Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period: SQL Server Evaluation Period has expired

Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period

In this post, we’ll explain How to extend SQL Server evaluation period to avoid “SQL Server Evaluation Period has expired” when we open SQL Server Management Studio.

SQL Server evaluation period has expired

We’ll also go through the following:

You may also like to read SQL Server Evaluation Period has expired after upgrade, how to extend it?


SQL Server Evaluation Period has expired

When I tried to open the SQL Server Management Studio evaluation edition, I got the below error message:

SQL Server Evaluation period has expired

This issue usually occurs if you are using a trial SQL Server (180 days) and the SQL Server evaluation period has expired!


Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period

In this section, we’re gonna learn how to avoid the “SQL Server Evaluation period has expired” error message and Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period.

Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period prerequisites list

  • First of all, you must change the SQL Server machine date to an old date where the SQL server was working properly.
Extend SQL Server Trial Period - Change the machine date

Note: After extending SQL Server Evaluation Period, you should readjust the machine date to be today again.

  • As administrator, Go to Start Menu > Open Registry Editor.
Run regedit - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period
  • Navigate to the following path “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\110\ConfigurationState“.
Regedit local machine - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period
  • Edit the REG_DWORD value of the Common Files.
  • In value data, set it to 3.
regedit-software - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period

Upgrade SQL Server Edition to extend SQL Server Trial Period

In this section, we’ll explain how to upgrade SQL Server edition to extend SQL Server trial period by doing the following:

Steps

  • First of all, you should make sure that the SQL Server Service Pack 1 has been installed before upgrading SQL Server 2012 evaluation edition to any other license edition.

Please, check How to get the current installed update level and Get The build number of the latest Cumulative Update / Service Pack that was installed in SQL Server.

  • Mount the same SQL Server installation media (ISO/CD) that was used to install SQL Server previously. (or an ISO image with the same SQL version)
  • Go to the installation file of your SQL Server Edition, Run Setup File.
  • Select the Maintenance section, and click Edition Upgrade
maintinance-upgrade-edition-sql-server - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period
  • In Setup Support Rules, click Next.
Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period: SQL Server Evaluation Period has expired
  • Check “Enter the product key”, Usually it is automatically filled for
    • Developer edition; or
    • Licensed ISO file is used.
product-key-sql-server - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period
  • Accept the License Terms.
license-terms-sql-server - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period
  • Select the instance that you would like to upgrade.
Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period: SQL Server Evaluation Period has expired
  • Make sure that the Edition Upgrade Rules have been verified, then click Next.
Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period: SQL Server Evaluation Period has expired
  • Finally, Click “Upgrade”.
ready-to-upgrade-sql-server - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period
  • Once the upgrade is completed successfully, click Close.
sql-2012-setup-complete - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period
  • Open “SQL Server Configuration Manager”.
  • From the right side, click on “SQL Server Services”.
  • Restart the SQL Server Services.
    • SQL Server Instance.
    • SQL Server Agent.
    • SQL Server Browser.
    • SQL Server Reporting Service (if it’s already installed).
sql-server-configuration-manager - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period

Test extended SQL Server Evaluation Period

  • Now, go to start menu to run “SQL Server Management Studio”.
open-sql-management-studio - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period
  • Great, SQL Server Management Studio should be now opening properly without showing the “SQL Server Evaluation period has expired” error message.
  • Connect to your instance to make sure that the SQL Server Trial Edition has been extended successfully.
connect to sql server instance - Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period

Don’t forget to adjust your machine date to be today.


Extend SQL Server trial period for multiple times

The above-mentioned steps would help you to extend SQL Server evaluation period for additional days.

But what happened when SQL Server Evaluation Period has expired after upgrade, Is it possible to extend SQL Server evaluation period that already upgraded?

Unfortunately, you can’t extend SQL evaluation period that has expired after upgrade. In this case, you should think about the following:

  • Purchase a new SQL Server license.
  • Build a new SQL Server Trial Environment.
  • Downgrade your SQL Server enterprise edition to SQL Server free express edition.
  • Try this workaround Extend SQL Server evaluation period that already upgraded.
  • Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period using Command Prompt.
  • Update: Due to the SQL Server Management Studio is now a free separated product, you can download and use it for previous and latest SQL Server versions without getting this expiration message “SQL Server Evaluation Period has expired”.

Note: Extend SQL Server evaluation period is not supported for the production environment. it should be only used for a development environment.

Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period using Command Prompt

You can also run slmgr.vbs –rearm to extend the evaluation period for additional 10 days by doing the following:

  • Close the SQL Server Management Studio.
  • Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
  • Type the below command line
slmgr.vbs –rearm

You can use this command up to five times.


Conclusion

In conclusion, we have learned how to extend SQL Server Evaluation Period to avoid SQL Server Evaluation period has expired error message.

Applies To
  • SQL Server 2012.
  • SQL Server 2016.
  • SQL Server 2017.
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