Installing Business Central Using Setup

You use Business Central Setup to install the different components that comprise a Business Central production, demonstration, or development environment. For a list of components, see Components and Topology.

About Setup

Setup is available on the installation media (DVD) in the setup.exe file. When you run the setup.exe file, a wizard leads you through installation process. You can install individual components or select predefined options that install a logical collection of components.

Configuration settings

During Setup, you're presented with various configuration settings. Some settings require that you set them. Other settings have a default value. The default value in many cases is sufficient for the initial installation. After you run Setup, you can change the configuration settings by using other tools such as the Business Central Server Administration tool and Business Central Administration Shell.

Prerequisite Installations by Setup

There are some components that require other software to run. For example, the database requires SQL Server and the Web client requires IIS. Setup will install several of these prerequisites, like installing SQL Server Express and enabling IIS. You can see which prerequisites Setup installs in the System Requirements.

Downloading Business Central for installation

Business Central is available for downloading from Microsoft Support. For each major release, minor updates are published on a regular basis. The downloaded files contain the installation media, which includes the setup.exe file.


We recommend that you install the latest update for the release you want to install. However, if you are installing a version for upgrade, make sure that you choose a target version that is compatible with the version that you will be upgrading. For more information, see Dynamics 365 Business Central Upgrade Compatibility Matrix.

Download the files

  1. Go to the update page for the release that you want to install:

  2. In the Cumulative Updates table, select the link in the Knowledge Base ID column for the update you want.

  3. In the Resolution section, select the link under How to obtain the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central <release> files.

  4. Follow the instructions.

Before you run Setup

  1. Plan your deployment and identify the components that you want to install.

  2. Verify that the target computer meets the hardware and software requirements for the components that you want to install. For more information, see System Requirements.

  3. Make sure that you're an administrator on the computer where you run Setup.

  4. Determine the HTTP ports that you'll use for components.

    During setup, you'll have to specify the following HTTP ports:

    Port Description Default
    Management services The listening TCP port for the Business Central Server Administration tool. 7045
    Client services The listening HTTP port for client services. 7085 (7046 in version 20 and earlier)
    SOAP services The listening HTTP port for SOAP web services. 7047
    OData service The listening HTTP port for OData web services. 7048
    Developer services The listening HTTP port for Microsoft Dynamics NAV Developer web services 7049

    Select a port number that isn't being used by another service. Or, if you use a port that's used by another service, stop the other service before you run setup. For example, if you have an older version of Dynamics NAV Server or Business Central Server installed, then configure the new server instance to use other ports than the old server instance, or stop the old server instance before you install the new one.

Run Setup

  1. In the installation media (DVD) folder, double-click the setup.exe.

  2. Follow Setup until you get to the Dynamics 365 Business Central page.

    • Choose Get a free online trial to sign up if you interested in hearing about and trying the cloud experience.

    • Choose Get the Business Central app from the Microsoft Store to download a companion app that mimics that Web client but has the same look-and-feel as the mobile apps. For more information, see Installing the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central App.

      APPLIES TO: Business Central 2021 release wave 2 (v19) and earlier only.

    • Choose Advance installation options to install a demonstration environment or individual components. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Install prerequisites for Dynamics NAV Development Environment (Business Central 2019 only)

Starting with cumulative update 24 (version 14.25), SQL Server Native Client is no longer be installed by Setup or included on the installation media (DVD). This change doesn't affect the Dynamics NAV Development Environment installation if you upgrading from an earlier version, because the prerequisite should already have been installed. However, for a clean installation of the Dynamics NAV Development Environment, you'll have to manually install the SQL Server Native Client; otherwise, you may experience problems connecting the Dynamics NAV Development Environment to the database. To install the SQL Server Native Client, follow these steps:

  1. From Released Cumulative Updates for Business Central Spring 2019, download an earlier cumulative update to the computer where you're installing development environment.
  2. Unzip the files.
  3. Open the DVD\Prerequisite Components\Microsoft SQL Server folder, then double-click either the sqlncli.msi or sqlncli64.msi, depending on whether the computer has an 86-bit or 64-bit operating system respectively.
  4. Follow the instructions.

