Update Cubase Pro from 8.5 to 12 (via 11, sort of)

Hi everyone,

I am still on Cubase 8.5 Pro - or well, I bought Cubase 11 Pro when I got an upgrade offer mid 2021, but since I was working on two albums at the time I never got around to installing it and have kept postponing it since I seem to always have some ongoing project and am usually not keen on updating while working on stuff. Anyhow, I just got an offer to upgrade to Cubase 12 Pro which I would like to do, but I seem to vaguely recall reading that you need to install the Cubase 11 Pro license on the dongle before updating to 12 Pro - but for one I could be wrong and second I can’t seem to find any relevant hits when searching, so I figured I’d ask here. I have created a support ticket regarding this but haven’t yet heard anything back, it’s been a while and I’m eager to get this going given that I have a nice gap in production projects.

Many thanks in advance for any tips!

Did you ever activate the 11 license? If not, and you do so now, you should receive a 12 license through the grace period policy.

No, I did not - that’d be super. When I look at My Steinberg account, there is an access code to be redeemed, which I would assume activates Cubase 11? Would that be all I would have to do?

Perhaps I should also ask if there would be of any kind of benefit (or con) to install Cubase 11 first and then upgrade to 12 (cost aside).

Do you have the Steinberg Download Assistant installed? If not, I would do that first.

Steinberg Download Assistant | Steinberg

That should also update the eLicenser Control Center and install the new Steinberg Activation Manager (required to use the new Steinberg Licensing). You can then enter your download access code in the SDA …


Make sure to have your USB-eLicenser plugged in which holds the 8.5 license.

If that all goes well, you can then use the SAM to do a “Grace Period Check”.

Things are a bit complicated right now with the changeover to Steinberg (no hardware dongle) Licensing.

That’s up to you to decide. I “think” that your update should give you an 11 license on your USB-eLicenser which would allow you to use that or any previous version (as long as the dongle is connected). Cubase 12 will require the SAM for authorization - up to 3 computers, dongle free. Installing 11 is not necessary unless you want to use it.

You should see something like this in the eLCC if everything goes well …


Thank you for the help on this, I really appreciate it. I will try this tomorrow. I also finally got a response from Steinberg, they say that when redeeming the code for 11 it should automatically update to 12, so looks like you were right and it seems easy enough to do which is great - I was afraid there’d be some kind of hick-up. I will report back.

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You’re welcome. Good luck!

Just tried this and figured I’d report back to say that it worked seamlessly and I encountered no problems. It seems to be working fine, although I have only tried it briefly. All plugs seems to have been found automatically as far as I can tell, too. Now all I need is to either buy a bigger monitor, new glasses (or both), or figure out how to rescale Cubase without it affecting any of the plugs. But that’s for a different topic. :slight_smile: Thanks again!

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Great! I’m glad things went smoothly.

I’m still running a dinosaur computer with 1920x1080 so have yet to deal with that situation. It won’t be long, though. My “old timey” system is finally starting to struggle a bit.

Anyway … have fun exploring Cubase 12! :sunglasses:

Haha, oh well - if it ain’t broken don’t fix it. But in this. case it maybe should be considered to be broken? :slightly_smiling_face: I always dread reinstalling everything to the point I delay it all for way too long.

Thanks! I read people are having problems with certain plugs when changing the Cubase resolution, so it might prove interesting and cumbersome. Maybe it’s time for a new monitor (currently 27"), but I simply don’t have the funds right now. :tired_face::slightly_smiling_face:

I know how that goes. I was recently starting to research parts for a new “modern” PC build. I was close to pulling the trigger on a motherboard and CPU (going to have to do it in a few stages for financial reasons). However, that project got put on hold until I complete my fancy Warmoth Telecaster build. Ordered a body about a month ago. Every other part is just sitting there waiting. The suspense is killing me. They claimed 3-4 months for delivery …

Yeah, you can’t always do everything you want at one time when it comes to the fun stuff. Real life always seems to get in the way. Anyway … enough rambling from me, I guess :grin: .

Again, I’m happy your update process went smoothly!