USB dongle no longer works - "no valid license found"

SO randomly out of the blue Cubase gives me an error “no valid license found” even though my dongle is connected and lighting up red. I also tried on my macbook pro , same problem, so it means its a faulty dongle (as opposed to any sort of USB issues). Any ideas guys? I have a deadline and need Cubase operational literally as soon as possible.

Try installing the latest eLicenser Control Center and running maintenance tasks while connected to the internet:

If your dongle is old and this doesn’t help, it’s likely that you’ll need a new one. The newer models are sturdier and less likely to randomly stop working. You can order the latest model from Steinberg here:

Depending on where you live it may be faster to buy from another store though. Once the dongle arrives, you can start using Cubase right away by activating Steinberg Zero Downtime:

Depending on the complexity of your project, you may be able to finish it using the 30 day trial version of Cubase Elements 8 while you wait, which can open Cubase Pro projects and doesn’t require a dongle.

If you already used a trial license on your computer there is still zdt.

thanks for the reply guys. Yeah I got the latest version of eLicenser ( and did a maintenance update but it didnt work. ZDT only gives you access to one full day yeah?

ps: the USB is old now, from when i bought Cubase 6 years ago

the thing is, the USB is not dead, when I insert it into my pc, I get the sound that a new device was found.
so wondering why Cubase says it has no valid license on there

Zero Downtime requires a fully working dongle and works for 24 non-consecutive hours (time is only used while Cubase or Steinberg plugins are open). Depending on how long your Cubase sessions are, it may last anywhere from 4 days to over a week, more than enough time for Steinberg to restore your licenses to your new dongle.

ah ok! amazing. thanks for that.
also, I’ve never done the 30 day trial before, and it seems to be working as well!
so plenty of time to work before a new dongle comes in. thank you so much for your tips

The trial is working with the old broken dongle?

That’s odd as it should still require a license on usb elicenser. So maybe it isn’t faulty but something odd has happened to your existing license.

Can you open it in elicenser control centre and see if the usb elicenser is listed?

Cubase Elements doesn’t require a dongle at all. The installer automatically throws the trial license into a Soft-eLicenser, even with a valid dongle connected.

Aha…I’d overlooked the fact it was elements trial they were using.

actually not Elements. I requested a trial for Cubase Pro 8 from the website. License came in the email and when Cubase told me invalid license, I used that one and it worked. You’re right though, if the dongle was broken that shouldn’t work either. Really freaking strange. I’ve had Cubase since version 2 and never had an issue like this before.

so the eLicenser replaced my Cubase 8 serial with the 30 day trial serial and thats how its working right now.
So something must have happened with my license, which is quite odd. Can’t imagine what it could be

ps: I’m on Cubase 8.04. Decided not to upgrade to 8.5 for now

So you should probably make sure your license is registered in you MySteinberg account and hope support get this fixed!

my licenses have been entered on the My Steinberg site for years. It’s the first thing I do when I buy new software. But these no longer work with the dongle

I don’t think there is much more you can do other than wait on support now then. Hope they get back to you before the trial period runs out.
Good luck!

solved!! sorry to waste everybody’s time, this is up there with one of my dumbest moments.
I think when I was shuffling around USB ports and USB hubs, I managed to accidentally find and then use the wrong Steinberg USB dongle. Hidden between 2 of my hardware synths I just found another USB dongle and this indeed works for Cubase Pro 8. Now I’m wondering where the hell the other dongle even came from! I don’t remember having 2.
Was there a new dongle sent between Cubase 5 and 8? lol. My memory loss is troubling

Did you purchase a license for reFX Nexus at any time in the past? That’s how I had 2 eLicensers.