Unable To Activate Cubase 9.5

Hi there,

I was gifted Cubase 9.5 for my Christmas, and after I installed it on my computer it asked my to input an activation code. However, there was no code written on the physical paperwork i got with the product OR on the usb e-licenser that came with it.
It did allow me 25 hours to use cubase without the code(?) but I have had to use the software VERY sparingly, which is annoying given the price of the package.
When trying to activate the product on MySteinberg, it said that there are no products registered with my license.

I’ve waited over a month for Steinberg support to get back to me, and they didn’t reply to my second ticket I sent 16 days ago either.

Does anyone know how to get the activation code for my software?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

You do not say witch version (Elements, Artist or Pro) you got, so I assume it’s about Cubase 9.5 Pro.

There are two possibilities.

  1. The Cubase 9.5 you got is second handed, and the license is already on the USB key. In that case it is possible you run in demo mode, and it will switch to full mode after the demo is expired. This sometimes happens (not sure why). Did you registered the key with your Steinberg account?

  2. You got a brand new version. In this case I hope your package was still sealed when you got it, because there sure has to be a sheet of paper inside the box with a license number on it. If that box was unsealed and it has no license paper inside, I am afraid that license is probably been stolen, or the seller has sold only a box with disks and USB key without license, a thus has cheated the buyer. If this is the case I am afraid Steinberg can do nothing for you (Cubase cannot be activated without an valid license number), and you have to get that valid license number from the seller him/her self. Keep in mind the full version of Cubase cost a lot of money (€ 559 for the Pro version), so if you (or the one that bought it) payed a lot less, it is probably suspicious.

Hi JClosed,

Yes it was Cubase Pro that was purchased.

As far as I know, the person who bought it got it from the Steinberg website. There was a sheet of paper included in the box. There is a retail code in it but there is no activation code (it says “Your Download Access Code(s)” but there is no access code written underneath?).

I got the media pack as the internet connection at home is very slow, and downloading it would have been a very tedious ordeal.

What does the eLicenser Control Center say is on your USB dongle? To view - Open up your control center and look what license is on the USB-eLicenser (click on the picture of the dongle and read what is said on the right side of the window). If Cubase is already activated you should see a license that has a unlimited time frame (sometimes you see the demo license as well).

The activation code must be on a sheet of paper with a red blob in the right corner that say’s “STOP Don’t throw away!” (in fact - you should have several sheets that contain demo versions of other programs like Halion Sonic as well). On that sheet there should be an activation code that is constructed as 8 groups of 4 letters/numbers, just under the description of your Cubase. To activate that code you have to open the control center and click on “Enter activation code”, and enter the groups of letters/numbers that is on that sheet of paper.

Look at this page to see how to do this: https://www.steinberg.net/en/support/software_activation.html

If that sheet of paper is missing, I guess you have a real problem. In that case chances are you only got the media box.
What happens if you log into your “My Steinberg” account and click on the red “Enter Download Acess Code” and enter that retail code? And have you registered that USB-eLicenser already?

Have you downloaded the eLicense Control Centre Software? You can get it here:


…but read what the poster above said first.

Oh - to add to it.

If you look under “Your download Access code(s):” do you see a number that is written under Cubase 9.5 pro Retail?

If that’s a number that contains of 5 groups of 5 numbers/letters (Like fictional I just made up: ABCDE-12EFY-IH087-R69UH-IJKL0), you have to follow the procedure that’s on: www.steinberg.net/gettingstarted In fact - this is your download code. You will get a download link and you will get your licence code that you have to enter in the eLicencer control center. You will get that code (and the download link) mailed to your e-mail account too.

Good luck.

