activations if you’ve upgraded two C11 licenses.

I think the OP would be perfectly entitled to feel it is a little unfair that shortly after purchasing a second C11 license the system is changed in such a way that the second license is no longer needed. Nobody is looking for anything for free. We have all paid substantial sums in licenses and upgrades over the years, faithfully supporting Steinberg, so enough with the sarcasm please.

I believe Steinberg’s position is that they have yet to implement multiple licence and site licence functionality in Steinberg Licensing.

I agree with your suggestion that the original poster sells one of their two USB eLicensers without upgrading the Cubase 11 Pro licence on it if three activations for Cubase 12 meet all their needs going forwards.

So if I install (and use a 2nd activation), I will still need the dongle. And therefore I will not be able to sell the 2nd license until all other dependencies are removed.

You don’t need the dongle at all to run Cubase 12. What is being referred to here is that if you follow the unofficial instructions to graft the discontinued VSTis (Loopmash, Mystic, Prologue and Specter) back into Cubase 12, you need a Cubase 11 licence on the computer.

Assuming that you don’t need those older VSTis, you are free to upgrade one licence, use that to authorise both your machines, and sell the second licence (which is best done without being upgraded to 12).

Edit to add: To check that you are OK to operate without the second dongle, upgrade one licence to Cubase 12, disconnect the dongle from your computer (assuming it contains just a Cubase licence and not a licence for anything else you need such as VST Connect Pro or an instrument), use Cubase 12 and see how you get on.

Well that’s one issue. On the desktop, I’ve got instruments like the Korg Collection, GA5 and some expansions on eLicenser so it needs to stay plugged in - which is what I’ve done with the desktop I upgraded to CB12 and that works fine.

And thanks for the good point about not upgrading the 2nd license to be able to sell it later.

So to summarize my understanding - given I’ve got CB 12 now on the desktop , on the laptop:

  • Remove the dongle (I’ve not got any extra instruments on the laptop)
  • Install CB12 using Download Assistant
  • Run the Activation Manager.
  • Sell the 2nd license

If I’m missing something, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

There is no need to remove the dongle from the laptop per se. It can serve to run CB11 on it. For if you have issues with CB12. Once you are sure you will never need CB11 anymore, then you can sell.
There is no problem with running CB12 upgraded from another dongle and your second dongle. They are 100% independent licences.

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That is what I would do. As @vinark points out, you don’t have to remove the dongle from the laptop - my suggestion to remove it is so that you can be sure you don’t need it anymore.

If you reach the point of wanting to sell the Cubase 11 Pro licence, the Resale Wizard will guide you, as @mrsoundman has pointed out.

I also have two dongles. Both of my dongles were registered to a single old-style ‘account’. Reading the Resale Wizard details it is not clear how the sale of one of them will work, if at all.

I have the horrible feeling that trying to sell one of my old dongled licenses may result in something nasty happening, and I’m personally not taking that chance. It will be interesting to hear how others get on.

You can create a new extra account and move your dongle you might sell to that account, by first removing it from your old account and then add it to the new one. You might need a second email address for it, not sure about that.

So here’s what happened (Spoiler: It all worked fine with one tweak left to do).

To install and activate a 2nd instance on my laptop that originally had a separate license of Cubase Pro, I removed the dongle, used Download Assistant to download and install Cubase. Once all of that completed - and this step downloaded everything I had a license for related to my desktop set up so GA5 and expansions…etc - I then ran the Steinberg Activation manager, signed in and “activated” Cubase 12. All this went ok.

Now here is the tweak I still need to do. When I then started Cubase 12 for the first time I got the following pop up:

So this is content I have licenses for on my desktop that will not activate on my laptop - which makes sense at the moment. The final tweak is to follow the instructions at “More Details…” web page to remove these components from the laptop using the Steinberg Library Manager.

But in the meantime, I have been able to start and playback a (simple) project with Cubase Pro 12 on the laptop with no other issues.

Hopefully we get to a point where all components (GA, expansions, etc…) are available to activate on up to 3 machines.

Many thanks to everyone for their comments and help.