Installing Exchange Server 2016 Preview

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Exchange Server 2016 Preview was released Yesterday, and Today we are going over the process to add a new Exchange Server 2016 into an existent Exchange Organization running Exchange Server 2013 servers.


Before starting the installation process, there are a few key items that should be check by the administrator, as follows:

  • You must install on your lab environment
  • You must not install on your production environment
  • I personally recommend installing on the latest Operating System available and for this Tutorial we are going to use Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Make sure that Windows Update was run and everything is up-to-date


  • Check you Active Directory and DNS before starting the installation process
  • The server must be in the domain before starting the installation process
  • You must not install on your production environment (Just to make sure that you got the message!)

Step 01 – Prerequisites…

The first step is to download the Exchange Server 2016 Preview, here is the link: and after that extract the content on a local folder (in our Tutorial we are going to use C:EX16Preview).


The next step is to install the basic Windows Features (most of the Windows Features we will rely on setup to install for us), open PowerShell as administrator and run these follow cmdlets:

Add-WindowsFeature rsat-adds, Desktop-Experience


The last step is to install the Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime, here is the link to download it: and then install the component using default settings.

Step 02 – Installation process…

Now that we have all lined up, we should run the setup.exe as administrator to start the installation wizard.


In the first page, we can check for updates. However, since that is a Preview, we can skip that step by selecting Don’t check for updates right now, and then click Next.

In the Introduction page. It is just a welcome page, click Next.


In the License Agreement page. If we are okay with the license agreement, just click on I accept the terms in the license agreement and then click Next.

In the Recommended Settings page. Let’s leave default settings where our server will check online solutions for any error and it will report usage feedback to improve the next generation of the product. Click Next.


In the Server Role Selection page. Here is one of the first changes that the administrator can check out, now we have only 2 roles (Mailbox and Edge) and the Client Access role is not listed anymore due the change in the architecture of the product on this new version.

We are going to install this version on the lazy mode (which means that most of the Windows Feature will be installed by the setup instead of adding the feature before starting the installation process).


In the Installation Space and Location page. By default, the installation folder is C:Program FileMicrosoftExchange ServerV15 and we will leave those default values. Click Next.
Note: During a Recover Server operation, it is always easier to restore when using the default path. If your organization uses a different standard, make sure that the drive where you are going to install is well documented for Disaster Recover purposes.


In the Malware Protection Settings page. That is a new feature of Exchange Server 2013 and by default is enabled, we can always go back and disable afterwards. Let’s leave default settings which is No and then click Next.


In the Readiness Checks page. Since we decided to let the setup perform the leg work of installing the Windows Features for us, we may have to restart (as shown in the image below), and if that is your case, restart the server and run the setup again and execute the exactly the same steps.


After the restart we can see that now the only warning is related to MAPI over HTTP is not enabled (in a new Exchange Organization it comes enable, but in our scenario we are adding an Exchange Server 2016 Preview to an existent Exchange Server 2013 Organization), click on Install.


The process will take a couple of minutes, grab a coffee/mate and wait for the completion.


In the Setup Completed page. Here we have the final page of the wizard, and if your installation was successful then the result should be similar to the image below. Click on Finish.


After installing the new server, we can run the traditional Test-ServiceHealth to check if all services are up and running. Using Exchange Management Shell in the Preview release we can notice that the current version is


That’s it to install the Exchange Server 2016 Preview version released Yesterday. The process is similar to Exchange Server 2013.

Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian Exchange Server MVP and MCSM (Solutions Master) and he contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor at, and (Portuguese).