Update on Steinberg Licensing terms

Now that the requirement to periodically connect our computers to activation servers has been eliminated, I will definitely upgrade to version 12 as soon as it’s released.

I applaud Steinberg for listening to their users and making this change. I wish more companies would operate like this.



I had no problem with the dongle, in my situation, but I fully applaud Steinberg’s ability to listen to it’s loyal customers and make these changes. This gives me a lot of faith in you guys, and I eagerly, but not impatiently, look forward to Cubase 12.


I’m extremely happy about this resolution.
On the initial announcement, I felt, for some reasons, that something deep was about to change down the line.
So glad that users view has been well taken into account. Thank you!!!

I’ve got a question regarding the following scenario.


Will my license be usable by other user accounts on my computer?

For single-user licenses, only the user account on your computer which you use to sign in with your Steinberg ID will be able to use the software. Single-user licenses are intended for use by a single person, not for sharing between multiple users on the same computer.


I use two user accounts on my computer, it’s always me, just different settings and preferences (one more for everything and one specifically optimized for audio).
Will the new licensing system count two licenses here, or just one?

Thanks again so much!

Just a reminder
I kinda understand where you’re coming from (“why replace a tool that works”) but…
Cubase 11 vs Cubase 8 isn’t just about “extra features” but really a lot of big improvements.
To me it doesn’t feel more advanced (complicated) or anything like that, just greatly better, smoother, even simpler to understand

Not at first, no. Please see the FAQs under the eLicenser heading.

No, Cubase 12 will not be compatible with the eLicenser system at all. It will only be licensed via the new Steinberg Licensing system.

That is a good question, and I’m not 100% clear on the answer of what would happen if you chose to activate in both of your user accounts (though I will ask!). However, what we would instead recommend is that having activated using your main user account, you then move the activation files into a shared location that can be read by the Steinberg Licensing engine regardless of which user account you are signed in with.

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I definitely see a wave of migration to Cubase 12 from other platforms due to this. Amazing to have Steinberg patiently put up with all our complaining and demands and actually be listening too, that’s a huge amount of respect to the users, and it makes Cubase feel even more comfortable for me to use after these decades. Thank you guys.


Wow,thank you very much Steinberg!!! Now i want to update my C11!! Olé!

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And thanks to yourself and @FilterFreq for making the case clear. You guys have demonstrated that the Steinberg crew listen.


Very happy to hear this update.

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It’s worth investigating this, as I know many people who install and manage software via an admin account, and then work on a standard user account as it’s company policy.

Although, as long as the authorisation software doesn’t require admin rights that wouldn’t be an issue, thinking about it. But if activation is tied to a user account, something to be cautious of.

No doubt a fair chunk of personal users may setup like this for security reasons too.

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Thank you very much for your answer and taking the time. :slight_smile:

I’ve spoken to the licensing team, and our understanding is that signing in from multiple user accounts on the same computer will count as a single activation, i.e. it will only use up one of the three allowed activations.


Great news Steinberg, thanks for this update. Both 3 x system activation and open duration for perpetual license are really helpful improvements for your customers. Very user focussed way of developing and refining your ideas and clearly a popular way of doing so for your customers based on comments above! Thanks and well done - 10/10 Steinberg!

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From my perspective 3 auths is great. Presonus allows 5 but Ive never needed more than 3 here. Not to mention its as simple as de authorizing one if you need to move it. I do this between my 2 macs here with WAVEs plugins BTW, simple system and NO HEADACHE


Great news, many thanks!

Too late, I already crossgraded to Studio One 5, as there was a good price.

I will never use Steinberg again because of this.

Well done, I’ve been with you since Pro24.

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This makes no sense, sorry. And you still have your Cubase license.

What don’t you understand? Yeah I’ve still got Cubase 11 and will use it until I’m fully over to Studio One 5. What I won’t be doing is buying any future Steinberg programs or updates.

Just to be clear, will a single user be able to utilize the multiple licenses to create a multi-computer System Link DAW setup?

If not, if System Link could be updated to have the capability to verify multiple machines as one license - that would be a pretty big technological and competitive selling point for Cubase. Also potentially, a way to make peoples Laptops essentially a “Dongle” they could use to slave the DAWs they are using at commercial studios without needing to de-auth one of their licenses, then authorize a commercial studio DAW, then de-auth that commercial studio DAW when they leave, then re-auth their personal DAW.