Bernina “Trade-in your Dongle” Software Promotion

Embroidery Software DonglesImagine that you purchased your embroidery machine and software several years ago, and now you want a new computer. You purchase your new computer and now your embroidery software doesn’t work with that new computer. Say what? All too often the senario above is precisely what we hear either over the phone or when a frustrated customer comes into the store. When you purchased your embroidery software, you spent quite a bit of money on it. With the new computer you are left with few options. You can #1, keep your old computer just for your embroidery software, or #2, upgrade your software. Sometimes if your software is too old, upgrading your software is not an option, and you are left with option #3, purchase new software. (Sigh!)

A Special Deal For You

Bernina has announced a new promotion that is similar to the promotion they had going when they announced their V6.0 embroidery software, but the new promotion is way better! The “Trade in your Dongle” promotion from Bernina begins on September 3th, 2010, and includes options and possibilities not offered during the original Trade in your Dongle promotion. The additional possibilities cover nearly everyone who has embroidery software. This is a great chance to purchase Editor Plus or Designer Plus at a discounted rate. Here is the deal: Bring in a dongle from your old software, regardless of brand, including eXplorations and eXplorations lite, or bring in your dongle from the older versions of Bernina software – (V2.0, V3.0, V4.0, or V5.0,) and take advantage of the Bernina Trade in your Dongle opportunity. If you have a new (or a newer) computer and you are frustrated because your older version software does not work with that new computer, the Trade in your Dongle program is exactly what you want. The offer also applies to all of you Editor Lite people who would like the additional embroidery capabilities of Editor Plus or Designer Plus. This promotion will last until October 31st, 2010. Bernina prohibits us from publishing prices on the internet, so come in to visit…and don’t forget your old dongle!

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Reader Comments (41)

Debra Geraghty on 2/15/11 @ 8:36pm

I have the V3.1. I have an old computer and need to get something newer. I want to trade in my dongle. What can be done?


b.gottier on 2/15/11 @ 10:13pm

Hi Debra,

Bernina's Embroidery Software V6 Update will not work with old V3 type dongles. You do have a couple of options. First, you could try using a virtualization software to run a guest operating system on the new computer. I've used this method before. Microsoft has a virtualization software called Virtual PC, and I've also used one called VirtualBox. You'd have to have a custom computer/motherboard that has the old LPT type printer port if you go this route. Your only other option would be to wait until Bernina has another trade in your dongle event... and I have no idea when that would be. Well, that's not entirely true. If you can obtain a V4 update package, you could then update your V3 dongle to V4, and then buy a V6 update package and update a second time.

Tim Laughlin on 6/7/16 @ 12:54pm

This is exactly what I have and need help with. I have the parallel dongle and a V4 update package with the new USB dongle. I am trying to do the dongle update process by having them both plugged in. However, the update says that my parallel dongle is not the correct version. Have you ever run into this?

b.gottier on 6/9/16 @ 12:08pm

Parallel dongles go way back, so no I haven't had experience with that. I recommend contacting your local Bernina dealer, or Bernina of America.

Julienne on 8/20/19 @ 8:04am

I have the Bernina Artista 180 with Bernina PC Embroidery Software Version 3. My dongle no longers allows me access to the magic wand(auto digitizing) part of the software. Where can I find a copy of V4 software? Please help.

b.gottier on 2/16/11 @ 10:54am

One thing I forgot to mention in my reply was that your new computer would need an LPT type printer port, but I failed to mention that it would also need a COMM port, which is important because you would need to plug your machine into your computer. The LPT port is only for the dongle.

Lena on 8/5/11 @ 10:14pm

I have V3 software & have upgraded to V5. The problem is that V3 was on my old computer with windows ME& a parallel port for the dongle. With V5, my windows XP computer does not have a parallel port but it does have USB. When loading the software, it wants verify the parallel port dongle and the USB at the same time to upgrade. Is there any way of loading the V5 software without the parallel port? Or do I need to buy another computer?

b.gottier on 8/6/11 @ 9:04am

Unfortunately, you will need to find an old computer that has a parallel port so you can do the dongle update. There is no way around it. I wouldn't buy a new computer just for that, but if you do, you won't find any new computers with a parallel port. Actually, many motherboard manufacturers, such as Gigabyte, still over the port connection on their motherboards, but you would have to build your own computer, or have it built for you. If you go that route, make sure the motherboard has the port connector, then you just have to buy the actual port and plug it in. It probably won't be configured to work by default, but if you go into the system BIOS, you'll find a setting to enable it.

Karen Mellenberndt on 7/16/12 @ 3:14pm

I have the B&V software for my Barudan machine. I recently had to replace my computer and cannot find the dongle to run the software. Does anyone have a dongle that came with the B&V software they no longer need? Is B&V still in business? Are there any other options available besides getting a new software program? HELP, please.

Peggy on 11/7/12 @ 1:22pm

Where can I get an "explorations lite dongle" I need the to get my h79 to work any ideas?

