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This article describes the Microsoft SQL Server 2016 installer that's used to run direct installations and media downloads for SQL Server 2016 Evaluation, Developer, and Express editions. It also lists the feature updates and fixes that are made to the SQL Server installer in each update.

About the SQL Server 2016 installer

In just a few clicks, you can use the SQL Server installer to install or download Evaluation, Developer, and Express editions of SQL Server 2016. The installer is located online, and is occasionally updated so that the current version is downloaded to your computer when you install or download an Evaluation, Developer, or Express edition of SQL Server 2016. 

Note Each release may also include additional fixes that improve the stability and usability of the installer.

How to download the SQL Server 2016 installer

The SQL Server 2016 installer is downloaded when you install or download setup media for the following editions of SQL Server:

Note In the September 2016 update, you have the option to download the media for your selected edition by using the SQL Server installer, and then run a custom installation locally at a command line.

More Information

Note The version number of the installer is displayed on the welcome screen and also in the installation log file that's located in the following folder:

%programfiles%\microsoft sql server\130\ssei\logfiles

  • January 2017 Update, version 1.1701.0.0 (release date: January 31st 2017)
    The following table lists the major fixes and updates that are included in this version.

    VSTS numbers


    Additional details


    Spelling error on the download/location page wherein "Minimum" is incorrectly spelled as "MIMUMIM"

    The spelling error is fixed in this version of the installer.


    Ability to pause and resume downloads

    Adds the ability to pause and resume downloads that can especially help with downloads on slow connections.


    Connection time-outs during downloads

    This change will help alleviate problems that some customers who are on slow connections are experiencing.


    Clicking noises during download process

    Fixes an issue that causes clicking noises when various messages are displayed during the download.


    Unhandled exceptions if version is no longer supported

    Fixes an issue introduced in version 1.1611 that triggers an unhandled exception when a new version of the SQL Server Installer is introduced. When the SQL Server Installer starts, it checks to see if a new version is required. When this is the case, the user is prompted with a link from which to download the new version. In version 1.1611, the process instead fails because of an unhandled exception.


    Focus remains on the button that was clicked

    Fixes an issue that occurs after a button is clicked: focus remains on the button that was clicked.


    Download progress not consistently displayed

    Fixes an issue in which it takes longer than expected to display the progress of download.


    Improved validation for install and download locations

    Improved validation when the download process checks the path of the Media Download Location or the Installation Location for disallowed characters.


    Fixed detection of installed instances

    Fixes an issue in which 32-bit instances are not detected, which may cause a setup failure. Before SQL Server 2016, it was possible to install a 32-bit instance on a 64-bit operating system. If a 32-bit instance of an earlier version of SQL Server was installed, the SQL Server Installer did not detect that instance name as being in use. This triggered a setup failure later in the installation process.

  • November 2016 Update, version 1.1611.0.0 (release date: November 18, 2016)

    The following table lists the major fixes and updates that are included in this version.

    VSTS numbers


    Additional details


    Installation progress displayed in different language on setup screens

    Fixes the issue in which some progress messages are displayed in a different language on non-English systems when you use a command line setup that has the /ENU option.


    Support for keyboard shortcuts for various buttons on installation screens

    Provides additional methods to navigate various buttons on the setup screens, and simplifies the setup process.


    A second instance of Setup continues to run in the background when started at the same time as an ongoing instance of Setup

    Fixes an issue in which an additional instance of Setup continues to run in the background in the following scenario:

    • An instance of the SQL Server installer setup is already in progress.

    • You start a new installation of SSEI on the same computer.

    • You receive a message that indicates that another instance of Setup is already in progress.

    • You close the dialog box.


    Information on download sizes for each edition

    Previously, Setup did not show the minimum free space requirements and the size of the files to be downloaded. In this update, the installer shows this information for Basic and Custom installation options and the size of the files to be downloaded for Download Media option.


    Incorrect download size calculations for compressed media when you select Developer or Evaluation editions

    Fixes the issue in which the installer incorrectly reports the size of compressed media for developer and evaluation editions


    Additional details on download failures

    Before this update, the installer displayed a generic “Download failed” error message. In this update, the installer provides more detailed error message about possible causes of the failure to help you troubleshoot the problem. For example, if an HTTP error occurs, you see the HTTP status code together with the description.


