When I open C12 and select 'Run as administrator'

Have others tried this? When I select ‘Run as administrator’, I get a series of Steinberg messages telling me that Cubase 12 licensing cannot be found, and also that my Steinberg Library cannot be accessed. Next, when I click ‘OK’ on these series of messages (maybe 6?) Cubase will open but I cannot access sound files from the Steinberg Library and all of my various non-Steinberg plugins (Waves, Izotope, SIR Audio, Sonnox, etc.) cannot be opened.

Next, when I RESTART my Win10 PC, and open Cubase without clicking on the ‘administrator’ option, everything is (slowly) found, and everything operates as you would expect. This is rather crazy behavior but certainly - to me - points to the new Cubase 12 HD ID having been initiated with C12. Cubase seems to attach itself to the eLicenser as it’s go-to authorization tool when I select ‘Run as administrator’.

Anybody else experiencing this? The same thing is happening with Steinberg WaveLab Pro 11 (which DOES have it’s license attached to the eLicenser (current version And to correct this problem, again, I have to restart my PC. My Win10 machine is running OS build 19044.1645 in Version 21H2.

There is absolutely no good reason to run Cubase as admin. You won’t be able to drag and drop. And it will cause you many issues. It is not intended to run that way.


Do you have a source for this? Curious to know the reason for not running Cubase as admin if that’s an official recommendation from Steinberg.

I have always ran Cubase administrator , it’s just gives the app more privileges . I have never had an issue with it so I would be interested in this.

Is that an issue with run as administrator on win 10 ? Are you doing that by changing the app icon and making it for all users in the icon properties. Try that.

Giving the app more privileges? More privileges to do what? Guys you need to learn what this “privileges” actually means in an application sense.

An ordinary process (a process run as a standard user) can NOT interact with or exchange information with an admin process.

And vice versa.

You may need to run elc once as admin to fix issues once in a while, after OS update or similar. And there are other odd circumstances that may require it, once only. Or if you are using a non intended tool such as jBridge. (That’s a while other kettle if fish).

Anyway, I’m not going to argue about this. If you want to run Cubase as admin that is your choice of course. But expect problems with drag and drop and other interaction/operations, (exactly as the OP posted).

Nowhere in the Cubase documentation will you find it recommended to run as admin.

Tldr: To fix OP issues, don’t run Cubase as admin.

Cheers and good luck. slight_smile:



I know exactly what it does and no one is using it for fun. I dare say this tread is because someone need to use it. But I take your point, if it is just out of habit they should stop.

But sometime you need it, I’ve had to use it in the past to rig my SSL nuc up over a network with merging and Waves grid running through the same switch.

There are multiply reasons why it might be done and should be done. There are lots of programs where the instruction are to run as admin.

There is only 2 reasons not to do it. 1) because there is no need to. 2) That is if you feel the program could be hacked and you would lose financial information. I have no such information on my computer and I cannot see hackers trying to break in via Cubase. It’s just not that sort of program.

Of course their seems to be a new reason here C12 lol

But never assume that ppl typing response do not understand what something is. Admin right is often used but it has to be in the right situation. Cubase it not going to reformat your computer or delete all your data by running it as admin, it’s just not a dangerous thing to do. I agree it’s not often needed though.

If it fixed an issue with a DAW I would run that DAW as admin though.

Sorry but this is completely wrong information. There are way more than two reasons. It has nothing to do with being hacked.

Let me show you one really easy example. This an example of what happens to communication when things are run at two different privileges, not a “reason”.

Run your Cubase as admin. Now try and drag a wave file from your desktop into your project.

There may well be other applications that recommend running as admin. Cubase and Nuendo are not those.

Right that’s enough from me on this. I’m here to help, but certainly not to argue.

As mentioned earlier, if you want to run as admin this is indeed your choice.

Cheers, P.


Then it is not completely wrong information lol

It’s incomplete information lol

You know I have never dragged and dropped a file like that. I always use the import function or media bay.

So yes that’s a reason or though I have never even tried it of course.

So yes there is a 3rd reason. Because it causes another issue.

That’s all about expectation, that’s functionality I would drop in a second to fix everything else.

I wonder if running on encrypted drives would cause admin issues as well. It’s never either yes or no with these things I guess.

But I can still access all files and libraries under administrator but I cannot drag and drop so it’s not the same as the OPs issue.

Just in case some comments in this thread are misunderstood and given the potential damage it could cause I’ll briefly comment on the cybersecurity front, which is part of what I do for a living:

  1. The Principle of Least Privilege is a cornerstone of all cybersecurity. If the privilege isn’t required, don’t provide it. Sometimes it is, but otherwise keep it limited.
  2. Absolutely a hacker would use any vulnerability to a system, including Cubase. They don’t care about applications or kinds of applications, only entry points.

