Windows Server

Windows Server 2016/2019/2022 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 2016 / 2022 is valid for 180 days and you can convert your trial version to retail.

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 10711. But the Windows 10/11 Evaluation Version can be used only for 180 days in total.

66 replies »

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  2. Many thanks for this Patrick, God Bless you
    I noticed after I applied this command, my server is restarting irregularly. Pls what can be responsible for that?


    • When the license runs out, Windows server shuts down daily, so if it’s shutdowns, then either license it or extend the trial. If it’s just random reboots, you can try to disable the “Blue screen reboot”, or you can download Nirsoft Bluescreenview to see if it gives clues – it might be a driver that locks up and causes the Windows Kernel to panic and reboot – simply disable or remove that device, or update or downgrade the driver… or it might just be memory… those DIMMS have A LOT of connectors, if just one doesn’t work you’ll get a reboot… so first thing would be to remove, wipe the connectors with a cotton cloth (or shirt), and reseat the ram. Second most common cause is a bad power supply… try swop out the power supply. You can also try to live boot Linux, and see if it does the same – that would rule out hardware as the problem, and it might mean that your Windows installation got corrupted… cosmic rays can actually do that.. congrats, you won the cosmic lottery… which is surprisingly easier than winning the real one. First prize is to have a backup server… and to replace this one and make it someone else’s problem – like mine. I have built many companies’ on servers I built out of throw-away hardware I have coaxed back into reliability, and now thankfully I earn enough so I don’t have to anymore.


  3. Getting the following error message: “error: 0xC004F025 Access denied: the requested action requires elevated privileges”


    • 6 times. If you do it 6 times in a row, you only get 180 days. If you do it on day 180, you get 3 years. By which time you will curse yourself for not convincing your customer to buy a license 3 years ago… or for not choosing customers who do.


  4. it would have been nice to know i can’t activate a eval Active Directory server.. sooo.. this will kinda “save” me for the next 3 years.
    Yet one day i will need to install a second, fully activated DC, replicate and then delete the main dc.. what a hassle!


      • For gmelis96 or Kieth24, open a power shell (or CMD prompt, if you must…) as an administrator and enter the following:

        DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

        Of course, substitute the correct edition if you are not using ServerStandard and your valid server license for the XXXXX.

        It takes a little while and will require a reboot afterwards but if you use a valid key you should be off the evaluation edition.


  5. A comment on behavior. I had a 2019 Server VM with 40 days left, so thought I would extend using the above technique. The VM does NOT have internet connectivity. I did the rearm, reboot and I was reset to 10 days left. Yikes! I extended internet to the VM and rebooted, it was “automatically” extended to 180 days without needing to rearm again.

    Liked by 4 people

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