How to Migrate Windows Server 2012 to 2016/2019 [Step by Step Guide]
Methods on this page are also applicable to Windows Server 2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2/2016/2019. It also works to upgrade and migrate Windows Server essentials to standards.
How to Successfully Migrate Windows Server 2012 to 2016?
It's confirmed that Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 supports will end by Oct.10th, 2023. And Microsoft has released two new Windows Servers - 2016 and 2019 for personal and enterprise users to explore their businesses on the new Windows Server systems. And it's a smart choice to get things ready in advance. Therefore, it's time to make a full plan of upgrading or migrating Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 to new Windows Server 2016/2019.
So how to successfully migrate your Windows Server 2012 to 2016 with all applications, data, and even accounts? If you are having the same doubts as listed here, stay calm and follow the provided tips in the following to get problems resolved:
- 1. Will I lose data while migrating Windows Server 2012 to 2016?
- 2. How do I upgrade Windows Server 2012 to 2019?
- 3. How to keep applications, data, accounts while migrating Windows Server 2012 to 2016/2019?
Windows Server Migration Checklist (2 Steps)
Here is a checklist that can be applied to upgrade and migrate Windows Servers applications, data, and accounts, etc., for all Windows Server users. Take the following two steps to get the right tool and resolution for Windows Server Migration:
- #1. Download Essential Windows Server Migration Tool
For most Windows Server users, the biggest challenge of migrating Windows Server is about how to fully transfer data, installed applications, and even Windows Server accounts to the new Windows Server machine. Advanced Windows Server PC transfer software - EaseUS Todo PCTrans Technician specializes in Windows Server data, app, account and settings migration between Windows Servers.
EaseUS Todo PCTrans Technician supports to transfer data, application, accounts via network or image on all Windows Servers, including Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2012 R2/2008/2008 R2, etc.
- #2. Find Out Your Goals in Windows Server Migration
To find out the right way to migrate Windows Server, you should first find out your goals.
- If you want to transfer Windows Server OS to a new computer, try EaseUS Windows Server Migration Tool. You will successfully migrate Windows Server OS to a new computer without reinstalling the Server OS.
- If you only want to transfer Windows Server 2012 data, installed applications, account and settings to Windows Server 2016/2019 computer, follow Solution 1 listed below for help.
- If you want to perform an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2012 to 2016/2019 or fresh install Windows Server 2016/2019 on old Windows Server 2012 but keep all data, installation apps, and account, follow Solution 2 on this page for help.
Solution 1. Migrate Windows Server 2012 to New Server 2016/2019 (Data, Apps, Account)
Applies to: Transfer data, installed applications, account and settings from Windows Server 2012 to new Windows Server 2016/2019 computers. No reinstallation is required.
To transfer Windows Server 2012 data, applications, and account, etc., to a new Windows server computer like 2016 or 2019, all you need is a reliable Windows Server PC Transfer software. EaseUS Todo PCTrans Technician is capable to help. It enables all levels of users to efficiently transfer everything from an old Windows Server computer to a new Server machine via the network connection.
See how to migrate Windows Server 2012 data, application, and even account to new Server step by step:
Step 1. Launch EaseUS Todo PCTrans on your source and target computers, connect both PCs via the internet.
1. At the "PC to PC" section, click "PC to PC" to continue.
2. Select your target computer via its device name, then enter its account password or verification code and select the transfer direction. Then click "Connect" to continue.
You can check the verification code on the right top of "PC to PC" mainscreen on the target computer.
Step 2. Select the categories Applications, Files, and Accounts to transfer via the internet.
If you want to transfer data selectively, click "Edit" under each category, and choose the specific items.
Step 3. Click "Transfer" to start transferring your apps/files/accounts from one computer to another computer via the Internet.
After the migration, you can restart the new Windows Server 2016 or 2019 computer and then continue using the software again. If some applications require reactivation, use your old key to activate the programs again.
