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Zahid AhamedFlag for United States of America

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Downgrade SQL Server 2016 to SQL Server 2014


Last two months before I have installed SQL Server 2016 SP1 based on the requirements. Now the application team have decided to downgrade SQL Server 2016 to SQL Server 2014

In this case should I uninstall SQL Server 2016 and freshly install SQL Server 2014?

As well as from the control panel shall I select SQL Server 2016(64 bit) in order to uninstall. Any other features do I have to uninstall? It is my understanding that uninstalling is easy but I just wanted to verify as well.

Please advise.


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Pawan Kumar
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Downgrading from SQL 2016 to SQL 2014 is not possible.

We will have to fresh install of 2014 and uninstall of 2016. SQL Server does not support downgrades.

First Uninstall SQL Server 2016 and then Install SQL Server 2014.

Yes you can use Control Panel->Program->SQL Server 2016->Uninstall
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Thanks kumar. I understood but I will go ahead and uninstall SQL Server 2014 (64) bit. Do I have to uninstall any other features which are related to SQL Server 2016, because in the control panel there are any features which are integrated with SQL Server.

My confusion is should I uninstall just only SQL Server 2016(64 bit)
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Pawan Kumar
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Avatar of John Tsioumpris
I think the real question here is "why you are downgrading from 2016 to 2014...what issues your dev team is facing that requires such an action"...
It will be more easy if you still using SQL Server 2016 and change the database compatibility to 12 (SQL Server 2014).

It will be good to understand the development team reasons for wanting to use SQL Server 2014 instead of 2016.
If you really need to go to that path, then after installing the new SQL Server 2014 you must use the Copy Database Wizard to perform the migration from SQL Server 2016 to 2014. I've wrote this article that explains how to do that.

This is the message from application team "Apparently the SQL version 2016 is incompatible with their software. Is there a chance to uninstall and reinstall with 2012. Everything will be the same just a different version."

And i spoke with them they told me they don't need the existing databases even don't need any backup, they will install their software after i install SQL Server 2014.

So here if i keep SQL 2016 so every time if they install any software then in the back end SQL db will be create. Here i am confused so every time i have to change the db compatibility label. Since they don't need exiting dbs so is it better to reinstall SQL Server 2014?


It's better to go with 2014. Why to play with live system.
Isn't really a justification unless their application checks for the SQL Server version and complains if it's not the pretended one. Usually there's a minimum version required and not a maximum one. If they check the SQL Server version then you have nothing more to do besides installing the version that they are requiring.
Its always better to fight for the future than to compromise for the present....
This has been completed successfully. Thanks Kumar!
Welcome. Glad to help as always.