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How to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Do you want to install SQL Server 2019 on your Windows PC? How about the latest version of SQL Server Management Studio? I’ll walk you through the process. Soon you’ll be writing T-SQL queries and operating on SQL Server databases!

As I write this article, Microsoft SQL Server 2019 is the latest version of SQL Server. It’s the 15th version of one of the most popular database servers in the world. If you need to install the previous version, see our guide Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Installation Step by Step.

There are a few ways to install SQL Server 2019; the differences depend on if you have installed the older version. In this article, I will present everything based on SQL Server 2019’s Express edition, which is free for personal and commercial use.

Even if you’re just starting to learn SQL, it’s a good idea to install this popular DBMS. If you are wondering why MS SQL Server is a good choice, read the article Microsoft SQL Server Pros and Cons, which will help answer your question.

There are a lot of good online resources for learning MS SQL Server. In my opinion, however, it is worth choosing the most effective courses right at the start. Our SQL from A to Z in MS SQL Server track will give you all the necessary skills to work freely with T-SQL (the SQL dialect used by SQL Server). If you are a complete beginner and just want to see if SQL is for you, start with our SQL Basics in MS SQL Server course.

How to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019

To install SQL Server 2019, you must first download the program from Microsoft.

You’ll see something like the screenshot below. Look for the Express version.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Found it? Click Download now, wait a moment, and then run the installation file SQL2019-SSEI-Expr.exe. The installation wizard will appear:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Select Custom if you want to choose which components to install; a lot of people use this option. As you see below, you’ll need to specify the target location for the media download. If you want to change the default path, click the Browse button. Make sure you have enough disk space.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Click the Install button to download SQL Server 2019 Express’ installation packages:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Once the download is complete, you’ll get a message that everything was successful and that the installation is about to start.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Soon, you’ll see the Installation Center window. Choose New SQL Server stand-alone installation.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

You must accept the license terms to use this producy, so check the button I accept the license and click the Next.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

The installation process will start by identifying any problems and seeing if there are any existing files to update:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

If you only see warnings about the Windows firewall, you’re good to go. Click the Next button.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Now you can configure the server instance. I’ll leave it with the default settings.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Next, the setup wizard will install Java. It’s required for SQL Server to run:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

When that’s done, the server configuration will appear. Click the Next button if everything looks good:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

In Database Engine Configuration, you can change the authentication mode to Mixed. This will allow you to log into the server using either Windows authentication or a SQL Server sa (standard account) and a password which you choose:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Accept, download, and install R and Python. They can be useful in MS SQL Server:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

The installation will start.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

When the installation process is complete, click Close.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Congratulations! You’ve just installed SQL Server 2019 on your computer. You can start writing your first queries using the IDE of your choice, an appropriate text editor, or the command line. If you want to use PostgreSQL too, no problem. Learn how to install PostgreSQL on Windows 10 in 5 minutes.

How to Install Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

To work even more effectively with MS SQL Server, I recommend that you use Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) or a similar tool. SSMS is used by many professionals around the world, and it’s available for free.

I already showed you how to install the database; now I will guide you through installing this great editor.

To do this, you must go back to the SQL Server Installation Center. This is where you chose the new stand-alone database installation.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Now  choose  Install SQL Server Management Tools. You will be taken to Microsoft's website, where you’ll find and download the latest version of Management Studio.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Run the downloaded SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe file and the installation process will begin. Click the Install button to start. (You can change the installation path by choosing another folder.)

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

The packages will be loaded.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

In the last step, you will be asked to restart your computer.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Go ahead and restart your PC. In the Start menu (assuming you’re using Windows OS), you’ll see Microsoft SQL Server 2019, which contains Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. Click on it to start using this application.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Now you will have to connect to SQL Server. Choose SQL Server Authentication from the  Authentication drop-down menu and make sure the server type and name options are correct:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Write sa in the Login field and the server password that you used when installing the database. You can check Remember password if you don’t want to keep repeating this step each time you log in. Click Connect.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

The editor is ready to manage the server and databases:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Now you are ready to write your first SQL scripts. This software is available for seven different database servers, including SQL Server and Oracle.

Have fun with MS SQL Server 2019 and MS Management Studio!

Other Popular Tools That Connect to SQL Server 2019

There are other tools which allow you to manage SQL Server 2019. They are all great alternatives to SSMS. The choice of a particular tool depends on your preferences. I recommend that you test a few of them and see which works best for you:

  • SQLGate – A powerful database IDE, SQLGate is available in different languages and for different database systems like SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, etc. You can purchase a license, pay for a subscription, or use a free version.
  • HeidiSQL – This is another tool for managing popular databases like SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, etc. It is free and easy to learn.
  • RazorSQL – This is a simple SQL query editor and database browser with administration tools available for different OSs. It is paid and licensed per user.
  • Squirrel SQL – A free, Java-based GUI application, this SQL tool works on different OSs and for various popular database servers. Plus, it has a lot of cool plugins.

There are more tools that can help you to work with MS SQL Server database. Find one you like and start your database adventure.

How to Upgrade to SQL Server 2019 From an Earlier Version

Installing an entire new version of SQL Server is not necessary if you have an older version of SQL Server on your computer. For example, if you have installed SQL Server 2017 and want to update it to 2019, you can do that. First, launch SQL Server Installation Center:

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Next, click Upgrade from a previous version of SQL Server. In the Browse For Folder window, select your SQL Server media folder (the actual name may vary) and click OK.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

The upgrade process will start. It’s very similar to the installation process we used earlier. Just follow the steps and you’ll have the new version of SQL Server installed.

Install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and SQL Server Management Studio

Want to Learn More About SQL Server 2019?

If you would like to start developing your SQL Server skills, try our SQL Basics in MS SQL Server course or the SQL Fundamentals in MS SQL Server track. If you have a bit of T-SQL knowledge and want to put it to practical use, try the SQL Reporting in MS SQL Server track; it’s especially good if you aim to become a professional data analyst. Or use our SQL Server Practice set to really hone your skills. It’s easy and fun. Happy learning!

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