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

In this article, I will explain How

Extend the SQL Server Evaluation Period


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

SQL Server Evaluation period has expired

Evaluation period has expired In SQL Server

Extend the SQL Server Evaluation Period Steps

Extend SQL Server Evaluation Period prerequisites list.

  • First of all, you must change the SQL Server machine date to a specific date that the  SQL server was working properly.

Extend SQL Server Trial Period - Change the machine date

Note: After extending the SQL Server Evaluation Period, you will need to readjust the machine date to today again,

  • Make sure that the Service Pack 1 has been installed before upgrading SQL Server 2012 evaluation edition to any licensed edition.
  • Open Registry,
    • Go to Start Menu > Open Registry Editor.Adjust regedit setting to extend the SQL Server Evaluation period
  • The register editor should be shown  > Navigate to the following path
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SQL Server Evaluation period has expired
    • Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\110\ConfigurationState
  • Edit the REG_DWORD value of the Common Files.
  • In value data, set it to 3.

Regedit Software

Upgrade the SQL Server Edition to Extend the Trial Period

In this section, I will demonstrate how to upgrade your edition to extend the evaluation period by doing the following:

  • 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 installation file of your SQL Server Edition, Run Setup File.
  • Select Maintenance section, and click Edition Upgrade

Maintenance - Upgrade Edition - SQL Server

  • In Setup Support Rules, click Next.

Setup Support Rules - SQL Server

  • Check “Enter the product key”, Usually it is automatically filled for
    • Developer edition; or
    • Licensed ISO file is used.

Product Key - SQL Server

  • Accept the License Terms.

License Terms - SQL Server

  • Select the instance that you would like to upgrade.

Select Instance - SQL Server

  • Make sure that the Edition Upgrade Rules have been verified, then click Next.

Edition Upgrade Rules - SQL Server

  • Finally, Click “Upgrade”.

Ready To Upgrade - SQL Server

  • Once the upgrade is completed successfully, click Close.

SQL 2012 Setup complete - Edition Upgrade Rules - SQL Server

  • Open “SQL Server Configuration Manager”.
  • Restart the SQL Server Service.

SQL Server Configuration Manager - restart the services

  • Open “SQL Server Management Studio” that should be now opening properly.

Open SQL Management Studio

The SQL Server Trial Edition has extended successfully. 

Connect to SQL Server Instance

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

The above steps would extend the SQL Server trial period, but Is it possible to extend the extended SQL Server period again?

There is a workaround that should help you to extend the extended SQL trial period after it expired, Please check it at The extended SQL Server evaluation has expired again, How to extend it?

Applies To
  • SQL Server 2012.
See Also,

23 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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