No licence found! “activation limit reached”. HELP!

Hi, I have updated from c11 to c12 yesterday on my desktop and today on laptop and everything went smooth and started working today on my desktop without any problems.
Suddenly after taking a short break my c12 will not start, it’s stack on checking licenses for a bit and then it pops up the SAM saying “no license found”.
When I close everything and open the SAM alone it can see the c12 but it says “not activated” and when I hit the activate button it says “activation limit reached”.
I don’t even have 3 machines…!
On my web steinberg account , cubase 12 is nowhere to be found, can someone help me?
What’s happening? How did everything dissappeared?

ok, so instead of waiting I thought of something.

Since c12 is still working on my laptop but not on desktop and SAM is telling me that activation limit is reached for 3 machines, I thought of deactivating c12 on laptop and reactivate it on desktop which is my main machine.

I just did that and now it is working again on desktop and SAM is showing it under activated products.
After that it is now working on laptop too and SAM is showing it under activated products also.

On My steinberg account, when I go to Steinberg Licensing-based products I can see Cubase 12 but it is wrongly report that it is being used for 3 machines, which should be corrected, but I don’t know how to do it.

I only have two machines and now I can use it on both so it’s ok for now but I would like to have the option for another machine available.
What should I do?

Contact Support about your lost activation. You cannot resolve this situation yourself.

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Ok I’ve contacted support and they cleared the extra licensing registration.

FWIW they told me that a recent hardware change can mess with the software activation, which in my case was just an addition of an ssd.

Not happy about the activation being so “fragile” but not much I can do.


Hi everyone, I’m having a problem with my Cubase 12 pro activation, I bought Cubase 11pro last year then this year I decided to upgrade to Cubase 12 pro which then I was not eligible for (grace period) I then bought the license for Cubase 12 pro upgrade now my problem is that I rebooted my computer (Windows 10 pro) I tried to activate Cubase 12 pro but without no luck I followed all the steps which are mentioned on steinberg website but still nothing.on my steinberg account it says im using 3 computers and im only using one computer for CUBASE


Why do you activate Cubase again, if it has been activated already, please?

In any case to free the activations you have to get in contact with the Steinberg support.

Is your computer offline time to time?

go to your mysteinberg account. double check that infact there are 3 computers registered.

if that is the case, submit a ticket to support to clear them.


Btw, here is the same thread.

This system is absolutely ludicrous. Just had to perform an emergency clean Windows installation, and now I can’t activate Cubase 12 on the same computer I was just using it on. I’ve only ever installed any version of Cubase on two computers, period, and it’s not even active on the previous computer (I just checked). How on earth does a company like Steinberg roll out such a massively inept system that leaves users helpless in situations like this? This is the ONE piece of software on my computer I can’t use, and it’s the one I need to use immediately.

So you had it activated on two machines and now after the cleanup is not activated on any of those two? How many machines are registered on your steinberg acount ?

In my account it says…

Cubase Pro 12
Used on 3 computers:
[list of three separate 10-digit codes]

And yes, it’s deactivated on my old computer, and I’m unable to activate it on my current computer after the fresh Windows installation, as I have the “activation limit reached” message.

What happens if you actually activate it on your old computer?

sorry just trying to figure out because there is machine 1 and machine 2,
so when you say old computer I don’t understand if you are reffering to machine 1 i.e. before the cleanup or to machine 2.

I was using “computer” and “machine” interchangeably, sorry.

So today, after turning back on the old computer and activating and deactivating again, it finally showed an available activation in my account. No idea why this wasn’t the case when I did this yesterday. And I don’t understand why I technically have three activations now when it is only installed and activated on a single computer, but at least I can use Cubase 12. :relieved: Still wish it was a hassle-free iLok license like practically everything else I use, but oh well…

That’s good! Now that you can work contact local support to free up the other 2 registrations for future use