Licensing question

If I upgrade from Cubase 12 to Cubase 13 can I still use each version on 2 computers simultaneously? Total of 4 copies?


No. You will own Cubase 13 license only. You can use it at up to 3 computers simultaneously.


Hello Martin,

My understanding has always been that an upgrade from one major version to the next allows you to use previous versions you’ve licensed as well.

The licensing page states that if one has purchased a version of cubase and upgrades it, that user is entitled to use the previous versions of Cubase they’ve paid for:

After I update to Steinberg Licensing, will I still be able to run previous versions of the products I’ve bought?

Yes, provided you either have your USB-eLicenser connected to your computer, or the Soft-eLicenser containing the license for the previous version of the product is present on the computer. The new Steinberg Licensing system does not apply to versions of our products prior to the first version that uses the new system: so if you buy, say, a new license for Cubase 12 as a brand-new customer, you cannot run Cubase 11 or earlier, but if you are an existing Steinberg customer who updates to Cubase 12 from Cubase 11, you can still run Cubase 11 or indeed any previous version of Cubase provided you connect your USB-eLicenser containing the license for Cubase 11.

Is this no longer the case? It’s been the standard for as long as I can recall, and the current Steinberg page on licensing would seem to indicate the same.

As we are now off the dongle version as of Cubase 12, since @Vicken purchased 12, and upgraded to 13, why would he not be able to avail himself of version 12 after the upgrade?

Perhaps I’ve misunderstood your statement?

@Vicken wondered whether upgrading to Cubase 13 would give him separate licences for Cubase 12 and Cubase 13. @Martin.Jirsak correctly answered that, after applying the update, he would have a licence for Cubase 13 and the Cubase 12 licence would disappear. The Cubase 13 licence allows the use of version 12 or 13 on three separate computers.


-edit: On second glance, @Vicken didn’t not ask “if he would have separate licenses for 12 and 13”. He specifically, and only, asked if he would be able to use both 12 and 13 after he does the upgrade to 13. (the number of licenses is not germane to my question) @Vicken’s question specifically goes to use, not to having separate licenses.

Martin’s reply indicates that, no, he only has access to Cubase 13, 3 iterances, so I’m back to wondering why Martin replied with what he did then.

Original Post

Ahhhh, thanks for the quick reply and clarity! I think I see (what you intend to convey, and my understanding as well):

So visually the Cubase 12 license is no longer there as it now says essentially “1 license for Cubase 13”…however, functionally, that one Cubase 13 license allows him to then access and use Cubase 12 as well, correct?

1 Like

Since the introduction of Steinberg Licensing, I have updated Dorico 4 Pro to Dorico 5 Pro and Nuendo 12 to Nuendo 13. This means that I no longer have licences for Dorico 4 Pro and Nuendo 12 in Steinberg Activation Manager - I have exchanged those licences for Dorico 5 Pro and Nuendo 13 licences. However, the new licences allow the use of older Steinberg Licensing versions, so I can still use Dorico 4 Pro and Nuendo 12 if I wish.

You don’t get extra seats after an update, as @Vicken was hoping with the mention of four computers - that is, you do not keep the licence you are updating with the ability to deploy it on different computers to the updated licence.

Ahhh, our understanding is the same, I agree with you 100%. I think you got to it in the last part of the post above, which is that this was more about the number of seats @Vicken would get, as opposed to which versions he’d be entitled to use.

Thanks again for the clarity, it’s late here and I suspect it was just a foggy disconnect at my end. Appreciate the responses!


Let me just confirm please, what @David_W said is totally correct.

1 Like

That is a little confusing to me. Vicken said he wants to use just two computers, in each of them a copy of 12 and 13, hence four copies total. He hasn’t said he wants to use four computers. After what was said in this thread I understand that is actually possible, then. Or am I missing something?

You can enable up to three computers, that is what you see in the Activation Manager. On all of them you can run Cubase 12 as well as Cubase 13, so each release still allows three activations.

However, I doubt it makes any sense to run Cubase 12 and 13 simultaneously on one these machines at the same time. It all comes down to three machines and you can decide which release to run.

Thanks, I understand. I didn’t think in using all four simultaneously, but it is true that Vicken said that in that post.

Hello guys, thank you all for helping, here is what I am trying to achieve and it is clear to me now how to do it.

I had a PC with C 12 Pro as my main production PC, then added another one for VEP 7, all is good, then I built a new PC and upgraded to C 13 Pro on it, I also upgraded the one that had VEP on it, so currently have 3 PCs, 2 with C 13 and one with C12. I have no need for more than 2 at a time at my studio, however, sometimes I record live gigs directly from a digital mixer to Cubase (multi track live recording) so I plan to use the one which has C 12 since there is no need for extra bells and whistles from C13. I just don’t want to be stuck live with my PC refusing to sun C12 if I don’t have internet connection or because of older version, and definitely not waste time enabling and disabling computers in a live show!.

Based on your recommendation it looks like I shouldn’t have an issue.

Edit: the reason why I asked for 4 licenses (two for each version total) is because since I am taking one of my PCs out live I was planning to get another laptop for this purpose rather than carry a heavy PC or uninstall C12 from it.

It is quick and easy to deactivate a computer in Steinberg Activation Manager, so there is no problem using four computers. Just remember to make sure you have deactivated a computer before activating another.

As you note, deactivating a computer that you use for live recording is not a good idea - you don’t want to have activation issues when you are at a venue, possibly with limited or no Internet access.

You could buy Nuendo Live (which is a tool specifically for live recording) or Cubase Elements for the recording computer, or you could figure out a way to make things work with your three activations.