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Upgrading previous versions of Windows Server to Windows Server 2016

This article briefly summarizes previous windows server operating systems can be upgraded to which editions of Windows Server 2016 on same hardware/VM.

Below table give detailed view for up-gradation path from windows server 2012 to windows server 2016.

If you are running this edition:
You can upgrade to these editions:
Windows Server 2012 Standard
Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials
Windows Server 2016 Essentials
Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard
Windows Storage Server 2016 Standard
Windows Storage Server 2012 Workgroup
Windows Storage Server 2016 Workgroup
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Standard
Windows Storage Server 2016 Standard
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Workgroup
Windows Storage Server 2016 Workgroup

Important Note to consider before plan for OS upgrade on same hardware.
  • Upgrades from a previous Windows Server installation to an evaluation copy of Windows Server are not supported. Evaluation versions should be installed as a clean installation.Upgrades that 
  • switch from a Server Core installation to a Server with a Desktop installation (or vice versa) are not supported.
  • Upgrades from one language to another are not supported.
  • Upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit architectures are not supported. All editions of Windows Server 2016 are 64-bit only.
  • Upgrades that switch from a Server Core installation to a Server with a Desktop installation (or vice versa) are not supported. If the older operating system you are upgrading or converting is a Server Core installation, the result will still be a Server Core installation of the newer operating system.

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