Question about cubase update from 10.5 to 13

I have question about how to proper instal the update. Since I have USB licence dongle with cubase 10.5 and since I read that after 2025 license can not be moved anymore, I don’t exacty understand what this means in terms of instalation cubase 13 upgrade.

So, when window (select license to upgrade) opened up I have options to choose where to install an upgrade:

  • All upgradable licenses
    -USB eLicenser

So here I have a few questions and need some help.

  • Which one to choose to not have any problems after 2025?
  • Will USB eLicenser work after 2025 if I instal it there?
  • If USB Elicence USB die one day or I will buy a new PC and want to install Cubase 13…can I install it or I will lost licence ?
  • Is it better to install update to option All upgradable licences or to USB eLicenser ?

I really don’t understand these rules even I use cubase for many many years :slight_smile: …sorry…I am really not good at that and will be glad to get help here.

Thank you!
Best regards!


Upgrading from ancient versions after elicenser server is down is a good question. I don`t remember to see an explanation about it. And this is related to Cubase, Nuendo, Halion, Wavelab and so on.

USB elicenser will work after 2025. Just install elicenser software (Steinberg will keep the last installer available) and plug the key. There is no need to be online and elicenser server running to just open and use the software (never did).

In fact, your older license will be used to ckeck if you can upgrade (and will be marked as already used to do an upgrade, so it is possible to do that one time only), but your new license will not be installed in the USB key or nothing related to elicenser.

Do you mean that than I need to install it to All upgradable licences and not to USB eLicenser?

can anyone confirm that please?

There is no license install to elicenser (USB or soft-elicenser). This is only to check if you really have the license to upgrade, nothing more. The new system will check your older license and if everything is ok, the new license will be created in your Steinberg account and computer).

I have been trying for the past 15 hrs to go from V9 Artist to V13 Artist with no luck finally just sent in a support ticket. everything seems fine on the Steinberg side, and I see the new license in elicensing, however every time I try the final step elicenser says there is no license. I would suggest reaching out to support directly prior to downloading.

The eLicenser is not used anymore since Cubase 12, so all you can see on the eLicenser is the text “Upgraded to Steinberg Licensing”.

You need to start the Activation Manager, login to your Steinberg Account and then click on Activate.

However going from v11 to v12 is still tied to elicensing on the final step, and that is where my issue is.

Yes, the USB Stick needs to be plugged in during the upgrade process, then it will be updated with the text I mentioned and that is all. From that point on it is not used, unless you start Cubase 11 or earlier products.

I click on upgrade and than window opens Select license to upgrade. There are two options to select and on one says Upgradable licenses and other is USB eLicenser.

Seems that I need to choose Upgradable liceses and not USB Elicenser. Am I right?

Can you post a screenshot of this message?

The update has to happen on the USB eLicenser, that is where the license is stored up to Cubase 11 and there is a license that will be upgraded.

I have been going in circles since yesterday afternoon trying every suggestion I could find, I would really recommend reaching out to support tomorrow prior to pushing the button, it does seem to be a common problem, and the only common answer was contacting Cubase support directly

So you already are upgraded, that is exactly what should happen.

Did you start the Activation Manager and is the new license visible in there?

You can also login to your Steinberg profile and check your new license there

So you want to upgrade Cubase 10.5 to Cubase 13, the license is there and you can select it.

If you have only one single license, and that was shown in your other screenshot, you do not have anything else to upgrade. So this screenshot just tells you there is not another product to upgrade, it is already done.