    Error dialog does not display the download link when manifest cannot be downloaded

    This update provides the following error message changes:

    • Error message are displayed in the download link for expired versions.

    • Error message are displayed if a problem occurs when the manifest is created.

  • September 2016 Update, version 1.1609.0.0 (release date: September 30, 2016)

    The following table lists the major fixes and updates that are included in this version.

    VSTS Numbers


    Additional details

    8050925, 8260477, 8260477

    Adds support for the following:

    • Installation by using .ini file to enable users to run a basic installation that's customized for their environment.

    • Force-install ENU versions on localized system versions.

    The installer supports the following optional parameters at the command line:

    ConfigurationFile: Specifies the configuration file to use.
    Note When you use this parameter, the installer requires you to have a FEATURES node in the configuration file.

    IAcceptSqlServerLicenseTerms: Required in order to acknowledge acceptance of the license terms.

    MediaPath: Location to which SQL Server setup media will be downloaded and extracted.

    ENU: Use this parameter to install the English version of SQL Server on a localized operating system.

    Usage: SQLServer2016-SSEI-Expr.exe [/ConfigurationFile=C:\Configuration.ini] [/IAcceptSqlServerLicenseTerms] [/MediaPath=C:\SqlServer2016Setup] [/ENU]


    Adds the option for customers to send feedback about the SQL Installer.

    This enables users to submit feedback to Microsoft about their installer experience.


    Adds the option to view a list of the updates (change log) that were included in each different version of the installer.

    When you click the What’s new button on any screen, you are directed to this KB article.


    Basic and Custom installations are blocked on unsupported operating systems

    The Basic and Custom options of the SQL Server installer are supported only on the following operating systems:

    • Windows 8 and later versions

    • Windows Server 2012 and later versions

    On earlier versions of the operating systems, users are only allowed to download media files.


    Adds the prerequisite check for the .NET Framework 4.6.1 (KB2919355) on Windows 8.1/Windows Server 2012 R2

    This change adds a feature-agnostic rule that verifies that the update that is discussed in KB2919355 is installed on Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2.


    Users are now notified if setup finished with restart required.

    Before this update, if SQL Server Setup finished by having a restart required, users were not notified about this requirement. In this update, a message is displayed on the summary page when a restart is required.


    Express installer now has a link to create an Azure VM on the Download Media Page.

    Before this update, only SQL Server Developer and SQL Server Evaluation editions had this option on the Download Media page. In this update, Express editions also have this option.


    Adds disk space validation for a custom installation.

    Before this update, you were notified about insufficient disk space only if you selected the Basic or Media download option as the installation type. A custom installation did not notify you but, instead, silently installed the media and returned an "error decompressing media" error. The update addresses space validation even for custom installations.


    Fixes issues with calculation logic used to validate disk space that's required for media download.

    Before this update, free space calculations for media downloads were based on the sum of all files for the media type, instead of the file being downloaded. In this update, free space calculation for media downloads is based on the file type and language only.

  • July 2016 Update, version (release date: July 1, 2016)

    The following table lists the major fixes and updates that are included in this version.

    VSTS Numbers


    Additional details


    Adds descriptive messages during installation progress

    Before this update, users saw only a progress bar during download. This change adds informative messages about the process.


    More concise message when user cancels

    When you press Cancel, a verbose message is displayed. This change simplifies the message.


    "Next" button changed to "Install"

    On the last page before the download and installation starts, the button is changed from "Next" to "Install."


    Installer fails on en-GB locale

    When you run the installer in a non-U.S. English locale, you are prompted to install in U.S. English (en-US). This locale validation is relaxed to enable the selection of any English locale.


    Enables IFI for all editions

    Database Instant File Initialization (IFI) is enabled for all editions to improve performance.


    Adds pointer to set up log files on Setup Failure Summary page

    A new text box is added on the Setup Failure Summary page if SQL Server Setup fails.


    Custom installation installed In Express Edition uses Express Advanced

    When you select a custom installation for the Express Edition, the larger SQL Server Express Advanced package is downloaded instead of the SQL Server Express Core package.


    More usable error message for older version of SQL Server Installer

    When a new version of the SQL Server Installer is released, you are prompted during initialization and pointed to the location from which to download the new version.

    7586862, 7717638, 7717969, 7717997

    Miscellaneous string truncation fixes in localized editions of the installer


For more information about how to create an .ini file, see Install SQL Server 2016 by using a configuration file.

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