How to activate windows server 2016, 2019, 2022 from evaluation edition to standard or datacenter edition !!!

Md. Mahim Bin Firoj
4 min readApr 30, 2024



Say, (Assuming you did not download and install the iso from Microsoft portal) you have been using windows server 2016/2019/2022 evaluation edition. The evaluation edition comes with 6 months or 180 days trial periods. After that you need to put main license file because in your desktop right below, you will see a continuous warning message which tells you to activate the system.

If you download the iso from Microsoft portal and install it then also you need to activate it. But the main difference is here in this case, you just put the key and it will be activated. But in the above scenario, if you put the valid key then still you get an error like below image.

Don’t worry. We will now see how we can fix this. First of all we need a separate public keys for each windows server evaluation edition. You need to put these key first to activate the trial. Then you need to put the main license key that you actually purchased.

Windows Server Evaluation 2016 Activation Key

Windows Server 2016 Essentials JCKRF-N37P4-C2D82–9YXRT-4M63B

Windows Server Evaluation 2019 Activation Key

Windows Server 2019 Essentials WVDHN-86M7X-466P6-VHXV7-YY726

Windows Server 2019 Standard N69G4-B89J2–4G8F4-WWYCC-J464C

Windows Server 2019 Datacenter WMDGN-G9PQG-XVVXX-R3X43–63DFG

Windows Server Evaluation 2022 Activation Key

Windows Server 2022 Standard VDYBN-27WPP-V4HQT-9VMD4-VMK7H

Windows Server 2022 Azure Edition NTBV8–9K7Q8-V27C6-M2BTV-KHMXV

Windows Server 2022 Datacenter WX4NM-KYWYW-QJJR4-XV3QB-6VM33

Now on your server open powershell.exe or cmd.exe in administrator mode. Type this command DISM /Online /Get-CurrentEdition

You will see current edition as standard evaluation.

Now type, DISM /Online /Get-TargetEditions

You will see Standard and Datacenter edition in recent Microsoft licensing strategy. Previously essentials edition was also shown.

  1. Now provide the following command: (Assuming you want to move from your trial to Standard edition)

DISM /Online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:N69G4-B89J2–4G8F4-WWYCC-J464C /AcceptEULA

Now if needed restart the system.

2. Now you need to input main license file.

DISM /Online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:<valid windows server license> /AcceptEULA
slmgr /ipk <valid windows server license>

I hope your problem will be resolved. If the above solution does not work, then follow solution 2.

Solution 2:

Open the PowerShell as administrator and let’s start steps:

“slmgr.vbs /upk” → for removing windows server evaluation key from system.

“slmgr.vbs /cpky” → for removing windows server evaluation key from registry.

After the license keys are cleared, you need to use public activation key to get from evaluation mode to standard retail mode.

With the “DISM /Online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:N69G4-B89J2–4G8F4-WWYCC-J464C /AcceptEula” command, we switch from Evaluation version to Standard version with the public activation key we have. When the process is finished, you may need to restart the system. When the system restarts, we need to clean the activation license keys again. For this, we will use the commands we wrote above again.

“slmgr.vbs /upk” → for removing windows server evaluation key from system.

“slmgr.vbs /cpky” → for removing windows server evaluation key from registry.

Now you can activate with your own original key.

“slmgr /ipk YourPurchasedProductKEY” press enter.

When you complete the activation with the “slmgr /ato” command and reboot, the activation will be completed. The “slmgr /ato” command is used to trigger the activation process after you have installed a valid product key using the “slmgr /ipk YourPurchasedProductKEY” command.

Different Topic:

Now, let’s say you haven’t any windows server valid activation key then what you can do? There is a temporary solution for this. You can extend the more 180-day trial period. Especially in the LAB environment this scenario is very useful.

How to Extend 180-Days Windows Server Evaluation Period?

As we can see that the license is expired.

Open the cmd prompt with administrative privilege.

1- Write: slmgr /dlv (With this code you see detailed license info)

2- Write: slmgr /rearm (reset the trial period) — Restart the server

After restart you can see that you have got another 180 days to your system.

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