Cancel Setup

Setup doesn't provide a Cancel button on all pages. But, you can cancel the installation from any page by choosing the Close button. All Business Central components are removed from the computer. The only software that Setup can't remove are:

  • Database files, such as the Demo database.

  • Prerequisites for Business Central components that Setup can install, such as the .NET Framework.

Run Setup from a command prompt

You can run Business Central Setup from a command prompt. Before installation, run it from the installation media. After the initial installation, you can run it from the location where it's automatically stored on your computer. The default location is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central\<Version number>\Setup  

You can use the following options with Setup.exe.

Setup option Description
/config <Setup config file> Specifies path and file name information for a Setup configuration file to load.

This option is the only required option.
/help Displays Help about Setup.exe options.
/log <log path> Specifies path and file name information for a Setup log file to be created by Setup. The file must not exist before you run Setup.
/quiet Specifies that Setup doesn't display anything on the screen. All configuration information is taken from the specified configuration file.
/repair Repairs the current installation of Business Central.
/uninstall Removes the current installation Business Central.

Save, Edit, and Load a Setup Configuration File

During Setup, you can save the configuration settings to a file before you finish. Then later, you can load the configuration file. Using a configuration file makes it faster to replicate the same configuration for another deployment.

Save to a Setup configuration file

  1. Choose Save on the Specify parameters page in Setup. This page is available when you run Setup unless you select Install Demo, which skips all other Setup pages.

  2. Type a file name for the configuration file. An .xml extension is added automatically.

  3. Choose Save.

    You now return to the Specify parameters page, where you can continue with installing software. You can also close Setup if you only have to create a Setup configuration file.

Edit a Setup configuration file

You edit the file using an XML editor or text editor. Setup configuration files contain two types of settings.

Setting type Purpose
Component For each component, there are three separate values, all displayed on a single line:

- ShowOptionNode
Specifies whether the component should be displayed in Setup. For silent installs, this parameter isn't relevant.
- State
There are two possible values: Local, indicates that the component is included in the install. Absent indicates that the component isn't included.
- Id
Identifies the component

You can change value for State or ShowOptionNode, but not for Id. Also, you can't add or remove a component.
Parameter These settings contain configuration information for components. As with Components, you can modify a parameter's Value, but not its Id.

Load a Setup configuration file

The option to load a Setup configuration file is on the Choose an installation option page in Setup.


If you are using a Setup configuration file that was created from an earlier version of Business Central or Dynamics NAV, be aware that there might be some elements that are no longer supported because the feature has been deprecated. For example, the elements that have the following IDs are no longer supported as og 2019 release wave 2: "RoleTailoredClient", "ExcelAddin, "ClassicClient", "ClickOnceInstallerTools", "STOutlookIntegration", "PublicWinBaseUrl", and "ACSUri".

  1. On the Choose an installation option page, choose Load Configuration.

    This option is located under Custom Components.


    A Setup configuration file contains information about which components to install and which settings to apply to each component. Therefore, you should not customize the list of components or configure components in Setup before you load a Setup configuration file because loading the configuration overwrites all prior customization and configuration.

  2. In the Open dialog box, select or browse to the Setup configuration file that you want to open. Then, double-click the file.

    Setup now shows the Customize the installation page. It's modified according to the component selection in the configuration file.

  3. Modify the list of components to install or choose Next to continue to the Specify parameters page.

  4. Configure these settings or choose Apply to accept these values and continue.


The Known Issues article describes issues that can impact installation, upgrade, and various operations of Business Central on-premises. Review the issues that pertain to the Business Central version you're installing or upgrading to. Some of the issues must be addressed before you upgrade, while others can be resolved afterwards.

See Also