Solution 2. In-place Upgrade Windows Server 2012 to 2016/2019, Keep Everything on Server
Applies to: In-place upgrade Windows Server 2012 to 2016 or 2019 and keep everything on the Server, including data, applications, and account, etc.
If you need to in-place upgrade Windows Server 2012 to newer Windows Server, keeping everything on the machine, follow the tutorial steps below carefully.
Step 1. Create an image of all important data, apps, and even accounts on Windows Server 2012
EaseUS Todo PCTrans with its Backup and Restore feature supports you to create an image backup of all important data, applications, accounts, etc., from Windows Server 2012 to an external hard drive.
Video Tutorial of Image Transfer using EaseUS Todo PCTrans:
Step 2. Perform in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2012 to 2016/2019, or fresh install Windows server 2016 on old Server PC.
If you don't know how to perform Windows Server in-place upgrade, follow to the Microsoft tutorial: Upgrade Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016 for help.
If you need to fresh install Windows Server 2016 or 2019 on the old Server machine, you need first download a Windows Server ISO and then follow the video below to clean install the Windows Server:
Video Tutorial to Install Windows Server 2016 produced by Server Academy on YouTube:
Step 3. Restore data, applications, accounts to new Windows Server via EaseUS Todo PCTrans using its Image Transfer feature.
If you lost some apps or data, you can use EaseUS Todo PCTrans Technician to selectively restore applications, data, and accounts to your new Windows Server 2016/2019.
On this page, we collected two solutions to help Windows Server users migrating Windows Server 2012 with data, applications, and accounts, etc., to Windows Server 2016/2019 using reliable PC transfer - EaseUS Todo PCTrans.
We also provide extra tips to help users to perform in-place upgrade or fresh install Windows Server 2016/2019 on old Windows Server machine. By following the provided tips, you can effortlessly move everything to the new Windows Server computer.
Windows Server 2012 Migration FAQs
If you have more questions about Windows Server migration, check the following questions and find answers here immediately.
1. Can Windows Server 2012 be upgraded to 2016?
Yes. Windows Server 2012 can be upgraded to 2016 in many ways. Here, we have collected all the possible ways that you can try to upgrade to Windows Server 2016 from 2012:
- Method 1. Use Windows Server migration tool: back up Windows Server 2016 OS and restore to the Windows Server 2012.
- Method 2. Perform in-place Windows Server upgrade from 2012 to 2016.
- Method 3. Clean install Windows Server 2016 on the old Windows Server 2012 computer.
2. Can Windows Server 2008 r2 be upgraded to 2016?
Sure. You can upgrade Windows Server 2008 r2 to 2016 by performing an in-place upgrade or fresh installing Windows Server 2016 on the computer. If you need to move data, applications, and account from the old Windows Server 2008 to new Windows server 2016, refer to Migrate Windows Server 20018 (R2) to 2016 step by step guide for help.
3. How do I migrate Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2019?
The ways to migrate Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2019 is similar to the ways as recommended on this page - migrating Windows Server 2012 to 216.
First, you need a reliable Windows PC transfer software that supports you to migrate old Windows Server data, apps, accounts to the new server computer.
Next, confirm your goals - to transfer data, apps, accounts between server machines, or to upgrade Windows server to 2019 but keep everything on the computer.
Last, take the right solution to migrate Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2019:
- If you need to migrate everything to a new Server computer, use the PC to PC feature in EaseUS Todo PCTrans Technician and migrate data, apps, accounts to Windows Server 2019 without losing anything.
- If you need to perform in-place upgrade or clean install Windows Sever 2019 on the old Server 2012 R2 computer, use Image Transfer feature in EaseUS Todo PCTrans to create an image of all important things, in-place upgrade or fresh install new Server, and then recover the image back to the computer.
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Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.
Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.
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About EaseUS Todo PCTrans
EaseUS Todo PCTrans can transfer settings, applications and data between PCs and HDDs. Your all-round PC transfer and migrate software to upgrade devices without re-installation.