Switch from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI

Switch from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI

In this post, we’gonna explain if it’s possible to Switch from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI (Desktop Experience).

Switch from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI

You may be also interested to check Windows Server 2016: Expand Virtual Machine Hard Disk & Extend the Operating System Drive.


Switch from Windows Server 2016 Core to Desktop Experience

When I tried to install Windows Server 2016, I got the below dialog that ask me to select the operating system that I would like to install as shown below:

Switch from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI

Actually, I have confused which option should I use

  • Windows Server 2016 Standard or,
  • Windows Server 2016 Standard (Desktop Experience).

Unfortunately, I selected the first option “Windows Server 2016 Standard“, after taking a long time to install the windows server 2016, it was the shock, I got the Windows Server 2016 console interface, not the normal Windows Server 2016 GUI Desktop Experience interface as shown below:

Convert from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI

You might also like to read Convert from Windows Server 2019 Core to GUI


How to Convert from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI?

Actually, In previous Windows Server releases like Windows Server 2012, 2008, we were able to add the Windows Server GUI functionality to the Windows Server core without performing a fresh installation.

But, In Windows Server 2016 and later, it’s no longer doable to convert from Windows Server 2016 core to Windows Server 2016 with Desktop experience and vice versa!

Is there any workaround to Switch from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI Without Performing a Fresh Installation?

Unfortunately, there is no workaround to convert from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI, the only available solution is performing a fresh installation from scratch again!


Install Windows Server 2016 Step by Step

In this section, we’ll explain how to install Windows Server 2016 Standard with GUI by doing the following:

  • Exploring Windows Server 2016 Hardware Requirements.
  • Download Windows Server 2016.
  • Install Windows Server 2016.

Windows Server 2016 Hardware Requirements

The hardware requirements for Windows Server 2016 with desktop experience is differ from Windows Server 2016 Core.

Below is the minimum hardware requirements for Windows Server 2016 with desktop experience:

  • CPU: 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor.
  • RAM: 2 GB, (512 for core)
  • Disk: 32 GB as absolute minimum value, (4 GB for core).

Download Windows Server 2016

Below are the official links to download Windows Server 2016 as well as Windows Server 2019.

The Windows Server 2016 Evaluation Period is 180 days that can be extended 6 times for additional 180 days.

To extend Windows Server 2016 Evaluation Period, please check Evaluation Period expired for Windows Server 2016, How to extend it?

Windows Server 2016 Installation Steps

  1. Mount your Windows Server 2016 ISO image.
  2. Run the Setup file.
  3. Select your language, time, currency format, and input method.
Switch from Server core to GUI in windows server 2016
  • Click on “Install now” button to start Windows Server 2016 installation.
Install windows server 2016
  • Select, “Windows Server 2016 Standard (Desktop Experience)“, then click “Next”.
Install Windows Server 2016 with GUI (Desktop Experience)

Note: Windows Server 2016 Standard option refers to the core!

  • Accept the license terms and click “Next”.
Windows Server 2016 license terms
  • Select “Install Windows Only“.
Type of installation in Windows Server 2016

It’s strongly recommended to perform a clean installation for Windows Server 2016.

  • The Windows Server 2016 installation will start!
Switch from Windows Server 2016 Core to GUI
  • Finally, the Windows Server 2016 GUI has been installed with desktop experience as shown below!
Windows Server 2016 with GUI desktop experience

Conclusion

Unlike previous Windows Server releases, you can’t convert from Windows Server 2016 core to GUI and vice versa, the only solution is performing a fresh installation!

So in this post, we have learned how to download and install Windows Server 2016 and Which option should we select during Windows Server installation to install Windows Server 2016 with Desktop Experience instead of Windows Server 2016 Core.

Applies To
  • Windows Server 2019.
  • Windows Server 2016.
You might also like to read
Have a Question?

If you have any related questions, please don’t hesitate to ask it at deBUG.to Community.

Leave a Reply