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How to Download and Install SQL Server on Windows for Free?

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Download and Install Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. The product’s primary function is to store and retrieve the data as requested by the user or another application. These SQL functions can either run on the same system or another over a network.

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This tutorial will guide you step-by-step through the process of actively downloading and installing SQL Server. By following these instructions, you will be able to successfully download and install SQL Server on your system.

How to Download Microsoft SQL Server?

In this section, we will understand how to download a Microsoft SQL Server. The steps mentioned below need to be followed for the same:

  • Search for Microsoft SQL Server
  • Select SQL Server Downloads from the Microsoft site [the first search result in the snapshot]
  • The site contains two options available for free editions [you will get them by scrolling down]
    • Developer edition
    • Express edition

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Prerequisites for SQL Server Installation

For the steps to install SQL Server, we will first download the Developer Edition. For this,

  • Click on Download Now, and the Developer Edition will start downloading.

Installing SQL Server 2017 for Microsoft

  • Once the download is completed, the file will be available in the downloads folder, or any other folder you have specified, as SQLServer2017-SSCI-Dev.

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SQL Server Installation

  • Click on the file, SQLServer2017-SSCI-Dev, and you will find a window with three options: Basic, Custom, and Download Media.

SQL Developer Edition Installation

  • Choose Custom, since we want the Developer Edition, and you will find a path for it below Media Location. You can either retain the default one or specify a customized path.

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MS SQL Server Installation

MS SQL Server InstallationMS SQL Server Installation

  • In the snapshot, the default path is retained as it is in Media Location.
  • Once the path is selected, click on Install to begin the installation. 
  • A message, ‘Your SQL Server Installation will begin shortly’ will appear, and you will find a pop-up screen of the SQL Server Installation Center.

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How to Install an SQL Server?

  • A pop-up window of the SQL Server Installation Center appears, containing two columns.
  • Select Installation from the left-side column, and once selected, you will find multiple options on the right-side column.

How to Install SQL Server

  • Select the first option from the right-side column, where you choose from New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation.
  • Wait for it to process, and then you will have a window ‘SQL Server 2017 Setup’ where you click on Next.

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How to Install SQL Server 2

  • Select Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2017, and then click on Next.
  • Select the free edition from Specify a free edition, and then click on Next.
  • Accept the license terms.
  • The display screen takes you to the features of SQL Server 2017.
  • There are many options available, but in this blog, we will be selecting Database Engine Services.
  • Click on Next.

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How to Install SQL Server step 3

  • The next step involves Instance Configuration.
  • Give the details in the Instance Name and Instance ID fields, then click Next.
  • Here, in the snapshot, I have given the Name instance as SPARATA and the same appears for Instance ID as well.

How to Install SQL Server step 4

  • The Server Configuration screen is displayed, on which you must click Next.
  • Now, on the screen, you will find two authentication modes namely, Windows authentication Mode and Mix Mode.
  • Select Mix Mode, enter the desired password, and then confirm the password.
  • Select the user by clicking on Add Current User; this will add the current user now.
  • Click on Next.
  • Once the Current User is added, the SQL Server is ready to be installed.
  • Now, click on Next, and the installation process takes place.
  • Once the installation process is complete, you’re redirected back to the SQL Server Installation Center.

How to Install SQL Server step 5

Now, you will also have to install the SQL Server Management Tools; this tool will help you connect with the database.

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  • Click on Install SQL Server Management Tools, and it will redirect you to the Microsoft web page.
  • Download the latest version of SQL Server Management Studio, and you will find the downloaded file in your folder as SSMS-Setup-ENU.

How to Install SQL Server step 6

  • Click on the file and install the studio.
  • Once the installation is completed, search for Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.
  • The SQL Server Management Studio is launched, and you will find a pop-up, Connect to Server.
  • Enter the password that you had entered before with Login as is and click on Connect.

This brings us to the end of this section. Here, we learned how to download the Microsoft SQL Server, what a Microsoft SQL Server Developer Edition is, the prerequisites for the Microsoft SQL Server installation, and how to install the SQL Server.

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About the Author

Data Engineer

As a skilled Data Engineer, Sahil excels in SQL, Business Intelligence, and database management. He has contributed to projects at companies like Bajaj and Tata. With a background in software engineering, he crafted efficient solutions for data pipelines, analytics, and software integration, driving insights and innovation.