Im also having the same issue, but on my soft eLicenser, it says the Cubase software IS licensed/ activated…but when I try to open Cubase, it asks for activation code.
If I enter the code that is shown in eLicenser, it tells me that it has alreeady been activated and I need to “re do” something with the eLicenser…

When I try to reactivate ELICENSER, it asks me for the new elicenser number, but even after downloading the elicenser software again, uninstalling the old elicenser and reinstalling from a fresh download, the same eLicenser number is there and it wont “reactivate”…

Getting the poops with this big time - have spent my whole break from work between day and night shifts simply trying to open Cubase and see if my UR22 mkII is “there”… and get into some work with it…

WHy does eLicesenr say that Cubase AI is licensed/ activated, but the cubase program itself says that it isnt ??


What version of Cubase do you want to use (Elements, Artist or Pro)?

If it is Pro or Artist (check what your link says), you need a hardware USB eLicencer (blue colored dongle). If you use Elements, and you have done a re-install, you have to ask a new activation code from your “My Steinberg” account if I am not mistaken (I do not use Elements, so I can only guess here). Only downloading and re-installing the software is not enough.

I assume this happens when you try to open Cubase only. If it happens when you are loading a project, make sure the project did not used an demo version of an plugin (like HAlion Sonic 3) that has expired. You will also get an error message if that is the case, but that has nothing to do with Cubase itself.


I hadn’t entered the Cubase retail. I didn’t realise that it was actually a code to access the activation code. Not sure if it was just unclear instructions or my own ignorance but it’s fixed now. Feeling like a fool.

Thank you so much!


Its Cubase Pro I have installed.

So I am unable to have elicencer on my hard drive to store licence numbers…? I HAVE to buy the dongle as well ???

I would have thought if that were the case it would have not gone through the licensing process and said “fully licensed” etc…and would have “said” something about needing to have the USB elicenser.

with the hard drive elicencer program being installed, and giving me the licence number, and showing Cubase as installed and fully licenced, that also seems to say to me it should work…

nowhere in the documentation I have, or during the download, install, setup process has there been any message to indicate the requirement ofthe USB eLicencer…

Heee…llp please… got lots of music to get finished !


Cubase Pro definitely requires a USB eLicenser.

@000 - I am glad I could help you. Have loads of fun with your new shiny Cubase!

@veebee64 - I have to say planarchist is completely right here. If you want to use Cubase Pro, you absolutely need an USB eLicenser. There is no way around it. I guess that if you look at the Soft eLicenser using the control program, you will only see Cubase Elements or something (just a guess).

Because that is what you own. Cubase AI, and not Cubase Pro.

Thanks all…I noiw have the USB licenser and have dragged the full licence over to the USB eLicenser from the soft and still get asked for the licence activation code whenever I try to open Cubase.

I have ended up uninstalling both cubase and eLicenser and started back up and reinstalled as Administrator etc (as per stienberg instructions ) but it says already been used, contact software supplier…

Getting really frustrating as I have been having a ball with LE on the iPad, but its time to do some extra serious work and I am getting pretty annpyed…
My midi keyboard I have has a free download for Ableton (which my daughter, Audioo engineering degree) wants me to “swap to”…) but I prefer what Ive seen of cubase…

What to do next …?

Are you sure you have bought the licence for Cubase Pro?

If so, where from?

Cubase AI which comes free with the UR22 mkII is a different program.

VeeBee64 - Did you bought a license for Cubase 9.5 Pro?

If not - The only thing you own is Cubase LE (from your description). And you also pointed out it is already activated on your iPad. You know you can only do one activation on a single device do you? If you want to activate the license that is now on your USB device, you have to de-activate your license on the iPad, and after that you can ask (on-line) for a new license number and activate the license on the USB device.

Keep in mind that if you activate a license on an USB device, you always have to connect the USB eLicenser to the device (computer, iPad and so on) where you want to use Cubase on. Once you activated the license on a hardware device you always have to use the USB “dongle”. This is not reversible.

So - If you do not want that, you can only use the Soft-eLicenser and have to de-activate on the “old” device and re-activate on the “new” device, every time you want to switch the computer you are using it on (yes the iPad counts as a computer too).

If you bought the full license for Cubase 9.5 Pro, you should have a download link and a registration number to activate Cubase Pro.