Rhett on 1/1/13 @ 1:51pm

I have the Bernina Embroidery Software 6 update. I have the Version 4 ssoftware and dongle which does not allow me to get the full upgrade. I believe I need the Version 5 dongle to do this. Do you know where I might purchase or trade for a Version 5 dongle so that I could upgrade to the full Version 6 Designer Plus?

Helena on 1/26/13 @ 10:00pm

Hi , we live and work in Saudi Arabia. I bought the Bernina Aurora 430 a few months ago. The nearest Bernina retailer is more than an hours drive from me and to be honest, the men that work there do not seem to be experts. They gave me software with the machine, V1!!! It is useless to say the least. I can not import any images to edit because it is so outdated and the software that i think is suppose to convert pictures from jpegs to art is not included. I would like to know if it is possible to purchase the new V6 online and download it to my PC. Or if you have any suggestions on how I can make my software work until I can buy new software? Thank you

b.gottier on 1/27/13 @ 6:38pm

Hi Helena, unfortunately because the V6 software requires a USB security device, it is impossible to download. You will need to purchase the software from a Bernina dealer. Even though you don't like your local dealer, you must have liked them enough to purchase your machine, so I suggest going back there for the software and software lessons.

Helena on 2/3/13 @ 10:30pm

Thank you so much for your reply. I went back to Bernina here in Saudi and I was pleasantly surprised that the other man that served me did have knowledge on the products that I needed and on your advise I purchased the new software designer plus v6, dongle and all at a great price, the last of his old stock, ( I must add, I did not receive a dongle with my machine , are they suppose to sell them with your machine or only with new software?) I hope my questions to not seem dumb, I'm still figuring things out. But anyway, my software works great, download anything from the net! Thank you again!

Lena on 6/16/13 @ 8:54am

After my dongle broke a few months ago I tried to buy a new dongle thru Bernina. Not a chance! I have the original box and the original receipt in MY name. The only suggestion / help? I have had is to buy a new software for almost 1000 pounds. I am utterly disappointed and there is no way I will do that. I own this software - I have paid full wack for it once. and don't need an upgrade to v6 (mines v4) until I win the lottery. In desperation I handed my dongle in to a PC repair place and it was thrown away as non repairable. If anyone know how to get my program up and running again PLEASE email me!

Annie on 2/25/13 @ 6:57am

I got the v5 with my module, the dongle was always attached to my laptop, late last year we got broken into and it was stolen, Got in contact with the dealer in perth but they said i have to buy a new one from switserland...Can you please help me. We also shifted house and some where i wrote the number down for the upgrade but i cannot find it.

b.gottier on 2/26/13 @ 3:00pm

Annie, as far as the software is concerned, the dongle IS the product. If you lose it, regardless of how it happened, your only option is to re-purchase.

Lena on 6/17/13 @ 4:21am

I agree with that... but even with a broken EXISTING dongle, Bernina is not willing to help. At least not in the UK. I would have been more than happy to send my broken dongle together with copies of my receipt for the program before replacement but nope....

gryan on 9/30/13 @ 4:13pm

Hi Lena, I am so sorry but they don't help in Canada either.

I - like you had a broken dongle but before I could call them it was lost. I wrote on the chance - I have heard about this poor after purchase service before but thought it couldn't be true.

Their audacious reply was to buy the new version 6. I was embarrassed for them even further when I tried to respond to their dismissal to discuss a more reasonable resolution and they responded to say they couldn't discuss the incident with me because I responded from my other email address - even though I had posted the incident number in my subject line!!

They made me feel they have had great practice dismissing us - after all we are just dumb women.

I am convinced if men were buying home sewing machines at the price we pay - this type of practice wouldn't be tolerated.

Shame on Bernina. Great product but not that special if the service doesn't match.

I am going elsewhere now and telling anyone who will listen to beware of this type of practice.

Money isn't the issue - it is the principle isn't it?

They could keep us happy an no cost.

Instead they can now spend more money to try and acquire new customers and hope those folks don't read true customer experiences like ours before they decide which brand to purchase.

I just wish I knew this sooner - before 1967 when my mum purchased our first Bernina. We have been brand loyal since then and have spent $20,000. It's their loss - not mine.

JF Havenga on 3/11/14 @ 11:52am

Bernina is the worst company in the world coming to after sales service
I will never ever buy a bernina product in my whole life.

Just to replace the dongle you must buy new software for 1000 pound


People . Please never ever buy any bernina product


South Africa

Lori Carter on 8/22/14 @ 12:46pm

I was searching You tube and came upon a man who was showing how to use a USB to serial adaptor for a 180e, I do not know if this could help you. I agree that when a dongle is broken stolen what ever the situation, and that dongle has been registered with bernina, bernina should provide a replacement, makes good business sense. I have V3 designer plus with the old dongle, I am buying a new computer and trying the virtual PC, and then use the adapters, if this doesn't work I am selling my machine and going with Singer quantet, Futura. It is their newest machine, the size of 830 and comes with ALL the software, Check it out on HSN

Lori Carter on 8/22/14 @ 12:50pm

The Singer machine is called Quintet, it was mixed reviews, Cost 1000.00 on QVC.

