Moving Cubase VST License to USB Dongle

I have a Cubase VST/32 license on one of the old blue parallel port dongles and would like to move it to a USB dongle. I’ve read around a few articles as well as contacting Steinberg support [no reply yet!] to find out if this is really still a thing and, if so how to go about it. Will Cubase VST even recognise a valid license on a USB dongle?

FWIW, I use Cubase 13 Pro but have a VMWare virtual machine set up with Windows 7 and Cubase VST 5 in order to access some of my older projects. The VMWare setup has no trouble accessing the parallel port dongle but I’d like to streamline my setup before Steinberg switches off support for USB dongles.

I don’t know if it can be moved. But once it is on a USB dongle it is recognized by Cubase VST 5.


You cannot move the license by yourself. The old parallel port dongle was not based on the eLicenser technology. So if the technical support do it for you, they will make a new license for you.

If you updated to Cubase Pro from Cubase 11 or lower, you still have Cubase Pro 11 (updated) license on your USB-eLicenser, which you can use for Cubase 11, Cubase 9 (or any older Cubase, which was compatible with Windows 7).

Even Cubase VST 5 from 1996?


Oh, sorry… I don’t think so. Any eLicenser-based license.

There were newer Cubase versions compatible with Windows 7.

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IIRC, wasnt there some update at the end of VST32 to switch out the parallel port dongle for another licenser type (maybe it was the e-Licenser)?

Pretty sure either way that promotion would be looooooong gone by now, and with the eLicenser server going away at the end of the year, they’re not going to be doing much to help with anything in general regarding it.

That’s what I said: There is a license version that works on e-Licenser basis for Cubase VST 5. I have it running like this.

It is up to Steinberg whether they can move the license to the dongle.


Hello Johnny! That’s what I was hoping. I do know that there were versions of the eLicenser software that supported both USB and Parallel port dongles all the way up to some of the earlier versions of Cubase SX3. I’ve got the installers for Cubase SX, Cubase SX2 and Cubase SX3 kicking around on a backup drive at home.

I take it that your versions of Cubase VST 5.1 can read the license from the USB dongle. I have tried contacting Steinberg about this and could ship them my old Parallel port dongle and a blank USB dongle if it works. I’m a bit wary of trying it myself as I’ve read that some people lost their Cubase VST 5.x license as a result of a failed attempt at porting it from the Parallel port dongle to a USB dongle.

I highly doubt they are still honoring that deal from 20+ years ago. A few years back when I was looking into moving back to Cubase, they told me flat out that my VST version was too old to use towards any upgrades or anything, it was basically now a ‘nice collectors piece’ heh. Not sure if that was just because of how old Cubase VST 5 actually is, or if they could no longer transfer the licenses…

Update: I contacted Steinberg support and, after supplying them with photographic evidence and the original dongle license serial number, I was issued with an activation code for Cubase VST/32 5.x to activate on a USB dongle and it works. So there’s hope out there for other people who have licenses on their old parallel port dongles and want to port them over to USB dongles before it’s too late.


No way!! I gotta get mine out now and see if they’ll do it for me. My box is sitting on the bookshelf downstairs (next to Logic Platinum 4-8’s boxes) with everything in it still!

How did you contact support? Did you send them an email or submit a ticket?

@ Monotremata Oh yes! Ask nicely and you might get a nice surprise :slight_smile:

@ zachariahdude I filed a support ticket after starting this thread.

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Hi @Alazarin ,

Please, blur the Soft-eLicenser Number and the USB-eLicenser Number at your screenshot.


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What exactly did you say to Steinberg support? I tried sending them an email and they’re saying that Cubase VST/32 is unsupported and they can’t transfer my license to a USB E-Licenser even though I showed them my registration card/serial number.


Basically all I did was open a support ticket mentioning that I own a Cubase Pro 13 license and would like to transfer my existing Cubase VST 32 license from a parallel port dongle to a USB dongle. I guess I just got lucky. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you.

I contacted them again and they told me to contact Apparently that is the email for Steinberg’s main headquarters. I hope to hear back from them again soon.

No, I wasn’t asked to destroy my old parallel port dongle, just to supply a photo of it. I guess I could destroy it now if that’s what they want but, TBH, it’s getting harder and harder to find a parallel port expansion card that actually works with my old parallel port dongle so it’s largely redundant anyway.

Kind of a sleazy thing for you to do zachariadude imo.

You certainly didn’t fool “them” as “they” are here and see your email/acct etc.

If I were “them”, I’d make a note to say “no” to any future request you make, no matter what the topic :slight_smile:

That would fool you good :slight_smile: