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Install Microsoft SQL Server Express

Updated Jun 7th, 2021 at 15:06 BST

You can install and use Microsoft SQL Server Express on your Windows server without paying any license fees.

Connect to your Windows server with Remote Desktop Connection.

From the Start Menu, open Internet Explorer.

Note: If necessary, enable file downloads in Internet Explorer. Download one of the SQL Server Express versions from this list. All versions are compatible with Windows Server 2008 and 2012.

SQL Server Express 2014

SQL Server Express 2017

SQL Server Express 2019

Scroll down and click Run to begin the download of SQL Server.

Note: If you're using a new server with Windows Server 2012, you'll need to restart your server first to install some .NET updates.

Click Yes to begin the install.

Click New installation or add features to an existing installation.

Agree to the terms for SQL Server, and proceed with the rest of the steps in the install wizard. During the wizard, make sure you perform the following steps:

When you get to the section for Server Configuration, make sure to toggle SQL Server Browser to Automatic.

When you get to the section for Database Engine Configuration, select Mixed Mode for authentication, and enter a master password for your SQL Server install.

Note: Except for the install steps listed above, most users can simply click Next through all the other install options. If you have questions about the different options, please refer to the Official Microsoft SQL Server documentation.