How to perform an SQL Server Edition Upgrade

I decided to created a blog on how to perform an Edition Upgrade as I have been getting several related questions each month. These steps are valid for SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, and likely the same in the next version of SQL Server (“Denali”).  If you need to change your edition, let’s say you want to switch from the Evaluation to Enterprise edition, you launch the “Edition Upgrade” wizard. The “Edition Upgrade” Wizard is available as an option on the Installation Center.


Additional Information and references:

  • Expired Installation: If you have an expired installation, follow this knowledge Based article to address:
  • Edition upgrade matrix: The full upgrade edition matrix is at
  • It is not possible to downgrade the edition, for example to go from Enterprise to Standard or Standard to Developer
  • SQL Server in a clustered environment: You just need to run edition upgrade on a single node, you can choose to run from either an active or passive node. After running, you need to cause a failover to happen. Once the failover happens, all of the nodes along with the database engine will be updated.


1. Launch the “Edition Upgrade” Wizard.



2. After the Wizard launches, on the “Product Key” dialog, enter the new product key.



3. Now accept the License Terms for the new edition.



4. Now select the instance that you want to upgrade the edition.



5. Continue on the “Edition Upgrade Rules” dialog, if all run pass. If there is a failure, investigate the reason for failure.



6. Click next on the “Read to upgrade edition” dialog to start the process.



7. After a short time (a few seconds to a couple of minutes), the edition upgrade process completes.


Comments (21)

  1. Dmitry Baranov says:

    The question is: What if I have license on SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard  without product key

    (built-in in installation disk), SQL Server 2008 R2 Evaluation installed on server and want

    to upgrade edition to SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard. Can I run setup.exe from   SQL Server 2008 R2

    Standard installation media and launch the “Edition Upgrade” wizard?

  2. Jonas says:

    I have the same question. It appears like I have to do a "manual" upgrade in that case..

  3. Jacqui says:

    Thank you!!!! for this it was of immense help, especially the part about inserting the CD.  I kept on getting the error incorrect product key until I inserted the CD.

  4. Vincent says:


    Thank you for your procedure which is clear.

    I did the update of SQL 2008 R2 SP1 Express Edition with Advanced Services to Standard Edition.

    but even after restarting the server, the query "SELECT @ @ VERSION;" tells me that the Express version is still installed.

    Can you help me?



  5. Renee says:

    Is there not a status bar during the "ready to upgrade"?

  6. AL says:

    Does it required server or SQL service restart after the installation?

  7. Sachin says:

    yes, it definitely require a restart.

  8. Ekkowekko says:

    Thanks for the information.

    I upgrade a SQL Server 2008 Express Edition to Standard without any problems.

  9. Chandu says:

    Upgrading SQL Server is Not possible for Evolution Edition (  vice-verse )

    case 1 ::  Upgrading Evolution Edition  to Enterprize / Data Centre /etc —(Not possible )

    case 2 :: Upgrading Enterprize / Data centre/etc—-> Evolution version ——(Not Possible )

  10. Mark says:

    We would like to upgrade our SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition to SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition, as there is a 8 CPU limitation when using SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition and we have a 12 CPU server.  The Datacenter Edition appears to allow the use of the additional CPU's.  My question is do we just need to update a license key?  Or do we need to do a side-by-side installation of the SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition and migrate over?  Or can we just use the Edition Upgrade Process?  And if we just need to use the Edition Upgrade Process do we need to use the SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter binaries to accomplish that task?  Part of what I am trying to sort out is whether or not the SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition binaries really have Datacenter Edition built in and basically you are just flipping a switch to activate the Datacenter addition, which woudl be the least impactful way to upgrade with the shortest outage required.

  11. jbo says:


    I tried this with an SQL 2012 sp1 trial version. I wanted to upgrade to an Enterprise version. The installer remains stuck on step 6….

    any idea on the problem please ?


  12. Dani says:

    Hi jbo,

    I find myself in the same situation this morning, upgrade got stuck in step 6 form morethan half hour and finally using the comanndline installation worked for me.

    open powershell in admin mode and go to this directory C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server120Setup BootstrapSQLServer2014 (this directory may be a little different depending your version of SQL Server)

    then run this:

    C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server120Setup BootstrapSQLServer2014> .setup.exe /q /ACTION=editionupgrade /InstanceName=MDMPRD /PID=<insert your key here > /SkipRules= Engine_SqlEngineHealthCheck /IAcceptSQLServerLicenseTerms

  13. J. Tang says:

    Thanks Peter for this blog on how to perform an Edition Upgrade . We followed the steps upgraded our SSRS 2012 standard edition to enterprise edition and it worked great !

  14. OldGit says:


    Your comment in the opening statement about not being able to upgrade from Standard to Developer edition is not true. This is most definitely a valid and working upgrade path.

    We have had to remove a large number of Standard licenses from our dev, test and UAT environments, and I have done exactly this upgrade literally hundreds of times!

  15. honetana says:

    Can anyone tell me how long the upgrade from Standard edition to Enterprise takes?

  16. Raf Hal says:

    can I upgrade from sql 2008 express r2 to sql standard NOT r2?

  17. harnek singh says:

    i need SQL Server 2008 R2 Web Edition    key

    pls provide me  i will pay pls mail my id

  18. Daniel says:

    Do you have to re-apply the SQL service pack 3 after a standard upgrade to enterprise which already had sp3 loaded?

  19. Ravi Gunti says:

    Hi Dani,

    I had the same issue as jbo. You saved my day. Thanks a lot man!

  20. Maruf Rahman says:


    In my environment, my assignment below:

    upgrade database server from sql server 2008 R2 enterprise edition to sql server 2014 standard edition.

    My manager wants to know my feedback on it. will here any situation can happen for the enterprise to standard edition. What are those? And please let me know all about the scenario to done that? I will highly appreciate for that. Thanks



  21. Maruf says:

    In my workplace, has assignment below:

    Upgrade database server from SQL 2008 R2 Enterprise edition to SQL 2014 on standard edition.

    Please need help and suggestion on it. I don’t have enough knowledge on that. Is there any issue can happen on downgrade Edition? Also needs some heads up to make it done. I will highly appreciate for your help. Thanks



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