Uninstall an Existing Instance of SQL Server

This blog describes how to uninstall a stand-alone instance of SQL Server. By following the steps in this article, you also prepare the system so that you can reinstall SQL Server.

Points to remember

  • To uninstall SQL Server, you must be a local administrator with permissions to log on as a service.
  • If your computer has the minimum required amount of physical memory, increase the size of the page file to two times the amount of physical memory. Insufficient virtual memory can result in an incomplete removal of SQL Server.
  • On a system with multiple instances of SQL Server, the SQL Server browser service is uninstalled only once the last instance of SQL Server is removed. The SQL Server Browser service can be removed manually from Programs and Features in the Control Panel.
  • Uninstalling SQL Server deletes tempdb data files that were added during the install process. Files with tempdb_mssql_*.ndf name pattern are deleted if they exist in the system database directory.

Prerequisites

  • Back up your data – Create full backups of all databases, including system databases, or manually copy the .mdf and .ldf files to a separate location. The master database contains all system level information for the server, such as logins, and schemas. The msdb database contains job information such as SQL Server agent jobs, backup history, and maintenance plans. For more information about system databases see System databases.
  • Stop all SQL Server services.
  • Use an account that has the appropriate permissions.

Step by Step Procedure

Scenario – 1

To uninstall SQL Server from Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and greater, follow these steps:

STEP 1: To begin the removal process navigate to Settings from the Start menu and then choose Apps.
STEP 2: Search for sql in the search box.
STEP 3: Select Microsoft SQL Server (Version) (Bit).
STEP 4: Select Uninstall.

Uninstall SQL Server

STEP 5: Select Remove on the SQL Server dialog pop-up to launch the Microsoft SQL Server installation wizard.

STEP 6: On the Select Instance page, use the drop-down box to specify an instance of SQL Server to remove, or specify the option to remove only the SQL Server shared features and management tools. To continue, select Next.
STEP 7: On the Select Features page, specify the features to remove from the specified instance of SQL Server.
STEP 8: On the Ready to Remove page, review the list of components and features that will be uninstalled. Click Remove to begin uninstalling
STEP 9: Refresh the Apps and Features window to verify the SQL Server instance has been removed successfully, and determine which, if any, SQL Server components still exist. STEP STEP 10: Remove these components from this window as well, if you so choose.

Scenario – 2

To uninstall SQL Server from Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 2012 R2, follow these steps:

STEP 1: To begin the removal process, navigate to the Control Panel and then select Programs and Features.
STEP 2: Right-click Microsoft SQL Server (Version) (Bit) and select Uninstall.

sql server uninstall

STEP 3: Select Remove on the SQL Server dialog pop-up to launch the Microsoft SQL Server installation wizard.

remove sql server

STEP 4: On the Select Instance page, use the drop-down box to specify an instance of SQL Server to remove, or specify the option to remove only the SQL Server shared features and management tools. To continue, select Next.
STEP 5: On the Select Features page, specify the features to remove from the specified instance of SQL Server.
STEP 6: On the Ready to Remove page, review the list of components and features that will be uninstalled. Click Remove to begin uninstalling
STEP 7: Refresh the Programs and Features window to verify the SQL Server instance has been removed successfully, and determine which, if any, SQL Server components still exist. Remove these components from this window as well, if you so choose.

Published by Abdul Samad

Having 17+ years of extensive experience in IT industry, enabled to enhance the team performance and maximize customer satisfaction by strategically managing calls and implementing process improvements. Demonstrated ability to solve problems, meets challenging goals, and expedites delivery. Skilled MSSQL administrator guide team during the crisis situation. Apply Creative thoughts process in re-designing the workflow system to eliminate duplication of effort and increase productivity.

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