It takes <15 minutes for a new computer to appear on the internet before it starts getting probed for vulnerabilities - firewalls exist for a reason! Even if you have no information you consider at risk on your system, your system could be used as a springboard elsewhere to things you access. A simple keyboard tracking bot installed will grab your bank account details when entered.

Stay safe people, be mindful of cybersecurity.

PS also worth noting, running Cubase with Admin means Cubase can do things to other applications and the OS which it may not be intending to do due to a bug. So its not just cybersecurity but your OS that is also protected.


Also, from a security standpoint, running an application as admin which loads dozens or hundreds of additional DLLs (aka plugins) downloaded from all over the web isn’t exactly best practice… (strictly speaking, it isn’t even a spectacular good idea when running as a non privileged user :wink: )

The only reason that I have ever had to run Cubase as administrator is because on my very first DAW PC I built in 2010 I let plugins install into their default location, which was always somewhere under “C:\Program Files” (which is a protected directory) and some badly-written plugins try to save data into the directories where their plugin file resides. This always fails UNLESS you’re running as an administrator. But running as admin isn’t the solution; the solution is really to install plugins somewhere that doesn’t require admin access. (I use C:\VstPlugins64)

Running as administrator can have a lot of unintended side-effects, depending on how the software is written. It changes how programs interact with each other and confuses apps written to use certain Microsoft APIs relating to user credentials/profiles.

But if anyone is doing anything like that they need to make sure they take a backed up of their system first. Also fully test this on a different computer and not a prod environment. This goes for any system update as well, test it first,

My computer has a set of batch files which turn the firewall on and then the internet in that order. Then a set to turn it all off. And for good reason.

I cannot run my audio network with the firewall on or connected to Wi-Fi and most of it has to be ran as admin. And all the security setting in windows have to be set to their lowest. That’s in the setup instructions for setting up in windows with merging tech audio network so it’s not optional. Security is great but sometimes it’s just not feasible to have it as high as possible so you have to mitigate what your doing, like take it off the external network.

If you have to follow the instructions or things will not work, then it’s no longer optional. But if that is the case make sure the computer is set back to norms before connecting back to Wi-Fi. But Cubase doesn’t need to be ran as admin in any normal situation so there is no need,

It’s fine to talk about security but if your computer is on a closed network it’s not really applicable in the same way. Also ppl need to make sure it is safe when they do eventually connect.

But, as pointed out, it’s way less of a risk than something everyone does almost every month. Install a plug-in from a company that they really do not know much about and install it on their computer. Then even worse they allow that plug-in to connect to an external server to validate its license. It’s basically saying “here is my computer, do what you want”. In the grand scale of things running Cubase as admin to temporarily track an issue is a very very slight security risk, I would not even count it in my world, but downloading a plug-in and installing it is massive and everyone is doing it.

Me personally, if running Cubase as admin got me some way into investigating what in my setup is sending my DAW crazy then I would do that to track it down. There are far more daft thing ppl do with their computers than run a DAW as admin. I have also had to do it in the past with my setup to get it to work, not anymore as I’m on a MAC now lol but sometimes you have to do what you got to do.

But it’s not a fix, it’s a stop gap.

But I would say a better way to test Cubase issues is not to run anything as admin but simply take a backup of all the plug-in folders. Make sure you have all of the content saved somewhere else. I’m talking about the dll files not any plug-in content.

Then remove all the plugins from the install plugin folders, then start putting them back in chunks of 10 or 20 at a time. Get a testing strategy where you can start the DAW and try to replicate your issues. Keep adding more plugins and restarting the DAW and testing until you start running into issues. Then take that last chunk of 10 plugins and remove them. Now test again without them to make sure it really works without them, now start putting those back in 1 by 1 until you find the one causing the issue. Then exclude it.

But do not stop there because it might be multiple plugins causing the issue. So then go for the next 10 and put them back and open the DAW and test again.

It’s easier on a MAC because there are just two folders to look at.

That’s probably a better approach than using run as Admin in windows.

And if Cubase doesn’t work with no plugins installed then reinstall it. If it still doesn’t work then go back to C11.

That’s a better testing strategy.

Also test with and without controllers or midi keyboards connected.

To BE CLEAR: One thing to note here is Steinberg are actually asking ppl to run C12 as administrator to test their issues. It’s in this forum where they are asking.

No doubt there will be a fx, maybe 12.0.30, which will resolve the issue.

If ppl want to say it should never be done for any reason then they can take it up with Steinberg and not the poor soul who created this post asking for help but got none.

You could try installing the elicense as administrator. But there might be a fix in 12.0.30 that means you do not need to run as admin.

Jack audio needs admin mode to run.

Were you ever able to get to the bottom of this? I have a number of students on PCs but we can only get Cubase to run properly when running as Admin. Obviously this isn’t ideal as I definitely don’t want students having admin rights