Program house keeping

When you upgrade programs, (from Cubase LE, to Cubase 12, to Cubase 13, or Halion etc.) on a PC, your computer doesn’t remove the old version. So I have several old versions of Cubase, Halion, Grove agent etc. on my computer.
Is it safe to delete older versions? I’m assuming it’s taking up a good amount of hard drive space. I just fear that something will stop working, an old track will be removed or worse, licensing issues.

Any thoughts?

I delete old versions without issue. Your mileage may vary.

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you don’t update cubase from version to version, every install is a full cubase install

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That’s impressive. Several old versions would equal maybe 4-5-6 years? And you’re still rock solid stable? That’s pretty good.

I tend to do full OS wipes and fresh installations of my DAWs every 18-24 months these days, Mac, Win, Linux, sometimes even more often depending on several factors. It’s a bit aggressive compared to some other people, but it works for me, and my DAWs are very stable. I have found that if I wait much longer, like around 3 years, things start breaking or giving headaches… some dependency, some plugin, some driver, some major OS update, etc., will inevitably give me some hassle.

In your case, if you are still happy with your your system’s stability, there’s no harm leaving older versions installed, except for using up space… BUT if you uninstall them, there are typically few, if any, problems… you should be mostly okay.

HOWEVER, if you aren’t careful when you uninstall the old apps/plugins, you might run into a few wrinkles or even bad headaches, especially if an older version installed a sample library, for example, that is not included in a newer version, or if some older project of yours used a prior version of a plugin that you’ve uninstalled.

So just do a good inventory of the plugins and libraries that you absolutely need before uninstalling anything.

And I’d suggest whatever you do, make sure you’re doing really good backups just in case something happens that might cause you to pull your hair out.

Good luck.


And that would be an incorrect assumption. The Cubase program, which is what would be uninstalled, is fairly small. It’s the content that takes up a bunch of space. And that isn’t reduced when you remove old versions of Cubase because each new version’s content is basically the previous version’s content plus some additional stuff.

Personally I typically have 4-6 older versions installed. Mostly because:

  • Uninstalling Them = Work
  • Leaving Them Installed = No Work

On my machine, I have C11, 12 and 13, GrooveAgent 5 and HALion/Sonic 7, and the total SSD space of the Program Files\Steinberg folder is 3.22 GB. Not much. 11 and 12 between them is 1.8 GB. Even less.
And HALion, unlike Cubase removes any older versions - “There can be only One”.

The only time I ended up removing old versions of Cubase was when I encountered a weird bug (also discussed on this forum at the time), that made Windows file associations messed up between Cubase versions. None of us here on the forum was ever able to figure out the detailed circumstance of that happening and how to fix it other than uninstalling some (but not all) older versions.

Now that you remind me, I’m pretty sure that explains why I have gaps between installed versions.

If you open the File Explorer to where a Cubase project is located and right-click on the .cpr file , then select “Open With…”, and choose “Choose another app” and select the Cubase 13 executable, does that not fix the file association problem? It does here. Also, the file association will be tied to whatever version is installed last.

lol - normally yes, and I wouldn’t have even brought it up, since that’s simple OS behavior.

But it was a lot weirder than that. But no need to re-litigate that old problem (January 2021 - Cubase 11.0.10 on my prior Win10 box) here - but if you’re bored and feel like archeology, this thread is a good start:

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