SQL Server Express and Windows 8

With Windows 8 Consumer Preview released I thought it would be good to clarify for our users which SQL Server Express versions will be supported on Windows 8. Here they are:

  • SQL Server 2008 Express SP3 and above.
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Express SP1 and above.
  • SQL Server 2012 Express.

Additional Notes:

  • SQL Server 2005 Express will not be suported on Windows 8.
  • SQL Server Express is not supported on Windows on ARM.

I hope you find this summary useful.

- Krzysztof Kozielczyk

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Comments (22)

  1. jpears says:

    Does "2005 Express will not supported' mean it works but "Don't call MS Support if you have any problems", or does it mean that it's totally incompatible and does not work at all?

  2. EdVassie says:

    The SQL 2005 Database Engine will not install on Windows 8.  I think the Database Engine has a requirement on a component that does not exist in the Windows 8 environment.  I have found that all other components do appear to install OK but I have not done (and do not propose to do) and extensive testing of SQL 2005 on Windows 8.

    To answer jpears question – it does not work at all.

  3. German Honorato Kuhnert says:

    i tried with all versions of SQL… and nothing..

  4. Christof says:

    SqlLocaLDB.MSI stops with '… it is not supported on this operation system' Win8 Version 6.2 build 8250 i.e. the consumer preview)

  5. Joshua says:

    SQL Express 2005 installed and appeared to work on Windows 2012 once its dependencies were met.

    I use a package intended for XP SP2 so I carry a lot of depends around.

    I'm a little put off as I need a redistributable SQL and I'm told that newer versions of SQLExpress aren't.

  6. Hi Joshua

    All versions of SQL Server Express are freely redistributable by ISVs, provided that you "pass on" our license requirements to your end users. For more recent releases, we ask ISVs to register with Microsoft. For SQL Server 2012 Express, see msdn.microsoft.com/…/hh230763.aspx.

    If it suits your needs, you can look at SQL Server 2012 Express LocalDB, which is an easily embeddable version of SQL Server suitable for use by a single user. It can be redistributed without registration. You can find it on the SQL Server 2012 Feature Pack page: http://www.microsoft.com/…/details.aspx

    Hope this helps,


  7. Moises J says:

    My company develops mobile applications for tablets running under Windows 7 and legacy XP (we have a division porting the app to iOS). The apps rely heavily on SQL Express for disconnected persistance. We would love very much to port our app to Win on ARM. however based on your post this will not be possible. Do you happen to know what kind of local storage will developers be able to use for WOA devices? Will they be relational or indexed-sequential?

    Any insight will be appreciated!

  8. Felix c says:

    Installation on sql server 2005 express and our C application was without errors, (besides the incompatibility message) it appears that jpears is correct.

    we use a little .net 1.1 mostly 2.0 and a bit of 3.5 sevpak 2, our application and sql server 2005 express seems to work fine although just a couple hours testing, on a single machine.

  9. BlrVGA says:

    jpears and Felix C comments looks encouranging. does any one have a more details on whether any other issues other than the incompatibility message?

  10. Fırat Esmer says:

    I will try SQL Server 2012 on Windows 8.

  11. l3ny says:

    Can you please tell me if this means what i think it does.. thank you?

    SQLEXPR_x64_ENU Regulgar with no tools nor database samples.?

    SQLEXPRADV_x64_ENU  ?=With database samples? what else? it's 1.3 GB

    SQLEXPRWT_x64_ENU ?= with tools, and are these tools SQLManagementStudio_x64_ENU?



  12. edddy says:

    I've installed SQL server 2005 in Windows 8 with a little trick stackoverflow.com/…/how-to-install-sql-server-2005-express-in-windows-8

  13. kewok says:

    i want to remove sql server 2005 from windows 8, but i failed. what can i uninstall sql server my computer? i m waiting your reply.

  14. Shadow says:

    I installed VS2008 and VS2012 on my windows 8, and it seems that it automatically installed sql express 2005. . If its not supported, it shouldn' have been installed since i do see it in the program list and i can connect it using management studio express.

    Now i want to install sql express 2008 with the named instance "sqlexpress"but 2005 is alerady installed.

    Now im trying to uninstall sql experss 2005 that VS slipstreamed into my system even though its not supporteed in WIN8 (funny)….. but it says its incompatible and doesn't allow me to uninstall… now im stuck….

    MS when will you fix this issue ?

  15. Shanky_621 says:

    you should update it for SQL 2012 .anyways thanks for information

  16. ying says:

    I need Operation Sql 2008 Express in window8

  17. yaron hochman says:


    I hope this is the right place to ask…

    i've succesfully installed the ssms express using a good guide (learnvisualstudio.net)

    at the opening page "connect to server" window the 'server name' field is blank,

    as opposed to having something in it in the tutorial (WIN-8E1CG…. something like that).

    so… i'm stuck! >-:

    can you plz help?



  18. marky says:

    sql server express 2012 did not install on win8 64 bit.

  19. janameiser@hotmail.com says:

    Thanks, this is very useful for my SQL Project.

  20. MWakeland says:

    I am "attempting" to download SQL for a class I am taking. It is unclear from all the options which one to download. Can anyone provide a clue. I visited:


    Thanks in advance!


  21. coobog says:

    does SQL 2014 Express works on windows 8 & 8.1?

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