Is it possible to downgrade a Windows Server 2016 Datacenter instance to Windows Server 2016 Standard?


This was marked as a "licensing question." In order to keep the question up, I have to make an edit explaining why it's not. My question has nothing to do with the ins and outs of Microsoft licensing. I'm interested in what's technically possible, not what's permitted. Take a look at the accepted answer. It has nothing to do with licensing. (It is true that Microsoft probably makes it impossible to go from Datacenter to Standard for licensing reasons, but that's beside the point.)


Didn't tried it in 2016, but;

DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition to know the version and after;

DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions to know what it can be switched to, and after try

DISM /online /Set-Edition:<Version> /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEULA
  • Thanks! It appears that as with Server 2012 R2, you have to re-install to downgrade edition. DISM /Get-TargetEditions doesn't list standard, and when I try a Set-Edition anyway I get "... cannot upgrade to the edition of Windows that was specified." – FullTimeCoderPartTimeSysAdmin Nov 10 '16 at 18:23

DISM CLI tool in Windows Server 2012R2 or lower as well as DISM cmdlets for Server 2016/Windows 10 support only version upgrade not downgrade. With DISM cmdlets you can issue Set-WindowEdition, and Get-Help Set-WindowsEdition clearly says you that this command "Changes a Windows image to a higher edition". For dism.exe mentioned by @yagmoth555 documentatin also clearly states: "Use the /Set-Edition option with no arguments to change an offline Windows image to a higher edition."

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