Upgrade to a different edition of SQL Server (Setup)

Applies to: SQL Server - Windows only

SQL Server Setup supports edition upgrade among various editions of SQL Server. For information about supported edition upgrade paths, see Supported version and edition upgrades (SQL Server 2022).

For a list of features supported by the editions of SQL Server on Windows, see:

Before you initiate the edition upgrade of an instance of SQL Server, review the following articles:


SQL Server on a failover cluster instance: Running edition upgrade on one of the nodes of SQL Server failover cluster instance is sufficient. This node can be either active or passive, and the engine does not bring the resources offline during the edition upgrade. After the edition upgrade it is required to either restart the SQL Server instance or failover to a different node.


For local installations, you must run Setup as an administrator. If you install SQL Server from a remote share, you must use a domain account that has read permissions on the remote share.


For the SQL Server edition change to be activated, Setup must restart SQL Server services. This will result in application down time while services are offline.


Upgrade to a different edition of SQL Server

  1. Insert the SQL Server installation media. From the root folder, double-click setup.exe or launch the SQL Server Installation Center from Configuration Tools. To install from a network share, locate the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.

  2. To upgrade an existing instance of SQL Server to a different edition, from the SQL Server Installation Center select Maintenance, and then select Edition Upgrade.

  3. If Setup support files are required, SQL Server Setup installs them. If you are instructed to restart your computer, restart before you continue.

  4. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, select OK.

  5. On the Product Key page, select a radio button to indicate whether you are upgrading to a free edition of SQL Server, or whether you have a PID key for a production version of the product. For more information, see Editions and supported features of SQL Server 2022 and Supported version and edition upgrades (SQL Server 2022).

  6. On the License Terms page, read the license agreement, and then select the check box to accept the licensing terms and conditions. To continue, select Next. To end Setup, select Cancel.

  7. On the Select Instance page, specify the instance of SQL Server to upgrade.

  8. The Edition Upgrade Rules page validates your computer configuration before the edition upgrade operation begins.

  9. The Ready to Upgrade Edition page shows a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, select Upgrade.

  10. During the edition upgrade process, the services need to be restarted to pick up the new setting. After edition upgrade, the Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the edition upgrade. To close the wizard, select Close.

  11. The Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the installation and other important notes.

  12. If you are instructed to restart the computer, do so now. It's important to read the message from the Installation Wizard when you are done with Setup. For information about Setup log files, see View and Read SQL Server Setup Log Files.

  13. If you upgraded from SQL Server Express, you must perform additional steps before you can use your upgraded instance of SQL Server:

    • Enable the SQL Server Agent service in Windows SCM.

    • Provision the SQL Server Agent service account by using SQL Server Configuration Manager.

In addition to the previous steps, you may need to do the following if you upgraded from SQL Server Express:

  • Users that were provisioned in SQL Server Express remain provisioned after the upgrade. Specifically, the BUILTIN\Users group remains provisioned. Disable, remove, or reprovision these accounts as needed. For more information, see Configure Windows Service Accounts and Permissions.

  • Sizes and recovery model for the tempdb and model system databases remain unchanged after the upgrade. Reconfigure these settings as needed. For more information, see Back Up and Restore of System Databases (SQL Server).

  • Template databases remain on the computer after the upgrade.


If the procedure fails on Engine_SqlEngineHealthCheck rule, then you can use the command line installation option to skip this specific rule to allow the upgrade process to complete successfully. To skip checking this rule, open a command prompt, change to the path that contains SQL Server Setup (Setup.exe). Then, type the following command:

setup.exe /q /ACTION=editionupgrade /InstanceName=MSSQLSERVER /PID=<appropriatePid> /SkipRules=Engine_SqlEngineHealthCheck

See also