The new Steinberg Activation Manager stole TWO of my Cubase Pro 12 activations!

TLDR version: The new version of Steinberg Activation Manager has stolen TWO of my Cubase Pro 12 activations. I have only ever installed/used Cubase Pro 12 on one computer, and I haven’t reformatted it or replaced any hardware on it. I want my other two activations back.

NOTE: I’ve already submitted a support email. This is just a heads-up to any other Cubase 12 users.

I just ran Steinberg Activation Manager to check something and discovered that the application had been updated to version and it only listed that I had a license for Cubase Pro 12. I actually own licenses for Cubase Pro 12, Artist 12, and Elements 12, so I was surprised to see this. Next I noticed that while it said my Cubase Pro was “Activated,” there was no button there. Just the word “Activated.” (Screenshot 1) I clicked the user icon in the upper right and it said I wasn’t signed in. So I attempted to sign in, thinking that this would update my licenses and show my other products. I was greeted with a screen that said, “Signing in with a Steinberg ID will discard all offline licenses from this computer. Do you want to proceed?” (Screenshot 2)

I clicked “Yes, discard offline licenses” because I never registered Cubase offline, I activated it with Steinberg Activation Manager weeks ago when I purchased the upgrade! The SAM connected and did refresh my list of products, and I had to re-activate my copy of Cubase Pro 12.

I was very suspicious though, so I logged into the Steinberg website and picked the “Show Steinberg Licensing-based Products” option. And I was very surprised to find that it said Cubase Pro 12 was “Used on 3 computers.” (Screenshot 3)

I have only ever installed Cubase Pro 12 on ONE computer. I never used offline registration, and I don’t think that was even an option on the prior versions of SAM I used.

I want my other 2 activations back! Something else weird: It also says Cubase Elements 12 isn’t activated on any computers, but it IS active on one PC, and one PC only.

I was already annoyed that Steinberg dropped the much-more-reliable eLicenser system, but this is absolutely baffling. I’ve been a Cubase user since 1994, and a staunch proponent of it and Steinberg in general ever since. But this is… completely infuriating and unacceptable. Why did you have to take the eLicenser dongle away? At least leave it as an option for those of us who didn’t have any problems with it?


The good news: I recovered my Pro 12 activations.

The bad news: It’s only temporary because Steinberg Activation Manager silently activated Pro 12 on a computer where I only installed/activated Cubase Artist 12, and also on another computer where I only installed/activated Elements 12. It did this without my knowledge or consent. And I don’t know of a way to stop it from happening other than disconnecting both computers from the internet- but I need the internet for other things!

On the Artist 12 computer, it left Artist activated and additionally activated Pro as well. (Screenshot)

On the Elements 12 computer it DEACTIVATED Elements 12 so it could activate Pro 12. Which is completely ridiculous, because neither Pro nor Artist are even installed on this PC! SAM basically broke Cubase 12 completely on this computer! (Screenshot)

I have already posted here before about the Artist 12 issue, but the last time I used that computer I made sure only Artist was activated. It appears I simply have no control over which of the three products I paid for are active on my own PCs.

You can’t activate the ones you want, and deactivate the ones you don’t want, on each computer?

It looks like you can from the screen shots.

Yeah, that’s how I got my activations back!

The problem is that every time I launch Cubase it silently runs the activation manager and activates Pro. I can manually re-run the SAM on each computer and fix the activations. But why in the hell should anyone have to do that?

In both cases, a version of Cubase 12 (Artist or Elements) was already activated on each PC, but SAM automatically activated Cubase Pro without asking or notifying me.

EDIT: Another problem, which I mentioned in the first post, is that on the computer where SAM was updated to (my Pro computer), SAM reported that I had an “offline activation” of Pro 12 (which I didn’t), and complained that I would lose this activation if I tried to sign in to my Steinberg account to fix the fact that it wasn’t showing my owned licenses.