Ginger Pearson on 12/3/14 @ 2:13pm

I need to upgrade my computer from Windows XP to a more current operating system. Therefore, I also need to upgrade my Bernina DesignerPlus Version 5 software. Is there a download for this?

b.gottier on 12/6/14 @ 4:29pm

No download. You would need to buy an upgrade from your Bernina dealer. When we were a Bernina dealer the price was around $500.00. I'm not sure what it is now.

Karen on 1/10/15 @ 3:36am

i have the Bernina Editor Lite V5 with windows 2010 now my dongle does not work please help i need my Bernina program. I have withdrawel symptoms already. What can i do.

b.gottier on 1/11/15 @ 10:06am

Karen, I've never heard of Windows 2010, but on most computers, if your dongle no longer works, you'll want to check to see if you have the drivers installed, and if not then install them. Your local Bernina dealer should be able to help you with this.

Tanya on 10/7/15 @ 6:06pm

I believe she means Windows 10... Unfortunately the software will not work with Windows 10

Calvin Crumrine on 1/4/17 @ 2:39pm

Strange, I just tried Editor Plus 5.0 on my Windows 10 PC expecting it to fail as it did on my previous Windows 7 PC. Surprisingly, it works. At least for converting other formats to Bernina which is what I use it for. A few hiccups (error message saying the Hardlock Device Driver is incompatible & it took several tries after rebooting before it recognized the dongle but end result is that it works on Windows 10. At least it does on my PC.)

Carol Hannold on 10/3/15 @ 7:06pm

I got a new Windows 10 computer and cannot download my Explorations Software disc. I bought the software in 2005 and love it. I cannot get it installed on new computer. Please tell me what I need to do? I have Version 1

b.gottier on 10/8/15 @ 2:54pm

Carol, I think the only thing you can do at this point would be to run Explorations in a virtual environment, and a guest operating system that is compatible with version 1. You might take a look at "Virtual Box", which is a free virtualization software product.

m.goss on 11/1/15 @ 2:51pm

I have an XP laptop installed with version 6 designer plus. If I remove explorer, will I have issues?

Beth Grunewald on 2/24/16 @ 10:29am

I recently heard that my Bernina design software 6 was not going to work on my windows 8 so even though I didn't like windows 8 I was a little afraid to change to windows 10. After awhile I decided to go ahead and make the change. That was about a month ago I believe. I was finally able to take the time to get back to my designing. I now find out my software will not work. in fact I cannot even find the designs that came with it. I cannot get out of one screen. What can be done to fix this ????? I certainly hope something can be. It was a dream to get this program and I can not afford to replace it. Please help...Beth

b.gottier on 2/24/16 @ 10:13pm

Beth, Bernina dealers will always offer an upgrade package (for a price). This is usually the cheapest way to get the new version, which is normally designed to work with the latest operating systems. Bernina may also offer software patches or other fixes on their website. Since we're not a Bernina dealer anymore, I really can't give you better advice. Hope this helps.

denise clason on 5/12/16 @ 10:27am

I have a newer laptop that does not support the dongle for V2. I upgraded to V4, but it won't install unless I put the dongle in for V2. such a conundrum!

I wish Bernina would help the consumer by letting them upgrade to a newer version and then give them the FULL version, so we don't have to keep putting the old dongles in and having issues with newer technology!!!

What advice to you have for me. I've already spent well over 2,000.00 for these two softwares. I even bought an adaptor to use with my 170e machine. Now that I have the 730e, and a new laptop, I really need to have the "full" newer version, not an upgrade. I'm stuck with expensive software and no way to use it. Please help!

b.gottier on 5/12/16 @ 4:09pm

Hi Denise. I'm not sure why you would purchase v4, as it is really old now, but perhaps Bernina requires this as an intermediate step before upgrading to their current version? As you know, we aren't Bernina dealers anymore, and this blog post has been kept on our site for archival purposes. I recommend going to your local Bernina dealer for advice, or perhaps calling Bernina directly.

denise clason on 5/12/16 @ 10:29am

Too bad the "trade in your dongle" program wasn't sent to our emails, so we could take advantage of the SHORT turn in. (pretty frustrated)

Marina on 9/20/16 @ 6:50am

I have a Bernina 560, what software and dongle do I need to digitize and convert files?

b.gottier on 9/20/16 @ 8:08am

Marina, we haven't been a Bernina dealer for a few years. You're going to need to ask a Bernina dealer.

Maryna Smith on 6/21/17 @ 6:33am

Good day
Is this trade in still valid for a V5/6 dongel the blue fat one?


b.gottier on 6/22/17 @ 7:27pm

Sorry Maryna, we are no longer a Bernina dealer. Contact your local Bernina dealer and ask them about their special offers!

Annie on 6/28/19 @ 4:59pm

I have a Bernina Artista 180e, works fine. I have about 20 + embroidery cards. However, my understanding is that if I want to sell it, I must also sell the computer that the Artista program was downloaded onto. Is this true? Is there anything I can do with the dongle trade-in that would help me sell this?

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