Upgrading from free AI to Pro

I have a free AI that came with Yamaha MODX purchase. I just claimed it online but I didn’t download the AI.

I want to buy a Pro version and don’t want to install two instances of Cubase (Ai and then Pro), I don’t like to have to reinstall/update later, don’t want any issues.


So I registered my AI copy online and got the email with code confirmation, I then downloaded and installed the installer and stopped there.

Can I just buy the upgrade or do I need to have an installed version of AI first? The checkout process never asked me to verify my AI code and I don’t want to run into problems about it later, in case it’s some weird AI version from MODX or something. Should I proceed with buying just the upgrade?

Also, how long does shipping of the USB dongle take? Is it shipped from UK or from US? (I’m from US) I get taxed in WA state, does Steinberg have business here? Why tax? Just curious.


There should be no need to install Cubase AI. Install Cubase Pro, then open eLicenser Control Center and press “Enter Activation Code”. Enter your Cubase Ai activation code (if you haven’t done so already). When you have your eLicenser USB, “Enter Activation Code” again and enter your Cubase Pro upgrade code. You should now have a full Cubase Pro licence on the eLicenser. Finally, click “Register all eLicensers at Steinberg” in the Registration menu and complete the registration process in your browser to protect your purchase.

eLicenser USB sticks are widely available online. You may be able to get one from an online supplier quicker than Steinberg’s store can ship one to you. In the UK they are available from amazon.co.uk, often on same day delivery if you have Prime, but amazon.com does not appear to sell them. There are some third parties selling them on amazon.com.

Thank you.

So is it ok to buy the actual Cubase Pro directly from Steinberg (not other way to upgrade really) and the USB dongle from, say, local Guitar Center? They have it in stock in the store.
Or am I required to purchase both at the same time from Steinberg if I’m upgrading? Does it matter?

You can buy the download version of the upgrade from Steinberg online, which gives you an activation code. You can buy the eLicenser USB separately if you wish. I bought my eLicenser from Amazon UK and my Cubase activation code from Steinberg online.

If you can pick up an eLicenser from your local Guitar Center, that might be quicker than waiting for shipping.

Buy the boxed version of cubase pro. That includes the usb elicenser. This goes also on half price for licenser, which if you compare the final price with the price for the upgrade AND the usb license, its better.

Thank you.

Boxed is $290, upgrade from AI is $210 I believe plus $25 for licenser. So it’s roughly $50 cheaper that way.