Download Books Online (Product Documentation) for SQL Server 2012


UPDATE as on April 8, 2015: The online SQL Server documentation now has a dedicated topic on how you can install and manage Books Online (BOL). See here for the most up-to-date information:


If you are wondering why you don’t have a local copy of Books Online for SQL Server 2012, here is the deal. Starting with SQL Server 2012, Microsoft has moved on to a new help technology where only the Help Viewer and related components are installed by the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 setup, which is used for viewing help and managing the help settings; no documentation is installed locally. All of the SQL Server documentation is available online, and you can download the documentation by using the Help Library Manager. But what if the computer you are installing SQL Server on is behind a firewall or proxy and has no access to the Internet.

Well, in that case you can directly download the Books Online for SQL Server 2012 from to a computer that has Internet connection, and then use the Help Library Manager on the SQL Server computer to install the product doumentation locally. The Books Online download link mentioned earlier has instructions on how to do so.

Comments (8)

  1. what about my android mobile?.... says:

    I want to install the docs on my android phone sim.   Is that possible?

  2. So how does one do an advanced search on a subset of the SQL 2012 books online documentation?

  3. Elizabeth Block says:

    Thanks for your post – this helped me install BOL quickly and easily.

  4. Naren Vema says:

    Thank You for the post.

    It's very helpful.

  5. Abhishek Dwivedi says:

    required an e-book on sql server 2012 administration for certification. Please share a link or if anyone has the dumps for MCSA/MCSE. It will be great help for me. Thanks in advance.

  6. Malissa Blindt says:

    This is no longer the right link. You need to update this post

  7. Kumar Vivek says:

    I have updated the blog post to point to a dedicated topic on MSDN that now covers information on how to install and manage BOL. Thanks!

  8. Kurt Moskal says:

    Your updated link to the dedicated topic on MSDN  is broken.