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SharePoint 2016 Central Admin – Upgrade and Migration – Convert Farm License Type

When you click on the convert farm license type Link, you will be landed on convert license type page. This page will give you the option to change the License type from Standard to enterprise or from trail to regular.

Convert license type page’s direct link: /_admin/Conversion.aspx

There is a situation when you have to change the product key of SharePoint farm. For example

1.       You have SharePoint Server with Standard client access license; now you want to use the enterprise features for which you have to convert your license type from Standard to the enterprise.

2.       You use the SharePoint 2016 trial product key (valid for 180 days) and which is going to expire and you want to upgrade it to your regular key.

In that type of situation, you do not need to uninstall the SharePoint and reinstall with the correct key, rather you just need the valid key. From central admin, you can update the product key from trial to regular or from standard to enterprise edition of the SharePoint. SharePoint Binaries are same for the Standard or enterprise or even trail version.

Most important thing, keep in mind, you can go from lower version to higher but cannot go from Higher to lower.

         If you have SharePoint Standard then you can upgrade it to SharePoint Enterprise

         If you are on SharePoint Standard Trail then you can go regular SharePoint Standard or Enterprise

         If you are in the SharePoint Enterprise edition then you cannot go to SharePoint standard or trail.

         If you are on SharePoint Enterprise Trail then you can go only regular SharePoint Enterprise edition.

Going from Higher to lower version. You have to install SharePoint with the standard product key on the new server. From existing farm, turn off the enterprise features from site collection then restore it to new standard farm. This method is not supported, as this method can bring some orphan stuff with it. The best way is to use 3rd party tool or manually move the content to new farm.

Note: Product key cannot be retrieved from SharePoint once configured it, you have to store it secure place manually. Even if you lost the key it really does not matter, as long as you give the proof to MSFT that you hold the valid licensing, which covers servers and users.

Convert License Type

In order to change the license type, you need a fresh Product key for the desired License type (i.e. going standard to enterprise then you need valid 25-character long enterprise key or from trial to regular). Please follow the steps below to change license type.

  • Login to Central admin with account member of farm administrator group and also the local admin on the server.
  • Go to the Convert License Type.
  • On this Page enter the correct Product key and click Ok.
  • Now, wait for the couple minutes as it is updating it.
  • Now you will see this

As per my experience, it is really great if we perform the IIS reset on the all the servers in the farm. So that nothing stuck in the cache.

This concludes the session and we successfully convert the license type from Standard to an enterprise.

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