Using Cubase 9.5 in the future

There is one quick question. If I were to download Cubase 9.5 now, would I be able to use it in the future? USB E-Licensers are being phased out, so would the new licensing software do?

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Hi and welcome to the forum,

Your license sits on the USB-eLicenser. You don’t need any server or something different. If your USB-eLicenser will work, your Cubase will start.

Thank you for the reply, @Martin.Jirsak

The USB-eLicenser will one day fail, of course. I’m concerned I may not be able to access, e.g., Cubase 6, when it does. How will that work?

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If (or when) your USB elicenser fail in the future, you will not be able to run Cubase. It is important to know that even a backup USB key will be useless, because without servers running there will be no way to move license form one old key (showing some interminent fault) to another one.

But we need to wait and see what kind of solution Steinberg will offer in this kind of case.

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Sorry, this is not know at this moment.

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I’m not sure I understand people. Steinberg has a new license validation system. If I were to download Cubase 9.5 from the Steinberg Download Assistant, or elsewhere, and install it would I be able to use 9.5 with Steinberg’s NEW system?


No, the new licensing system is available for Cubase 12 and newer only.

Re: Steinberg simply modifying/recoding Cubase 6.5…or Cubase 9.5…and/or all the other old versions ever made .to use the new licensing system…

My guess…No.
I think it’s way harder than anyone imagines.

Here’s my guess/intuitive thought…

All…all…the dongle-based Cubendos were coded from scratch to…perhaps on every third line of embedded code…to look for the dongle.
“Hello…dongle, are you there?”. Ok…next line of code executes. Dongle not there…program crashes.

Not withstanding that there may be hundreds/thousands of code containing calls to the dongle…the guys who coded all that may not even be around or alive by now.

Which means someone would have to analyze all the code of all the Cubendo versions ever made…and yank out all those dongle call codelines.

I don’t see that happening.

However, maybe I’m wrong about the scenario and dongle-call code “can” easily be removed…well then it becomes an issue of …I dunno…too much source code out there…too little interest in entertaining questions of how to get Nuendo 2 working on windows98se etc.

I dunno. But it does seem plausible that there is a substantial amount of dongle-call code involved…and not much financial benefit for assigning someone at SB to yank it all out…
.then test that the old version works flawlessly without the code…and then tweak the old version to add code for new-style-activation.

My intuition says the project would be daunting…those millions of lines of dongle-code calls were…imo…the major reason Cubendo was never reliably cracked…which was a good thing imo.

I like my elicenser. I hope it lives to an old age.

On the other hand, yep, it would be fantastic if sb figures out how to make something available from the old versions for those of us still alive who would love to fire up Nuendo 5 from time to time once our elicensers die.


Cubase 9.5 is unsupported versio for some years already. At this moment, Cubase 11+ versions are supported. So I wouldn’t expect any development on Cubase 9.5 at all.

You are right, if any older Cubase version should be compatible with the new licensing system, some development would be needed.

The last missing piece of the puzzle is: Steinberg is releassing new Cubase version on the yerly basis (mostly).

Putting all these informations together, in 2025:

  • Cubase 13.5 or 14 or whatever will be released.
  • Therefore Cubase 11 (which is the last eLicenser based Cubase) will drop out from the oficially supported versions. (Last 3 versions remain officially supported, as it is now.)
  • Only new liensing system based Cubase versions will be supported, so no eLicenser needed anymore, no further back-version development needed.

Of course, these are just my personal speculations, comming from the known/expected data. This is not an official statement at all.