Windows Server

Windows Server 2016/2019 Evaluation: How to extend the Trial Period

In this blog post I will show you how to extend your trial period to three years. The evaluation version of Windows Server 2012 / 2016 is valid for 180 days and you can convert your trial version to retail.

To explore Windows Server 2016 or 2019 download it here:

After installing, you can try it out for 180 days. After 180 days you and your system will run into troubles for sure. But the good news is: You can extend the period to another 180 days up to 3 years.

Extending the Trial Period

First, take a look at your desktop. You should see the countdown in the corner down right.


Or start PowerShell and run slmgr.

slmgr -dlv

Pay attention to the Timebased activation expiration and the Remaining Windows rearm count. You can rearm the period 6 times. (180 days * 6 = 3 years).


When the period comes to an end, run slmgr -rearm to extend it by another 180 days.

slmgr -rearm


Next restart your computer.


Once restarted, open PowerShell and check your settings.

slmgr -dli


Important Note

The evaluation version may not be used for commercial purposes. Have fun playing with the Windows Server 2016 Evaluation Version!

By the way: You can do the same with Windows 10. But the Windows 10 Evaluation Version can be used only for 180 days in total.

45 replies »

  1. I too am only getting 10 days on a rearm, even though my rearm count >0.. I rebooted after rearming, as instructed, and it’s not working as expected or explained here.. Did Microsoft change something?


  2. Why is it that some installations of 2019 Eval give me a time remaining and others give me a status of Notification. I have a couple in a lab environment that I’m concerned about because they say Activate Windows in the lower right corner.


  3. I have a new copy of 2019 evaluation. It keeps saying activate windows and doesn’t display time remaining. For license status is says notification. Is this something to be concerned about?


  4. I installed a trial for 180 days, but when the system was installed, the time was set wrongly and I had to edit the same. Boom, the system marks the license as expired. how can Microsoft be so silly to track system timing instead of an internal clock ?
    After all the efforts I had put it to set up a demo of my application, it has already started shutting down every hour. The above has only extended for 10 days and I can understand why.

    Is there any fix for my issue or I have to reinstall all overe again ?

    Appreciate any thoughts.
    Wish my app worked in Linux !!


    • Well, the evaluation days aren’t cumulative, so you lose the extra few days – you can rearm after one day at 179 days, 6 times in a row, and then basically “waste” 894 potential evaluation days… Microsoft is being really generous for once, but seeing as that only a student would evaluate a server platform this long, here’s another good business lesson: find a company who can pay, and charge them enough so you can buy the license.


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