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Jacob Smith
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Learn, Develop, and Redistribute with SQL Server 2016 Express Editions


How to Download SQL Server 2016 Express




SQL Server 2016 Express is a free edition of SQL Server that is ideal for development and production for desktop, web, and small server applications. It has many features that make it a powerful and reliable data management system, such as in-memory performance, advanced security, JSON support, temporal tables, query store, etc.




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In this article, you will learn how to download and install SQL Server 2016 Express on your Windows machine step by step.


Prerequisites for SQL Server 2016 Express Installation




Before you install SQL Server 2016 Express, you need to make sure that your machine meets the following hardware and software requirements:


  • Operating system: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1.



  • Processor: x64 processor with a minimum speed of 1.4 GHz.



  • Memory: Minimum of 512 MB of RAM (2 GB or more is recommended).



  • Disk space: Minimum of 4 GB of free disk space.



  • .NET Framework: .NET Framework version 4.0 or higher.



</ul Downloading SQL Server 2016 Express




To download SQL Server 2016 Express, you need to visit the Microsoft download page and choose the edition and language that suits your needs.


Choosing the Edition and Language




There are four editions of SQL Server 2016 Express available for download:


  • SQL Server 2016 Express: This is the core database engine that supports up to 10 GB of data per database.



  • SQL Server 2016 Express with Tools: This includes the database engine and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), a graphical tool for managing and querying databases.



  • SQL Server 2016 Express with Advanced Services: This includes the database engine, SSMS, full-text search, reporting services, and data quality services.



  • SQL Server 2016 LocalDB: This is a lightweight version of the database engine that runs as a user process and does not require installation or configuration.



You can also choose the language of SQL Server 2016 Express from a list of supported languages, such as English, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, etc.


To download SQL Server 2016 Express, go to and select the edition and language you want. Then click Download and save the file to your preferred location. You can also use the following table to find the direct download links for each edition and language.



EditionLanguageDownload Link


SQL Server 2016 ExpressEnglish


SQL Server 2016 Express with ToolsEnglish


SQL Server 2016 Express with Advanced ServicesEnglish


SQL Server 2016 LocalDBEnglish


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Running the Setup File




After you download the setup file for SQL Server 2016 Express, you need to run it to start the installation process. You can run the setup file from the downloaded media or from a network share.


To run the setup file, double-click on it or right-click on it and select Run as administrator. You will see a User Account Control prompt asking you to allow the app to make changes to your device. Click Yes to continue.


You will then see the SQL Server Installation Center window, which provides various options for installing, upgrading, or configuring SQL Server. Click on New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation to proceed.


The following screenshot shows the setup wizard for SQL Server 2016 Express:


Installing SQL Server 2016 Express




After you run the setup file, you need to follow the steps in the installation wizard to install SQL Server 2016 Express on your machine. The installation wizard will guide you through the following steps:


Accepting the License Terms




The first step is to accept the license terms and privacy statement for SQL Server 2016 Express. You need to read and agree to the terms before you can continue with the installation. You can also view the license terms for other components, such as Microsoft R Open, Microsoft R Server, etc.


To accept the license terms, check the box that says I accept the license terms and click Next. You will then see a page that checks for global rules and product updates.


The following screenshot shows the license agreement page for SQL Server 2016 Express:



Choosing the Installation Type




The next step is to choose the installation type for SQL Server 2016 Express. You can choose between a new installation or adding features to an existing installation.


A new installation will install a new instance of SQL Server 2016 Express on your machine. You can specify the instance name, features, and configuration settings later in the wizard.


Adding features to an existing installation will add new features or components to an existing instance of SQL Server 2016 Express on your machine. You can select the instance and features you want to add later in the wizard.


To choose the installation type, select either Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2016 or Add features to an existing instance of SQL Server 2016 and click Next. You will then see a page that checks for installation rules and feature rules.


The following screenshot shows the installation type page for SQL Server 2016 Express:


Choosing the Features to Install




The next step is to choose the features to install for SQL Server 2016 Express. You can select the features that you want to use for your database applications, such as the database engine, management tools, reporting services, etc.


The database engine is the core service that stores and processes data. It is required for any SQL Server installation. You can also choose to install SQL Server Replication, which enables data synchronization across multiple servers.


The management tools include SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), which is a graphical tool for managing and querying databases, and SQL Server Configuration Manager, which is a tool for configuring and managing SQL Server services and network protocols.


The reporting services include SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), which is a server-based platform for creating and delivering reports, and Data Quality Services (DQS), which is a tool for cleansing and matching data.


To choose the features to install, check the boxes that correspond to the features you want and click Next. You can also click on


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