SQL Server evaluation period has expired , How to extend it ?

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

Evaluation period has expired

Evaluation period has expired - SQL Server

In this article, I will explain How to extend the SQL Server Evaluation period by following the mentioned steps below:

The prerequisites list.

  • First of all, you should change your machine date to a specific date where the  SQL server had worked properly.
  • Make sure that the Service Pack 1 has been installed before upgrading SQL Server 2012 evaluation edition to any licensed edition. (If it was not installed , you should install it from here)
  • Open Registry,
    • Go to Start Menu > Open Registry Editor.run regedit
  • The register editor should be shown  > Navigate to the following path
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Regedit Local Machine
    • Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\110\ConfigurationState
  • Edit the REG_DWORD value of the Common Files.
  • In value data set 3 as shown in the figure below.

Regedit Software

In next section, I will demonstrate how to upgrade your edition to extend the evaluation period by following the mentioned steps below:

  • Mount the same SQL Server installation media (ISO/CD) that was used to install SQL Server previously.
  • Go to installation file of your SQL Server Edition, Run Setup File.
  • Select Maintenance section as shown in the figure below and click Edition Upgrade

Maintinance - Upgrade Edition - SQL Server

  • Click Next on Setup Support Rules.

Setup Support Rules - SQL Server

  • On the next screen, choose Enter the product key, this usually a pre-filled for Developer edition; or if the licensed ISO file is used.

Select Instance - SQL Server

  • Accept the License Terms on the next screen.

License Terms - SQL Server

  • Select the instance to be upgraded to the new edition.

Product Key - SQL Server

  • The installation will then continue with running Edition Upgrade Rules. This is where feature compatibility is being checked.

Edition Upgrade Rules - SQL Server

  • Click Upgrade on the next screen.

Ready To Upgrade - SQL Server

  • Once the upgrade is completed successfully, click Close.

SQL 2012 Setup complete - devoworx

  • Open SQL Server Configuration Manager and start the SQL Server Service.

SQL Server Configuration Manager

  • Open Management Studio to check if the expiration message still appear.

Open SQL Management Studio

  • Great, it has been worked.

Connect to SQL Server Instance

  • Reset your date again to your current date.

Finally, I have an important question that is: What about the extended evaluation period has been expired again?! In this situation, you should read this article

Enjoy 🙂


17 thoughts on “SQL Server evaluation period has expired , How to extend it ?

  1. hey hi ,
    In bellow step you are mention subfolder 100 in comment but in snapshot you are mention 110 folder . which we have to follow ???

    Navigate to the following path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\100\ConfigurationState then edit the value of the Common Files REG_DWORD to 3 as shown in the figure below



  2. Awesome thank you! I tried changing editions over and over before I saw your article and found it was because it had passed the expiration date. I changed my date back and then did the upgrade edition task. Worked great after.


  3. You are an awesome blogger. This is one of the best blog I had visited so far. Hope to read more post from you in the future. Keep it up. God bless.


  4. What is the purpose of these?
    – change your machine date to a specific date where the SQL server had worked properly
    – activate SQL (….several steps….).
    – reset your date again to your current date.

    If when I reboot the server or start services again the “activation date” is going to be old again.


    1. You should reboot rather than restart the service to apply the new settings at the registry.
      after reboot the machine date will depend on the last set date so you should reset it to today before the restart.


  5. thanks so much. I am actually on 2014 but ran into this problem, and needed a little extra time before our actual upgrade and roll out to production. Basically followed your steps, w/ minor change for Registry path… Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\120\ConfigurationState and used the same value change on the CommonFiles set to 3. All seems to be working fine. Cheers!


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