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How to Install SQL Server on Windows 10 in 11 Steps

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An important task on the project launch checklist for developers, database administrators, and IT professionals who need a stable and scalable database management system is to install SQL Server on Windows 10. 

Microsoft’s SQL server provides an extensive data management and analysis infrastructure that can be used for a wide range of applications, from desktop computers to large enterprise applications. 

To ensure you can use SQL Server’s robust features for your data management and storage requirements, you need to properly install SQL server on a Windows 10 computer. 

In this tutorial, we will discuss how to install an SQL server on Windows 10. However, before that, let us take a quick look at the prerequisites. 

Table Of Contents

  1. The Prerequisites to Installing SQL Server on Windows 10
  2. How to Install and Configure Windows SQL Server
    1. Step #1: Download the Setup File
    2. Step #2: Run the Setup File
    3. Step #3: Specify Installation Media Location
    4. Step #4: Launch SQL Server Installation Wizard
    5. Step #5: Select SQL Server Version
    6. Step #6: Accept License Terms
    7. Step #7: Check for the Setup Rules
    8. Step #8: Select Features
    9. Step #9: Configure Settings
    10. Step #10: Database Engine Configuration
    11. Step #11: Complete the Installation
  3. How to Install Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
    1. Step #1: Download the Install File
    2. Step #2: Run the Install File
    3. Step #3: Select Install Location
    4. Step #4: Complete the Installation
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQs

The Prerequisites to Installing SQL Server on Windows 10

Before the installation process, ensure you have the following:

  • A Windows 10 system
  • A user account with sudo or administrative privilege.

How to Install and Configure Windows SQL Server

Installing SQL Server on Windows 10 is a crucial first step for developers and database administrators who are looking for a scalable database management system for their applications. 

Here are the recommended steps you need to install and configure SQL servers on Windows. 

Step #1: Download the Setup File

Visit the official Microsoft SQL Server download page

Microsoft provides two specialized free SQL download editions to work on MS SQL servers: Developer and Express. 

We recommend using the Developer edition as it has all the features that the MS SQL server offers and is ideal for starting with the DBMS platform.

Navigate to the Developer edition and click the Download Now button.

Download the Setup File

Step #2: Run the Setup File

Once the download is complete, open the setup file to begin the installation process.

You will be prompted with three choices: Basic, Custom, and Download Media.

We recommend choosing the Custom installation type as it provides the flexibility to tailor the installation to the user’s specific needs. 

Run the Setup File

Step #3: Specify Installation Media Location

Choose a location to save the downloaded installation media files and click Install.

Specify Installation Media Location

Step #4: Launch SQL Server Installation Wizard

You can see the progress bar for the downloaded content. We recommend waiting until the download is complete.

Launch SQL Server Installation Wizard

Once the files are downloaded, the SQL Server Installation Center window appears. 

Click New SQL Server under the Installation category on the left side of the SQL Server Installation Center window to launch the installation wizard.

server installation center

Step #5: Select SQL Server Version

Select the SQL Server version you wish to install (we will go with the Developer edition in this tutorial).

Enter a product key if you have one, and click Next to continue. We are installing the free Developer version and can skip this step..

Select SQL Server Version

Step #6: Accept License Terms

You will be prompted to a Microsoft Server License Terms page. Read the License Terms and click Accept.

Click Next to continue. 

Accept License Terms

Step #7: Check for the Setup Rules

The installation wizard will check for any potential issues and resolve any errors before moving forward.

Click Next to continue.

Check for the Setup Rules

Step #8: Select Features

Choose the features you need for your setup (e.g., Database Engine Services).

Once you select the features, click Next to continue.

Select Features

Step #9: Configure Settings 

You can now configure the SQL Server instance. Here, you can keep the default settings for collation and service accounts for a basic setup.

Click Next to proceed.

Configure Settings

Configure Settings

Step #10: Database Engine Configuration

Next, navigate to the Server Configuration tab and select the Mixed Mode authentication method. 

Specify a SQL Server Administrator by choosing a user and setting an account password.

Click Next to continue.

Database Engine Configuration

Step #11: Complete the Installation

Review the summary of the installation.

Click Install to begin the setup process. If you need to modify any installation settings, make changes and click Install.

Complete the Installation

The status of setup operations displays Succeeded once the setup is completed. 

Click Close to exit the install wizard. 

Complete

How to Install SQL Server Management Studio

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a tool used to create, query, and manage databases with SQL Server. It provides a comprehensive, integrated environment for managing SQL infrastructure.

Follow the steps outlined below to install Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.

Step #1: Download the Install File

Visit the SQL Server Management Studio download page.

Download the install file SSMS 20.x (or the latest available version).

download SSMS

Step #2: Run the Install File

Once the download is complete, open the install file to begin the setup process.

Step #3: Select Install Location

Choose the location where you want to install SSMS.

Click Install to proceed.

Select Install Location

Step #4: Complete the Installation

Once the installation is complete, click Close to end the setup. 

installation complete

Also Read: How To Install Docker on Windows 10 & 11

Conclusion 

By following the guide, you can easily install SQL Server on Windows 10 and have a strong database management system for various uses. 

With a successful installation and configuration guaranteed by following this instruction, you can take advantage of SQL Server’s powerful features for development, testing, and production environments. 

Developing expertise in the installation process is essential for anyone in IT, database administration, or development to ensure efficient data management and analysis. 

Now that SQL Server is installed and operational on your Windows 10 PC, you are ready to tackle a variety of data-driven assignments and projects effectively.

FAQs

Q. What are the system requirements for installing SQL Server on Windows 10?

The system requirements include a compatible 64-bit processor, a minimum of 2 GB of RAM (4 GB or more recommended), and at least 6 GB of available disk space. Additionally, your Windows 10 version should be supported by the SQL Server version you are installing.

Q. Where can I download SQL Server for Windows 10?

SQL Server is available for download on the official Microsoft website. The free SQL Server Developer and Express editions are appropriate for low database workloads and development.

Q. How do I start the SQL Server installation process?

After downloading the SQL Server installer, run the setup file. Select New SQL Server stand-alone installation and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

Q. What are the different installation options available?

During installation, you can choose between a basic installation, which installs SQL Server with default settings, and a custom installation, which allows you to configure specific features, services, and directories.

Q. How do I configure SQL Server during installation?

You can configure instance features, server configuration, and authentication methods in the custom installation. Ensure the password for the SQL Server system administrator (sa) account is strong if you use mixed-mode authentication.

Q. Can I install SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and SQL Server?

You may get SSMS separately from the Microsoft website. Installing it comes after setting up SQL Server and offers a graphical interface for managing SQL Server databases.

Q. How do I verify if SQL Server is installed correctly?

Connect to your SQL Server instance by opening SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). If you can connect and view your server instance, the installation went OK.

Q. What should I do if I encounter errors during installation?

Check the installer’s provided error messages and logs. Ensuring all system requirements are satisfied, no incompatible installations, and no prerequisites are lacking can frequently cure common problems.

Q. How do I update SQL Server on Windows 10?

You can upgrade SQL Server by downloading the most recent service packs and cumulative updates from the Microsoft website. Open the update installer and follow the instructions to apply the updates.

Q. Is it possible to uninstall SQL Server if needed?

You can uninstall SQL Server through the Programs and Features section in the Windows Control Panel. Select SQL Server from the list of installed programs and choose the Uninstall/Change option to remove it.

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