My Cubase 11 Pro suddenly marked as "not upgradeable"


after buying my Cubase 12 pro upgrade from Cubase 11 pro, I ran into two problems

  • a) total server mess not connecting me in successive efforts
  • b) a weird change of my Cubase pro 11 entry in the USB Elicenser to the status “not upgradeable”.

I have been upgrading since Cubase 7 pro or so, and never ran into this kind of arbitrary change. Is b) just a silly consequence of the mess in a), or has my upgrade status in my customer account just been devaluated???

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No worries. Unfortunately the eLicenser server is reaching its limits, but you don’t have to worry about your license. Have you look here:

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The Cubase 11 license being marked as “not upgradeable” shows that you have been upgraded successfully.

It means that the Cubase 11 license cannot be used for another upgrade in the future.

You can check this by opening Steinberg Activation Manager and ensuring that your Cubase Pro 12 license no longer says “pending verification”.


Thanks, Matthias,

this is a bit confusing despite the linked infos: I see no two entries (one old not upgradeable and one new ) on my USB-elicenser, just the “not upgradeable” entry for Cubase 11 pro.
But as I still don’t get a server connection - and after what happened last time this could again be a day/s long mess - I will just wait for the server connection first and then see how far I get.

Sorry Ben, read your message only now after answering.

Where do I see my new licence? Is it bound to my USB licencer as before?

You will just have one license marked as “non-upgradeable” on the USB eLicenser. But if you open the new Steinberg Activation Manager you will find the Cubase 12 license in there.

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Ok, got it activated.

Now is my USB licenser still working for Cubase 12 or is Cubase 12 now bound to this PC?

Cubase 12 can be activated on up to three computers that you use. The USB eLicenser isn’t involved for Cubase 12 (unless you have content licenses which require it).

Before release I understood that we would still have a choice
to keep everything on the USB licencer, at least until all the other Steinberg licences on our USBs can be moved to the new system without problems.

It’s just much more practical to have everything in one place, to just switch to my Notebook whenever required with USB key, until ALL my licences are on both computers. As it is now, I have to work with two different licensing systems - which is not great.

And yes, I have a lot of Steinberg licences to deal with.

I’m sorry for the inconvenience Jim. Transitioning a complex product portfolio like Steinberg’s takes a little time.

We anticipate it will take 12-18 months for our full product release cycle to make the switch. We have also been discussing a range of options to allow older eLicenser products to be switched across to allow you to ditch the USB key. We hear your pain!

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Then you see this in E-licenser

This caused me a mini heart attack. The product doesn’t show up in mysteinberg e-licenser products where as I am used to see it usually. I mean it’s nice to move away to from USB e-licenser, but please consider putting up a youtube video regarding activation for the less savvy people Cubase old-timers. I was about to ask for a refund if not for this thread…

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Mac Catalina 10.15.2

This is BAD…
I have Cubase 12 showing as “Activated”.
It crashes when I try to launch it.


Did you unplug your dongle? Plug it back in.

See also:
Cubase 12 asking for dongle - #3

I tried unplugging it and putting back in. No luck yet. Digging through the other threads about the issues with Halion Sonic causing the problem.

What happens when you try and launch Cubase 11?