Upgrade from Cubase 11 AI to Cubase pro 12 without dongle

I bought Cubase Pro 11 UG 2 (Upgrade from Cubase AI to Cubase Pro) last summer without activating. Now when I want to activate the Cubase Pro, the e-licenser says it only works on dongle. Is there a way without dongle, because I do not want Cubase Pro 11 only Cubase Pro 12, and now do not want to buy a dongle just to upgrade.
Thanks a lot

You should be able to activate the AI license on a so-called Soft-Elicenser.

Just install the Elc and activate AI. Then you’ll have a license that can be updated.

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Thanks steve
the AI is activated, but if I want activate the Upgrade to the PRo version than the e-Licencer want a Dongle
Have anyone an idea?

Hm… I don’t know about that use-case. Maybe someone who does will chime in.

If you have a Download Access Code for Cubase Pro, try entering it into Steinberg Download Assistant. Does that get you a Cubase Pro 12 licence?

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Thank David_W
I just tried it, but the following message appears.

The license upgrade to be performed only works for licenses that are located on a USB-eLicenser. However, your license to upgrade is currently on the Soft e-Licenser.
Please move the license you want to upgrade from the Soft e-Licenser to a USB-eLicenser.

Hey, please get in touch with our support team. They will have a solution for your.

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Also having a similar problem. Can’t upgrade the AI license, it asks for a USB dongle.

I writed yesterday a mail to the Support but no reaction until now. I’m sad.

Hi, I have the same issue.
When I contacted support they said that I have to purchase a USB dongle and activate on hardware first in order to get the grace period key to move to 12.
Is there some known way to solve this without having to purchase a USB Dongle?

The new key already shows in my Steinberg account, it just won’t upgrade in the eLicenser.

Which key won’t show in eLicenser? Cubase 12 doesn’t use eLicenser (other than a one-time eLicenser transaction when upgrading to Cubase 12).

Your Cubase 12 licence will be in Steinberg Activation Manager, which is a separate application to eLicenser Control Center.

I have this:

  • Cubase AI UD from 10 and before
    Download Access Code: xxxxx xxxxx
    Activation Code: xxxxxx
    Activation status:Not yet activated

I believe the eLicenser is supposed to use this to upgrade the older license.

Try the Download Access Code in Steinberg Download Assistant. If it insists on a USB eLicenser, contact Support. If Support cannot help, @Ben_at_Steinberg has said in another thread that he is collating cases where people want to upgrade to Cubase 12 without buying a USB eLicenser to carry out the upgrade.

That just opens the eLicenser and then says that none of my licenses are upgradeable.

Contact Support. Hopefully, they can come up with a way ahead for you.

I’m having the same issue trying to update from Elements 10.5 to Artist 12. Says I need a dongle to transfer the license.

We are working on a solution that won’t require a USB dongle to upgrade. More information will follow beginning of next week.


That’s good to hear.
Given that the licensing servers are under load at the moment. Waiting till next week is not a problem for me.
Thanks for the update.

Still no news?